I am an high school engineering class teacher and my class specializes in robotics. I own an XCarve 500mm setup that I have upgraded with larger stepper motors and have stiffened my carriage with any improvements that came down the pike. Even though I need more working area, I want to keep the frame as stiff as possible. I got my XCarve because I wanted to mill aluminum. Since this was a personal expense, I could not afford to get an industrial mill.
I wanted to report a successful outcome to anyone that has had as many problems milling aluminum as I have had. I have completed the task of cutting the holes and bearing traces for the frames of 4 large robots in 1/8" aluminum bar stock 6" x 18"…
*I created the .stl file in Autodesk Inventor, and created the g-code in MeshCam. I imported the g-code directly into Easel. Since my part was double my work area, I had to develop a standard place to index each piece. I had to flip the part, reindex it and cut the mirror image on the opposite end.
Initially, I bought the a kit from www.SuperPID.com to control the speed of my Dewalt 611. It was very good at controlling router speed, but at speeds less than 7000 rpm the router would in 50% of the time go into a high rpm mode. After the first time the brushes failed on my Dewalt 611 spindle, I bought a new Dewalt 611 and did not install the SuperPid on the new spindle. Instead I used the lowest speed setting on the router.
My tool settings are: Feedrate 3.0 in, Plunge rate 2.0 in , stepover 0.0120, and step down of 0.01 in.
I tried all sorts of bits but a $12 set of bits from Amazon worked the best " Lukcase 1/8 Carbide Flat Nose End Mill 2 Flutes 17mm CNC Router Bits Double Flute Spiral Set Tool" All of the expensive bits had issues with running too hot, but these ran without lubrication or dust collection. I uploaded a time-lapse video.
Lessons Learned: I quickly found out how to change brushes on Dewalt 611 routers. When the LED works but it won’t run, it is the brushes. Using oil for lubrication on the stock made a mess and was not very effective.
Apparently t he upload did not work. I posted it on youtube: https://youtu.be/e0Y0VKb5VEQ