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    EeZeBilts From Keil Kraft
    by redpmg πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦ ( Sub-Lieutenant)
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    DodgyGeezer
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    πŸ“ EeZeBilts From Keil Kraft
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    Here is a Shapeoko 2 - my eShapeoko is a similar machine - cutting steel. You will see that you need a decent spindle motor, which is not surprising. But the framework is adequately rigid.

    I have over-specced what I have to allow for expanding for future use. I would not be surprised to find that a machine which was limited to cutting balsa, plastics, obeche and light ply (which would cover the vast majority of marine modelling) could be sold for less than Β£100. Unfortunately, there are too few customers to make it worth designing such an item.
    Milling 316 Stainless Steel in my Shapeoko 2
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    redpmg
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    Wow - was I wrong . In the pictures it looked flimsy. The ones Ive seen here use smallish routers (bigger than a Dremel) running at very high RPM (25 To 30k) and the cross bars are heavy I beams. They make the moving bar on the laser look like a kids toy. Not one I've seen here is recommended for anything less than a 3mm cutter head
    DodgyGeezer
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    "....but would have to be a bit more powerful/stronger build even for Jelutong....."

    You can cut steel with a Shapeoko (slowly!) so long as you have the right spindle and cutter. It's designed for a DeWalt or a Makita - I would use a Dremel clone when cutting something like ply - and a stronger tool. But then it would be much noisier. Using a model boat motor is unusual, but I have shown that it works with balsa...
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    redpmg
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    Could think of a lot of uses for your CNC router too - but would have to be a bit more powerful/stronger build even for Jelutong and the like. Trouble is nothing like that available here - cheapest we've seen was about R25k.........
    The larger ones running to millions.
    redpmg
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    You are right of course - in the UK you would also have to have a safe extractor/collector unit for the fumes/dust - however the US made table top models are self contained - BUT you only have a A3 sized bed whereas ours has an A1 and can take objects up to a foot high for engraving, plus a rotary attachment for glasses , bottles etc. The water cooler is a separate unit which now costs the better part of R10k. Better half had her aluminum tubed Universal 200 re-gassed (they run on CO2 at about 38kv - at 80w so minimal current) and that set her back about R80k some 22 years ago. Pyrex type glass tubes are only about R12k now however.
    You also keep the lid tightly closed unless you are an idiot - plus they all have a safety switch to shut the laser off if the lid is lifted (which I have seen bypassed). There is always some stray laser beam about and deflection off the bed which does not do one much good. Especially eyesight. So the machine has a thick dark yellow/orange perspex inset on the lid and you should wear safety type glasses the same coloration which act a bit like polarised lens.
    As a matter of interest ours ran for a year in the spare bedroom - with the extractor unit venting through a french door panel - would be severely frowned upon by 'elf & saveless'.
    DodgyGeezer
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    Other disadvantages include the requirement to add expensive safety precautions to the work area - and I believe that some of these things need cooling water?

    I am happy with a self-built eShapeoko that just hums quietly behind me in the spare bedroom - I'm not so sure I would be happy with 100W of incandescent power hanging from a half-stripped bolt, some gaffer tape and a couple of paperclips in the same place... πŸ€‘βš‘
    redpmg
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    The advantage a laser has of course is that there is no stress on the head - disadvantage is you cant tilt the head other than in very very expensive models and of course you cant use it as a carving tool for relief work. Its also inherently expensive because of the laser tube - anything under 60w is a toy. There are some desk top versions from the US which could be used for components - but length is a problem with those.
    DodgyGeezer
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    "...I'd rather cough up a bit more and know that I could do something with it!.."

    Quite right!

    When buying, people need to understand the important features of a product, and with new technology it is easy for the advertisers to conceal these.

    For a CNC cutter, stiffness is very important, particularly if you are going to cut metal. The machine must not deform appreciably when it puts a strong force on the workpiece.

    It also needs adequately powerful stepper motors to put that force on. and, of course, it needs to move the cutting head to all parts of the workpiece. I was interested to see that the spec states 'max travel distance' - I would have expected it to say 'max cutting dimensions', and wonder if these are less than the figures quoted.

    At least we can specify a cutting area ambiguously, so that modellers can understand what they are getting. I would guess that 1ftx1ft cutting area would be fine for most aeromodellers, while 1ftx1yd is more what boat modellers want. But it is easy for an individual to chose.

    Motor power requirement is harder to define - it depends so much on the leverage designed into the mechanics. Screws have more advantage than belts, for instance. And if you are only count to cut softwoods you can get away with much less power than cutting steel! Usually I would like to see the steppers having between 5000 and 10,000 gfΒ·cm of torque - though that is a 'piece of string'.

    Rigidity is even harder to estimate. You can get some feel when the seller says that this machine will not cut metals, or 'is an engraving machine'. The other indicator is weight - rigid machines are going to be much more massive. If the frame is light it will bend under stress. Though if you are using a laser...
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    Westquay
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    πŸ“ EeZeBilts From Keil Kraft
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    My son has a couple of 3D printers and has made me several slot car chassis, guides and even gears, a motor pod for an RC glider, a camera pod for a flying wing model and a dummy Ford Model A engine and radiator for a Peitenpol high wing model aircraft. Painted and attached that today. Motor pod is on the glider, waiting to go.
    I just wish I could design in CAD for him. We have to go with free files off Thingiverse.


    Martin
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    RNinMunich
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    πŸ“ EeZeBilts From Keil Kraft
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    My thoughts exactly DG.
    I'd rather cough up a bit more and know that I could do something with it!
    (Still got a few bob left in my savings fund😊)
    Think I'd better get the hang of my 3D printer before lashing out on another machine though!
    😎
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    Young at heart - slightly older in other places πŸ˜‰ Cheers Doug
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