Hello! We are currently setting up our Omio X8 CNC Router. Primarily it will be in a building that has compressed air available, but we also want our setup to mobile in case we need/want to move it to the school for a demonstration or some other convenient temporary location. So we’d like to add a portable air compressor to our setup that can travel with the router. Does anyone have any recommendations of an air compressor that would be good for this? I’ve heard that the cheaper ones are not designed for running continuously and we need to consider the duty cycle of the compressor. We are new to CNC so any other considerations that we need to beware of would be helpful too. Thanks in advance.
I’ve used the 1HP California Air Tools models pretty effectively. They run about $200-$300. Their site is cheaper than Amazon if you’re okay with “blemishes”, and it has free shipping.
We use a California Air Tools compressor. The one linked is for a 120V outlet. The one we actually use is 240V, but we aren’t trying to use it in a portable fashion. This compressor has handled our router mister/air blast for four years and is still running fine. It’s rather quiet, although that doesn’t make any difference when our router table vacuum is running. The quietness is nice when using it for riveting, stapling, or any other air use besides the router.
A mister/air nozzle is a pretty low volume application so I doubt even a small compressor will run continuously. For temporary use, I wouldn’t worry about it - whatever cheap/small/portable compressor you have available ought to do the job. Duty cycle is a consideration for long term use, but even then you just shorten the compressor’s life if you overdo it. If you are also going to use the compressor for other things then buy based on those needs first.
Regarding moving the Omio, a couple of practical considerations. If you’re doing the typical 5-gallon-bucket-of-water for cooling, draining and moving that is going to be a bit of a pain (and I wouldn’t advise moving it full). Also if you’re going for precision and flattening your spoilboard, moving the machine could potentially mean you want to redo that in case there is any flex (though the Omio is pretty rigid, but we don’t move ours, either).
Finally, while router demos are a neat idea, the practical reality is that a running router is loud and throws chips everywhere. Consider whether showing a high quality video of the cutting action might be a better way to show off your capabilities.
I’m very happy with my Harbor Freight fortress compressor. They get great reviews too. Several different models)sizes available. If you are doing a continuous air blast during long machining runs, get the highest CFM you can.