Sunday, April 3, 2011

X-Y Base Part II

DIY Micro Milling Machine

Time for mock-ups for the X-Y Base I initially posted about. I guess by now its not proper to call it anymore an X-Y Base because it had already morphed to a prototype milling machine that can cut and move in X, Y and Z axes. What I have posted here is the mock-up for the mini milling machine I'm making to use to tool parts for a possible scratch built model kit. The duct tape is just a temporary fixture for the purpose of the mock-up, the actual thing will be held together with an assorted buffet of rivets or nuts & bolts.

DIY Micro Milling Machine

For the Y movement I tore up a broken CDROM drive and harvested an optical reader stage. To facilitate the Z & X axis movement I bought a pair of drawer glides, specifically one with ball bearings. Thank God for the cheap ones from China. They cost about $5 for a pair.

DIY Micro Milling Machine

For the business end of this mini milling machine prototype I bought a cheap $10 mini grinding tool used by jewelry makers. It runs on 12volts and 500 amps. Since this is just a prototype I didn't want to invest a ton of moolah in buying a hand held router. As for the cutting bit, I'm planning on just using some grinding bits and not actual end mill cutters. If things works out ok then I'll probably invest in that and probably more sturdy materials for the stage. To control the Z movement, I'm planning on using a long nut and bolt attached to the grinding tool. I'm assuming I can go for about 10mm of controlled cutting depth.

DIY Micro Milling Machine

This is a mock-up of where the workpiece will be placed. Still haven't fabricated the vise that will hold the workpiece in place.

DIY Micro Milling Machine

Update: Part III of this build can be found here.