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Discussion Starter #1
Guys I've often wondered if a CNC wood router with the right bit would work if you wanted to mill aluminum?
I'm thinking the biggest problem to solve would be providing cooling for the bit .

The reason I'm asking is , 3D scanners are coming down in price and I've always wanted to build my own water blocks for computers , mainly for the processor and north and south bridge.
Would be kinda neat to remove the factory heat sinks on the mother board and scan the components to get a 3D representation of the area , then have the router mill out a block of aluminum creating the water block .

And yes John I know I should be thinking about insulating instead of cnc routers :(
 

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Marine Engineer
Doug
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If the machine is rigid enough, it should be no problem. You will have to experiment on bits, feedrate and cutter speed to see what your finish will be. Different aluminum types might cut different as well.

I wouldn't worry as much about cooling, but keeping chips out of the cut. If you start recutting them they will weld back on the piece or clog the cutter. That can break mills on a milling machine, probably faster on a router.
 

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Something I do every day, but with stationary routers.
To scale to CNC is a natural.
Yes it is cutter design sensitive (length, diameters, end mill or router bit, no. of flutes, web thickness, spiral or straight & so on).
Moreover, the depths of cut are critical as is the feed rate.
And oddly enough, the stuff galls in anticlimb so climb cutting is essential. Inside cuts are problematic.
And if the work and fixturing are not completely rigid and confining you break cutters and send the work aloft.
Not for girliemen.
 

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Onsrud specializes in CNC tooling and they make bits with coatings and cutting geometry that are for cutting aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Guys I just watched a video on a cnc mill . I suspect some of my ideas may work on a wood router but there definitely a differant animal .
I'm think now that it would come down to buying the appropriate machine for what it's intended for . A small mill doesn't break the bank to badly

CNC Baron Milling Machine | CNC Masters
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rick
Could you use this hot water from your computer to heat you shop (after it is insulated)?:wink:
Allen
Well I don't think the computer will be big enough . Maybe if I over clock it to 4 gigs ?
 

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Guys I just watched a video on a cnc mill . I suspect some of my ideas may work on a wood router but there definitely a differant animal .
I'm think now that it would come down to buying the appropriate machine for what it's intended for . A small mill doesn't break the bank to badly

CNC Baron Milling Machine | CNC Masters
Rick, if you are going to spend that kind of money look at other options. Here's one that's a far better one.

Tormach PCNC 770 Mill | Tormach Inc. providers of personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items.

You can buy a decent full sized Bridgeport type knee mill used for $2800 - $3500. Then it's just converting it over to CNC which would probably be about the same for a nice setup.
 
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