Dust + Cooling system

Hey guys,

So, how one would wants to make a dust and fine particles collection system while having a cooling system inside the Nomad enclosure ?

Negative pressuring the inside may cause the sprayed lubricant to go in the wrong way, reducing efficiency of the system, possibly right positionning of the nozzle spray might work ? I’ve had micro-lubrification in my mind, not just air-blast.

Vortex tube would possibly be better since it isn’t liquid, but I do not know if a vortex tube emits gas, HEPA filter 0.3 micron doesn’t filter gas as far as I know.

A dust head looks clearly not effective for sure.

So does anyone have ideas or have successfully done both to spare some brainstorm?

1 Like

A vortex tube is just air - it doesn’t “emit” anything else. Pressurized air in the middle, hot air out one end, cold air out the other. Either way, not super helpful. You want a pressurized air jet right on the cut to clear chips - it will not have a significant impact on anything else.

Mist works great at higher power, but honestly, the nomad just doesn’t have a lot of power to be causing heat issues. A few drops of alcohol works great on metals.

I was idly pondering this today.

Agree with @mikep that a full misting system seems like overkill as the ability to build up heat is pretty hard with at most 50W of power and other than alcohol that evaporates I kinda hate the idea of my Nomad being covered in residue of one type or another.

In my mind a mist cooling/lubricant system probably doesn’t necessarily pair well with a vacuum dust system (which in my mind is really a wood/plastics sort of thing - not what one wants for dealing with material which one would use a mister to help cutting. Somebody jump in and correct me if I am totally in error)

If one did actually build one it probably needs to be a seperate air filtration system or perhaps staged filtration? Ultimately one would have to figure out what will happen with the lubricant buildup from the mist inside the system. Was thinking one would use an oil mist filter inline or something like that instead of getting a HEPA filter all covered in… whatever lubricant. Really not made for that. Also have to look at what the vacuum system will take - most vacuum/dust systems may not be too happy to have lube residue building up in them.

It’s an interesting idea though…

Id like to have an air blast setup with locline and a long nozzle to get up close to the endmill. Blast all the chips out and byproduct slight cooling effect.

Since air blast would fight with a dust boot I’d go with a ‘dust sweep’ approach and have a large narrow portion of the floor cutout for vacuum hood. Get as much of the chips out of there as possible - keep it clean and visible. Vacuum hood to dust deputy then to either a premium shop vac with high rated duty cycle or a basic dust collector equipped with HEPA filter.

1 Like

Great minds think alike. That Nomad floor just builds up the swarf and air just blows it about. I was thinking of a stucture to sit the Nomad on with a chip tray underneath and a slot along the left side to gather the blown chips as well as the ones that fall through the table slots. At a minimum it saves me from tilting up the Nomad and vacuuming under. But adding a vacuum to the slot might be the better ticket for gathering the chips up top being blown sideways.

1 Like

Yeah, I like the idea of having it plumbed for vacuum to keep from spillage.
So you could either have the vac triggered with an IOT relay and m8 command for example or you could do it manually periodically to keep swarf down (sayfor low noise or low duty cycle setups)

A chip tray or a small structure (down draft box) that the Nomad sits on and use the table slots would work. I like the idea of a cutout in the floor along the side wall or the sidewall itself. That way you can brush chips towards it and away from the table components. If the air nozzle is on opposing side it’s possible it would feed the chips towards this cutout as well. Just a thought anyhow, $0.02

1 Like

This the opposite of what I’ve read here:

I’m happy to have everyone opinions thought, so I can start making experiment once my Nomad is there and see what works best for me.

I’d like to both reduce noise and lubrication for faster speed when milling Al, even on the nomad, I think micro-dropping would be helping, probably be better than a vortex tube aswell, but then I’d need to vacuum every so often manually the mess.

@PhilG True I’d like to avoid having the Nomad full of oily residue aswell, this is where micro-dropping is prolly helping, and it can be made very cheaply. The amount is so low that I don’t think it would even stick that much in the hose of a festool or so alike.

I would walk before before running with your new Nomad - I would say a vast majority of forum folks (myself included) who mill a fair amount of aluminum do so dry or at most with some air with absolutely no problems - lubricant is far from required. Give it a spin first before sliming your new desktop CNC. If in time you want to optimize tool life or cutting speed then by all means give it a go and make sure to share the results!

I suspect that context of ‘gallons of WD-40’ post is not related to the Nomad, but some machining shop in general.

Happy machining!


Lubrication helps. Don’t get me wrong.
However, even on full scale CNC machines the priority is chip evacuation. You don’t want to recut the chips or bind up/stall the endmill. Lubricity and keeping the tool cool is a great benefit of coolant, but it’s not a necessity. Guys cut aluminum dry no problem with the right setup and it’s much more manageable from a clean up perspective (which is great on a machine such as the Nomad)

I would spend the time and effort running it dry to keep everything clean. That way I would not have additional steps to include between cycle times. Food for thought.

Check out this article about simply adding a sharpie marker to aluminum helps with cutting;


I am also agains using WD-40 or any other oil although those performs really well.( I have tried rapeseed oil as well)

I use this setup in my S3 for a year now:

Air is mostly enough but a bit of alcohol helps sometimes. It is really easy to spray more alcohol than enough that actually prevents chip evacuation. Once a month I wish I would have two nozzles instead of one but other than that the setup works flawlessly.

Flying chips can be an issue but the larger chips you make the less those stay in air. :slight_smile:

I was also thinking recently to make something -other than a dust shoe- that collets chips and allows me using air blast and vacuum at the same time. Probably a mini down draft attachment of some sort around my rails…

1 Like

Maybe so, just passing along some experience. You can probably save yourself a lot of unnecessary effort if you try what you’ve got, see how it goes, then make changes. We’re all here to help when you have problems, so don’t be afraid to ask :slight_smile:

Great, now I am really tempted to pickup this lil California Air Tool compressor and set it up with a needle valve-locline-long 0.06" nozzle up close and personal to the business end. It’s listed as 56 decibel and low amp draw means I can plumb it into my accessory IOT relay (vac is currently connected for M8/M9 triggers). Someone talk me out of it…

1 Like

Definitely come to the wrong place to be talked out. I was thinking something smaller/cheaper like a airbrush compressor or an aquarium pump given the pressure requirements arent that high but that looks like a decent option. My compressor of that size is absolutely deafening so if this really is as quiet as it says…

1 Like

There are much quieter air compressor than 56db. The quietest one I’ve found is 30db for 7 bars at 17l/min, but as you said, aquarium pump are certainly enough, many have shared their setup using one.

1 Like

Bunch of enablers…haha.

CAT are very quiet units and have a great reputation from what I’ve seen. We have a 60 gallon with built in dryer at work and it hums away quietly in the warehouse.

I am very much so interested in any other options but I have some reservations.
Continuous run use (duty cycle), tank size (if applicable), and psi/cfm available.
I would rather have more pressure available and not being utilized than maxing out some lil compressor/pump.

Also, I have looked into aquarium pumps, but they seem to have fairly weak output and are intended to be run with water (slows down the pump speed to the designed rpm and adds lubrication in some instances). Perhaps I am missing some variable to include in my searches for these however. I’ll look into this again.

I have a few airbrushes and a little airbrush compressor. They’ll run pretty much continuously, really quiet, and if you really focus the output I’d bet they’d work great on a little machine like the Nomad. Just my $0.02


1 Like

I tired an airbrush pump with wd40.

I could not get it to pump enough air through a jet to pull the wd40 through

1 Like

I was more thinking a small directed air stream to cool and clear chips . I’ve never tried to shoot wd40 through one my airbrushes, just thinned acrylic paints. Wonder if wd40 without the propellant would gum up in the little Venturi over time?


You could try setting up a micro-lubrication system using a syringe full of oil, linked to a small diameter tubing and connected to the nozzle end, the syringe output should be facing down but not too much to avoid big drop, with that system you won’t need to pull the lubricant since it’ll drain down by itself little by little and mix with the air.

You won’t consume a lot with that setup depending on your choosen flowrate.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.