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80/20 Extrusions

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by HEAVYMETAL87, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Has anyone ever used 80/20 extrusions to make a router or laser cutter?

    For reasons I cannot explain I would like to use a Sieg X2 head on the router- but that is a further down the line question.
     
  2. terrywerm

    terrywerm New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have not used them for the uses that you are proposing, but I used to use 80/20 extrusions extensively for various modifications to packaging equipment, from guards and shields to adjustable frames, just about anything you can think of. With a little bit of proper planning up front, I believe that it should work quite well for your project.

    I also found that even though it seemed expensive to use 80/20, in the long run it was less expensive (in most cases) than fabricating the needed frames from raw stock.
     
  3. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    This one frankly throws me for a loop. I would like to make a machine rigid enough to at least cut out shapes in non-ferrous metals, but from what I have gathered trying to make a perfectly flat rail for the gantry to run on is hell.
    That is why the extrusions sounded promising.
     
  4. quickcut

    quickcut South Africa H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have made a couple of cnc routers and plasma cutters with similar extrusion. What size machine are you looking to make? Extrusions also have tolerances for both size ,straightness and twist, hence the bigger the machine ,the more chance of an accumulative error.
     
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  5. terrywerm

    terrywerm New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    You would probably need to use the 80mm x 80mm square extrusions instead of the 40mm x 40mm, and may even need to double them up, depending on length of span as well as how well it is supported. Even then, if you attempt cuts that are too heavy, you will get deflection, causing all sorts of problems. This stuff is amazingly rigid and would probably do well for your project, but you may need to purchase some basic sample pieces first and do some experimenting before committing to your final design.
     
  6. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Yeah I have to do my homework on this one sir.
    I think that my mill would have to do the cuts in metal- but as far as the cuts in plastic, wood, etc that is where the router would come in.
     
  7. firestopper

    firestopper H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have a 4x8 CNC plasma/router table made from 80/20. I never have used it for routing, but its wired up for it. The machine is very rigid and has had a full sheet of 1/2" (steel) plate without a problem including a full water table.
    IMG_0527.JPG
    The top rails, gantry and six legs are 3"x3" and the lower horizontal rails measure 1-1/2"x3" as do the rails that support the water table.
     
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  8. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Oh mylanta.
    That is beautiful sir.
    How much does the head weigh- and was the whole thing seriously built just from 80/20 parts?
     
  9. Davd Flowers

    Davd Flowers United States Active Member Active Member

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  10. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    When we designed and built the router for the high school we used 8020 where it was appropriate. We did a lot of deflection analysis in Solidworks and for our application the 8020 was fine for most things but the long X-rails. The cross section of the 8020 had too much deflection from lateral forces. We ended up using 2" x 6" solid aluminum rails for the X axis backed up with 3' x 3 'x 1/2" aluminum angle. Fortunately we have a machining sponsor who could face and true up the large extrusions. We did use a lot of stiffening plates with the 8020. The router is designed to cut up to 1/2" aluminum sheet.

    971_CNC_01.JPG
     
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  11. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    jbolt, that is impressive. I think at at the worst mine might be used for cutting yellow metals, plastic, wood, etc.
     
  12. firestopper

    firestopper H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The entire machines frame and gantry is made from 80/20. Most of the head is made from commonly sourced aluminum. The head weighs around 25 pounds not including the torch. The linear bearings as well as the racks are one piece. I did not build the unit but had to reassemble to realign after shipping. I also had to replace and rework several items as the seller (Dyna CNC) did some shoddy work. I got familiar (very familiar) with this machine prior to powering it up. I did build the water table and added the side metal to confine the sparks. Once I corrected manufacture shortcomings, the machine has preformed well. The overall design is very robust.
    IMG_0408.JPG IMG_0410.JPG IMG_0411.JPG IMG_0409.JPG
    The orange cord at the top is wired to the drives for controlling on/off a router. The computer uses Mach III and Sheet Cam.
     
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  13. Mikro

    Mikro United States Swarf Registered Member

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    I built my CNC router about 10 years ago. Much has changed since then. It has been a great tool for me as I build electric guitars. Here are some pictures of my machine not in any specific order. If I were to change anything, it would be to use supported rails and linear bearings, add a tramming plate to the Z axis. Change my ball screws to zero backlash type. I run a Porter Cable 690R router using a SuperPID 2 for speed control with Mach3. I have about 0.003 backlash on my Y axis, 0.005 on my X axis and 0.002 on my Z axis. Tramming is within 0.003 in 5 inches on Y and 0.002 on X. Any questions please be patient As I am not in here that often.
    Mike


     

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  14. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Here is the build log for the small router I made for myself. It uses 8020 for the X & Y rails and the table. It used mostly for wood, plastics etc. Not meant to be high precision but I have done steel sheet.

    20161008_185524.png
     
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  15. HEAVYMETAL87

    HEAVYMETAL87 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Wow thanks guys.

    One of the things that has kind of thrown me for a loop on this whole thing is the ways- if one is a little bit uneven or something, can the machine compensate for this? Or will it totally botch everything?
     
  16. 7milesup

    7milesup H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Hello HeavyMetal. One of the CNC machines that I seriously thought about building (copying?!) is the Grunblau machine. He had a very cool way of utilizing 80/20 material but also combining it with bent and machined side panels. His gantry system I find quite interesting with the "V" rollers riding on the edge of the bent side frame. http://www.cnczone.com/forums/diy-cnc-router-table-machines/153486-cnc.html

    He used to sell "kits" but not sure if he still does that or not. The other CNC machine you may want to check out is "This Old Tony's" from YouTube. He did have an issue with his gantry being parallel and precise, just like your concern. He started with a "C" channel of hot rolled steel and eventually had a friend of his mill it flat. Like you, I too am wondering if there is a better solution for that part of the build.
     
  17. richardsrelics

    richardsrelics United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The company I work for purchased a CNC Router from a company in California, won't mention the name, but it is no longer in business. They used 80/20 material for the gantry, and personally I do not like it whatsoever. I feel it is just too flimsy and very prone to skewing. Ours is only a 50" X 50" table. That being said we also have a 5' X 10' Thermwood CNC router. That thing is beyond robust. If it were me, and it is kinda funny for me to find this post, but anyway, if it were me, I would have the gantry made out of solid aluminum, or steel to ensure it won't twist, because that is bad...
    Why is this funny? because my boss, just this past week tasked me and one other Engineer, I am a Journeyman Tool and Die guy, to make an X,Y, Z table, basically a CNC router from scratch..

    Building the machine, does not concern me, the software and communications is what I am curios about..
    Any way, make the gantry out of solid aluminum, and the sides can be 80/20 with due diligence on ensuring extreme rigidity... Also use like at least 80 mm X 160 mm with the long side vertical, they company we bought from sis not and our machine suffers because of it..
     
  18. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    If I were going to build a really robust router, I would go with a fixed ''gantry'' with a moving table. The downside of this is that the machine has a much longer footprint, about 1.5 X the table travel, and requires a bigger motor to drive the table mass.
     

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