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4th axis

4th axis

Postby Awesomeness » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:56 am

One question I've wondered about, is how hard would it be to add another axis to the system, so that the router could be tilted at an angle. I've never used a high power router for anything, but I wonder what the gyroscopic force consequences would be (especially if they are anything like my angle grinder).

The reason I ask, is because the projects/ideas that got me interested in CAM were large 3D objects. Specifically, at the time, I was making a very complicated 3D costume, based on exaggerated video game character armor. I was making it by sculpting it in clay, making [expensive] molds, then casting them in plastic resin. The idea that struck me, was how absurd it was that I was trying to recreate things by hand that were already in 3D modeling files that I could extract from the game. I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if I could have a machine just print or machine these for me?" (You can see the project on my site, http://www.thekimblefamily.com)

I started thinking about a medical CAT scan, and how it "sliced" you up. I figured I could just edit the models, slice them into board thicknesses, and CAM them out. Then it would be a simple matter of stacking them up and gluing them together. I remembered a 3D Darth Vader puzzle I had seen many years ago, that did exactly this. ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-Darth-Sculpture-Puzzle/dp/B0009FZI5S )

Of course, since then I think up a dozen more projects I could do with one of these machines. It's to the point now where I see it as an indispensible tool, I have to get as soon as it's possible.

I've also thought about using one to do the same thing with 2" thick sheets of insulation foam, in order to build forms to make large fiberglass itmes (like a child's spaceship/racecar bed).

If there was an extra axis, it could make ridiculously awesome 3D stuff all in one shot.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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4th axis

Postby Awesomeness » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:55 pm

I realized after I originally posted this that "4th axis" is a common CNC term typically reserved for a rotary cutting axis. This is another thing I would like to investigate, because one of the tasks I would like to find a solution to is cutting notches in pipe/tube for assembling rollcages, and other tube structures.

Yes, you're right that what I was actually talking about would also need a 5th axis too.

Preliminary investigation seemed to show that lots of software out there supports setups greater than 3 axis.

I'm just wondering how difficult it would be to add it.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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4th axis

Postby PHoodDaniel » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:07 pm

The 4th axis is something that Andrew and I may be starting in the coming month. We have discussed a possible DIY version and it may be very easy to implement. I will post any developments for the idea here and I welcome any comments, suggestions and questions.

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4th axis

Postby Awesomeness » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:42 am

When you say a 4th axis might be coming, do you mean the true conventional 4th (rotational) axis, or what I was originally asking about, 4th and 5th axes to tip the cutting head?

What would the differences is electronics be? It might be worthwhile to get upgraded electronics from the start, if they are necessary.

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
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4th axis

Postby PHoodDaniel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:22 pm

The 4th axis that I am developing is the conventional mechanism that can mount the workpiece and turn it precisely. This is not the more difficult form of rotating the spindle (router) on one or two axes. I may, in the near future, develop an axis for the spindle to rotate. This would be simpler than adding two axes on the spindle.

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Re: 4th axis

Postby Buzzard » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:31 am

The reference to slicing an over size project and later gluing it together is covered by ASPIRE software. I will do just that. Thier clam is that the software will work with any CNC machine.
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Re: 4th axis

Postby Awesomeness » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:38 am

MeshCAM can slice up 3D stuff too, FYI.
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Re: 4th axis

Postby larry104 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:22 pm

I was also thinking of a 5 axis system - my motivation is cutting bevels into the edges of boards (e.g. angles of 28, 70, 60 Degree). Potentially a 5 axis system would allow you to cut negative angles as well without turning the board (if you have it high above the table).
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Re: 4th axis

Postby LegacyHeirloom » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:01 pm

Adding additional axis to the 3 axis machine is not complex. Look at the machines produced by http://www.legacycncwoodworking.com
Or look up Legacy woodworking on http://www.youtube.com
We are familiar with axis X,Y, & Z, but add a 4th axis "A" for rotating the stock, or making it a turning axis, with a 5th Axis being to tilt the bed of the work peice. This would be much easier than adding an additional axis or two to the spindle. Spindles with a rotating head are very much more expensive and makes the DIY projects much more cost prohibitive.
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Re: 4th axis

Postby julianmolina » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:33 pm

PHoodDaniel wrote:The 4th axis that I am developing is the conventional mechanism that can mount the workpiece and turn it precisely. This is not the more difficult form of rotating the spindle (router) on one or two axes. I may, in the near future, develop an axis for the spindle to rotate. This would be simpler than adding two axes on the spindle.


Hi! Any news on this development? Will you develop it as a module that could be added to the existing line of machines? For which model will it be coming first? Any estimated time of delivery?
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