I am curious about the possible effects of freezing temperatures of the machine or any of its components. I plan to put this in my shop which can go unheated for a several days in the winter, here in New England our temperatures can drop into a few degrees below freezing and I’m curious if there are any special considerations I should be aware of?
The machine will perform better in cold than in extreme heat. From the Atmega 328P summary datasheet, the Arduino will operate from -40°C to 85°C. The stepper motors can operate in -20C to 50C. The power supply operating temperature is from -20C to 70C.
If you would like I can check on the gshield and spindle but I assume they would offer similar ranges. Quick sanity check -20C is -68F.
Re-motivated! Thanks Zach
I think you need another sanity check. -40 is -40, that is the temperature where the two scales meet. -20C is -4F.
A few comments about cold use. The electronics will probably all be good to -20C without a problem so long as you are aware of a few details. Don’t bring cold electronics into warm places. (warm them up together) This can cause condensation the same as a cold beverage on a hot day and that may ruin the electronics. Second if you warm up a cold room it may get really dry air there. This will increase the possibility of static shocks. (Always practice static safety with the electronics of you mill)
As for the mechanics there are a few things to check. The thermal expansion of the Delrin nuts and v groove bearings is about 5 times that of the aluminum and 10 times that of the steel. I don’t have the datasheets on Delrin but the steel rod for the z axis will not shrink as much as the nut around it. The same problem may exist for the v-groove bearings, between the bearing outer race and the Delrin v-groove. The last detail I can spot for cold weather use is that the aluminum rails and v-groove bearings may shrink more than the end plates, this may cause the carriage to become loose on the rails. I live in Canada and where I am it may get to -40 outside so how the Delrin and steel interact when they get cold may determine where I put my X-carve when I get it.
Edit: Just found some info in Delrin online and it looks like at -40 the Delrin nut will try to shrink about 0.05mm more then the threaded rod. Not much but it might make the rod stiffer in the nut.
glad i read this! I was planning on setting up shop in my barn. I do have heat in there but its electric and would cost a fortune to run all the time. Happy news, as i was contemplating finishing and insulation for my already expensive new hobby.
Glad this is here… I just started setting up my x-carve and still haven’t decided where to put it. I live in west Michigan and winters here get down to 0 F each winter at some point. My shop/garage is unheated and uninsulated. Sometimes I use a propane heater in there when I work in the winter. So, just to clarify… it would be okay to keep it out in the garage during the winter (year-round) if needed? Thanks!
I know this topic has been cold (no pun intended) for a while but I was wondering if anyone has had any issues with their machines from the heat or cold? I don’t own a machine yet but if I get one the only usable place would be the garage. I’m in western NY and the garage can get to 100 in the summer and 0 or less in the winter.
Thanks for any feed back!
I am in south eastern Michigan so I’m assuming pretty similar temperature swings. I have not had any issues in 3+ years and my machine has been in my unheated/uncooled garage the entire time. In fact, I even left it sitting idle for about 8 months (Aug to April) while on a work assignment and fired it up and it cut fine without any adjustments.
I’d be curious though to hear if others have experienced issues.
Thanks Adam. That’s good to know. I’m curious as well to hear if others have had any issues with hot/cold weather and the x carve.