CNC Machining with DIY 3 axis mill

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Today I had my first success CNC machining based on an STL file. I used Meshcam to generate the tool path and Mach3 to control my home-made 3 axis milling machine. The first 3D mesh that I printed was the same version of my face that I previously 3D printed. As usual, none of my family members lets me scan them, so I am usually working with my own face. Here is the final result from today. This took about 3.5 hours to machine. There was one tool change from a 0.125″ bit (for roughing) to a 0.100″ bit (for finishing).

Here is a Blender rendering of the STL file that I used to perform the CNC machining.

Blender Render

I added a large counterweight to the Z axis to balance out the lever arm of the heavy spindle. This really worked better than I expected. Since the mill uses Nema 23 motors, it has no problem lifting the spindle plus counter weight, which I think together weighs about 16 pounds. The machine moved without any problem at all. I also adjusted the acceleration in Mach3 so that no abrupt movements caused the heavy spindle and counterweight to jiggle around at all. Here is a picture of the mill. You can see the large, brass counterweight in the background.

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Here are some videos of the machine in action. Most are narrated.

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2 responses to “CNC Machining with DIY 3 axis mill

  1. Hi, I’m building a multi-axis CNC simulator for Okuma Milling machine. At this stage, it works for 3-axis configuration. I’d be interested to experiment with your sample STL of the face model. Could you please email me a copy of the STL at ahmed.kaiser85 [AT] yahoo [DOT] com?

    Thanks in advance.

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