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IndustryArena Forum > Other Machines > MicroMill > Unboxing & Setup.
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  1. #1

    Question Unboxing & Setup.

    With the Tier2 batch of MicroMills on their way to you this coming week, we thought it was time to go over the basics for unboxing and initial setup. We'll cover software in another thread. If you have any unboxing queries, or think anything is missing - please message directly through here, the Kickstarter campaign or usual email.

    There are an awful lot of very experienced users on this forum, so this post is going to be more geared towards complete beginners in an attempt to get them up to speed quickly. For this reason Ill be cutting straight to the point (no pun intended!) and keeping things nice and simple.

    So.

    The first thing to do should probably be to get you setup with the software - but as soon as a box arrives, all we want to do is rip it open and take a look at whats inside. So we'll start with unboxing!

    Step 1 - Removing your MicroMill from its box.


    The MicroMill was packed in a custom-made two-part polystyrene shell which was then slid directly into its box. To get it out, cut through the packaging tape, flip the box upside down on a table and give it a jiggle to slide it upwards so that the polystyrene shell is left behind. Tip this onto its side and remove one of the side pieces. Simples!



    Lift out the MicroMill, set it down and peel the film off both sides of the door. You'll want to push in the two side-windows that are in the box too. These didn't come pre-installed because they would be likely to fly out during postage and get damaged.

    Alongside the MicroMill you'll find the following:
    • 1x IEC power cable for your region
    • 1x flexible shaft
    • 1x replacement spindle unit (Tier2 only)
    • 1x pack of collets
    • 12x assorted pieces of Foamex and polycarbonate
    • 1x pack of end mills
    • 1x pack of PCB cutters (tier2 only)
    • 2x polycarbonate side windows
    • 4x little rubber feet
    • 1x roll of double sided tape.


    At the moment you can put everything to one side apart from the flexible shaft, the 3-pack of end mills, the double sided tape and two pieces of foamex. You'll want one of the thicker pieces (black or white) and one of the thinner pieces (red or yellow).

    Step 2 - Installing the Flexible Shaft.

    The yellow flexible shaft needs to be attached before you can machine anything of course! One end screws into the top of the spindle, the other goes into the Proxxon. Only one end has a thread on it, so I'm sure you can figure out which end is which! You'll want to screw this all the way in to the spindle to make sure its nice and tight.




    Step 3 - Securing the Foamex to the bed.

    Ordinarily you'd have the machine connected at this point. Standard practise would be to move the bed all the way to the front edge to get the easiest possible access before securing your material. But for now, lets do everything with the MicroMill disconnected. You can leave the USB cable draped over the back so its out of the way.

    For this first cut, we're going to want to use whats known as a spoilboard. Essentially, its the sacrificial backing we put down between any material you want to cut all the way through and the aluminium bed plate of the machine. While the MicroMill is capable of cutting Aluminium, these settings are drastically different to those we're about to use to cut the Foamex. The last thing we want is the cutter crashing into the solid bed plate when its setup to cut something much softer. Thinking of it as breaking a tooth on something unexpectedly hard you were eating - only the tooth in question is spinning at perhaps 12,000rpm! Definitely want to avoid breaking cutters if possible...

    Grab a piece of either the yellow or red foamex and stick it to the thicker white or black piece with double sided tape. 3 strips on one side will be enough to secure them to each other. You'll then want to do the same thing with the tape on the underside of the black/white piece so that can be stuck to the bed. They say overkill is underrated, so if you want to use more then go for it. (Keep in mind the harder you stick it down, the harder it is to get off!) One strip along either of the longest edges, and one going up the middle will do it for most materials. For anything tougher - Acetal/HDPE/Metals - I'd suggest using a little more, and you can even consider using the unused mounting holes on the bed plate to make a secure fixing frame. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to be effective!

    Peel off the tape backing, line it up with the bed of the MicroMill and press down on top. (easier said then done when its at the back of the machine, but all will become clear!)



    Step 4 - Inserting the End Mill (cutter)

    Inside the 3-pack of cutters you'll find a 1mm, 2mm and 3mm Carbide bit. These are very sharp and do not like being dropped - so handle with care!

    You'll ideally need a small screwdriver or Allen key for this next part, but if one isn't to hand, you can use a second end mill too.

    Place the screwdriver (or other cutter) into the hole on the side of the spindle so that it goes all the way through - this stops the shaft from spinning so you can screw/unscrew the collet and change bit. Unscrew the black end a little bit to slacken it off, and then insert one of the cutters from the pack into it. It doesn't have to go all the way in, but the more of the shank that is secured the better. I'd recommend starting with either the 2mm or 3mm cutters for the next stage.

    Re tighten the collet - you can do this by hand, but I've always found a pair of pliers to crank it up is good for peace of mind - nothing more irritating than the end mill sliding upwards when you're trying to cut down into something!

    IMPORTANT - Remove the screwdriver from the hole after fitting the cutter!!! - if you try turning the spindle on with something installed to prevent the spindle rotating you're going to snap the flexible shaft. This isn't a very fun experience at all as the flexible shaft will need to be replaced.




    So thats pretty much it for the unboxing. You've got the material stuck to the bed plate, and you've got the cutter installed in the spindle. The flexible shaft is in place (you can turn the end of the Proxxon tool by hand to see the cutter rotating - always a good test to ensure nothing is going to prevent it spinning).

    The MicroMill is currently in its 'home' position and all ready to go. Depending on where your MicroMill is going to live, you might want to turn it onto its side and put the 4 rubber feet onto the base to stop it sliding around or transferring vibrations through hard surfaces.

    The next forum post will run you through powering the MicroMill up, the safety features and getting started with both GRBLpanel and the web-based CAM program Easel.

    At the time of writing, the MicroMills have been collected by the shipping company and will start being sent out from the UK hub later this week.

    If there is anything you want to know more about before your MicroMill arrives, please reply below!

    Josh

  2. #2
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Hello Josh, my machine is still in transit so I have to wait before my learning experience starts. ;-)
    For me ans possibly other newbies on CNC it would be appriciated if you could deliver some YouTube movies with the first unboxing, setup and first "Hello World" experience.

    Best regards,

    Peter

  3. #3
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Took mine home today! No double sided sticky tape in the box, but looks good.
    Edit: actually, the right hand side panel wont accept either perspex side piece. Seems to be 1mm off. I can sand it down, but just a heads up I guess?

  4. #4

    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Thank you for letting me know!

    Really sorry for missing the double sided tape. They were being fit over the X motor, but you'd have seen it by now if you cant get the windows in.

    Thats a real shame too, all of the early ones that were tested the windows fit in beautifully but would definitely have come out in shipping. Good job you can remove the Proxxon to grind them down a bit!

  5. #5
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Also just noticed a crack in the side under one of the supports for the proxxon. Bit of glue will sort that out. Might be a weak point during shipping though.

  6. #6
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Hi everyone.
    How would you reccommend sanding down either the windows or the sideboards? I found one windows has a .75-1mm notch on the end to sand off, and the left side board is 2mm shorter (on straight side) then the right board.
    Thanks!
    -Randy

  7. #7
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Both my windows also don't fit. As a newbie I also would like to have advice how to fix it easily or other windows that do fit.

  8. #8
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Only just setting up my micro mill. I had the same issues with side panels being a touch tight.

    Chucked them in the freezer for an hour and they fit perfectly.

  9. #9
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    Re: Unboxing & Setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paultn12 View Post
    Only just setting up my micro mill. I had the same issues with side panels being a touch tight.

    Chucked them in the freezer for an hour and they fit perfectly.
    Good idea. I need to try that!

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