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Question #: 13427

Question: I need help choosing the appropriate machine...engraving wood products and cutting sheet aluminum panels.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • Is the Greenlean capable of cutting soft metals like aluminum or brass? Thanks

    Yes, the greenLean can cut metals such as aluminum and brass. The gantry and Y carriage was designed to be rigid enough to handle these types of metals. The typical metal cutting techniques should be used, such as high feedrates to reduce heat buildup at the end mill, or the use of cutting fluids or cold air used at the end mill as is necessary with most machines that cut similar metals. This is necessary since the aluminum has a rather low melting point and can clog the end mill.

    Additional Information:
    All of our machines are capable of cutting many metals, including steel and aluminum as long as the proper CNC machining operations are used like light fast passes, and if desired, using air cooling for better performance.

    Here is a video of one of our customer demonstrating aluminum cutting using air to cool the end mill.
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/tutorial-milling-cutting-metal-blacktoe-mark-gottschalk

    Additional Information:
    how do I hold down material on a greenlean

    Click the link to respond:
    Is the Greenlean capable of cutting soft metals like aluminum or brass? Thanks

  • All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

    All of our CNC machines can carve at that depth without a problem and do 3d carving. Our typical application is cutting sheet materials, but a good percentage of our customers cut 3D bas reliefs or even more complex 3D objects using reference points and jigs.

    Most of our CNC machines have a Z travel of at least 6 inches for the smaller machines and 7 to 10 inches for our larger machines. The Fabricator Pro has a Z travel of 10 inches.

    Depending on your application, you will need to consider the length of the end mill (more than the deepest depth of the 3D carving) and the stock that you will be using. If the stock plus the length of the end mill exceed the clearance with the Z axis raised to the top extent, then you will need to consider the way the table/bed of the machine is formed (maybe with a depression to take advantage of the greater need for clearance).

    The greenBull has the capability of Z axis travel of up to 36 inches, but I would recommend, if milling wood, that the Z-axis not extend more than 12 inches to reduce deflection.

    Additional Information:
    Most of the CAM software on the market will have 3D profile machining operation capabilities. CAMBAM has a very nice 3D prpfiling feature. The Vectric line of software can definitely handle this as well.

    Click the link to respond:
    All of the pics and videos show your cncs cutting sheet materials, I'm interested in carving 3d images in plastic and hardwood slabs up to 2" thick. What machine and software would you recommend?

  • Would any of your kits be appropriate for cutting brass type?

    Really, any of our CNC machines can cut brass.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would any of your kits be appropriate for cutting brass type?

  • Can I power the BOB w/Relay through appropriate pins and remove USB?

    We do not have designated pins for power on our BoB w/Relay, other than through the USB. We would not recommend removing the USB on our board since it may cause issues and irregularities within the board.

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    Can I power the BOB w/Relay through appropriate pins and remove USB?

  • I HAVE A SIGN SHOP AND WE NEED CUT ALUMINUM, PLEXIGASS, FOAM AND OTHER MATERIALS FOR SIGNS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT MACHINE WE NEED? I LOOKING 4'X8' OR 5' X 10'

    The overall size of the machine, really depends on both the area available to you and also the overall size of material being used. Now our larger machines (blackFoot, greenBull, greenLean) can cut all the materials mentioned above, and if equipped with our 2.2kW spindle you will be accurate up to ten thousandths of an inch.
    Our greenBull machine does have an option for a long-z axis, that was especially designed to cut foam, but depending on the overall size it might not be a requirement for the specified request.

    Click the link to respond:
    I HAVE A SIGN SHOP AND WE NEED CUT ALUMINUM, PLEXIGASS, FOAM AND OTHER MATERIALS FOR SIGNS. CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT MACHINE WE NEED? I LOOKING 4'X8' OR 5' X 10'

  • I am in Houston. I will use this to make cabinets. Do you have a location I could see one in use cutting similar products?

    Sure, come on by! You can come and see some of our machines in action; pose difficult questions and hopefully we can answer them; and even have some tests done with stuff you bring.

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    I am in Houston. I will use this to make cabinets. Do you have a location I could see one in use cutting similar products?

  • I'm planning a rack and pinion style gantry, and need clarification on how to slave a second stepper to the Y (or X). Can you direct me to that information for your products?

    There are two things to consider when using two stepping motors on a single axis. Since you want both motors to spin at the same rate and possibly in the same direction, you need to connect both motor drivers to the same breakout board pins. For example, if you want two motors on the x-axis and the x-axis pins on the breakout board are #2 for step and #3 for direction, the #2 will connect to the step (cp) terminal on each driver and the #3 will connect to the dir (cw) terminal on each driver.

    However, if the motors will be opposing (one motor will need to spin in the other direction), you will need to consider either flipping the rack on one side, or adding a circuit to invert the direction (#3) signal going to that driver.

    Click the link to respond:
    I'm planning a rack and pinion style gantry, and need clarification on how to slave a second stepper to the Y (or X). Can you direct me to that information for your products?

  • Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

    We do offer all of the parts; but it is best to purchase them a la carte. You will probably not want the hardware since this would not conform to a design in metal.

    All of the mechanical parts are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx

    All of the electronics you would need is available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx

    All of the laser components are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx

    And the spindles and VFDs are available here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

  • Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

    If you are wanting to purchase all of the parts for a machine excluding the structural parts, you will need to order the parts a la carte.

    Electronics packages can be found here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/category/elcombo

    Mechanical components can be found here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/CNCMachineMechanicalParts.aspx

    Click the link to respond:
    Is it possible to order the mechanics, motors and electronics, in other words, order the kit without the wood? Reason being is I have aluminum and steel to make a machine out of.

  • Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

    That is a good question. We have not tried to weld thermoplastics using our CO2 Lasers. It is possible since the laser outputs a heat source and at the right intensity and speed, the thermoplastic can be heated and melted rather than instantaneously vaporized and off gassed. I have done research to see if CO2 laser can weld thermoplastics with positive results.

    Our CO2 lasers are typical of other laser cutters on the market, so if their literature, or examples you have found, successfully weld thermoplastics, then ours will probably be able to as well.

    In some cutting test with different speeds and intensities, the kerf has welded back together; however, this was caused by an unintentional process rather than an intentional one.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

  • Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

    That is a good question. We have not tried to weld thermoplastics using our CO2 Lasers. It is possible since the laser outputs a heat source and at the right intensity and speed, the thermoplastic can be heated and melted rather than instantaneously vaporized and off gassed. I have done research to see if CO2 laser can weld thermoplastics with positive results.

    Our CO2 lasers are typical of other laser cutters on the market, so if their literature, or examples you have found, successfully weld thermoplastics, then ours will probably be able to as well.

    In some cutting test with different speeds and intensities, the kerf has welded back together; however, this was caused by an unintentional process rather than an intentional one.

    Click the link to respond:
    Would any of your CNC laser machines be appropriate for welding of thermoplastic materials?

  • Where is the best place to see projects made with BuildYourCNC CNCs? I would like to get an idea of carving capabilities and cutting Baltic Birch plywood. Thanks.

    You can always come to our offices in Katy TX. If that is not an option, we can do cut in our shop and record video for you. Specify what you would like to cut and we can consider doing this for you.

    Thanks. I've reviewed the gallery and think my question comes down to this- Can I do hardwood carving like Mike M.'s guitar display cases and cut 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood with the same machine?

    Absolutely, the cutting and machining is more a function of how the machining operations are created and specified. Baltic birch is not a tough material and you will be able to cut very aggressively with any of our machine kits.

    Click the link to respond:
    Where is the best place to see projects made with BuildYourCNC CNCs? I would like to get an idea of carving capabilities and cutting Baltic Birch plywood. Thanks.

  • Can you design and sell a laser that is medium sized? The Black Tooth is too small and the XL is too big. I need about 36" x 24" cutting space minimum. 60x40 is ideal.

    Yes, I was intending to design a medium sized laser cutter and engraver but the project was put on hold. I will start the design in a few weeks (around mid Dec 2017).

    Additional Information:
    Do you think you would want a horizontal machine, or a slanted, more vertically oriented machine?

    Additional Information:
    For the work I plan to do, I would need a horizontal bed. I will be doing some work with cutting small pieces and can not afford to have any drop during a raster or another vector cut.

    Additional Information:
    Ok. Thanks.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you design and sell a laser that is medium sized? The Black Tooth is too small and the XL is too big. I need about 36" x 24" cutting space minimum. 60x40 is ideal.

  • Hi. I am an absolute beginner and wish to produce carbon fiber products cut from 1 to 4mm sheets. All advice on cost and set up appreciated. Thank you in advance
  • I am building a 23' x 10' plasma table with your epuipment and am choosing software. Is Cambam OK or do I need to get a more powerful cad software

    CAMBAM is an excellent choice to use for providing plasma operations for a plasma machine. Here is a link to get you started and for the resource files that you can use with CAMBAM.

    http://www.cambam.info/ref/ref.plasma

    Since CAMBAM has CAD functionality, you should have no problem using CAMBAM as a CAD design software. If you are dong more intricate work, then you can use MOre CAD oriented software and then load the .DXF files into CAMBAM for the application of plasma operations on top of the primitive CAD geometry.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am building a 23' x 10' plasma table with your epuipment and am choosing software. Is Cambam OK or do I need to get a more powerful cad software

  • Why is my 4x8 blackfoot not cutting shapes correctly. I have ran the moter test in Mach 3 and still cuts terrible

    Dealing with the machine not cutting the design you may have correctly, could be a variety of things.
    Most common, is the machine is not properly calibrated or tighten correctly (in specific areas).
    To calibrate the machine, go to the settings(alt-6) page, and click the set steps per unit(right above the reset button). You will receive a tab which asks to select the a axis, once selected it will ask how much you plan on moving. Here you will enter a value of inches/mm's. The machine will move what it thinks is the correct length and might be dead on or might be off, we recommend doing this about 2-3 times per axis, and in long distances. (ex: for the BF you may do 2-4Ft on y-axis and 5-8Ft on the x-axis)

    Make sure the v-groove bearings are tight, on the y-axis plate and z-axis, as well as the v-groove bearings on the gantry legs. (test: try moving them with your finger, if tighten correctly they will not move)
    Also having the chain too loose will not move the machine enough to create your design, the chain should have about a 1" - 1"-1/2" of slack in the middle of the table when the gantry is in either of the far ends of the table. (larger machines will have a bit more slack).

    Trying to run the machine faster then the bit can cut, or running with a old endmill/router bit.
    This is a rare occurrence but is seen, having the correct endmill, feedrate, and RPM will have a great impact on your cut. They all work together in one complete conjunction, if one is off they will all be working incorrectly.
    Each endmill will have its manufactured specifications.

    Click the link to respond:
    Why is my 4x8 blackfoot not cutting shapes correctly. I have ran the moter test in Mach 3 and still cuts terrible

  • blackToe 2'x4' CNC Router - What are the actual x and y cutting dimensions (eg: 22"x46")

    The actual cutting dimensions for our blackToe machine is 2'(24") x 4'(48"), the overall size of the structure built is a bit larger so that our customers have the actual size mentioned with each of our machines!

    Click the link to respond:
    blackToe 2'x4' CNC Router - What are the actual x and y cutting dimensions (eg: 22"x46")

  • How small of end mills are commonly used for cutting balsa? What thickness of balsa can these smaller mills handle?

    The size of end mills can vary to extremely tiny to very large cutting diameters. The smaller the cutting diameters, the shorter the available cutting length due to the possibility of breakage. You will first need to determine the thickness, or depth you will need to cut and find the available cut diameters for that depth.

    To cut balsa wood, almost any standard 1 to 4 flute end mill will be fine that are intended to be used with wood. The end mill will state the materials that it can cut. Wood end mills will exhibit a flute geometry that is more stretched out to straight.

    Click the link to respond:
    How small of end mills are commonly used for cutting balsa? What thickness of balsa can these smaller mills handle?

  • I have cnc fiber laser cutting machines it has operating software cypcut and I need to change it to Mech 3 or 4 do I have to buy the driver card with the software or only the software?

    Mach3 and Mach4 typically use specific controller cards that are compatible with the software. If your controller connects to your computer using either a USB or Ethernet connection, then you will probably need to change the controller card as well, unless your controller card contains a plug-in that works with the Mach3 or Mach4 software.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have cnc fiber laser cutting machines it has operating software cypcut and I need to change it to Mech 3 or 4 do I have to buy the driver card with the software or only the software?

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