Nikon Action 8x40 binos C4-R, mountless 114NT Everglades Astronomical Society "When the Moon is a couterfiet, better find the one that fits, better find the one that lights the way for you." ISTAR Scope Club
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Celestron 8SE Dobstuff 13.1": Swayze refigured Coulter mirror, 6 pt mirror cell (2 pt edge support) and CF focuser board made by me StarBlast 4.5 ST80/PortaMount II Zhumell 20x80/Oberwerk 15x70 on a Seronik-style tripod boom mount Hubble Optics 18 inch F/4 mirror.
Quote: All that to say, if you're dreaming of turning your nice clean Solidworks designs into neatly milled parts within a month of purchase, think again. It is a very deep subject, there is no substitute for learning by doing; be prepared to make lots of mistakes.Having said all that, I am very pleased with my machine, I can machine plywood, plastic and aluminium to less than 0.1mm accuracy, and after 5 months of variable-rate spare time effort, I'm about ready to start milling an enclosure for the electronics. YMMV.
Quote:A tabletop CNC machine is the competition with the 3-D printer it would seem.
Quote: Mach4 is a reasonably affordable system to converting your files to Gcode.
Quote:Quote:A tabletop CNC machine is the competition with the 3-D printer it would seem. I see them as being complimentary; it depends what your needs and methods are.Of course, I'm biased, but: bear in mind it's pretty easy to convert a CNC into a 3D printer, but not the other way round. In my case, all I would need to do is replace the spindle with an extrusion head, and depending on my material, add a heated bed. In fact the guy that makes the kits uses his exclusively as a 3D printer. I've frankly no idea how quick you can make this change but with some creative engineering I'm sure it would be possible to mill out a quick-change sled to do it in minutes. A laser cutting head is of course also possible, and with that you can cut steel.3d printers aren't made to handle more torque than is required to move the print head so a milling conversion is impossible, but a laser would be possible. Frankly I find my 1kW spindle scary enough, a CO2 laser able to vaporize steel is further than I want to go: astronomy is best enjoyed with functional eyes.I could also extend both X and Y axes up to around 700mm each by simply replacing the gantries before flexure of the aluminium extrusion becomes a big problem, but I don't currently plan on making anything that big. If you need bigger than that, you really have to start looking at a steel frame.During my research phase, I looked at both printers and CNC, and decided on CNC for exactly this flexibility. As has been mentioned in several previous threads recently, 3D printers aren't really there yet in terms of turning out robust parts, although that may change soon. If and when it does, I'll be ready.That's not to say 3D printers don't have a place in the toolbox right now, if you are a visual thinker you can rapid prototype a whole bunch of different designs that are not much more than sketches very quickly and see what works/fits. There are times when the rigorous CAD process feels like a roadblock to your inspiration and you know you can just whip up a non-precision model in 10 minutes in 3dsmax or Sketchup that would do the job fine.- Barry.
CG5ASGT Astro-Tech AT6RC Zhumell 10 inch dob deluxe kit 10x12 observatory Echo Astronomy maker of Custom bahtinov masks and Duncan collimation masks.
Quote:... Presumably lasers don't have this issue?I'm curious, are there any drawbacks to laser cutters? I love the idea of them but I'm perhaps irrationally scared of a chance reflection going near my eyes. They seem to leave scorch marks on wood but presumably this is only a few mm and can be sanded out?
Quote:Indeed, that's why a secure shield interlock to prevent operation of the unshielded laser would be incorporated into any such product (unless they really want to get sued out of business) - it looks like consumer laser engravers already have these features.
Quote:CO2 lasers typically aren't used for steel cutting, I have a 60 watt and it won't even mark metal unless I use a dye process or it is anodized or painted first
Quote: Finally got a picture of my CNC if anyone's interested:
Quote:Another big factor is how to hold and fixture parts. For me fixturing and how to hold a part to be machined can be the most difficult and time consuming part of the machining process manual or CNC.
Quote:...my point being, wiring up a 40W laser yourself is unforgiving to errors, and outside my personal comfort zone.
Quote: Once the mill had plunged through the last layer of the cut, it liberated the finished piece from the stock, which caught in the tool and was projected across the room before I could hit the e-stop. Not fast enough to cause injury, but fast enough to give me pause for thought.
Quote: Quote: Once the mill had plunged through the last layer of the cut, it liberated the finished piece from the stock, which caught in the tool and was projected across the room before I could hit the e-stop. Not fast enough to cause injury, but fast enough to give me pause for thought. your suppose to leave little tabs that keep the parts attached to the material. the tabs should be left off the last pass and thin enough that you can push the part free.