Floating spindle upgrade?

I saw mentioned some place about a floating spindle upgrade. The person linked to a company, but I can’t seem to find it again. … and I’m not sure I use the correct nomenclature.

It sounded like a pneumatic system that floats the spindle mill bit so the tool-depth stays constant relative to the local work surface, essentially this would allow you to cut an x mm channel into a work-piece that is not 100% flat and the depth of the channel would be the same (locally) across the full cut.

This seems super useful since wood/materials often are not 100% flat. Obviously, each such solution would have some travel limits and probably other limits (size of the ‘feeler plate’ for example would dictate how ‘localized’ it can sense, etc.)

I searched on this forum (all categories) but either I have my terminolgy wrong, or nobody has discussed this before?!

No, in fact no software needs to be involved. it is a “passive” mechanical or pneumatic system that floats the cuttig tool at a fixed depth relative to the surface immidiatley around the cuttingtool… i think?! No I am not so sure…

Hi all, thank you for chiming in! I appreciate it!

Unless I misunderstood (and I wish I could re-find where I was reading about this in the first place!) there is no need for a second motor or anything like this.

Picture a spring-loaded skid, similar to what you would use for the wood-burning mod or a pen-mod. The skid keeps the pen or burn-tip firm on the surface but has flex so as to not dig in and mar the surface as it goes over any unevenness.

My understanding is that a floating spindle is similar to this. Basically, relative to the surface of the skid/sled/float-plate, the router and spindle depth is set using the existing z-axis. e.g. the tooltip extends 0.3mm down from the bottom of (the tool-hole) skid. The trick is that the whole vertical assembly (z-axis with stepper) somehow is fixed to the skid but floating relative to the x- and y-gantry. As the skid moves over uneven surfaces, the entire router assembly floats relative to the surface.

Now, I’m sure there are some clever chuck designs that allow the functional equivalent to the above description without actually having to physically float the whole vertical setup. I just don’t know what the correct term(s) for this stuff is and so Google is not able to help me! I think the overall effect can be achieved by something akin to an extra tool chuck that mounts between the router and the cutting tool. The barrel of this new chuck is elongated and has a sprint and/or pneumatic system similar to a shock absorber.

Sigh… another wall of text and I still don’t think I’m adequately describing what I mean…?

Something like this product, but x-carve compatible price and size… :stuck_out_tongue:

Well not a floating spindle but could be of interest.
There are many ways to control the surface cut external to the main geometry.
You can get a sensor and set up specialized code to sense the surface so the bit always maintains its distance.
You can also use a sensor to pass over the object (metrology) first then it creates a map that will allow you to set up the cut from that. Expensive however.
Not an easy task but doable. I have had much luck programming these sort of things for controllers.

okay, that video was pretty cool!

-I guess for most realistic and real-world use cases, something like that will probably suffice. :slight_smile:

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