2014. március 11., kedd

3D - Printing, miling, etc.

I still strugle with my 3D printer. I was not trying to work with it for a while and I not planed a next round until I'm not able to put it into it's final place.
But this is not the only way of 3D manufacturing, even it is not my only desire in the 3D world. I'm thinking about several things for a while.
The story begins sometime ago when I bought a drill stand for my Bosch hobby drilling machine.

I needed this because without it is almost impossible to drill PCBs. Shortly after this I started to think about a compound table. Even it was available for my drill stand.

Finally I not bought it.
Struggling with drilling and cutting with various enclosures are still a continuous issue.
Then came in my mind to step forward and purchase something what is able to mill - let say - aluminum.
I fount a machine to name it a Proxxon MF-70 miller.

It may suitable to part of my tasks, I was planing and looking around the available purchase sources, but it not came to the reality.

I had the possibility to build a CNC miller in my head for a while. But I was unwilling to start this project because I don't have even a bit of the required knowledge.
Once I collected my requirements against a CNC miller.
Here they are:
Drilling and milling PCBs:
If I can do this largely simplify and accelerate my life.
I think about something like this:
  • I need to work with less chemicals.
  • At least partially solve my problems with the two sided PCBs.
  • Eliminate the slow inaccurate hand drilling
  • The result will be a more precise PCB (with my current prototyping process I faced already that I'm unable to solder a DIP-40 package because of the missing accuracy)
Drilling and milling aluminum enclosure faceplate:
Old desire of me to create professional face/back plates. It would be nice if I could create the standard 44cm Hi-Fi size. If it smaller a little bit, it is not a real problem, just I will not be able to drill the whole area.

Drilling and milling wooden parts:
  • I was struggling a lot with the wooden frame of the UV lightbox and still not finished it.
  • There is the "GainClone" what needs wooden parts.
  • I have additional countless ideas in my head what needs wooden parts.
Everything else:
For example some acrylic engraving come in my mind.

If I collected this list I started to look around to find a machine fulfill my needs. I found a good looking one called ShapeOko.

The site where it is (not)orderable, provide a handful of options. I collected what I need. Before ordering I went to the Hungarian HobbyCNC forum with my needs and this machine to ask the opinion, if this fits to my needs. So mainly they laugh on me. To be fair not laugh on me, but correctly explained to me  why to forget it. The conclusion: The structure is not reinforced enough for the size I want, the belt drive is not precise enough. I need a trapezoidal spindle, but more over ballscrew drive.
I got recomendation, what to build. I started to collect the knowledge, the material sources, even I almost started to draw a mechanical plan.
Finally I looked inside: What am I doing right now?
I fall back to the ShapeOko with a thought in my mind "the guys who designed and built this can't be that stupid" it should be sufficient for my personal needs.
I would order it, but the "MakerSlide" not available for several month, and I just see the continuous promise "the next week".
On this weekend I come across this Chinese machine:

Ballscrew drive, serious milling tool (not a hacked in Dremel like something), PC based control (instead of the beloved magnificent Arduino) 4th axis option, etc.
If I put together the price of the (not)orderable ShapeOko it become around the price of this machine. The only drawback I found that instead of the desired 44cm length it can handle only 39, but this compromise I willing to take.
One last question left: Where to order from? eBay/AliExpress form Hong-Kong or from the Hungarian reseller. Because, yes I found a such (but far above the Chinese price):

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