Lets share some tool paths - 3d aluminium machining

(Griff Carpenter) #82

@neilferreri I’m flattered…but don’t bother, it is needlessly complicated. But, twas a good learning experience. Every day I learn how much I don’t know about cad cam. And Blender. And VCarve pro. And Scluptris. And Inkscape. And Slicer PE…

(Dan Nelson) #83

I’ve kinda wondered the same thing, albeit I have vacuumed aluminum for a single project, like a year ago…and the stuff is still embedded inside all of my hoses? Obvious thing comes to mind if you’re using any sort of lube it’ll make a mess of your dust collection equipment, other thing is if the lube is in anyway flammable stray static could cause…kaboom! Now sawdust in the air by itself can be pretty splosive too, pretty much anything that can burn given enough surface area to create a good fuel/air mixture will flash. I’m sure there’s other reasons too.


(mikep) #84

The vacuum is spread over a larger area than you can direct an air stream…it just plain doesn’t work as well.

(Dan Nelson) #85

That makes perfect sense. But could you possibly do a combo blow+vacuum?


(Vince) #86

Lets take it a step further. Why not reroute the vacuum exhaust to blow chips, it’s already doing the work!

Sure you couldn’t neck it down but it would still work pretty well, plus you’re recycling :joy:

(Dan Nelson) #87

I like this approach. I know I’m not the first to think about it, but with a sealed enclosure air blowing from the front of the spindle, and then exhausted to the rear of the machine you’d only need to either push or pull air in one side right? No dust boot needed. You’d have to get the airflow right so you wouldn’t be blowing chips into your machine, but in theory it could work.


(Neil Ferreri) #88

I like that idea as well…something like what @scottybeefs set up here.

Am I the only one that strategically places cardboard in lieu of a proper enclosure?

(travis) #89

For what it’s worth I don’t like my setup - for wood at least.

On the plus side it works excellently to keep the bit clear of chips/dust (until cut depth gets to around 20mm) and you do get a very good view of the cutting. On the downside though it creates a massive mess inside the cabinet and essentially covers everything in dust. The extraction is strong but it’s not enough to suck everything away, and i’m not sure you could ever get it strong enough to achieve that. I’ll be transitioning to the standard “suck” method shortly.

That said - it may work ok for aluminium?

(Neil Ferreri) #90

Worth quite a bit! Saves me the effort of realizing that myself.

(travis) #91

I just read the thread for a bit more context…you may find value in finding a shop vac that can easily swap between suck and blow. With mine I just swap the hose from the exhaust (for blow) to the inlet (for suck) and i’m away. It’s a very easy swap between the two.

And that it probably sufficient for your needs - suck for wood cutting to keep the dust down and blow for aluminium. And skip the elaborate cabinet setup with built in floor extraction - just do a thorough clean up of your aluminium chips afterwards.

(William Adams) #92

I don’t think the airflow from the trim router is sufficient to make a meaningful difference — I’d love to be proven wrong though.

(Stuart) #94

Ok guys, this is a great thread that has slowed down a bit… would anyone care to share some 3d finishing toolpaths for aluminium?

I haven’t got access to a computer to whip up a model, but I’m thinking something like the below pen holder would be good to see how you guys get those nice smooth curves

(Griff Carpenter) #95

@MrBeaver has been pretty quite of late…

(Luke) #96

I’m still alive but working in Scotland 3 days and 1 day in London most weeks. Not enough CNC time :frowning:

I think we need to make something thats useful (not my silly speedo), but not as a simple as a probe.

I’m thinking some kind of small desk toy? A pen holder isn’t a bad idea but not many people will have such large blocks of aluminium… How about a aluminium sheet tool holder? Something from thick plate? We could then graduate onto a more complex design?