May 26 2016

Aluminum Types

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Aluminum Types

Aluminum is a metal commonly used for milling but there are multiple types to choose from, each with different uses that make them best suited for a variety of projects. 1100 (also called pure aluminum) resists weather and chemicals and is low cost and easy to weld. It is commonly used for chemical equipment, fan blades and sheet metal. 2014 is used for structural applications like parts on planes, trucks or other vehicles as well as other machines. 2024 is also used structurally and has high strength and workability while also resisting corrosion. These traits make 2024 aluminum ideal for large pieces of equipment like truck wheels and recreation equipment as well as small items like rivets and screws. 3003 is a general purpose material with the same capability for welding and formability as 1100, but it is stronger than 1100. It is used for many of the same things as 1100 along with seeing use in making more everyday items like cooking utensils. 5052 is even stronger than 3003, allowing it to be used in marine environments while still having all the uses of weaker aluminum alloys. 6061 has good weld-ability, formability and corrosion resistance on top of its impressive strength. It is used in the construction of vehicles, furniture, architecture and even basic sheet metal, amongst other things. While there are many more types of aluminum available than the ones mentioned here these are some of the more common varieties that millers may find themselves using.

Badog Aluminum

Aluminum

Machining aluminum can be a tricky task but there are some things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly. There are cutting tools that are made and sold specifically to cut aluminum and these are the ones you want to use. Aluminum is a soft metal and becomes very sticky when you are cutting, clinging to your cutting tool and gumming it up. The tools built specifically for aluminum cutting are made to counter this effect. To separate a chip from the rest of the material you are going to want high rakes angles. Using positive rake angles up to 20 degrees axial and 25 degrees radial is a common practice. Having a high helix angle (at about 45 degrees) is also a good idea. Keeping the helix angle this high will help to move chips out of your cutting area and will give you a good surface finish while softening the impact when you start to cut as well. Using a two- or three-flute end mill will allow for larger flute areas. A core diameter just below 50% of the cutter diameter also helps the flute areas. The use of an open flute design will further help in getting chips out of your cutting area. Aluminum likes to stick and the hot chips will try to stick to your otherwise smooth surface area so keeping them out of the area is important. Chips can also be kept out of the flute area with the use of coolant, which you will also need to keep your tool at working temperatures. An air gun spraying a mist is a common choice for coolant but flood coolant can get chips out of the way if the pressure is high enough. Using an air gun should be satisfactory is your tool is coated. Slick tool coatings on your equipment will help to reduce friction on the flute surface. The three big things to remember when preparing to mill aluminum are to use a cutting tool specifically designed for aluminum, use a machine with speeds and feeds that are high enough for aluminum and make sure you can get chips out of your cutting area while working.


Apr 21 2016

3D vs 2.5D

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3D vs 2.5D

CNC hobbyists and people in general are both familiar with the terms 2D and 3D. Everyone knows that a 2D object is flat, like a square drawn on a piece of paper, while a 3D object has multiple angles, like a cube-shaped puzzle. In between these two levels of perception there is 2.5D. In terms of machining, 2.5D is when you make an object that is 2D but looks like it is 3D. Even though the item is 2D and lays flat the use of lines, thickness and depth give the illusion that the object is 3D when you look at it. The tool paths used are 3D but only 2D information is put into your machine, hence the name “2.5D”. Despite the similarities 2.5D has to 2D cutting it is only usable on machines that do not cut all the way through material; you need to be able to make low points or pockets. As such, you will not be seeing any plasma or laser cutters that can make 2.5D objects.

3D

3D work

Making something that is 2.5D is actually a great starting project for new CNC enthusiasts. The cutting process for making a 2.5D object is very similar to making a 2D project so the G-code that you need to write will be very simple. Many older routers could not move the spindle up and down the z-axis while also moving along the x- or y-axis. Projects could have points of different depths but that entire process had to be done all at once. Making an angle that was not parallel or perpendicular to your machine’s tool was impossible. Items that were made from this process are 2.5D since only 2D depths and tool paths are used in the cutting process. Because of their simplicity 2.5D objects can be made on the 3-axis milling machines that are used by most hobbyists. Depending on whether you are using standard engraving or V-carve engraving the information needed in your programming will change. Both processes need information on 2D toolpaths but standard engraving requires data on depths of faces while v-carving needs data on the angle of the cuts as well as their depth or width.

3D

truck loader 3D model

While a 3-axis machine works for 2.5D milling there are 2.5D machines (also called two and a half axis mills) made specifically for this type of work. 2.5D machines are equipped with three axes but can only cut with the x-axis and y-axis. Some of these machines only have a line instead of a true z-axis installed. Because these machines use less hardware and more basic software they tend to be less expensive than a 3-axis machine. Shops that are dedicated to 2.5D milling are referred to as drilling and tapping centers. 2.5D machines are not very common today; as new technology has made 3-axis machines less expensive 2.5D machines have been phased out since they are less capable. As a result many of the shops that used to use 2.5D machines now provide services with 3-axis machines instead.
As far as appearance goes 2.5D is essentially a more advanced version of 2D. 2.5D objects tend to look nicer than a 2D counterpart; a sign for a business made using 2.5D techniques would visually be more pleasing than a 2D sign. While 2.5D is not as advanced as 3D it still works spectacularly for projects that you do not want as 3D. Additionally, 2.5D projects are much simpler to code and take less time to mill than 3D objects. They do not take much more work than a standard 2D project either. Whether you are trying to make more innovative items to sell or if you just want to try a different kind of project learning to use 2.5D techniques can open up a whole new side of CNC machining that you never knew was there.


Feb 18 2016

Plastic mold making with a hobby router

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Plastic mold making with a hobby router

Creating a plastic mold is one in all the most effective strategies for prototyping. Creating a plastic mold is simple and knowing the way to create one are often terribly handy. Mistreatment everyday objects from around your home, you’ll build a plastic vacuum molder which will alter you to try and do something from creating a brand new toy for your child to making a custom case for your latest project. The idea behind a vacuum molder is easy. Mistreatment suction from a vacuum, liquid plastic sheets are a unit tightly adhered to the item you wish a mold of, effectively making a plastic copy of the item. Typically plastic vacuum molders area unit terribly giant and really dearly-won machines except for smaller comes this DIY molder can work simply fine.

Plastic mold project

Plastic mold CNC project

For this project you wish a high, a powerful airtight box, a home appliance and 2 frames. Your high is wherever you set the item you’re repeating and it’ll would like holes trained in it for suction. The holes should be trained so the suction is consistent over the whole area of the highest. Mistreatment associate degree airtight box helps maintain consistent suction. Once choosing a vacationing, you’ll use a standard home appliance, however a store vac can work higher since they need higher suction. The frames are wont to hold the sheets of plastic; a combine of image frames can work nicely. You may conjointly would like a cutting knife or razor and an electric drill with alittle bit (a ⅛” bit could be a sensible size to use).
Building little vacuum molder are often finished a plastic paste jar (or one thing similar, as long because it is plastic therefore you’ll cut it), a 2-liter bottle, some plastic wrap and adhesive tape. For alittle model like this a daily home appliance can work fine; a store vacation isn’t necessary. The lid of your paste jar is your high therefore drill holes in it in a very grid pattern to distribute the suction equally. once that’s done cut a hole within the aspect of the paste jar that’s simply sufficiently big for the tip of your 2-liter bottle to travel through. stop|bring to a halt|interrupt} the highest of the 2-liter bottle and place it through the outlet within the jar (the end of the tip ought to air the skin of the jar). currently plastic wrap the jar (but leave the bottle tip exposed) to create it airtight and place the lid on. aside from the holes within the lid and also the hole within the 2-liter bottle tip the whole molder should be airtight.

CNC plastic molder

plastic mold project

Now your vacuum molder is prepared to be used. ensure the entire object fits on the highest with holes round the edges. don’t use objects which will soften or deform beneath heat. don’t use objects that or too tall or the plastic can stretch an excessive amount of and tear. place your object on the space and place a spacer beneath it; this may create the model look higher. Connect the hose on your vacuum to the 2-liter bottle tip. Stretch out your plastic between your frames and warmth it. will|this will|this could|this may} be finished a heat gun otherwise you can hold the plastic over a burner (do not bit the burner with the plastic directly). don’t use a gas burner; the plastic can turn. Once the plastic starts to sag within the middle, it’s hot enough for the mold. Slowly stretch the plastic over the item and acquire a decent seal around it. The plastic must be as airtight as potential for max suction. Once this is often done activate the vacuum. when the plastic has wrapped round the object flip the vacuum off and hold it in situ till it hardens and provides it time to cool down. Once it’s cool take the frames off, cut away the surplus plastic and you have got your model.
This method works with little objects however you’ll build one thing larger. If you employ an outsized bin, a baking pan, an even bigger bottle and bigger image frames you’ll do that whole method on a bigger scale. you’d most likely would like a stronger vacuum for larger molders and you’ll got to seal off it rather than simply mistreatment adhesive tape to stay everything airtight. you’ll purchase sheets of plastic on-line or probably regionally from a spread of suppliers. Along with your molder you’ll currently model expeditiously. Use some material like covering material rosin and you may have a particular copy of your object.the object turn the vacuum off and hold it in place until it hardens and give it time to cool. Once it is cool take the frames off, cut away the excess plastic and you have your model.
This process works with small objects but you can build something bigger. If you use a large trash can, a baking pan, a bigger soda bottle and larger picture frames you can do this whole process on a larger scale. You would probably need a stronger vacuum for bigger molders and you may need to caulk it instead of just using duct tape to keep everything airtight. You can purchase sheets of plastic online or possibly locally from a variety of suppliers. With your molder you can now prototype efficiently. Use some material like fiberglass resin and you will have an exact copy of your object.


Feb 11 2016

CNC vinyl cutter For CNC machine

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CNC vinyl cutter For CNC machine

CNC machine work that is more arts and crafts than machining CNC vinyl cutter are a popular and inexpensive option for interested hobbyists. In shape vinyl cutters resemble computer printers and, like all CNC machines, they are controlled by pre-input computer commands. With this type of machine the computer controls the movements of a very sharp cutting blade to cut out letters, pictures or other shapes from vinyl (self-adhesive plastic). The computer interface of the average CNC vinyl cutter is very similar to the operating controls of a printer. These machines have a very small learning curve for users who are already familiar with computer printer technology. Users who are completely new to this technology will still find that CNC vinyl cutters are one of the easiest CNC machines to use.

CNC Vinyl Cutter

CNC Vinyl Cutter for cnc machine

The actual operation of a CNC vinyl cutter is very simple. A small knife is used by the machine to precisely cut the outline of whatever picture has been uploaded onto the piece of vinyl that has been inserted into the machine. Many CNC vinyl cutters have a mount where you can place rolls of vinyl so that you do not have to change your cutting material often unless you need a different color for various parts of a project. The use of vinyl rolls also makes it easy to mass produce projects. Because of the precision of the cutter it is recommended to use vector graphics for the images you upload for cutting. If raster graphics with pixilated edges are used your final product can look less than adequate. Vinyl is very adhesive and can be stuck to almost any surface within reason. One of the most common projects a CNC vinyl cutter is used for is creating signs, such as advertisements or banners. For example, business advertisements that are placed on cars, trucks or other vehicles are frequently made using vinyl.
Now say you have just purchased a CNC vinyl cutter and want to get started using it. The process for using most CNC vinyl cutters goes something like this. First you find your image (as a vector graphic) that you want to cut out. Since most projects on vinyl cutters are made of basic shapes (letters, numbers, etc.) it is usually easiest to make the graphics yourself in a program like Inkscape, OpenOffice Draw, Coreldraw or Photoshop. When designing or otherwise choosing an image remember that the color in the computer program is not important. Your cutout will be the image of the vinyl inserted into the machine so everything you design could be in black and white and it will be fine. The only reason to use color in your software would be to get a good visualization of what the project will look like when it is complete. If you do this remember to have the shade of your color match your printing material exactly or the final result could look different from the image in your software. Next open your CNC vinyl cutter’s software (all vinyl cutters should come with compatible software). Import your image into the software. Now you need to use your software’s features to trace the outline of your image so that the cutter will have a cutting path to follow. The ways in which you can edit images in these software programs tend to be pretty similar to basic programs that have some degree of image editing (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.). With your software ready to go load the vinyl you will be using into the machine. CNC vinyl cutters tend to have infrared sensors or some other detecting mechanism that lets the machine know when you have a roll loaded and when it is empty. Once the roll is in you can use the buttons on the CNC vinyl cutter begin the cutting process. These controls are usually similar to a printer or copy machine in set-up and function. Some CNC vinyl cutters may have these controls in the software instead of the hardware; the set-up is going to vary from machine to machine.

CNC Vinyl cutters

CNC Vinyl cutters for cnc machines

These machines are easy and fun to use when you have a use for this kind of project. They tend not to be too expensive either, with the more basic machines usually costing only a few hundred dollars. Some of the machines can even be used to cut thin cardboard, bolstering the number of different types of projects you can do on these machines. Alternatively, they do make vinyl drag knives that can be attached to other CNC machines (routers, mills, laser cutters and so forth) that usually cost somewhere between $100 and $200. This is good, cheap alternative to buying a whole new machine if you are already an enthusiast with another type of CNC machine and want to become enthusiastic about vinyl cutting too.


May 15 2015

Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

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Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

Simple project: wooden letters with your cnc machine

Wooden Letters: A Starting Project

            New hobbyists will often ask themselves where they should start when they get their CNC router up and running(Simple project). A basic project you can do on a CNC router is some form of 2D cutting. Even the smallest and simplest CNC router is fully capable of 2D cutting so this is a good starting off point regardless of what kind of machine you are using. With a 2D project of any kind you will essentially be setting up your machine to “draw” on your material (most commonly wood for this type of project). Your CNC router will cut some sort of image into the wood and it will take the desired shape. The final product will look similar to something that has been drawn on paper or created for display on a computer screen. As simple as this project is it is a good way to generate income. Wooden decorations tend to be very nice and provide a homely feeling making them a commonly purchased decoration. By engaging in this project you can not only gain experience at using your CNC router to better prepare you for more complex future projects but you can also bring in some money so that your machine will start paying itself off.

wooden letters cut with a cnc machine (Simple project)

wooden letters cut with a cnc machine (Simple project)

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