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Offline Davek0974

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Mini-Mills - any good???
« on: February 06, 2016, 12:18:05 PM »
Been looking at various threads on here regarding the abundant min-mills like the 3020, 3040 and 6040.

Was thinking of taking the plunge but are they really any good or a pile of bits for an upgrade project??

Most likely the 3040 as the 3020 is too small and the 6040 is getting a bit beyond experimental fun spendy spendy :)

Obviously it would be fed by Mach but there seem to be two flavours - a cream unit and a black unit model, any one better than the other, any recommended UK suppliers?

I would like to run aluminium, obviously feeds would be low but can they do it?
Also engraving and sign making etc.

Just wondering.
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives

Offline BR549

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2016, 12:29:31 PM »
IF I remember correctly they are just cheaply put together with cheap chinese electronics and are router type cutters not really what you would class as a MILL.


Offline Davek0974

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 12:36:24 PM »
Hmph, thats pretty much what i figured, seems they use the nasty 4 channel-on-one-board motor drives and small nema23's with trapezoidal screws.

The bit that threw me was a couple of videos on the 'tube of them milling alu and working pretty well, seems they were modded though but no comment of how or what.

£500 though, can't get 3 motors, 3 drive boards, decent motion guides, some cable chain, some sort of bed and the rest of it for any where near that sort of cash though.

The apparently ballscrew 6040 unit is about £1200 - for £3000 i could get a CNC proper workshop mill! (hardly desktop though :) )
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives
Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 12:53:56 PM »
Dave.... me again haha (turning out to be a right royal PIA....)

I got one of these (1605 ballscrews) .... along with a 64mm spindle mount [just asked for them to swap it at no cost] ..... and a Makita router (note it only comes with a 1/4" collet .... you can use a collet sleeve if you want to use 1/8" bits, but being the perfectionist.... I got the right collet from the US)
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-3040-Frame-Ball-Screw-Alloy-Router-Milling-Mechanical-Kit-Aluminium-Diy-New-/171640434692?hash=item27f6913004
http://www.screwfix.com/p/makita-rt0700cx4-2-710w-router-trimmer-240v/10140 (although I didn't pay that price [they are avail cheaper])
http://www.elairecorp.com/makitaroutercollets.html

Personal choice.... I gave up with spindles ..... seems like a bit of a game of roulette if you end up with a ceramic bearing one or not... plus water cooling it etc sometimes (dependant on size you desire), hence more complexity.

When I get the time I'll be adding a Super PID to it.
http://www.vhipe.com/product-private/SuperPID-Home.htm


What I've done with mine is I'm using the third port of my ESS to drive a separate set of AM882H drives within my same driver control panel (plasma cut for all my various bits, including PC stand and monitor stand [may weld some trolley type wheels on it at some point...])

To be fair I haven't finished the drive case as I'm trying to allow space for whatever THC I end up with in the end [future proof]

Hope it helps.

Intention is to do some PCB work on it .... and aluminium too but we'll see (I've got two proper non cnc mills and a very old lathe and I intend to convert them but time is short).

Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”

Offline Davek0974

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2016, 01:21:46 PM »
Hi Rob,

Looks ok, so that was just a chassis and you fit your own choice of stuff?

I might just wait and build my own or get something more manly to replace the Bridgeport possibly :)

Not sure yet, its just a thought.
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives
Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2016, 01:33:28 PM »
Yup, just a chassis.... I took the decision to buy some trusted drives and motors given I had a bob, power supply etc, and didn't have the space for another drive box.... the plan is to link in the other stuff into the same drive box (hence try to use all the same stepper motors.... [right or wrong])

I didn't think you'd beat a bridgeport... what about converting it?  (must have been done)

I wanted something really for PCB's and small stuff, aluminium / wood (kids sort of wall art nothing high precision)...
Rob

Albert Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”

Offline Davek0974

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 01:55:51 PM »
Th BP is my favourite machine :) done some ridiculous jobs on her, they have been converted before with ballscrews and servos but they are not really meant for it and the Z axis is particularly tricky to do well. Simple conversion is out as there is way too much backlash.

Something like a bench mini mill might be worth looking at.

The only spares i have are a BOB and a parallel cable ! Not really a deciding factor I think :)
Bridgeport Mill, Mach3 V062, CSMIO-IP/A controller, AC Servo Drives

Offline BR549

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2016, 02:06:17 PM »
The best combo of a do everything setup is a fixed gantry bed mill . It can normaly do everything well. Just make teh long axis inline with teh gantry for the smallest package.

BP makes ok conversion if you already have one and do not need an ATC OR just lift the Knee instead of the Quill. 

Just a thought, (;-) TP
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 02:08:56 PM by BR549 »

Offline BR549

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Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2016, 02:11:59 PM »

BPs makes ok conversions if you already have one,  There are good Zquil designed drives  OR just lift the Knee instead of the Quill. 

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Mini-Mills - any good???
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2016, 11:53:58 PM »
There are 3040`s out there that do in fact have ballscrews.  The 4 biggest downfalls of the 3040`s are number 1.......crap tastic drives.  Electronics are simply awful.  *hint* G540 it*
The Y axis or long axis is slung by 2 unsupported shafts.  I have grab my Z and deflect the gantry in both directions.  Still have done some fun works on the router.
3rd, and this is really dependent on purchase, but mine came with a fordum flex shaft type spindle.  Spindle I put on it was 10 times the price of the machine. Doesnt have to be.
and that brings us up to number 4.  Some of the 3040`s have long thin L brackets that tie the end plates and bed together.  Top and bottom.  Mine got new bottom plates. 
Honestly, I have a old be it, high precision Minitech desktop mill.  I have more fun playing on the router.  Its just FUN.

https://youtu.be/qfqflI_RfQ8

https://youtu.be/4yyFKL-QiQk