I had a friend ask me to mill him a replacement handle for his old rowboat and I said yes before running the machining time simulation. As a result, I can say that the Nomad is capable of machining large aluminum stock, but it’s going to take a while.
I started with a 8"x6.5"x1.25" thick piece of 6061-T6 aluminum and used an 1/8" 2-flute ZrN coated end mill from lakeshore carbide for the majority of the roughing. I also had to order a long reach end mill to get through the full depth since the part was so tall. I used a combination of conventional milling and adaptive clearing to reduce the machining time but, even with this, it was about 40 hours total.
Here is the part after about 10 hours of machining on day 1. It took me six days to finish all together since I decided not to quit my day job in order to finish this thing.
I used Fusion 360 for the toolpath generation and simulation. This also made it easy to split the job over multiple days just by setting the top and bottom height for that day. I also discovered that the 2D contour toolpath allows you to add tabs to the part which was essential for my workholding strategy.
I only did finishing passes on the handle itself so the rest of the walls were a little rough but non-critical to the function of the part. I used a dremel to cut off the tabs and polish it up when it was done and I think he’ll be happy with his new handle… he better be happy with his new handle!
Shallow Conventional Settings (Carbide3d Published):
Plunge: 4imp (helical spiral)
Deep Convential Settings:
Plunge: 2imp (2 degree ramp)
Adaptive Clearing Settings (Coolant Required):
Plunge: 4imp (Helical Spiral)