I’m sorry if I’m misunderstanding, as I am new to CNC’s, but are you saying you can power that .8kw (220v) spindle with the 110vac input VFD (KL-VFD15) from automation tech? I want to eventually upgrade my x-carve, but am trying to avoid purchasing from the vendors from China. I’m leaning towards a.8kw air cooled spindle (220v), but was unsure if the 110vac input VFD’s would power it. Thanks for all the info you’ve provided!
Yes the 110V VFD unit will power the 220V 3 phase Spindles. The 110v VFD has a step up transformer inside it which steps up the 110V to 220V 3P power for the spindle. I opted to go a bit different way though. I use a 220V VFD unit but step up my 110V before with a step up transformer first. I use this http://www.amazon.com/ELC-T-5000-5000-Watt-Converter-Transformer/dp/B00EBC5HSS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440093131&sr=8-1&keywords=step+up+transformer+5000w as I do not have 220V output in my mill room in the house. The .8KW spindle draws about 1.4 amps 220V at the VFD. I have milled about 100 hrs on this with jobs running 3-6 hours at a time non-stop in aluminum and had zero spindle issues. If you call the guys over at Automation tech INC they are VERY helpful and will make sure you get everything you need for the spindle. If you go water cooled be sure to touch base with myself or another of the VFD guys so we can help you out as there are some odd connection sizes on the spindles but we can help you get it all hooked up right and cheaply.
Awesome, thanks for the info!
So, I’m leaning towards that makita router i posted a link to on amazon. It’s 1.25 hp like the dewalt, but its lowest rpm is 10,000. Also, its only 99$. I’m thinking this might be good since I am a bit size constrained, a 3 phase spindle would be awesome, but I’m going to have trouble finding a place to mount the VFD. Is there anything I should think about before deciding? I feel like 10k rpm is probably slow enough for all of my applications, and its a good powerful router for a lot less. Any reason I should still go for the 3 phase? I do like it a lot.
Here is a pretty cool looking mount for it:
$99 is a pretty good deal.
The only thing that you may want to consider is the sound. The VDF spindles are pretty quiet… Quieter than the stock 300w one.
Something you may want to try is go by a hardware store and ask if you can run one of the trim router display units to get an idea of what you will effectively be running next to your bed. After that, you’ll have a better idea whether it is worth saving the money.
Most of what @Travelphotog has said is pretty good information. The only thing that I’d probably say different is to go with the Air Cooled version over the Water Cooled one… less weight, less maintenance, less cost, fewer things to wire up and plumb…
On the VDF question: from the pictures online I thought they were these big things that would take up a lot of space, but after looking at my friend’s VDF for his 1.5k one, I thought, “oh, wow, that is a lot smaller than I thought”
That’s a good point, ill definitely do that when I go to the home depot next. I’m sure the VFDs aren’t huge, but I don’t really even have enough room for another x-carve psu, unless I mount it underneath the table.Another reason I was steering clear of the 400w quiet cut. I kinda like the idea of keeping my x-carve as minimal in footprint as possible, so a VFD or extra psu was something I was hoping to avoid. And as for the noise problem, the stock 300w spindle never approached a level of noise I was uncomfortable with (except for the god-forsaken chatter, blasted acrylic) so I dont think a trim router would be worse. Will most likely decide and get one tomorrow, since I’ve had enough of this stock spindle ruining my stock. It just doesn’t go fast enough and is so damn lackluster in power…
Also, thanks everyone for helping me come to the best decision on this. Would have been a lot more of a shot in the dark without this awesome community! Glad I chose the x-carve
Did anyone mention to you that a Dremel rotary tool fits that stock spindle holder? If you happen to have a Dremel laying around you might want to try that. I really enjoyed cutting with it but it takes 1/8" bits max (although you could get an adapter). Might get you by. Also, If you are going to a big box store, take your stock spindle mount with you just in case you want to test a cheap generic rotary tool for fit.
Also, people seem to really struggle getting routers and spindles into their mounts. You simply put a wide screw driver in the crack and pry it open. Seems obvious, I know, but there are a surprising number of questions about “…why won’t my spindle fit?”
Oh my god, so I bought the Makita 1.25 HP router, and the Dewalt 611 mount with some shims, and holy crap. This is singlehandedly the best upgrade possible for the x-carve. Honestly, Inventables needs to can the 24v spindle, it detracts from the x-carves true ability as a desktop HSM and woodcutting beast. I just finished a test design at 10,000 RPM, at 75 IPM!!! and that was being conservative! Full depth too! This router just ate the birch like it wasn’t even there. Completely no chatter, no runout, just beautiful milling. To anyone still using thee 300W pile-o-crap, upgrade. Upgrade immediately, to a trim router, or a vfd. It is magic. I cannot wait to see this thing eat aluminium and plex. The Makita router is amazing too, 10,000 RPM all the way to 30,000, and its quieter than the stock spindle at low speeds! It feels, and performs like a quality tool. so well built and just wow. Can you tell I’m very happy? And props to Inventables to shipping so fast! You are awesome!
First test, full depth, in this case 0.06 at 10,000 RPM, 75 IPM!! ate it like butter in 5 minutes. Took 30+ mins on stock spindle, at 20 IPM, and only 0.02 depth.
Look at this beautiful machine. Does blow dust like a cyclone, but I will be making a dust shoe for it anyway.
And obligatory side by side. I mean really, once you get the stock spindle out of the mount its just a pathetic little pencil sharpener motor. If you want to do things right, or cut mill aluminium, or plex, you need to upgrade. The stock spindle just cant go fast enough for acrylic, and doesn’t have the HP for depth.
Between the new spindle, and the x-axis steel spar mod, I have so much more confidence in the x-carve. The x-carve was awesome even without the spar or a new spindle, but you really could not push it too hard, or you would break bits, and get chatter. The steel spar completely eliminated frame flex, not that there was much on the 500, But it got rid of the tiny amount, and rigidity is super important. Now with this router, I feel like if I see something I want to cut, I say, yep, I can cut that. instead of, maybe I could cut that, but it would take forever since its so thick…
Next step is NEMA 23 steppers. but for now the 17’s are okay. I haven’t run into their limitations yet. Gotta love Inventables for having this kick ■■■ community as well, We are making the best desktop mill ever
that cracked me up
That looks great. I agree 100%. You cold probably cut .1" at 75 ipm. I do and it seems much faster is possible.
It sounds like most people here are carving wood, with a few people working with aluminum. I work mostly in plastic and am planning to try circuit board “etching” also. I’m currently using a Dremel tool (not the one that came from Inventables, but similar) and find that I have to run it at about half speed with ABS to avoid melting it. I think that’s 8,000 rpm or less. And I’m more concerned with precision than speed, noise, or dust creation. Given these parameters, does anyone have a suggestion as to what direction I should go to upgrade the spindle?
The Dewalt may not be a good option for you since the minimum RPM for it is about 16,00 rpm. That is pretty fast (too fast) to cut plastic with most bits.
You should look at VFD spindles (in my opinion)
Since I’m not even familiar with the terminology, could you give ma a specific example?
VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) can be controlled from near zero to around 24,000 rpm. They come in all sizes (power) from 500 watt up. They all need an external power inverter to provide power.
There are lots of foreign made VFD spindles all over the place, Ebay is full of them. The quality varies widely (as the prices show).
You need to check to see if the diameter of the spindle will fit a XC mount you can get (or make)
If it is air cooled or water cooled (I suggest air cool because it is easier to get working)
What type of collet system does it use (look for ER11)
Is it 120V or 220V (depends on what voltage you have access to)
How much power do you need? (1hp is about 932 watts) The Dewalt is 1.25 hp
Here is an example of a smaller air cooled VFD spindle on ebay
The stock motor is a 24 VDC motor with a ER11 collet adapter. The rigid 611 trim router that is being adapted for use on the X-Carve is a high speed 120 VAC motor that has variable speed. Low speed is 16K RPM and top speed is 27K. These speeds are generally to fast for plastics.
A VFD (variable frequency drive) is a 3 phase 120 or 220 VAC motor with a ER11 collet shaft that is part of the armature not an add on. You use a VFD drive that takes 120 or 220 single phase line voltage in your shop or house and converts it to 3 phase power that is feed to the spindle motor. They have a much larger range of speed and can be slowed for machining plastics.
Hope this helps
Allen types faster than I do
Understood. I should have clarified that I haven’t yet upgraded my Shapeoko 2 to X carve, so I have only a very primitive, weak spindle (Dremel). The Quiet Cut spindle (with optional speed controller) would give me the variable speed, but people here don’t seem to have a very high opinion of it, although it seems like it would be a significant improvement over the Dremel. I believe that the speed control is not great, since it just reduces the drive, so the actual speed depends on the load, right? But I don’t think that would be much of an issue. I just want adequate accuracy for PCB etching. Is the Quiet Cut spindle good enough?
The quote spindle they put on the stock X-Carve IMHO is crap. It is a cheap 24VDC motor with a ER11 collet adapter stuck on the end of a small shaft. The bearing are cheap with no preload and pron to failure. The motors are also pron to failure.
If your budget will will handle it a VFD spindle it the way to go.
@DavidSohlstrom - good overview of a VFD. Pretty much what I had gathered, but put together concisely.
I ordered the SuperPID the other day. In hindsight a VFD would have probably been better for the same price, but I think this will get me down to the RPM ranges I need to do different types of jobs.