Riser Block

I cranked out this 27mm high riser-block from a piece of 35x100 mm aluminium bar today.

The 6mm holes in the corners are for attaching the block to a standard breadboard or optical table that has M6 threads on a 25mm pitch. There are four holes in each corner in a 12.5-by-12.5mm square pattern. These allow attaching the block with 12.5mm 'resolution' both along X and Y.

The middle M6 tapped holes are for attaching to a translation stage. The stage is old with a weird 34x92mm bolt pattern.


Thursday manual milling

I made this ca 78x48x31 mm mount for a Faraday Isolator (Model IO-7-633 Optics For Research, now sold by Thorlabs) from 50x50 Aluminium bar on the manual mill at work. It raises the isolator up from the table by 31 mm. The isolator is attached to the mount with two M6 screws, 28 mm apart. The cap-head screws are countersunk so they don't protrude from the bottom. This mount is clamped to the optical table using the 8x5 mm slots in the sides.

New manual milling machine

There is a new manual milling machine in the lab, an Optimum WF-20. The design of the machine is similar to the Aciera or a Maho, with the table moving in X and Z, spindle in Y. The spindle can be flipped over for horizontal machining.

We decided to get a machine with a small work-envelope (table XY travel is 260x170 mm), but with good rigidity and hopefully good precision. The machine is around 4 keur but with the magnetic DRO and some basic accessories plus delivery the cost is closer to 6 keur. Add another 1-2 keur for toolholders and tools.

The machine has an ISO30 taper spindle with an M12 draw-bar. In addition to the 0-13mm quick-change drilling chuck in the machine there are some tools on the shelf to the right: ISO30/MT2 adapter, an ER32 chuck, 63 mm carbide-insert face-mill, another ER32 chuck, and a tapping head. There is a 150 mm rotary table on the machine to the lower left. A new 100mm precision vise is on order but not delivered yet.

This means there are now no excuses for not finishing my very delayed lathe project...

First cut with servo-mill

Got the XYZ servos mounted and tuned. The first video shows a test program with some drilling G-codes. Rapids are set at 5000mm/min with around 400 mm/s^2 accelerations. Following errors stay below 0.02 mm. The second video shows a 40 mm face-mill at 3000 rpm cutting a 20 mm wide aluminium bar with 1 mm depth of cut and 500 mm/min feed. We think this is pretty good for this size of minimill. The stability and sound will not be as nice as this without linear rails, ballscrews, and a good spindle.