You have 2.625" of Z cutting heigth. So, if I add 3.325" to each Y plate (by making a plate extension) holding the Z axis and use an extended Z axis makerslide and acme screw can I get 6" cutting depth? What negative effects would this have, if any?
We have not tried anything like that. You should make those plates as stiff as possible by making them thicker and/or wider.
Post your results if you try it.
@William_bill_Raines interesting idea for an upgrade. Like @BartDring says, you would need to make sure those Y extensions are extra stiff and I would also wonder about the stiffness of the Z axis when the spindle is at it’s lowest point.
That being said, if you do try this, and it turns out to work well without too much runout, and you post your results… it could be a good resource for those trying to add a 3D printer head as well.
@sketch42 brings up a good point. I assumed you were trying to cut on something that was thick. I don’t think you will cut through something that is 6" thick. I am trying to imagine that bit and the retract it would require. The Z will be under more stress when you cut something thin.
I intend to make them very stiff (2 pieces, one welds to the existing plate and welds to the extra heigth plate) and welded to the Y axis plates, then machine the mounting holes. In what I do, I don’t think a small amount of deflection will be a problem with the heavier spindle motor and NEMA 23 drive motor. A lot of what I will be cutting 3/4" baltic birtch ply with .125 milling bits.
This would be interesting… allows for a little more 3D “carving”. Maybe 3mm carbon fiber would make a good lightweight extension.
Ill cut them out with a laser cutter and let you know my results and test yours out as well.
Aas I saw somewhere else, the depth of your “cut” will likely be limited to the length of the cutting bit - about 38mm?
No, I don’t think so. Depending on the interference of the item being cut, the length of the cutting bit has nothing to do with how deep you can cut. It’ s just geometry. LOL
Depending on what you are cutting, the length of the cutting bit may have little to do with the ability to cut a supposed 6" piece. On the other hand, the geometry of the shape you are cutting may impede the travel of either the Z-axis carriage or the spindle head if the bit was not long enough.
For example, using a modified X-Carve that had a 6" working height would still not allow for cuts to be 6" deep. The deepest cut you could make on any piece whether 6mm or 6" depends on the cutting bit length from the spindle head to the tip.
FYI: You can get extra long cutting bits for working with thicker stock.
I have a MaxNC with a Z cutting depth of 8" and experimented a lot with longer bits.
I found that a 4" cut length 1/4 mill bit worked well for slow rough cutting. I also use it for a final, deep “Outline cut” to finish the work piece and free it from the stock.
But a 2" cut length ball nose 1/32" mill bit was incredibly fragile and only safe at extremely slow speeds. Not worth the expense of constantly breaking bits.
In the end I learned it was better to adjust the design and geometry to be more sloping and avoid deeper details. This allows for the use of the longer bit for the rough cutting but standard bit for the fine detail.
I have been thinking about how to extend the Z axis to be able to work on thicker stock.
And I came up with this idea.
By mounting the waste board on the bottom of the rail instead of on top you increase the max work thickness by 20mm (the thickness of the rail)
Though this does not increase the possible carving area on the thicker stock.
If you replace to bottom rail with thicker extruded rail (20mm x80mm) you can increase this by 80mm, allowing you carve on very thick stock! (6X’s, logs, etc.)
(Possibly using the 20mm rails from the kit with some L brackets to cross brace on the normally open sides and help keep things stiff and square.)
In fact if you got a second waste board you could leave one on the bottom for when you need to do thick items and have a removable one on the top, in the stock position, for everyday work.
I think it would be necessary to always leave a waste board on the bottom, as opposed to swapping a single board between both positions. Otherwise you would have to re-square up your x-carve every time.
I also think the lowered board approach would be useful if you wanted to use a rotary axis. As only the top half of the work piece needs to be in the cutting range.
But none of this increases the actual carve area. Adding a longer bit doesn’t help. It just shifts your carve area lower, reducing your maximum stock thickness.
But if you extended the length of the Z rail and ACME screw so that the spindle motor can retract higher, allowing the longer bit to be lifted clear, it should work.
I imagine if your carving geometry did not require the full depth of cut, just the full range, you could use a normal bit in a drill bit extender to give you the necessary length.
Would this work?
Does anyone know if this approach was tried on the Shapeoko?
It looks like this approach has been done with the Shapeoko.
I found this link in another post:
Regarding the cutting height, Z
Does it able to go to minimum cutting height of 0.035 mm?
The copper thickness for FR4 PCB board
Hey I like that idea I have a 1meter X 1meter SO with triple X and double y that are bolted. But I don’t beleave I’m geting the full affect of doubling up . I’m thinking I mite try JB weld had then bolt them back together .
I was thinking about maybe an adjustable height table like a router lifting table only bigger but smaller then the normal x-carve base. make the bottom of the x-carve sacrificial board two pieces and move them out to allow the table to be lifted up. Mainly I just want to do 3D art in a log so I would need to plane it down flat and then start to carve into that so if i had to start with a 8-12 inch log i could start it at a low height and plane it down and then raise the table and continue then on the design. I figure this way the base board will still be there for the most part just opened up like the swimming pool in Its a wonderful life.
I am thinking the same way Adam, Designing a somewhat of a router lift or a chain driving 4 screws up and down manually, like a benchtop planer concept. We should share our findings and designs!
Sounds great except I am just in the I want phase lol. I am thinking at the end of the year i will finally be able to buy the unit but by then something new from them might come along I was just seeing if anyone has done this. I know the 1000x1000 has a center bar on the base but i think thats more for supporting the waste board not sure how much its there for rigidity or how hard it would be to design some other center support. maybe design some corner braces instead of the center brace.
Cool. I will try to share what I come up with, likely finding an open 12" x 12" areas without braces blocking from the bottom, reinforce the edges and design a lift that operates from underneath.
Minimum cut height should be no problem. If for some reason your cutting bit can not reach all the way to the sacrifice board you can always use a spacer block under your work piece to raise it up.
(You may notice in a lot of people project videos do this anyway to keep the original work surface nice)
If you were doing a lot of circuit boards of the same size you could even make the spacer block into a holding jig to make clamping them in place easier.