CNC Router Pattern Making

Discussion in 'Pattern making' started by oldironfarmer, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver Banner Member

    Funny, that looks like the walnut it came from.
  2. Tobho Mott

    Tobho Mott Silver Banner Member

    Nice collaboration guys. Love seeing stuff like this come together!

  3. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver Banner Member

    I built an enclosure for the CNC router out of windows given to me for melting the frames. It has a 4" vacuum line and a 1/4" air line to blow chips off the work. Here's a little video of it cutting foam.

    After practicing on wood I made three foam patterns of a gear (that was backwards thinking, I should have started with foam but I was testing the dust collection of the enclosure)


    Sliced them off with the hot wire and realized I need a better fence for the hot wire. So I made a foam pattern. A wooden fence would have worked well.:rolleyes:


    Waxed and coated with thin sheetrock mud


    I'll get another much needed lesson in shrinkage when I pour these. :confused:
    Mach and _Jason like this.
  4. PatJ

    PatJ Silver Banner Member

    That looks like a pretty beefy router motor.
    I keep trying to say "hey, you forgot the draft"; it is so ingrained in my head.
    But a little fillet in the corners is always a good idea (round-nose bit maybe?).
  5. _Jason

    _Jason Copper

    That's one of the better homebrew CNC router setups I've seen. Looks great man! And I bet you don't get dust and chips scattered all over your shop, too?

    Did you use an actual router for the router motor? Or is that a unit deducated to CNC work?

    Also, is the machine vetted enough to push the button and walk away? Or do you have to babysit it while it runs?

    I find tech like this fascinating and want to build onw myself some day once I have a spot to do it.
  6. oldironfarmer

    oldironfarmer Silver Banner Member

    Actually it's a Zip tool, but it has plenty of power.

    I didn't forget the draft, I designed it with a tool change in Fusion360 which for some reason did not happen when I run it in Mach3. And the 2-1/2 degree bit I have is shorter. Result is the entire job was done with the 1/4" straight bit so the relief is extra deep around the rim and the hub. However part of the exercise is to learn so I'm going to cast what the program will make without a lot of messing around with modifying the model. Had the tool change taken place I would have had a small fillet.

    Thanks! I'm very pleased with the setup as it's developing.

    I bought the router setup from an eBay maker about ten years ago. I was trying to make patterns for custom soap molds and could not figure out what to do. Without a program like Fusion360 I was lost. Gave it to my grandson five or so years ago and he did nothing with it. When I got serious about foundry work I asked for it back and started learning Fusion360. I got it to running and successfully made a pattern for HT1. That spread chips all over the room and led to the need for the enclosure.

    Zip tool was supplied with the router when I bought it. I now have collets for several sizes and have collected several styles of bits.

    One excellent point of Mach3 is you can see the entire range of tool moves before you start. That helps verify there will be no surprises. And Fusion360 does an excellent job of creating gcode which controls tool loading with depth, feed and direction of cut. The combination has been flawless so far. I still watch the first run of a pattern closely but am gaining confidence. I have trouble getting the zero points set. It's not hard, I just keep screwing up, but I made the three gears out of one piece of foam, removing and reinstalling it twice.

    Before I had the vacuum and the air jet I had to vacuum manually to keep chip buildup down. So I think I can say now I can start it and walk away.

    Now that I have the 3D router running I realize it would be easy to build one, or modify this one. I have had fits with the software but I'm not a computer wizard.

    While I want to make patterns for sand casting with the router, Kelly has convinced me that using a router to make foam patterns is very practical. I'd like to make some brass gears for an old style rope making machine.

    Lot's of learning to do.

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