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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thought I would share some pictures of the CNC router I use at work in its newest home. It has been moved twice since its first install and I have worked with it at all three places.
Building House Gas Door Machine

As you can see it's a bit squeezy. We had to cut a hole in the wall for the upper cable carrier to pass through the wall into a neighbouring storage area.
We installed a box in that area for it to pass into so it didn't set off their motion sensor.
Table is 5m x 2m with 1.5 m of Z travel.
Z is counterbalanced so to speak with two tall pneumatic cylinders, spindle is water cooled with a max of 18K revs (it ran for 37 hours unattended two weekends ago, so cooling certainly helps).
It's usually cutting at 6m/min with a rapid of 30m/min (you don't want to be standing in it's way)

Gas Engineering Machine Building Wood

Of course the first job it got the machine was barely big enough :) only by luck, not design.
On the left there was a conveniently placed lunchroom that we installed a door and window into, the window is ideally placed to oversee the tool change and cutter operation.
No tool changing on this job though, that could only happen when the job was at either end of table travel.
At this stage the back left corner was walled off from a much larger space (of CNC machines for working in metal) with a large tarp draped from the roof, this has since been replaced with two permanent walls to keep the dust in.
Computer Personal computer Computer keyboard Computer desk Computer monitor

This job was a plug for molding racing car seats, material is tooling board, it's very dimensionally stable and also quite expensive.

Just for comparison this was the machines first new from factory installation, now imagine doing it again but you can only get it in end on thought a roller door.
Gas Engineering Composite material Machine Metal

Wheel Tire Gas Industry Engineering


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is a sample job from a couple of months ago. It is foundry pattern tooling for a big centrifical pump.
I'm not really set up for constructing blanks this size. We get a place down the road to plane up the timber and I do the segment assembly joints straight off a portable compound mitre saw.
Patterns were done in two layers. It allowed the reach to keep it vertical machining, just keeps things simpler when doing lights out machining.
Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Automotive wheel system Gas

Second buildup layer added and machined.

Wood Automotive wheel system Automotive tire Font Circle

Spiggot cut in the middle to accept a separately machined print.

Automotive tire Gas Automotive wheel system Font Circle

Body corebox halves.
Wood Composite material Automotive tire Engineering Circle

Top and bottom of impellor corebox

Wood Automotive tire Composite material Gas Sculpture

Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood Composite material

Impellor vain mold. The 4 vains of the impellor are made from the same mold. Each vain had to be further made in three parts due to the twist in the blade so the so the vain forming part of the corebox could be removed from the sand core.

Wood Automotive tire Flooring Gas Composite material

Rectangle Hood Wood Automotive design Bumper

Assembled vain mold with a centre partition.
Areas each side of the partition are molded first in a castable urethane plastic.
Those molded parts are put back in the mold with the centre partition left out and the vain portion previously occupied by the centre portion is then molded.
Wood Composite material Automotive design Hardwood Plywood

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Current load out of tools.
Most are carbide intended for aluminium machining.
Line Font Pattern Metal Gas

I commonly use this one for roughing dia 25mm. The pointed tips are good for being able to plunge between step downs allowing the option to stay on part rather than lift from the job and arce back in.
Gas Composite material Engineering Machine Metal

This one is overkill for facing cutting, mainly in it's weight of construction (dia 160mm). Anything much faster than spinning it up at 2K rpm trips the inverter.
Fixture Gas Machine Cylinder Liquid

Dia 12mm single flute (second on left) is another favorite
Wood Automotive tire Drinkware Gas Flooring

The two in the middle with the long flute length are used for foam and are made in high speed steel, but razer sharp. (dia 25 x 340mm long)

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great presentation - thank you for sharing.
And to think, before the CNC, people in this trade used to do this all by hand. In the US Navy, they were called "Pattern Makers". We've come a long way, Toto.
You are right, it is patternmaking. I started my trade as a patternmaker about 45 yrs ago on the hand tools, so I'm about half and half doing it the traditional way, and with CNC.
I'd be a bit rusty making something like this, most of the work would be in interpreting the drawing, re-laying it out full size with contraction allowance, translating that to templates and markout on the pattern, then it's the satisfying bit of joining the dotes.
Ideal work for CAD/CNC, there was always a little bit of shape interpretation left to the imagination when doing it by hand.

Construction shown here is the time honored way of using staggered layers of segments. It is strong but mainly the timber grain runs radially round the job keeping timber shrinkage to a minimum and consistent in all directions.
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