I did try asking support first about this but they didn’t give me a definitive answer yes or no. So I’m hoping someone here can provide insight. I think the answer is No shapeoko will not work for me but it is worth an ask here before I have to spend on a larger machine.
First I am new to CNC and have not actually used one yet. Though I have done a fair bit a reading and watching videos. So I apologize if this question is obvious to some.
I am looking to make thermoforming tools out of mdf. The tools consist of pockets that have a max depth of 70mm (~2.8 inches). Is the Shapeoko capable of pocketing to this depth? Assume I am using an endmill that is 3.5" or 4" OAL and I am using just shy of 3" stock.
That would be pretty challenging.
The community has some notes on long endmills at: https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Endmills#Long_endmills
You could try working up a file and testing out cutting and workholding using Grblgru: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4710 and https://www.grblgru.com/
Is it an option to cut material half as thick and then stack?
Thanks for the tip. It is unfortunately starting to sound like the Shapeoko is not for me and I’ll have to get something with more z-axis movement.
I have some pretty thin walls, 2mm (see picture), so I am not sure glueing will work well but is it something I could try manually first.
Somebody else may chime in but the Shapeoko with the HDZ upgrade provides a stiffer X/Z axis and 151mm (just short of 6in) Z axis travel. This relatively inexpensive update may provide you with a very cost effective solution.
6 inches is perfect. I assume at that point the only limiting factor is the gantry height? What is the clearance between the bed and the gantry?
Folks get additional clearance on a Shapeoko by flipping the end plates around and bolting them to a torsion box. You can get further clearance by putting riser blocks under the end plates.
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