file Question Am I making good decisions

  • dithom
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15 Aug 2020 16:11 #59379 by dithom
Am I making good decisions was created by dithom
Hello everyone,

I realize there is information already on this forum, but I went through it and usually I find half the response I'm after

I'm planning on acquiring my first cnc system and I wanted to have your opinion on a few things.

First my situation:
I teach parametric design to architecture students and I've been fooling around with the idea of robotics for quite a while now. However I have a hard time finding knowledgeable people around me and even more so when it comes to my specifics. The idea behind this purchase is to get comfortable with 3-axis cnc (and quickly step up to 4-axis cnc). I've been experimenting with 3-axis cnc for quite a while but only on diy machines. The results however were never "clean", and I had to comply with softwares, materials, mills, and availability of fablabs or other owners. I would like now to free myself from these constraints and get a deeper understanding of everything involved. Hopefully in a year or two invest in a bigger machine through the university for course related projects and ultimately step into 6+axis robot arms.
I have the chance to have motivated students willing to work together on larger digital fabrication projects and I would like to be able to provide that experience to them.

I mainly work with rhino on complex geometries. In the past all I've been asked was to provide the gcode and the operator would work it through LinuxCNC. The gcode was either produced via rhinocam when I had access to it or directly into Grasshopper. I've also dealt with Fusion360 but found the experience frustrating as soon as I started dealing with curves and imports.

Because of safety reasons the machine I'm buying now will have to be in my home office (appartment), and I'll be the only operator. We asked to purchase a d420 with the faculty budget but we were met with a negative response because of noise and safety. If I get a positive feedback from students and staff, I'll be in a position to ask for a larger budget to comply hopefully with safety and noise. However for the time being I'll have to deal with it with my wallet and at home and I'm scared my wife asks me to return the thing after 5 seconds of milling because of noise and/or dust. I'll mainly be milling wood and foam into 3d scale models. Metal perhaps at some point but that's very unlikely, it's nice to know I can though.

Based on all this, I was planning on buying the following and because of the reasons explained above I have questiosn on pretty much everything.

- D.420 construction kit
- But will it have enough z clearance for a futur 4th axis ?
- UCCNC Control Soft. or free LinuxCNC
- Initially I thought I'd get by with LinuxCNC but there might be stuff I don't know because everyone seem to recommend sticking to UCCNC Control Software ?
- MM-1000 (manual)
- Although I'd like to have your opinion about which of the three models you'd recommend.
-The T-Slot table for the D.420
- Any suggestion on clamps ?
- End mill set "Wood"
- And I'm looking for larger ends for wood and specific bits for foam but I have not enough experience and prices vary a lot.
- Exhaust adapter D-Series
- Is it worth it ? And do you recommend a specific vacuum knowing I'll be using it in an office environment (small one)
- Performance kit 420
- Worth it you think ?
- Enclosure
- It is so expensive, I'm wondering if I could just get away with a homemade plexi cube for debris.

I might have forgotten important stuff which I'm not aware of and that's also the reason I'm posting this.

Thank you in advance for your answers, sorry that's a bit long but we're not buying socks here and sorry if the english seems a bit weird sometimes :)

Have a great one


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