I am preparing a proposal to build one of these this Winter as a potential source of credit/my school may simply pay for it if I determine ways to improve it and determine what it can be used for.
At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I wanted to ask a few questions about capabilities.
Can Dremels be easily outfitted to have end mills placed in them? If so, I would like to hear from anyone who has experience cutting steel or harder aluminums on this device, or anyone who has and CMM experience and can talk about the possible tolerances this machine is capable of.
I’m an interested newbie and look forward to hearing from those of you who are more experienced.
CMM is a really interesting possibility, as is milling harder materials.
Taylor and I have been mostly focused on getting the DIYLILCNC built and putting together the documentation so that others can build it; our main build is also currently on display in a design exhibition, so we don’t get much access to it until January.
All this means that we haven’t had a ton of opportunities to really test the limits of what we can mill and what the tolerances are.
The end mill possibilities are pretty good, although the dremel is not the ideal tool for harder materials (There’s some more info about this in the conclusions section of the instructions). We were able to get a pretty good range of end mills from McMaster-Carr.
Let us know if you do end up building, we’d love to see pictures!
Cool, also look into the tool maker rapid kut if you are looking for low end carbide end mills. You will pay 4 dollars a piece for them at your local tool supply shop instead of the 16.50 you’re probably looking at on McMaster and in my experience, only seasoned operators wear out bits properly, more often than not it will either not be worn down, or you will simply snap the bit.
Here’s another question for you Chris: Do you have any idea what the max travel rate is? By that I mean the maximum linear travel in a minute by the gantry.