Hardcore Aluminum milling on an S3

this is seriously impressive @Vince.Fab.

would you care to share your endmills/feeds & speeds? or sharing a file for something simple like a 2" cube with 1/2" radius on all edges? just so I/we can see how you’re setting it up and what your workflow is?

I have not had much luck doing 3d milling with aluminium, to be fair I probably haven’t spent as much time on it as other aspects on the machine. I’m quite comfortable with fusion but would love to see how you get results like this!

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Absolutely lovely final product. It is amazing what these machines can do.

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Still looks like you are using the factory Z. When will you start testing (side by side) with the Luke Z?

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@RichCournoyer this was done on the stock one yes, mainly because im still not super familiar with UGS yet and the big vise has superior workholding abilities until I have time to machine custom fixtures with probably mitee bite bits.

Here is my first HDZ test part, I screwed the top up due to operator error and just kept running because I wanted to see the finish consistency with a square endmill on a completely round part.

Truth is my OGS3 has never cut as good, but there are too many variables right now to give a solid opinion yet. The new table went together perfect and everything trammed out almost too easily.

One thing I really like about it is the added travel and being able to run your endmill all the way down to the table and up past the gantry in one shot, no repositioning the router in the Z clamp. On the other hand I’m not too excited about UGS and it hasn’t been the most stable for me (think I figured it out). Really wish Carbide would support different axis accelerations so we could use Motion.

Both machines are usually running different setups right now to keep the shop productive and on a good prototype pace.


Thanks! Ive messed up quite a few times so I figured out what didn’t work for me pretty fast.

That ring was super easy and simple. Using over rounding router bits can be tricky on aluminum but getting a perfect radius in one shot is worth it.

The bottom of the cutter is o.500, draw a square the exact size of your setup stock. Make a new straight 0.500 endmill in library, make cut outside toolpath. Set tool conservative on plunge, maybe 1, DOC 0.010 (will start cutting more and more as the radius edge comes down), total doc to top of cutter radius. Setup stock in vise with parallels, zero out, run with to the ear friendly rpm with wd40.

Adaptive I seem to be able to run about 50% higher than most but my s3 is modded. Basically im always around 65-75 ipm, 20-24000rpm, 0.05-0.03 opt load, 0.200-0.080 doc depending on tool size and type. That’s with high quality roughing endmills with chipbreakers, mostly dry with some chilled air blast superlight mist


Hi Vince

Whilst your trialing G code senders have you looked at CNCJS yet? It has a really clean and friendly interface which I really like. The only reason I don’t use it is it doesn’t support 3 axis probing, which I know you don’t use. It still has macros and a bunch of cool features.

I also have macros for tool changes courtesy of @neilferreri

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I’ve used UGS in the past, but have used bCNC since the SO3 came out. I haven’t gone back yet.


What are you using for CAM?

Thank you

Actually just got UGS to work, came by a tip you have someone else about handling the M6T102 code. Now both machines are running ugs no issues (yet).

I do have a carbide probe and really need to set aside time to connect and play with it!


I into downloading both cnc’s and bcnc but didn’t have the time to get them to actually work. This digital fabrication thing is new to me and its been tough finding a balance where I don’t spend all my time on the computer

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For CAM I use Fusion 360 and Carbide create sir

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Robots complete me


Details! Its what separates you from the rest

Oem plastic tray tabs, drawn and cut with carbide in 20 min start to finish


Cool. Very good designing, very good execution, and attention to details. That’s the right combination. :smiley:

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of stuff you’re making in (say) 12+ months, as you get the hang of things more too. Expecting big things. :slight_smile:

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Thank you Justin, I definitely have some big plans for more intensive parts in the future. And that reminds me that I haven’t posted my flanges here, you’ll like those.

Even in a year I can’t see the machine as being a limitation, hopefully we’ll have a billet drop frame and er20 collet system by then.

An XL would be really nice but I want one with double length Y axis to keep in tune with stepper strength.

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Yeah. I’m intending on buying another S3 in the future at some point, but it won’t be the standard size one again either. Probably go for an XXL, though I do have plans to add a smaller 5th axis capability as well. That’ll rely on a different Z axis setup. Probably need to chat with Luke about that. :slight_smile:

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These are intake manifold flanges designed specifically for my tapered velocity stacks. They feature a fully matched port to round transition and will be machined for O rings on the head sealing surface. These are still a little chunky but need to be thick to prevent warping during the welding process. The first one is Honda Civic Type R K20C and second is DSM 4g63 1G/2G with plans to finish the Evo 4g63 one soon. Last photo is a bolt on sealing coil adapter for Nissan SR20 for a local Drifter. These would have cost $500 from a CNC shop and my last outsourced order had a 2K minimum and stupid wait time.


Ive personally been hesitant to step away from the normal size because I can’t lose rigidity for aluminum work…but might be working on something. Adding axis are definitely cool but GRBL cannot support it so you would need to retrofit your machine with a completely new controller.

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Not yet, but I think it’s in the works!

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Yeah, the controller part has already been investigated and solution found. :smile:

Going with g2core (the official successor to TinyG) for software, running on an Arduino Due with a custom made stepper board. The custom made stepper board wasn’t actually all that hard, once I figured out the right approach. Doesn’t need anything super special, as it’s not a “production run”. Instead, just manually soldering the right bits onto perfboard works fine. Tested already. :slight_smile:

Fusion 360 already generates 3 axis stuff for g2core (using the “TinyG” post), and in my initial testing to add 4th and 5th axis capability to the output, that’s been pretty easy too. The post processor parts for Fusion 360 are mostly just a bunch of toggleable options in javascript (Fusion 360 posts are javascript), so copying the right bits from Tormach/HAAS/etc posts has worked fine.

I need to circle back and get the mechanical bits sorted next, to get a full end-to-end iteration working. But, some stuff has come up so it’s been delayed. :frowning: