CNC Routers for FRC Robotics


#361

So all of my parts came in, thanks Robochair. We are planning to mount the mister, needle valve and tee near the spindle, and then run the tubes through the energy chain back to a reservoir under machine. I know there are many ways to probably do this, but do you see any trouble with what I am describing?


#362

Hello all,

I recently got a budget approved which might allow for purchase of an Omio X8 USB.

Before I decide, I would like some help from folks on a few items as I have 0 experience with CNC routers or operating cnc equipment in general.

  1. what software will I need (aside from a CAD package, we use OnShape). I would prefer to get free software if possible. Or, something very easy to pick up.

  2. what kinda of accessories will I need to machine plastics, and very rarely 1/8-1/4" aluminum 2d parts? This doesn’t include custom gearbox plates, but mostly gussets, intake plates, etc.

2a) this includes collet and cutting tool suggestions

  1. which spindle do I need? I am assuming a water cooled spindle would require purchasing more auxiliary equipment. Is the air cooled spindle better for me?

  2. I’m assuming I will not really need work holding as I’m planning to only run 2D parts. Do you suggest anything else that might be handy?

If this is better answered via PM please let me know. I am a complete newcomer to this stuff.


#363

For background, 2220 acquired an Omio late August/early September and have been learning how to use it for the last few months. We’ve still got a long ways to go but we’ve done a bit of stuff on it and are starting to get comfortable.

We use Fusion360 for CAM. It is easy to export STEP files from Onshape and then do the CAM in Fusion, and Fusion has a nice simulation function that helps you understand the order of what it will do. Other than that, Omio gives you a sketchy Mach3 copy that is perfectly functional.

I would pretty much stick to 4mm Huhao endmills off AliExpress. We bought 4x4x12 single flute endmills, basically theseones. Dirt cheap, and fully capable of hogging through aluminum. Get the 4mm collet from Omio and you’re golden.

You may also want to get short machining-length drill bits in the sizes you want and associated collets. If you don’t have a shop vac or compressor you’ll probably want to be running air either either blowing or sucking the chips away. Both can be done successfully.

You probably don’t need a coolant setup.

Water cooled pretty much just requires a Home Depot bucket full of water and a few drops of something to kill anything living. Set it up, seal the bucket, and you can forget about it for a few months. Remember to check it periodically. The ship pretty much everything other than the bucket and water (pump, tubes, et cetera).

I’d probably cut an MDF board to size, and then largely use screws/tape/glue/whatever to hold to that. If you might do tubes, I’d probably recommend some small vices like are mentioned earlier in this thread.


#364

@RoboChair
Thanks for the information, this was very helpful!

Could you contact me to discuss feeds and speeds for cutting aluminum 2x1 tubing from Vexpro, or please post a link to your video series. We were not able to find the video series.

Thanks!


#365

That’s how I set ours up.


#366
  1. what software will I need (aside from a CAD package, we use OnShape). I would prefer to get free software if possible. Or, something very easy to pick up.

  2. what kinda of accessories will I need to machine plastics, and very rarely 1/8-1/4" aluminum 2d parts? This doesn’t include custom gearbox plates, but mostly gussets, intake plates, etc.

2a) this includes collet and cutting tool suggestions

  1. which spindle do I need? I am assuming a water cooled spindle would require purchasing more auxiliary equipment. Is the air cooled spindle better for me?

  2. I’m assuming I will not really need work holding as I’m planning to only run 2D parts. Do you suggest anything else that might be handy?

Hi Akash!

We recently obtained an OMIO X6 (same as X8 but a little smaller) and also had/have little experience with CNC. So far we are delighted with the purchase.

We are using Solidworks for CAD, HSMworks for the CAM (gcode maker) and software called MACH 3 drives the machine - it comes with the OMIO (as long as you select the USB variant). All software has been free (or included with the OMIO)

After ordering it online with a credit card the box(es) appeared in my driveway in about 8 days.

It took only about a 1/2 hour to set up following a video - very simple.

We have cut some sample gearbox plates etc out of .125" to .0625" aluminum (6061) and a couple tries at plastic - easier.

We clamp a MDF wasteboard on the surface and then just use screws to hold the workpiece to the board.

We got the water cooled spindle - it comes with pump etc you just need to get a bucket and some distilled water and antifreexe.

The machine came with a couple collets and bits - so far we are mostly using 4 mm single flute bits from aliexpress - but getting some through OMIO with the initial purchase may be a good idea.

If you would like you can come down to our shop and check it out. Actually our most experienced user is a student - but we are all learning together.
There was a little learning to set up the calibration of the x, y and z axes but between this thread and some youtube videos was pretty straightforward.

Good luck and again PM me if you would like to come down sometime and check it out.

.


#367

Not robochair, but on our VR-5050 we run:

Slotting: I typically push 35-40ipm at 21k rpm 1/8 doc (all the way through a thickwall tube) with a 3/16 single flute upcut solid carbide endmill. Here’s a short vid in action.

Pocket: I can do 65ipm at 21k rpm with a 1/16doc with the same 3/16 endmill. Here’s a short vid. (In the vid the endmill is a bit dull so it’s not cutting as clean as it usually does… oops).


#368

Thanks! PM sent :slight_smile:


#369

Here is our entire tool library we use for our VeloxCNC and Omio.


#370

This is dope. Thanks a ton!


#371

So, I ran across this CNC Router from CNC Parts Online when another team had posted it to their facebook page. Anyone use this one yet? Looks to be a good competitor to the Velox CNC from what I can tell. Or am I missing something?

https://www.cncpartsonline.com/product/orion/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbiVnNmJvLQ


#372

Looking at the specs, the base model is pretty lacking. 1018 square rails are very poor, though they offer better options as upgrades. Build volume is large, surprisingly so, but the lead screws, guide rails, and spindle are quite lacking.

I’d recommend looking at a ShopSabre 23. Cutting area is 30"x40" compared to the Orion’s 32"x60", but everything else is a definite upgrade. Ball screws, linear guides, a better spindle, and a trusted brand. The Orion is a DIY kit with 0(!) reviews. And they cost pretty much the same price. The Orion might be good as a frame kit to build on top of, but as a full CNC router, it’s severely lacking for that $7500 price tag.


#373

Why are you slotting deeper than you are pocketing? I always learned (from experience and the internet) that it is generally a good practice to make deep cuts with low radial engagement whenever possible and only use a shallow cuts if you are slotting.


#374

Having a higher DOC with a lower IPM improves tool life over a lower DOC and higher IPM - IE: Slotting at 70ipm with a 0.08" DOC vs Slotting at 30ipm with a 0.16" DOC. Also, the pocketing show is a half pocket so my final depth is actually 1/16", if I were pocketing something thicker I would most likely be running a 0.1 to 1/8" DOC.


#375

Thanks for pointing that out! That does look like a heck of a machine. I know you had mentioned that brand earlier in the thread, but it was a huge machine. So I wrongly assumed that’s all they build. The RC4 looks like a good one too.


#376

Hello Everyone,

CHAOS 131 received an allocation from a grant that allows us to purchase some equipment. On our wish-list is a CNC Router. Because this will be purchased through the School’s purchasing department in concert with the grant, we need the vendor to be able to accept a PO. That rules out the Omio and similar international machines.

Here are some of the other requirements we need to work with:

  1. 30 Inches of work area in the long axis but no excessive margin due to limited classroom space
  2. Ability to machine Aluminum & Poly-carbonate
  3. Operate on 110v power.
  4. Purchase & Delivery price is under 7k

We have been looking at the following companies and Machines:

-https://www.stepcraft.us/q
Options include the 1000W MM-1000 spindle with ATC

-https://www.cncstepusa.com/high-z-standard
Options include the lubrication and cooling kit, stabilization kit and tool length sensor, Suhner router spindle (500W when on 110v)
May splurge for the High-Z Turbo model
Unlikely to be capable of processing a PO

-https://www.axiomprecision.com/i2r/i2r-series.html?___SID=U
Options include I2R-6

What are your recommendations? Have you used any of these systems before? Is there another system we should be looking into?


#377

The Stepcraft looks interesting, but it looks like it uses a janky round bearing system for linear movement. I would look for videos of it cutting aluminum and calculating the MRR (material removal rate) before buying.

The CNC Step has arguably even worse performance with the unsupported round rails for movement. I’ve seen videos of this router before, but never of it taking heavy cuts. It looks like a jewelry/engraving machine more than a FRC production one.

The Axiom looks pretty solid. Ballscrews and linear guides on all three axes and a proper spindle are good signs. Again, find videos of it cutting aluminum to make a final judgement. Note that this is definitely a reseller for a Chinese company, so their support may not be the best. Also, 24x36 work area isn’t enough to make a bellypan on, which is typically the largest thing people make on their routers.

People have also had good luck with Velox, and they seem to be continually improving their machines with better motion components. They might be able to get you to 7k if you ask.


#378

I was looking at the Axiom a couple months back, and my biggest hang-up is that the i2R line wouldn’t be shipping until late December. That means there aren’t existing reviews of its performance out there, and that it would be hard to get used to prior to the start of build season.


#379

Looks like the Chinese supplier has videos up:


If you look up i2R they pop up.


#380

We have a Velox VR-5050 on order with the 4.5HP spindle. Would like to spend our $100 Inventables voucher prudently on things that could be used with the VR-5050. Anyone have a suggestion list on how to spend the Inventables $100 on stuff for new users of a VR-5050?

What about some of these?