November 30, 2013

CNC Everything

Just before last summer, a lab donated their old CNC mill to MITERS, in a mostly-not-working state.  Until now, I have not had a project that required any CNC machining, and even for this project I designed the parts for the belt drive reductions to be water jet cut, rather than CNC milled.  However, over this break my source for water jet access was out of town, so I decided to learn how to operate the MITERS CNC mill instead.

Here is one of the motor mounts, just after machining:

And here is a part in progress:

The parts look beautiful, with practically polished edges, compared to the extremely coarse edges left by an abrasive water jet.

so shiney
To make the standoffs, I used my old technique of making a clamping jig, so that I could face the ends off all the standoffs simultaneously.

Wherever possible I used countersunk stainless fasteners, for added shininess:

One great thing about CNC milling parts, rather than water jetting them is that I can make precise press fits for bearings without any fiddling with tool offset.  If I CAD my part with a hole .001" too small for the bearing, the mill machines a hole exactly that size.

And here's the assembled unit.  It is still missing the attachment for the linkage on the output 60 tooth pulley.

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