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  1. #1
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    Mar 2021
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    Some direction please

    Hello all,
    I have started a project, and put the cart before the horse so to speak, but it had to be done.

    I have developed a PCB (printed circuit board) and stared looking around at plastic injection molding for the housing. Well, since I don't have a first born or spare kidney in trade for such a process, I made the circuit board to fit inside a common 110V cheapy junction box. Now my plan is to have the 3/4 inch by 2 inch window and four- "1/8" inch holes for the buttons CNC'ed out of the blank face plate covers they already make for that box. I found some that are pretty durable made of ABS. The idea is to make a template that holds 12 cover plates at a time and using a very affordable desktop CNC with a 16"x16" table or so be able to make 500 fairly easily.

    Question-s: Is there anything wrong with what I'm planing on doing?
    What is the best entry level machine between $2-$300 that may achieve my goal?

    BTW, in case ABS is hard to mill, I do plan on covering the face plate with an adhesive baked graphic membrane, I can at least afford that!

    Thank you in advance for any help.

    EagleFox

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    Re: Some direction please

    ...adapter --- over come... build it.

    where are you?

    DJ

  3. #3
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Some direction please

    Maybe something like this would work. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-3018Pro...UAAOSwOFNfHpxl

    This is pretty much the low end of the price range and not much of a machine. But ABS machines very easy.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  4. #4
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    Re: Some direction please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Maybe something like this would work. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-3018Pro...UAAOSwOFNfHpxl

    This is pretty much the low end of the price range and not much of a machine. But ABS machines very easy.
    Thank you, this is one of the ones I was looking at. I made the mistake of reaching out to my local college for help, the instructor got me confused saying he would use a laser cutter instead, that's why I thought I would run my idea past some pro's.

  5. #5
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    Re: Some direction please

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...adapter --- over come... build it.

    where are you?

    DJ
    Florida, Panhandle.

  6. #6
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Some direction please

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleFox View Post
    Thank you, this is one of the ones I was looking at. I made the mistake of reaching out to my local college for help, the instructor got me confused saying he would use a laser cutter instead, that's why I thought I would run my idea past some pro's.
    If I understood that add correctly, it looks like it comes with a laser engraver head also. I have no idea if it would cut your ABS.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  7. #7
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    Re: Some direction please

    A number of sites report dangerous gases released when ABS is laser cut.

    Cut quality also seems to be an issue at times.
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  8. #8
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    Re: Some direction please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    If I understood that add correctly, it looks like it comes with a laser engraver head also. I have no idea if it would cut your ABS.
    That machine is due to arrive today. Did some homework, and it looks like the laser may not be a bad idea with good ventilation.

    I have a treadmill (NordicTrack) and was looking at the frame and couldn't help but think that this machine, rearranged some, has all the major components of a badass extra large homemade CNC, even down to the variable speed motor, though it maybe too heavy? to attach a chuck to.

    I wonder if anyone has ever tried this? I'm brand new to CNC'ing, so pardon me if I'm out of my league.

  9. #9
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: Some direction please

    I think the Nordic Track frame would be a good base, but that's about it. Not really many of the other parts would be useful for a CNC machine. As you say the motor might make a reasonable spindle motor for a metal working machine, but not fast enough for CNC router work.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

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