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Idea for layer with XY rollers to lift away from worksurface, cutting aluminum

#1

So since I’ve gotten into the idea of the Maslow I’ve felt like one of the largest limitation is that the cutting tool has to slide across the surface of the material, which limits mounting options and makes things a bit trickier. One solution I thought of was to set up the motors and router into a separate layer with cross-members that roll along the X and Y axes. This would mean a frame with a sort of clam shell design and lifters.

I’ll draft up this idea soon, I just wanted to see what feedback I could get on it.

Another potential advantage of this could be that with rigid enough cross-members it may be possible to mount a waterjet head or plasma cutter. My company mainly works with metal, so I want to find a way to maximize the potential of this machine towards that goal.

With that said, has anyone experimented with cutting aluminum? I would think with an added coolant line the Maslow should be able to cut soft metal.

Thanks!

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#2

So since I’ve gotten into the idea of the Maslow I’ve felt like one of the
largest limitation is that the cutting tool has to slide across the surface of
the material, which limits mounting options and makes things a bit trickier.
One solution I thought of was to set up the motors and router into a separate
layer with cross-members that roll along the X and Y axes. This would mean a
frame with a sort of clam shell design and lifters.

I’ll draft up this idea soon, I just wanted to see what feedback I could get on it.

I don’t understand what you are proposing here. diagram very much needed

people have talked about using rails before, and that could be made to work, but
would no longer be a maslow.

With that said, has anyone experimented with cutting aluminum? I would think
with an added coolant line the Maslow should be able to cut soft metal.

Yes, people have used the maslow to cut aluminum sheet (it was in one of the
bi-weekly newsletters)

David Lang

#3

You can’t cut 3000 alloy aluminum because it is too soft and will clog the router too easily causing issues. Even with a single flute router.Of course if you really want to cut it, you can probably use a big 6mm bit and get it done?

All diamond plate and embossed aluminum (like on refrigerators/freezers) is 3000 alloy.

5052 alloy cuts much better and
is used for most signs

the best machineable alloy is 6061 which is pretty rare. Unless you buy it directly from an aluminum supply house you wont’ see 6061 sheet metal too often, mainly because it can’t be bent as easily, tends to crack. And it is hard to find less than 1/4" thick as well.

Any painted aluminum sheet metal is most lijkely 5052.
If it is bare metal aluminum you can bend it to see if it is 3000 or 5000 series, the 3000 is about twice as easy TO BEND BY HAND.

thickest I have cut it .080". I wouldnt’ try anything thicker.
I use 4mm bits.
6mm is too fat and 3mm is too skinny IMHO
good luck.

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#4


Here’s a quick sketch I made. The idea is to leave the rails unpowered on rollers and to simply have them restrict Z movement of the tool so that the sled doesn’t have to travel on the surface of the media. The motors would attach to the top the same as a normal Maslow, but that whole layer would be able to pivot up with lifters or something.

Awesome, I’ll look that up. Also thank you Aluminumwelder, that’s very useful information.

Any thoughts on a coolant line?

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#5

I’ve had this discussion with @dlang before. There is concern is that at the sides, the sled will “rack” due to angle of the forces and it won’t be reliable. @dlang, I’m sure, will say that if you go through this process, you might as well consider switching to a COREXY system and eliminate calibration issues.

Regardless of all of that, I’m working on my new frame design that I intend to also use as a manual panel saw. Part of it will involve building something like what you show… and I might just hook up the chains to it to test out how much racking actually happens.

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#6

Back when drafting involved natural organic components my dad’s drafting station had an automatically parallel device (I think the paral-liner is similar) that used twine to make the ends track. Perhaps the same type of mechanism would work here

#7

I have wondered about using some ball transfers on outriggers.

put half a dozen of
https://www.globalindustrial.com/p/material-handling/conveyors/ball-transfer/1-inch-carbon-steel-main-ball-with-two-hole-flange-carbon-steel-housing-2-inch-w?presentType=7&trackCatKey=1624&trackPrimKey=0&trackType=3&webCatKey=129

on something that the normal sled could ride on. Probably pretty heavy, though.

#8

what happens when these ball wheels hit a hole that you have cut in the
workpiece

#9

If you are going to have rails, and something to keep the rails parallel,
there’s no reason to have the chains going at angles (with all the complex math
that is involved with doing this), just put the motors in the corners to power
the things you have there to keep the rails parallel and you have a COREXY
machine (http://corexy.com/theory.html) much simpler, widely supported by
existing software (LinuxCNC or grbl).

It would be a better machine, but a fair bit more expensive.

David Lang

#10

See, I was right! :grinning:

2 Likes
#11

I held off, because you covered the ground I normally do when this topic comes
up, but since there were more posts adding additional complication, I figured
I’d post the usual link :slight_smile:

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#12

The wheels aren’t on the workpiece, they are riding on the backerboard. The problem would arise if you had divots in the backerboard, that is, you had used it previously to cut “normal” projects. You would want a fresh unblemished surface for the wheels to roll on. In a pinch, I would slip in a piece of masonite on top of the cut-up backerboard, giving a smooth surface and not changing the chain angle much.

The point of the ball transfers is that they are omni-directional, pretty low friction, and as long as the outriggers can be about 2x the width of piece being flattened, they allow the sled to twist pretty much just as if it were resting on the workpiece, per usual.

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#13

how big is the workpiece you are using? trying to have something on the backer
but off the workpiece means you aren’t going to be using a 4x8 ft workpiece

#14

Agreed. But, it would give you more or less a 2 foot by 8 foot work area. Which might be large enough for many water jet or plasma projects. And probably big enough for most flattening projects. Frankly plasma scares the hell out of me, Kind of reminds me of http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/category/things-i-wont-work-with

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#15

This is outstanding news for me! 6061 T6 sheet is essentially the bulk of material called for in the plans for my ultracruiser. Maybe if I let them use my plane as a demo for what the Maslow can do, I can get a discount! evil maniacal laugh :smiley:

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