Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

CNC router for pcbs and metal work

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snoopy:
Hello

I need to do some light metalwork fabrication with 3mm sheet aluminium. You know the typical front and back panels with lots of holes for connectors and screws etc.

I was wondering whether or not it would be better and cheaper in the long run just to buy a CNC machine outright as there are lots of cheap ones on ebay at the moment that can not only mill metal but also do pcb milling as well which is great for quick prototyping.

Has anyone had any experience with these types of machines as opposed to outsourcing ?

Alternatively does anyone know of any sheet metal fabricators in the Melbourne area that handle prototypes and small runs ?

regards
david

robrenz:
Are these one of parts or multiples?

snoopy:

--- Quote from: robrenz on March 03, 2014, 03:34:41 am ---Are these one of parts or multiples?

--- End quote ---

It could be for multiples but not very big runs. It depends on how fast it could do the job but I like the idea of prototyping it first before sending it off to get quantity made.

regards
david

Kjelt:
CNC for pcb and CNC for aluminium are two complete different machines, like a F1 racecar and a Hummer.

The cnc for pcb needs to be incredibly accurate (<0,003mm repetitive), esp. if you want to do smd, ultra fast (otherwise you have to wait hours and hours for one pcb) and the mill needs to superfast (>30000rpm).

The cnc for alu has an accuracy <0,01mm, fast but not superfast, has to weigh a lot or be mounted to something that weighs a lot for stability because the powers on the machine are large, the mill needs to be adjustable from 1000rpm to 10000rpm, you might want watercooling facility (not always necessary).

Are there cnc machines that can do both, yes but they are not good at both.

poorchava:
With pcb milling you need superb dust protection mechanisms both for yourself and the machine. Fiberglass dust is quite nasty for your lungs and it will make moving parts of the machine (linear guides, leadscrews etc) seize.

For milling aluminum your machine has to be very rigid (as in made of strong alloy of aluminum at least) and for PCB you need extreme flatness of the table and the X-Y plane has to be perfectly parallel to the table surface.

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