Watercooling the SO3

Hey guys and girls.

Im a longtime SO3 owner and I have been looking at this machine in regards on how to improve it. I work for EKWB which provides cooling equipment for PC cooling so it was natural for me to look at this solution. We are looking to produce a waterblock for the control board which will be part of a full loop including the spindle. This will consist of a block,pump and radiator/fan combo with all the fittings and tube required.
We are also looking at water jackets for the steppers.
What this post is for is to judge whether this is something that SO users would desire? We would like to develop for the SO3 and other machines but only if the community wants it!

Feedback would be greatly appreciated!

So you want to cool down the PCB and stepper motors? I don’t think mine get hot enough to warrant cooling so I’m not sure it’s an issue.

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Similar comment here, I think this would only be relevant for people that heavily modded their Shapeoko (including beefier motors/controllers running high amps), but they would probably already have setup a cooling solution of their own ? Water-cooled spindles also come with their associated tubes etc…

On a stock shapeoko, people do very long cuts (many hours) and I’ve never heard anyone reporting a failure due to thermal issue. I had this concern myself initially, I added a small thermal sink on each of the controller, but I think even that was overkill, let alone water cooling.

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I’ve ran 10+ hour cuts in the middle Calif. and my steppers and electronics enclosure has never gotten past mildly warm. For my spindle I have a 3 fan computer radiator and I’m running about 5 GPH of 2:1 water/coolant mixture. I have never needed to turn the radiator cooling fans on even at 100 deg. outside temps. My unit is in a poorly insulated garage. So I’m guessing it would be a very niche market that needed that kind of cooling power.


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