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  #1  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 02:19
EricS
Just call me: Eric
 
Bay Area, CA
United States of America
Making a very small MM?

I'm a tinkerer and have a need to make small parts now and then. Sometimes I can use a laser cutter, or a 3d printer - but often I need to machine parts. Usually I'm cutting aluminum or acrylic. I've used traditional metalshop CNC mills, and have also used MechMate-type (ShopBot to be precise). I'm just more comfortable working with the latter, so here I am.

The thing is, my parts tend to be small, so I don't need the full blown MM. But because I'd like to make good cuts in aluminum, I do want a heavy duty head and for everything to be rigid.

So.. would I be crazy to make a 24"x24" MechMate? Maybe adapt it for liquid cooling? Any better suggestions to get high quality CNC on a budget?

Thanks!
Eric
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  #2  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 02:43
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
It seems the consensus is a 4x4 machine is about the smallest PRACTICAL size suggested by others.
I think a 2x2 is certainly possible.
There are some smaller size build threads, but it may take some digging to find them.

BTW, welcome to the Forum!!
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  #3  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 03:44
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
a 24"x24" MM will most certainly top-heavy...
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  #4  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 06:25
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
Very true, Ken, maybe bolt to floor?
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  #5  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 06:35
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
hang from the ceiling would be nice.
4"x8" is 32 sqft, & a 24" x24" is 4sqft... 1/8 scale...
1/2 is fine, 1/4 might just be pushing but 1/8th thats scaled model...

Last edited by KenC; Fri 25 April 2014 at 06:41..
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  #6  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 07:48
dbinokc
Just call me: DB #118
 
Oklahoma
United States of America
A friend of mine has been building a smaller cnc(24x24) with ball screws. His primary interest is metalcasting, but he wanted a cnc machine for making patterns. If you go to http://www.founddreaming.com/forum/v...php?f=32&t=430
you will see a long running thread on his refurbishing an old shaper. Intermixed in that thread is his progress on building a cnc router. He actually started making his first cuts yesterday. I think he has about $1500 in his setup.
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  #7  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 09:29
IMMark
Just call me: Mark #119
 
Columbus Ohio
United States of America
Thanks for sharing that link. That old shaper has got to be about a $400,000 machine when you consider time and effort he has into it! I have a ton of respect for anyone that can and does what he has. Sure loves his dog too
Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbinokc View Post
A friend of mine has been building a smaller cnc(24x24) with ball screws. His primary interest is metalcasting, but he wanted a cnc machine for making patterns. If you go to http://www.founddreaming.com/forum/v...php?f=32&t=430
you will see a long running thread on his refurbishing an old shaper. Intermixed in that thread is his progress on building a cnc router. He actually started making his first cuts yesterday. I think he has about $1500 in his setup.
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  #8  
Old Fri 25 April 2014, 15:27
EricS
Just call me: Eric
 
Bay Area, CA
United States of America
Hey thanks for all the replies & ideas. I like the idea of using ball screws too for improved accuracy. Bolting to the floor is no problem for the top heaviness (or of course attaching something massive on the bottom). dbinokc I'll check out your link as well, might be just what I'm looking for.
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  #9  
Old Sun 27 April 2014, 21:39
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Why not look for a mini mill converted to cnc for small parts and a robust frame?
Check out hoss2006 at the cnczone.
http://www.g0704.com/
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  #10  
Old Mon 28 April 2014, 22:54
EricS
Just call me: Eric
 
Bay Area, CA
United States of America
Yeah I'm having a tough time deciding between something like a CNC conversion and a Chinese router either a 3040 style (small, just right size for me) or a 6090 style (bigger, but with cast iron frame)! I've got analysis paralysis.
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