In my limited experience with fixture wax, I’ve learned two things:
- I really enjoy cutting with the wax.
- I really despise setting up to cut with the wax.
Heating everything to ~200f is just an annoying pain. Of course I’ve only been using an 18v battery powered heat gun…so a lot of this annoyance is just me using the wrong tool for the job.
Still, if something is worth doing, it’s worth over doing. So the plan is to chuck a few heater cartridges (like those found in 3D printer hotends) in a nice big piece of mic6 and make a nice little interface to control the whole thing.
Couple of requirements:
- Make sure it is easy to connect/disconnect. I don’t really want to cut through a live wire running a few hundred watts.
- Cheap and easy. The logic should run happily off of a little micro controller.
- Reliable. My biggest concern here is power. Luckily I’ve got a very nice 500 watt power supply from a long dead computer laying around. Should be able to break out all of the necessary voltages for both the heaters and the logic very easily.
- Self contained. I just want to plug the thing into power and hit a button or two. Hell, I might just buy an off the shelf pod temp controller and make a nice little box for it.
I might think about insulating the jig from the nomad table, just to keep from bleeding excess heat and causing a bunch of small heat related movements. We’ll see if it’s worth the effort.
Anyway, that’s all. Just in the idea stage but feel free to chime in you like
Can you share a practical application that illustrates how you are using the wax?
I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where the wax needs to be heated on the machine.
The only times I’ve used wax it was either molded into blocks using a conventional oven or hot plate.
Or if being used to fill delicate features on a part, melted outside the machine & poured or painted on the part.
This wax is used for work holding, so one puts some shavings on the machine — applies heat (usually a heat gun), if need be spreads w/ a spatula, then sticks the part in place — so long as feeds and speeds are right and the part doesn’t heat up, it stays in place.
That’s what I was thinking, like this guy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18BvQOV9cV8
But that is easily melted off the machine, then just brushed or poured.
I can imagine heating the job/fixture allows better penetration than painting onto a cold job/table.
If you are doing this type of work all the time a heated fixture plate seems practical. Although you do have to let it cool before cutting.
Yeah the cooling might be a bit annoying, time will tell how annoying.
It could be cool to build in some little cooling fans and cut some fins in the fixture. Turn it into a crappy heat sink
My first idea was to use a peltier and just reverse the polarity when I wanted to cool it but that would likely be problematic for a host of reasons
So I’ll just have to leverage one of the most hard to come by resources for the cooling: Patience
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