pjleavitt

My $225 CNC
« on: June 24, 2018, 01:22:37 AM »
Hey guys!  Been lurking on this site many years and buying from the white/black markets.  You guys have been an invaluable source of info and the majority of my studio is DIY gear now.   Anyways I decided to make my projects look more professional but didn't want to invest in a CNC just yet so I got the cheapest little 2418 one I could find too see if I could make some 500 series faceplates.   It was $225 on Amazon and after a bunch of trial end error with bits I've actually made some decent looking stuff with it using Easel software.  Just wanted to pass the info along incase anyone was in a similar situation.  Definitely not as good as my friends $10000 Cnc but it works for me!


weiss

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 05:04:04 AM »
 Wow nice! But that panel looks like 19" to me?

pjleavitt

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 10:49:53 AM »
Yes sorry.   Here is the first 500 series panel I did with it. Then I got a little more ambitious and decided to rack a bunch of channel strips I had laying around. The machine juuuuust fits a 2ru panel if you do it in 2 halves.

ruffrecords

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 11:24:44 AM »
I have a similar sized machine but I could never get it to work properly. I kept breaking drills.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

pjleavitt

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 01:22:50 PM »
Yea it's been a good bit of trial and error.  Basically I just have to go really slow.  Takes a little over 3 hours to just cut the holes in the 2ru panel using a 1/8" 2 flute upcut bit.  I tried cutting some holes with a 1/16" bit and it wouldn't really work no matter how I tried it.  I just got a 36v psu and pwm controller so I can try out some different speeds too.  Definitely not a machine I plan on using forever but at least I can get this pile of gear off my bench and racked nicely.

ruffrecords

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 02:52:58 PM »
Yea it's been a good bit of trial and error.  Basically I just have to go really slow.  Takes a little over 3 hours to just cut the holes in the 2ru panel using a 1/8" 2 flute upcut bit.  I tried cutting some holes with a 1/16" bit and it wouldn't really work no matter how I tried it.  I just got a 36v psu and pwm controller so I can try out some different speeds too.  Definitely not a machine I plan on using forever but at least I can get this pile of gear off my bench and racked nicely.

Bigger bits is probably the key - I think I was using 2mm - and slower speeds too.  3 hours is a long time and the machine is very noisy. I never got anywhere near the speed you see in videos. At one point I just got it to drill small pilot depression swhere the holes were. Then I could use an ordinary hand drill to make the holes - at least I knew they were accurately positioned.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

weiss

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 04:41:04 PM »
Still usable though. Quality looks fair enough

boji

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2018, 10:49:30 PM »
Quote
I have a similar sized machine but I could never get it to work properly. I kept breaking drills.

I hear you on that.  Speeds and feeds...  I bought some hardwood and milled out a flat surface, and still got some depth creep.
Slowing down to avoid bit breakage loses the clean edge of the engraving.  Purchased a spring-loaded diamond tip drag bit that worked nice but was too shallow for anything other than removing anodization.

Marik

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 02:28:09 AM »
Yea it's been a good bit of trial and error.  Basically I just have to go really slow.  Takes a little over 3 hours to just cut the holes in the 2ru panel using a 1/8" 2 flute upcut bit.  I tried cutting some holes with a 1/16" bit and it wouldn't really work no matter how I tried it.  I just got a 36v psu and pwm controller so I can try out some different speeds too.  Definitely not a machine I plan on using forever but at least I can get this pile of gear off my bench and racked nicely.

3hrs is WAAAAAY slow. For interpolating you want to use a bit about 3/4 of the hole diameter.  IOW, 1/8" is good for interpolating 3/16" holes. For 1/4" holes you want to use 3/16" bit (for Aluminum two flute), etc. You'd want to give a pretty high RPM and use coolant (or at very  least mist) to push away chips and avoid recutting and jamming, provide lubrication, and cool down the surface and tool. Make sure you ramp the tool into the surface with some 45 degree angle and do not push too much here.

In general, milling out the holes is much slower than drilling. The best and fastest way is to pre-drill the holes leaving some 1/16"-1/32" to finish up with bit interpolating. If you spend more than some 10-15 min per panel it means you do something wrong, or inefficient...

Best, M

 
Samar Audio & Microphone Design

www.samaraudiodesign.com

The Art of Ribbon Microphones

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2018, 03:30:52 PM »
If you read a book on machining, there may be tables of feed rates for materials, but, really, i think that there is so much more to it than reading numbers off a table, that you just need to learn your machine, with your cutter, with your alloy, etc.etc. and get a "feel" for it, rather than anything else.

Cutter geometry alone will make a huge difference.  Be aware that the cutters i use can cost over 10% of your entire machine for a single 2mm dia cuter, and there is a reason why they cost that much.  Or rather a reason why people are happy to pay that much, i guess....  (but when you are learning, and snapping cutter with jogging the wrong way etc. then its a gamble - that painful "click" as youve just flushed your money away with hitting the wrong key!)

If you have a real-life friend who is a machinist, ask them to come round and have a go with your machine.  Obviously they wont know it well, but they may be able to offer insight .  And ask them to bring some of their cutters / stock and see how they get on on your machine, with you watching close as to what theyre up to! :  )


pjleavitt

Re: My $225 CNC
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2018, 08:48:28 PM »
Yea I've been using super cheap end mills just to kinda get the whole process down.  I've been looking at getting a few nice ones to try out. Any recommendations on where to get bits and what to get for doing front panels?   Unfortunately I don't know any machinists so it's just been trial and error using the cheapest things possible.  Just trying to get a feel for if I'd get into it enough to get a decent machine and nice bits. So far I'm into it but I'd like to get some better software as well. Easel is very limiting.


 

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