Beginner in CNC trying to decide on number of axes - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 06:34 AM
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Just a quick Google search will get you a ton of info, but you can start here - CNC 4th Axis Basics

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 06:55 AM
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I used a small desktop (precision) CNC, 4 axis for the jewelry industry. I carve master waxes, flat, flip, the rotary. Then I cast the master waxes and it was so precise I only have to lightly buff the casting, and cut seats for the diamonds, and push prongs. The accuracy was defines by the cutter, toolpath, and software to convert stl files to machine code for that particular setup.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 07:57 AM
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doc7347,
The CNC Equipment you are talking about and amount of money you are willing to spend, you need to step away from the hobby type CNC and look right into the industrial models. The size is going to be an issue you will have to consider. I do not know of any kits on the market of the nature you are wanting to build that will meet your needs. Building your own will work if you have the knowledge and talent.

The next item you need to consider when wanting to use as many axis as you have mentioned is going to be pretty expensive and will be very in depth. If I were you, I would go into some shops that already use the type of machines you are looking at and get advice from those who are professional at what they do. Nothing against hobbies-ts, but we do not have the know how and do not work with the software or spend the time trying to make a living with the CNC. I am sure if you look into this a little more you will havea much clearer idea of what it is exactly you need and want. Good Luck, Tagwatts
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:39 AM
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No one has ask what kind of projects you actually want to make. That might make it easier to determine what you actually need.

If you are using Vectric Aspire or VCarve Pro you can design projects to be cut on a 4th Axis machine by wrapping the design around a cylinder then the output toolpath rotates the blank as it is cut.

I don't think you will find a 5th Axis machine for the money you have to spend and a 4th axis might be all you need.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:38 AM
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He sure seems to want to take a pretty big bite as a beginner. Got to have more smarts than I'll ever have doing this.

You guys are right - he's going to have to step up to the "pro" stuff and get a bigger checkbook. Or.......he could just kidnap David, get a parts list, and not release him til it's up and running.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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@difalkner
Thanks, I will go at it from there.
@mark greenbaum
What you have described is not too far from what I will be dealing with as complexity. I will only need slightly bigger work envelope than you do, based on your post.
@Tagwatts
Thanks for being blunt, I'm not sure what I need/want myself. Based on some new info I found, I believe 3-axis machine will be enough for what I want to do, but I'm still researching. I'm still hesitant to lean towards full scale industrial level machine - I'm just not sure I will be utilising its full potential. Maybe I'm so confused, I'm confusing even you guys, eh.
When I stated my budget that was the absolute highest I can go. I did the same thing when I bought my 3D printer. I allocated 2 000 for it and ended up paying 800. That's me, I guess. I shiver in horror with the thought of not spending another 200-500 bucks and not getting the actually good machine that I want and can afford. Hope that makes sense.
@MEBCWD
Initially, I wanted to go for a 4-axis machine because I was worried I wouldn't be able to rotate the model properly and machine all sides in the right planes. After some research I found out that I can do that with a 3-axis router and vices. You, quite mindfully, asked what projects I want to machine. The answer is that I don't know but I want a fair bit of versatility. I want to be able to make something out of aluminium for my car, something out of wood for home comfort etc. Hope this gives you a clue.
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:32 AM
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If you look at 5 axis machines the size you are talking about you will probably find that they start at about 3 times your budget and that is just for the machine, most require you to buy the design and cam software and 5 axis software is not cheap.

I think you may be underestimating the abilities of a 3 axis machine. Adding a 4th axis is not too costly just make sure you start with a control unit that can be upgraded to the 4th axis. You will be limited in the size of a 4th axis project but it all depends on the machine you buy.

Like I said before Vectric Aspire and VCarve Pro (included with some machines) will allow you to design wrapped projects for the 4th axis and output toolpaths. There are other design softwares that allow you to design for a 4th axis project, that will just depend on the projects you want to do.

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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc7347 View Post
@MikeMa
If I were to hop into the industrial machines segment what price and footprint am I looking at?
Honestly, I do not know. I have been researching and started collect parts for building my own 3 axis CNC. I just know that once you get beyond the standard 3, each new axis adds a degree of complexity both for hardward and software. If I recall you budget was $10k. I can see an industrial machine very quickly surpassing that budget. I suspect most companies that order a CNC have it spec'd and custom made to their needs. They aren't boxed units like you would get at Woodcraft or Rockler. Not to mention there will be some degree of education (not necessarily free) required to learn how to use those machines.

Using a 3 axis CNC, there are some techniques to get accomplish, with precision, to do 3D carvings. There are tutorials out there on how to do that. Since you are just getting started my recommendation is look at one of the higher end (with fully supported rails) CNC machines with the standard 3 axis, with maybe a 4th turning axis on it. Learn to use that, and figure out ways to use it for what you need.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 10:52 AM
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Check out Craigslist for prices. That should give you some in site on what you are dealing with. Here is our local Craigslist (Houston) items for sale today.
https://houston.craigslist.org/searc...y=cnc&sort=rel

I don't know what some of those machines are, but the prices jump to $30K quickly!
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMa View Post
look at one of the higher end (with fully supported rails) CNC machines with the standard 3 axis
I think I know what a 3-axis router looks like but I'd appreciate if you were to link a picture or a machine that has these "fully supported rails"

Also, I do get the strong feeling that my first machine will be something in the hobbyist segment. I was looking at the Openbuilds OX and such design looks like a promising start to me.
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