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How small of details can the shapeoko do on metal?

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:48 pm
by ocp
Iv been tasked to have some coins minted up by my job for some cheesy gifts they want to give out. Iv been looking online at mints from the US and China. While the US mints are almost 10 times as much as the China ones, it is a rather big pain to deal with the China mints. The thing is the money it would cost to have some coins made up with the US mints, 100-200, I could buy a shapeoko and do them myself. That's if the shapeoko can do type of small detail that we're looking for. I pretty much have carte blanche to deal with this as I see fit.

So my question is, how well can the shapeoko do small detail on metal? Can it make a coin say 26mm in diameter, about 2-3mm thick in either brass, copper or zinc alloy? Does anyone have any image examples of something small and detailed they can share?

Thanks

Re: How small of details can the shapeoko do on metal?

Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:32 pm
by criznach
Brass has been tough in my experience but I've read that the alloys that are easily accessible in a small town are not ideal for machining. I've had decent luck with aluminum without much concern for which alloy. I machined a set of GT2 profile belt clamps with a 0.3mm ball end mill using a .05 mm depth increment. It took about 20 passes to cut the full tooth profile. I used the waterline 2.5d feature in cambam. I don't know if that would be close to the level of detail you're looking for, but it impressed me at the time. Your machine will need to be well tuned. Might be worth trying.

Re: How small of details can the shapeoko do on metal?

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:12 am
by PAPPP
I've put lines of perfectly legible text about 1/16" tall onto brass valve tag blanks (No picture because I don't have one on hand that isn't an address or other PII). Your tram and clamping has to be perfect for it to look good, I usually surface off an area of spoil board to work on right before doing some then hold them with two pins in the board and a screw through the hole. Cutting-wise, this is usually one extremely shallow pass with a pointy little engraving bit, sometimes with a squirt of WD40.

That said, doing deeper cuts in brass without raising burrs is not something I've managed.

Re: How small of details can the shapeoko do on metal?

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:50 pm
by veng1
It looks like Edward's next major project could be an EDM sinker head to fit the router mount. A wire EDM would also be nice.

That would do this very well and doesn't seem too difficult.