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IndustryArena Forum > Metalworking Machines > Uncategorised MetalWorking Machines > Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium
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  1. #1
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    Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    I will post some pictures and videos here about my new build. It is a moving gantry mill for milling aluminium. Why do it yourself and not just buy it? Well, there are very few machined with small footprint, large working area, not bulky..
    One machine that comes to my mind is Datron.. But its expensive. Most routers that are on market and advertised as capable of milling aluminium are just not rigid. Some origami style made machines are ok for wood, but not so much for aluminium.

    Some basic data:

    Working area: 1250mm x 620mm x 220mm
    Weight: 850KG
    Structure: Stress releived weldment, T slot table 37mm thick made of steel - 200KG
    Bridge: All aluminium made structure
    Milling head: 1x ER25 3.2KW spindle with max 18K rpm, 1x NT30 German milling head, driven with 2.6KW servo motor - max 5000rpm
    Motion: Ballscews on all axes, 25mm square rails on all axes, Mitsubishi MR J3 400W servo motors with 17bit encoders and brakes on all axes

    I will use 3.2KW spindle for tools up to 12mm, and bigger NT30 for larger tools, like surface mill.
    Currently I have 80% finished bridge, electronic is finished.. But I am still waiting on base and table, which should arrive next week.

    Please check video for current progress:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX2Eg18AzTA

    I have built few routers before, and decided not to go with side arms like most have, as they tend to oscilate no matter how much you reinforce them. So I went with one piece plate in front, and then with various enforcements in all directions to make bridge
    strong in all directions and also to make it torsionally rigid. This bridge will have less than 0.003mm deviation in any direction with cutting force of 30KG in worst Y and Z position - When Z is lowered and Y in the middle of bridge. Actuall cutting forces will not exceed 10KG in any direction. So it should work ok for milling aluminium.

    If any questions, fell free to ask.

  2. #2
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Nice one there

  3. #3
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Thank you, lets wait and see how machine will behave. I have some high expectations, but you never know until you put all together and test it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Beautiful work. I was surprised to see Mach3 running on a linux fan's build (why no linuxcnc?).

    Also, unless you made sure against the specs of those ballnuts, I would say you are running them too fast at rapid speed. Why did you go with what appears rolled 5mm pitch, instead of ground 10 or 20mm pitch, especially since you are using 17 bit encoders?

  5. #5
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by alan_3301 View Post
    Beautiful work. I was surprised to see Mach3 running on a linux fan's build (why no linuxcnc?).

    Also, unless you made sure against the specs of those ballnuts, I would say you are running them too fast at rapid speed. Why did you go with what appears rolled 5mm pitch, instead of ground 10 or 20mm pitch, especially since you are using 17 bit encoders?
    I was expecting question about why not linuxcnc, as my nickname suggest Im more of a linux user I started using mach for my first build and I found cheap and reliable USB motion control card for it. About ballscrews, you are corrrect. If I had unlimited budget, I would go with 10mm pitch ground ballscrews. I actually already have some rexroth brand new 40mm diameter C3 ground ballscrews with 40mm pitch, but they are for another build, and only ballscrews cost more than this whole machine. But as this motors are "only" 400W" I think 5mm pitch is OK, it is small machine, so I dont need rapids of more than 12M/min, and I also think 17M/min is too fast - 3400rpm. I will run them at max 2400rpm. When you go with Chinese ballscrews, I think it is better to go with 5mm pitch, at least in my case as I dont need very fast rapids, due to force of the ball on screw. 10mm pitch screws will produce twice as much force on the wall of screw, and I wouldnt be surprised to see backlash even faster on 10mm pitch screws.

  6. #6
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Progres.. Table is finished.. Milled and grinded.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Finally, yesterday bed arrived. I already put table on bed, gantry is also on its position and few other items are already mounted. Screws from table and gantry are not tightened yet, as all needs to be aligned first.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    amazing design and neat job on that machine..difenitly you will precisely machine aluminum as well as steel
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Thanks. I am not sure about steel, as steel needs very rigid machine, but aluminium should be no problem.
    Yesterday I made some progress with power cabinet..

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  10. #10
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Outstanding work.

    Probably the best small one I have ever seen, since 2003.

  11. #11
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Thank you

  12. #12
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    My Optimus Prime 4G CNC router made of Wood+Aluminum+Steel can cut Carbon-steel quite easily... Your will definitely...
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Well done! Great use of the 19 inch rack cabinet. Best gantry mill I have seen on here.

  14. #14
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Thank you. Yes, rack cabinet works good, and I also like that it has all four sides removable, so you can easily access items inside of it. Cable carriers are not installed yet, ton of other thing are still missing, but I connected cables from motors, just to make few test cuts. I will post video of it.

  15. #15
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    First cuts made! Havent made video yet, Ill make it when machine has cable carriers and all other items finished.
    When I compare part with parts of my gantry, which were milled on HAAS, mine actually have better finish. Probably because I used brand new endmill.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Awesome work and great build!! Keep it up and finish it, often times it's ready to start using the machine and things are left un finished!

    Sent from my QTAIR7 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    I expected the same great quality cut from ur machine.. can you please share with me Plans of ur machine...
    http://free3dscans.blogspot.com/ http://my-woodcarving.blogspot.com/
    http://my-diysolarwind.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    This is a great looking machine!! Nice work, look forward to seeing some video!

    Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    +1 for the previous comments. And I like the table. Nicely machined and ground.

    Sent from Shadowmoon Valley

  20. #20
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    Re: Gantry mill for precise milling of aluminium

    Yes, guys at local CNC workshop did great job on table. For steel structure, I still have to fill it with epoxi concrettent to eliminate high freq vibrations. I will use EPUMENT :
    Machine Beds:

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