Choosing router for steel rule die board application

mrtofu
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Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by mrtofu » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:50 pm

HI! I've been asking around a lot, because i'm about to buy my first CNC and it's probably gonna be the shapeoko 2. I need to build a system that allows me to make steel rule die boards. For this purpose, i plan on using precisebits's end mills, since they make a series specially for kerf cutting (0.7mm kerf width and 11.7mm depth cutting 12mm MDF). But my main concern is the guys at precisebits recommend me to get a big router, such as a porter cable 7518, and from all i've been reading adapting it for a first timer could be an issue (also take in account i will be upgrading the shapeoko2 from the start for a working area of 1000x1000mm).
From the looks of it, the simplest upgrade is to get a DW660, but i wanted to know your opinion if this has enough power for my application, and any other tips or things i should know about.

Thank you!

WillAdams
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by WillAdams » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:57 pm

That's a very big router. My concerns about it are:

- weight --- it's larger than anything which has yet been mounted on a ShapeOko AFAICT
- vibration --- the bearings in it probably aren't as good as those in a ``real'' spindle

Power-wise, it's a hundred or so more Watts than the 1.5KW spindle mentioned on the wiki: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Spindle_Options and I believe it's significantly heavier --- I also don't see that it offers a real advantage over a Dewalt DWP-611 at the diameter of bits which you're planning on using.

You might want to see if one of the forum users w/a significantly upgraded machine and spindle is willing to try a sample cut using an endmill and material which you provide --- my gut feeling is you're close to the edge or beyond the envelope of anything which has been done thus far. Whatever you build is going to be a real dream machine though, and will provide some interesting data.

Do you have any solid data on the commercial machines which are used for this?

William
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

mrtofu
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by mrtofu » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:14 pm

Well, first things first: I don't know personally anyone that uses a cnc router for this (only laser), but Ron from precisebits tells me they have a lot of customers that do have. His recommendations were to build a cnc that was made of aluminium or better (not wood) so it was sturdy, and the other matter is just choosing the router. He uses normally a bosch colt or that one, but the Colt is an issue since they don't recommend it anymore (their very low TIR collets are not working anymore with the new colts). This is a key aspect, since we need the kerfs to be as precise as possible.

Now, what i don't really know is if a dw660 or a dwp611 would be enough really, because its just MDF. This is the aspect i'm most concerned about since i have no expertise with routers, right now we use a different manual equipment for the kerfs.

In the building part of the machine: What i really like about the shapeoko 2 and it's possible upgrades, is that it appears i can build a really solid machine for under 1500 usd, which is really nothing compared to a commercial one of the same size. I don't think buying upgrades and making sure its stable and such is a concern right now, since i'm still way under budget. And i've seen a few other users on the shapeoko2 questions that are also upgrading theirs to a 1x1 meter size build. Hope one of them would be around the forum to give their impressions

All i wanna make sure is that i can use a router that has enough power to do the tasks.

Thanks, hope some other user forum can give their input on this!

WillAdams
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by WillAdams » Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:27 pm

If a Bosch Colt would be adequate, a Dewalt DWP-611 should be as well. From: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Spindle_Options

DWP-11: 840 Watts (7.0 amps) 16,000 -- 27,000 r.p.m. 110v AC 4.1 lbs.

PR-20: 672 Watts (5.6 amps) 16,000 -- 35,000 r.p.m. 110v 3.3 lbs.

(I know the DW-660 is really popular, but I don't think it holds up in the long run, being designed AIUI for intermittent usage, not continuous)

There's a list of up-graded machines in the wiki: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... mentations --- five of them are 1Mx1M or larger.

William
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

mrtofu
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by mrtofu » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:20 pm

Great, the only thing i'm lacking is the the mount for the DPW-611. Is there any mount available that could work?

WillAdams
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by WillAdams » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:46 pm

CAD files here: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 222#p10094

Improbable Construct has been working on a dust shoe design --- still waiting to see it released.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

samc99us
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by samc99us » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:00 pm

mrtofu,

I have a Shapeoko 2 in-hand, with a Dewalt DNP611. I think it is on the edge, and likely too much router for the machine. This becomes vastly apparent when you have the piece parts in hand. Makerslide is really small stuff and your expecting one piece on the z-axis to take the loads a 4lb spindle will impart when cutting steel. See here for why this is a bad idea with delrin v-wheels http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2367.

Now I haven't given up hope; in many ways the Shapeoko 2 is a nice machine, especially for the initial price tag-I'm into it for $550 w/ router, plus my $250 4' x 8' table, plus my existing $300 or so in electronics (HobbyCNC driver board + NEMA23's) that will turn into a Gecko 540 once I start paying off the initial machine price. I also think the Dewalt 611 is a great router, well supported, sufficient strength to dig into some tough materials etc. Designing a machine around this router is smart, but a lot of people have been down this path. It's scary. What I've found so far:

1) The CNCRouterParts kits are great bang for the buck, and in your shop environment, are what I would order today.

2) The Joes CNC machines have excellent feedback and may be relatively inexpensive, but time consuming to build. Also not open source and no plan exists

3) I haven't heard anything bad about the CNCMogul but haven't really heard a lot; this is a design I see some potential in

4) CastCNC; this is really a Joe's machine on steriods, but Harry isn't making the cast parts anymore. Fortunately he has PDF's online, another machine I am using as a reference. Love the I-beam gantry design.

What would solve all the worlds problems are a steel version of OpenRail. Hardcoat OpenRail is no longer available, so following the path of IC's large format build is out of the question. Hardcoated makerslide is too small, so you end up using multiple profiles which results in costs approaching that of using steel v-rail to begin with. What I have narrowed down is the following:

1) Openbuilds v-wheels are the most reasonably priced I can find. I can't get #2 size v-wheels for under $10/wheel ($200 to replace the Shapeoko v-wheels)
2) Steel v-rail is reasonably priced but attaching to aluminum profiles is difficult.

I want to build a machine centered around the openbuild steel v-wheels for less than $1000 mechanically, but I'm not sure it's possible.
Last edited by samc99us on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Modified Shapeoko 2: 1500mm fully supported y-axis, 1000 mm 4060 x-axis, ACME Belt Drive Z-axis, Dewalt DNP611, full aluminum t-slot table, 4x NEMA23 180 oz/in stepper motors driven by a G540

WillAdams
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by WillAdams » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:06 pm

samc99us wrote:Makerslide is really small stuff and you're expecting one piece on the z-axis to take the loads a 4lb spindle will impart when cutting steel.
The OP isn't expecting to cut steel, but rather the die board (made of MDF or plywood depending on size and intended usage of the die) into which the steel dies are placed.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets

samc99us
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Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by samc99us » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:18 pm

Ah, missed that part Will! MDF should be fine!
Modified Shapeoko 2: 1500mm fully supported y-axis, 1000 mm 4060 x-axis, ACME Belt Drive Z-axis, Dewalt DNP611, full aluminum t-slot table, 4x NEMA23 180 oz/in stepper motors driven by a G540

mrtofu
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:09 am

Re: Choosing router for steel rule die board application

Post by mrtofu » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:13 pm

Thanks for the input!.

Well, i also messaged improbableconstruct to see if he could make me the mount for the dwp611, and his opinion is that the shapeoko2 is not really made for this kind of application, and that he's very worried about the makerslide rigidity with the added weight and load.
But samc99us says i should be fine, haha.

Any other opinions to see where i stand?

Thanks for everything so far!

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