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Milling machines are expensive. Even the cheap ones are. As a student even more, that's why I wondered if I could make something myself that would suit my needs, which is machining small laser parts out of aluminum and incidentally copper. Aluminum is an easy material to work with, I figured that for small diameters a homebuild setup would be good enough.

Building a milling machine requires sturdy and precision movement stages for X, Y and Z direction. This being a cheap project I looked for the cheapest second hand components. I found to XY stages that had decent travel range and were first and foremost cheap. 2 scrap aluminum T profiles are bolted to the bottom XY stage. The second XY stage is mounted to the T profiles.

The motor is a corded drill in a clamp. This clamp can be adjusted in height for coarse alignment to the workpiece. This travel range is huge, allowing many workpiece sizes.

The result: a cheap homebuild milling machine

The advantage of 2 stages is that the double axis of freedom provides double the travel range. The normal axis range is just over 100mm, the X direction however is over 200mm. A clamp for the normal work and a rotating chuck for cylindrical coordinated work is mounted next to eachother on the bottom stage. The long travel range makes sure the mill can reach both.

After some usage I found out that the Bolts provide too much flexibility, this should be addressed in an upgrade. I also plan to integrate digital calipers to have a measure of the stage position, the stage have significant backlash (~0.4mm mm). The drill will also be replaced by a chuck with proper bearing for milling work. The drill may then still be used to deliver the power, I haven't decided on this yet.

Deze site is gemaakt door: Johan Reinink