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I have built a 5x12 3D CNC Balsa Lathe for my own use. It's working well and I'm planning on beefing it up for harder woods and a 5x18 or 5X24 size. Is there any other interest in a production project like this?
What are those dimensions inches, feet, meters?

And you made it out of Balsa wood? What is this, a scale model, or what?

What are your intentions?

Thanks.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Welcome to the forum, Rocket! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location. We're a friendly bunch here and your location helps us to help you with some questions. I, too, assume you're cutting Balsa wood for your scale rockets but we'd love to see what you've built. You can post photos if they're on your computer (no links to photos).

David
 

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There are several members here who have rotary attachments for their cnc router. Is this what you have or is it a dedicated cnc lathe only?

There is a person that has posted a concept for adding a cnc controlled router mounted to a standard lathe. Here is a video


Gary Cambell’s contact info is on the YouTube video, he builds very robust custom cncs.

I plan on eventually adding a similar addition to my DIY cnc router, except I will have a stepper turning the spindle on a mini lathe, but using the mini lathe structure, headstock and tailstock. Never seen anyone do what I’m planning, but I tend to do things differently than most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I cannot post a link but you can find a video of the operation if you go to the Discount Rocketry YouTube site and look for the Shaper Demo in the Misc. Video category.

It is a dedicated 3D Lathe that currently handles balsa blocks up to 5"x12".

I have a larger dive system and rails and I intend on increasing the length of block size and the hardness or density of material it can handle.

After that, I might be open to producing kits or some machines for others.

The software I'm using now is a dedicated Windows based software that generates G-code for the controller from nose cone and transitions shapes that are generated from settings that the user inputs to generate specific nose cone types. I'm adding a SVG import function so other shapes can be imported to be cut.
 

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Very cool and congrats on getting it made. Way down on my list of to-do is something similar, but with a stepper motor for the rotary to get ability to make things like 3D chess pieces or CNC carved faces in mugs.
Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
3D Lathe Progress

To answer some of the questions in recent posts:

We have been making model rocket kits for awhile. You can see them at the same Discount Rocketry YouTube site.

All the kits at Discountrocketry.com with the brand name ModelRockets.us are our kits.

As far as the Z-Axis is concerned, the current one has 2 Longworth Style Chucks made on my Laser with some parts made on my Metal Lathe. Both chucks are driven by 2 tandem stepper motors using synchronized G-Code commands for Z and E axis.

The machine is fully 3D capable, but I cannot haven't found software to do this. The current G-Codes are generated by the software I created and I don't have enough time in my day to spend another couple weeks writing programming code to convert STL to G-Code Polar Toolpaths. Wish I did. I could make some interesting nosecones for our kits.

I recently brought in parts to build a larger beefier machine, but I'm currently working on a low cost easy to assemble RC Plane for a Summer Aeronautics Camp to build and fly. Probably won't be able to get to it until this summer.
 
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