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  #1  
Old Tue 11 September 2012, 20:43
Mason123
Just call me: Mason
 
Oklahoma
United States of America
4 axis mechmate

Has anyone succesfully made a 4 axis (router) mechmate?
I am interested in making molds for composite sailplanes
and the inside of the mold needs to be smooth. each mold half
is typically a half circle that tapers from 2" in radius to
.25" in radius.

Thanks
Mason
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  #2  
Old Tue 11 September 2012, 21:28
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Yes - yes I have.
Many here in the forums will remember it being the large BBQ pit disguised as a MM!

It is not difficult to add the 4th axis. Whether added on the bed for small parts, or under the bed for very large parts, the design mostly supports the change with little effort.

Mach 3 and controls are part of the design.
The indexer required is based on your needs.
The software is the hard part. Ideally, to make the tool paths you need a package that allows for 4th axis tooling.

I personally used 2 varients.

For full motion 4th axis I used Rhino w/ the 4th axis module.
For simple 4 sided machining, I used Cut3D from Vectric (cheap, reliable, quick) Love it.

Good luck
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  #3  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 14:21
klaeuser
Just call me: klaeuser
 
Konstanz
Germany
4 Axis for surfboards (tilting Tool instead of tilting workpiece)

@SMREISH
Sounds that you might be able to help me:
I am planning to build a 4 axis CNC-Mill to produce Surfboards.
Since Workpieces are pretty large it makes sense to tilt the head instead of the workpiece.
Do you think this might work with MM?
I am still having trouble of figuring out the MM concept.
Right now it look to me:
Step1. Designing the workpiece in any 3D-CAD-System (Solidworks, Inventor, ..)
Step2. Using a CAM System (MasterCAM, SolidCAM...) to translate CAD-Model into G-Code
Step3. Load G-Code into MM-Machine Control
Step4. MM-Machine Control is directly connected to stepper drives will then move the axis.

Am I correct on this?

Thanks a lot for your help.
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  #4  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 18:56
DocTanner
Just call me: Don Ross
 
Blue Ridge, Texas
United States of America
Art Ransom did a nice job of one very early on with a 4th axis. MM #2
http://www.turningaround.org/MechMate/Mechmate.htm

DonRoss aka DocTanner
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  #5  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 19:17
darren salyer
Just call me: Darren #101
 
Wentzville mo
United States of America
I believe a machine with an articulating cutterhead is commonly referred to as a 5 axis machine.
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  #6  
Old Wed 05 December 2012, 21:12
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Software for 5 axis machines are hard to come by and extremely expensive though.
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  #7  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 05:04
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
The "4th" axis doesn't need to be automated in the software for 2 or 4 side cutting. What you really need is a way to properly INDEX the part so it can be machined. That is what I did.

Although my machine was a true 4th axis attachment, I never used it that way. I found because the size of the models I was cutting, it took to much COMPUTER power to actually render a cutting file. So, I bought a commercial index head so I could accurately rotate the part in exactly 90 degree increments. This could be done as simply as a well drilled center shaft with a drift pin.

Anyway, I found that I was able to easily cut 3D 8' tall statues with the resolution of the 5/6 axis robots performing the same function. The software was Vectric Cut3d or Rhino depending on the part.
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  #8  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 09:39
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Mason - Do the molds have undercuts? Typically they do not. If your design is on a constant taper, I do not see why a standard build MM can't do those cuts. Do you have any profiles or pictures?
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  #9  
Old Thu 06 December 2012, 18:27
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
HI Mason

Have a look at the AKU Shaper software on the web.
Designing boards is best done in surfboard design software, then you look for pathways to export it to what ever CAM software you intend to use.

Regards
Ross
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  #10  
Old Fri 07 December 2012, 03:03
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Opps - Replied to Manson, this thread is old news.

Klaeuser start yourself a new thread, it will help keep any answers together.

Ross

Last edited by Surfcnc; Fri 07 December 2012 at 03:08..
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  #11  
Old Wed 16 January 2013, 19:52
jeep534
Just call me: archie
 
prichard, wv
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by smreish View Post
The "4th" axis doesn't need to be automated in the software for 2 or 4 side cutting. What you really need is a way to properly INDEX the part so it can be machined. That is what I did.

Although my machine was a true 4th axis attachment, I never used it that way. I found because the size of the models I was cutting, it took to much COMPUTER power to actually render a cutting file. So, I bought a commercial index head so I could accurately rotate the part in exactly 90 degree increments. This could be done as simply as a well drilled center shaft with a drift pin.

Anyway, I found that I was able to easily cut 3D 8' tall statues with the resolution of the 5/6 axis robots performing the same function. The software was Vectric Cut3d or Rhino depending on the part.
it seems this is a new area of interest for me. could you point me toward photos of this machine.

archie =) =) =)
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  #12  
Old Wed 16 January 2013, 20:54
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Check out Seans original build here.

I'm working on a new MM quietly in the corner #5 - Orlando. FL
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  #13  
Old Thu 17 January 2013, 05:36
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
You can always ask me too - I don't bite!
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