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New to the CNC World

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:01 pm
by Chips N Dust
Hello All!
I am new to the CNC world and I am thinking about the purchase of a Asteroid machine. My question is, Is there anyone on this site that is near Medford, OR? If it would be alright with you, I would like to see your probotix machine in person. They look really nice in the pictures, but I would like to put my hands on one, if you know what I mean.

Thank you,
Kelly C
Medford, OR

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:13 pm
by KLWestfall
Sorry, not close (at all!) but I have the Meteor and absolutely no regrets. The couple of small issues I've had have been quickly taken caare by their customer support.

Built solid, but built well. Love the 'built in program' and seem to take away all the "how do I edit G-Code" questions.

I teamed it up with Aspire - and easy to use.

Highly recommend them.

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:58 am
by 4DThinker
@KellyC : If you can't find a local CNC from Probotix to check out, there are at least a few web videos showing them in action. Some here on Probotix' web site, and several on Youtube.

I have a Meteor, and oversee a Nebula and another Meteor where I work. The open frame design permits very creative jigging/fixtures to clamp just about anything under the router bit. I help my students solve furniture joinery challenges that you couldn't cut with 99% of the CNCs out there.

4D

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:25 am
by KenW
I do agree that it is very versatile.
I have the Asteroid now for about a month and have made a vacuum hold down table as I get ready for production.
This allows me to drop a panel in place, hit the vacuum and start the file.
Due to the depth of my vacuum fixture, I added my own bottom mounted platform for the extra height that I
needed. Good thing is that the original MDF is still able to be put back easily and fasten for those jobs that
need a clamping fixture.

Ken

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:55 am
by beltramidave
Not to hijack this thread, but Ken, can you tell us a LOT more about your vac table? That looks really nice.

Dave

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:24 am
by KenW
Hi Dave,
I used 3/4 mdf as the base and glued 1/4 strips around the perimeter and centers to divide into 4 chambers. Then I brushed shellac over the inside to seal the porous mdf. Next I glued on top another 3/4 mdf that I surface cut and ran a program to cut the holes and channels. I prested into the channels 1/4 urethane round foam for the seals. Lastly, I constructed a chamber (clear polycarbonate ) and added valves with push on 1/4 connectors. Drilled holes in the edges of the mdf for connectors to each chamber and connected all with 1/4 polyethylene tube. The final connector went to a vacuum pump. I place a spoil board on a section, open the corresponding valve and turn on the vacuum. It holds the part great!

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:34 am
by beltramidave
Thanks for the details. What did you use for the vac pump?
Dave

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:21 am
by KenW
Hi Dave,
I'm using a JB Platnum 2 stage 1/2 hp vacuum pump model DV-200N-250 Has 7 CFM flow and can pull about 25 microns.
Cost around $400 but have seen some on ebay for about half the price. Some people have even used a shop vac with
good success.

Re: New to the CNC World

Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:52 am
by KenW
Some additional info -
In this diagram are the Vacuum table, a spoilboard and the finished part.
The rationale - Don't want to cut into the vacuum table, so I make a separate Spoilboard that can take any cuts.
The Spoilboard also has the same kind of rubber seal and through holes to match the vacuum table. When the final
part is placed on top of this "sandwich" and vacuum is applied, everything is held in place for cutting.
Important point: Make sure that your cuts are OUTSIDE the spoilboard foam, or you will lose your vacuum if
cutting all the way through. If you do have internal open areas, you have to cut in more channels on the spoilboard to surround that
cutout with the foam seal.
Hope this clarifies this.
Obviously it's a bit of work to make all this, but I plan on making a production line of parts, so each of the special spoilboards
become my production fixtures.

Ken