CNC Routers for FRC Robotics


Anyone with a Velox 5050 with the 220V 3 Phase Tekno spindle want to post pictures of their VFD wiring?

Velox totally shipped a lemon with our machine. We can only run at 0 RPM or 18000 RPM, nothing in between. We get floating spindle speed values in Mach 3. It appears that ours has no signal bus wiring actually going from the controller to the VFD, it all just goes in and immediately back out to the spindle. Maybe we’re misunderstanding this thing, but that’s our running theory.

3 new photos by Harrison Drake

I’m highly suspecting that Velox quickly converted our machine from a 220V router to a 220V 3-phase spindle and crated it. No way this thing got the testing that they claim to do.

On top of all that, they shipped us an incorrect (and broken) dust hood and didn’t give us our VCarve seat. We also had to re-dress some of the home position switches because the cabling was wrapped AROUND the ball screws. Pretty darn sketchy…

Have to say I’m currently extremely disappointed in our purchase.


That’s the style we use. Not sure why it’s listed as DIY. It’s a product. You can actually adjust the spring preload with the set screws in the corner.

There are quite a number of pressure foot designs commercially that use pneumatics for actuation and adjustable pressure. I wouldn’t say it’s really necessary but it’s cool none the less.


That is disappointing to hear.
EDIT: It does seem like Velox want to help however. I’ve always had great support when I’ve called them.


We adjust our spindle speed by manually selecting the correct frequency on the VFD, per the directions from Velox.

300 HZ = 18000RPM
225 HZ = 13500RPM
150 HZ = 9000RPM
75 HZ = 4500 RPM

and so on.


Hi Harrison

This is Ron LIboon with VELOX CNC.

I got your email 9pm, read it at 11pm, and replied back at 11:15pm.

I tried calling you today but got a voice mail. Please feel free to reach out to us so that we can provide your team with immediate attention. Your satisfaction is important to me and the VELOX CNC Team!

The wiring does look standard to me. The wires route back to the E-top. There is a signal to the VFD for on/off only. We do not have RPM control that is controlled by the Mach 3 software. You can change the RPM at the VFD in about 10 seconds. The VFD control can be remote if you use a Cat5 wire.

The speed control hardware that VELOX tested in the past was not linear and we did not add it for that reason. We are currently researching better PWM hardware.

We do a test cut on machines before they go out as a QC process. This would mean we would have to turn on and use the spindle.

I am sorry that the hood has issues. We are shipping out a new dust hood for you right away!

We are a growing company in space size and in gross sales. This growth comes with having to train within and like FRC teams are learning with growth.

We strive to be better and our goal is to have satisfied customers. Please do not hesitates to call 714-639-3639 x1000 and ask for me personally to help with any matter that you have.

Ron Liboon
Founder/ CEO


(I’ve replied to your email in greater detail.)

This does seem like something that I think should be highlighted in this thread. Most FRC customers of yours are buying these machines for teaching students in school environments. Modifying spindle speed manually on the VFD’s PLC is definitely not a normal operating system for most machine tools. Manual frequency adjustment just screams ‘work-around’ to me.

I’m highly interested in any solutions that Velox develops to address this shortcoming.



But we have had our Velox 50X50 with HSD Spindle for 5 years now and we could not be happier. Manually entering the speed into the VFD vs entering into the CAM program is not an issue for our team.

It is simply a matter of familiarizing ourselves with the machine.


What kind of tolerances are you guys holding when you make custom gearboxes?

Can a Shopbot PRSalpha get the job done? Last season we tried to make a single custom reduction with 1/4" aluminum for the first time. The parts came out with terrible finish and the holes were definitely not concentric.

I’m hoping to do some experimentation with feeds, speeds, and finishing passes, but it would be helpful to know how accurate than parts really heed to be.


I’ve heard of people getting a Shopbot to work. I don’t always hit 0.001" absolute accuracy, but I can definitely get within +/-0.001" repeatability or better with the routers I’ve used. I usually tune the tool diameter to make a 1.125" hole exactly 1.125". Smaller holes sometimes end up slightly oversized (0.875" hole ends up 0.876") but for the most part the method works well.
In your case, the best method is usually to do an adaptive clearing strategy before finishing up with a 0.01" stepover finishing pass. Using single-flute carbide endmills is a must.


It looks like we will use a 4mm single flute carbide endmill as our go to tool for CNC routing aluminum. I have done our testing with these from West Coast Products, but I purchased the last of their stock. Can you recommend alternative supplies that you have experience with?


I’ve had good luck with Huhao 4mm endmills from Aliexpress (the single-flute version). I treat them as throwaways every sheet or so. Only $1.50 each so it’s cheap to replace.


Hi. New here. Have read posting guidelines. Please advise me if I am making any mistakes.
I am Evaluating CNC Router options for our team. Have read this entire thread, which has been very useful, and searched, and have several questions.
I will start with one for now.

  1. Concerning Velox options. Porter Cable Router versus Italian Spindle. My understanding is that Italian Spindle is 220v (vs 120 for Porter Cable), is brushless, quieter, more precise, possibly more powerful, and enables ER25mm collets. However, it is significantly more expensive. Trying to figure out how to determine whether it is really worth spending the extra money. Would really appreciate knowing if I have something wrong or am missing anything significant, and any advice anyone might offer that could help in this decision. Thanks in advance.


This thread is getting pretty long so feel free to back link me if I missed this…

Has anyone used corner radius endmills for contouring, or helical/plunges? Is there any noticeable difference in finish or tool life when used on a router?

Thinking of something like this that I just looked up on McMaster:

My experience is mostly on VMCs where tooling with a radius can make a huge difference in both life and finish, especially ramping of any kind. I’m wondering if that comes into play for contouring 2D parts since there is obviously a ramp involved. I’m considering just getting one or two of these and experimenting on our VR5050.


I can’t comment on radiused tooling for contouring.

I do use helical plunges/helical boring all the time on my router. It seems to cut more smoothly and evacuate chips more effectively than a straight plunge. 10/10 would plunge again.


The single flute endmills do chip pretty easily if abused, but AFAIK there’s no vendor for corner radius single flute endmills. You just need to be careful with whatever process you use to set Z0.


Out team recently purchased a Velox 5050. I am going to add a mister…our test parts cut much nicer with some fluid, I wonder what suggestions people have for a mister. Thanks


Okay, so I think I finally have the mister figured out.

You need the following.

A misting unit $10-30
A cheap fuel pump $10-25
And a precision needle valve ~$25

Use WD-40 pumped by the fuel pump to a T-joint right at the needle valve with a return line to your WD-40 container. The needle valve feeds oil into the mister at a very slow controlable rate while your compressor supplies it with enough air to clear chips and atomize the oil. You want to start seeing an oil sheen start to build only after 3-5 seconds of dwelling in one spot. If you can see oil immediately you are using vastly too much oil.


Why the pump and the needle valve? Does the mister unit not draw the fluid well enough, does the pump and needle valve make it work more like the expensive (fogbuster) units?


With just the mister the venturi effect is highly sensitive to relative height of the source container, air flow, and the little speed controller valve they come with are hell to tune down enough.

The needle valve give you actual fine flow control.

The pump gives you reliable flow independent of the venturi effect.


4096 will eventually replace our venturi mister with a pump. We battled fluid issues all spring and finally settled on Kool Mist (available from McMaster) which is diluted with water. We replaced the “valve” that came with the mister with one from McMaster and our fluid problems have not been almost completely resolved. The valve adjustment knob has a set screw to lock it in position. (If the machine isn’t used for a few weeks, the set screw on the valve has to be loosened and the flow increased to get the fluid started up) we also plan on moving the fluid to the gantry before build season and replace the manual shut off valve with a Mach 3 controlled valve.

In the picture below, the nozzle on the left is fluid and the one on the right is air. The one pointing up is also air but it is plugged off and not being used. The fluid nozzle will also move to the right so it won’t hit the vises while running parts on the table.

New photo by Robert Smith