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Messages - adprinter

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61
What was your depth of cut on the Rough pass, and the Finish pass? Also, what was the Feed rates of each? Judging from the impression made from the stamp, it appears to have turned out Excellent! Great work!

62
I am running my machine with the Mach3 2010 screen set. The tool change macro which it comes with, is the next best thing to having an automatic tool changer. Since all that is involved in a tool change, is to (manually change the tool), then click the mouse once. The machine moves to the fixed plate position, and slowly jogs down until the tool comes into contact with the fixed plate (in order to measure the new tool offset), then moves back to the position it was running at, (When it encountered the M6 tool change g-code) starts the router back running, and continues cutting.
 Of course, you do have to properly setup Mach3 to sense the tool contact, which only requires 1 input. I actually wired my tool probe (fixed plate, AND moveable plate) to the home switch of my 4th axis. I simply disable the 4th axis in Mach3, and use that port and pin for the probe circuit. Since it is rare that I ever actually use the 4th axis, it works great. Of course the trade-off is that I still have to use the "Feeler Gauge" method (a sheet of paper under the tool) to zero the Z axis for 4th axis work (after enabling the 4th axis and disabling the probe in Mach3).
 My computer only has a single parallel port, so I am limited to the 5 available inputs (1 being used for the E stop circuit, 3 being used for the Home/Limit switch circuits for XYZ axis), and the remaining input is the one I use alternately between the 4th axis, and probe circuits.

63
I have not yet tried to "Reinvent the wheel"- I.E. I am still using just the computer keyboard and mouse to control the machine. I don't yet have a pendant control, but have frequently desired one. The concept of a hard-wired Operator Console sounds like an ambitious task, to say the least. Since there are so many variables which are more easily accomplished by simply using the keyboard and mouse.

64
G-Code, CAD, and CAM discussions / Re: 4 axis mill 3D model software
« on: October 16, 2013, 10:53:22 AM »
MeshCAM Art is a great program for 3D sculpting from simple bitmaps. Then, (as mentioned in last post, above) convert the g-code using CNC Wrapper to generate the 4th axis toolpath.

65
Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: BullDog CNC Router/Mill Build Project
« on: October 15, 2013, 10:34:09 PM »
I have been slacking on updating the build progress. Had to squeeze in a little vacation while I could.

I was able to get all of the software installed and do some basic motion testing and configuration. I installed Mach3 for my machine control software which has custom screens from the bladerunner package. I also installed Sheetcam for 2d work. I use it all the time for plasma cutting so I though I would put it on this system since I'm familiar.

I also installed Aspire and Photo V Carve from Vectric which I plan to use for most of the routing and carving.

Program install was easy no problems. Powered up the the machine and was able to move it around the table using Mach3 No cutting yet.

Anyone have another programs they think I should have or could use. I want to eventually add a rotary axis. I'm still reading up on aspire and getting familiar with all it can do.

Next project is adding the home and limit switches along with some cable management to the machine.
I'm not familiar with the custom screen set in your version of Mach. However, I am using the 2010 screen set on my router table which includes custom macros for tool changes. The next best thing to having an automatic tool changer! (I.E., just change tooling, and click once for the machine to measure the new tool length, and continue cutting!). As for software, it looks as though you are good to go for most routing projects. IF you also have a good CAD program for designing. If you are more familiar with working with just bitmap images, you may want to give MeshCAM Art a try. It's the software I use for all of my 3D carvings. Also CNC Wrapper is good for 4th axis work. Judging from the software alone, I wish that I had your kind of budget to work with. Right now, my router is down (bearings fell apart in my Porter Cable 892)- just don't have the funds for a replacement for the foreseeable future.

66
What RPM spindle speed did you use? Also, were the cutters made of high speed steel, or carbide?

67
Show"N"Tell ( What you have made with your CNC machine.) / Re: Steel Stamp
« on: September 26, 2013, 02:31:56 AM »
Cool! What type of steel did you use to machine the stamp? And did you do any sort of hardening to it after machining?

68
This is a little kiln pyrometer I got from ebay, I think it was $75. I use it for Aluminum and for small brass melts. I submerge it in Aluminum but not brass. Mostly I just read the furnace temp.
What material is the sensor on the Pyrometer made of? I can't image submerging anything into molten metal, without it resulting in the sensor itself becoming a part of the molten metal. Thanks for responding! I could not recall the word used to describe the mortar material I used to cast legs for the trivet- "Refractory". Your little oven looks very similar to mine, except that mine was constructed from an old hot water heater tank, instead of a freon tank. It stands about three feet tall, and will accommodate up to an 8" diameter  crucible pot. I have actually used the freon tanks, sawed in half-as crucibles placed inside my oven. Yes, the steel crucibles do burn holes thru them after only a couple of firings, such is life for the financially challenged! I have not yet tried melting brass, but I have a cast iron dutch oven I have been saving for this purpose. Do you have any experience with crucibles other than the carbide graphite variety? I have used stainless steel (of the dollar store salad bowl variety), plain steel (of the freon tank, or LP tank variety), also stainless steel pressure cooker pots, as well as cast iron cookware. Experience has taught, that the steel pots can be used as crucibles, but great CARE must be excercised, when stirring the molten, and spooning the dross. (So as to not poke a hole thru the bottom of the pot, which is usually in a near-molten state itself!). What experience have you had, with cruciibles? What material were they made of? Where did you find them?

69
I miss the age of steam!!  Enjoy
.
Chrisjh
 
If these insane fuel prices continue, the age of Steam may not be over yet! I have been working on my first Steam Wobbler engine, but did not succeed in aligning the cylinder walls in a straight line of travel in relation to the packer box. Causing it to seize at a certain point of travel. So a new casting will be neccessary. I just haven't gotten around to doing it (yet). This summer's grass-growing season hasn't let up much! So it will probably be a winter project.
-Mike

70
Adprinter, I forgot about the comment on the MDF. Yes, I was surprised how well it stood up to the heat. It was a Lead Alloy that melts at about 550F, I take it to about 600F to pour. It barely scorched the MDF, I think I could have cast a few more without trouble. If it had failed, I was going to try to cast it with Bismuth. It still has to be about 550F to cast. I wish I could afford some Woods Metal. I just don't have any Cadmium. Woods Metal melts at about 160F, that would be pretty neat to try.
I have had a few failures, metal shooting out between the flask, melted through what I thought was a thin steel plate, turned out to be Tin. That was fun, molten Aluminum everywhere. I want some petrobond for brass, it likes to spit and pop out of greensand. Glad I have good PPE.
Jammerm, what device do you use to measure temperature of the molten? I have a laser thermometer, but it will only measure up to about 500 degrees F. My foundery oven is a charcoal-fired design, using an old heat gun (aka glorified blow dryer) to air blast the charcoal. I have since learned that my scrap pieces of left-over oak (from my CNC carvings) yields a hotter burn (20 minutes from lighting, to molten vs 30-40 minutes using charcoal). Yes, it burns up faster than the charcoal. But it does the job (and since I already have it, the price is much cheaper than buying charcoal). My biggest problem, is coming up with a trivet to hold the crucible pot which will withstand more than a couple of firings. I have tried many designs. Including a disc brake rotor, with threaded rods casted in the same mortar mix used to line the furnace with, as the legs of the trivet. But the ends of the rods were exposed to the heat, and the threaded rods melted, and ran out of the mortar castings, which then crumbled and broke off. You mentioned the greensand spits and pops. I have learned, that the more vent holes you put in the sand mold, the better. Just be sure that you don't plunge your wire any closer to the pattern than about 1 inch. Also, before assembling the cope to the drag, go over each with a blow torch (I use a Mapp gas torch for this). It will improve the spit and pop problem. And it will save time (with failed castings) in testing whether or not your mold is durable enough to hold up for the casting. I.E.- if the torch causes it to crumble, you have just learned that the mold wasn't actually ready to use for a casting, because it would have been a failure anyway. Much easier to just re-mix the sand, and re-ram the pattern in the sand, without the need to also re-melt the useless blob of aluminum that would have otherwise resulted!

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