Considering a build

Hey guys, first post for me here.

I’ve been interested in this project for a couple months now. For Christmas I got the DW660 for my spindle so now I pretty much have to build it! I just priced out all the parts individually (cost is important to me) and it doesn’t seem worth it, I’ll probably end up buying the kit on this site.

I primarily wish to use this machine for cutting carbon fiber/garolite/aluminum plates for use in simracing to build custom steering wheels(this kind of stuff though I’m sure it will be used for other things as well.

I will probably start small (2’x2’x6" ish is what I was thinking) since I think rigidity and speed will be more important than volume. Would it be worth going smaller than this? For my intended applications I could probably go down to just a few inches of Z and 12" square if it were really worth it. As I understand the Z-axis is by far the weak link regarding rigidity, maybe it is worth keeping the X and Y large but going small on Z? It makes sense to me that you can get close to equal results using a long Z axis but running really close to the gantry vs just designing a shorter Z axis.

It seems very easy to scale up or down, just a matter of changing conduit/belt lengths?

Next week I will start making parts, just waiting for a couple spools of filament to get going. Parts will be done on my FolgerTech 2020 i3 which is churning out pretty nice parts now, a couple months into ownership. I have an E3D Volcano/eruption pack so I hope to put that to good use speeding up the print times. I was thinking about using the .8mm nozzle and .4mm layers, does that seem reasonable? Seems like a decent compromise between speed/strength and resolution. Is there any parts that I will struggle to make with such large nozzles? Seems like all the features on something like this will be big enough for my nozzles.

Thanks for all the work done on this project, it is so cool! Amazing that I can have a bench with a 3D printer and CNC router on it for ~$700! Technologically this is an amazing era for makers.

I did my best to price it as fair as possible while still making it worth my time. I buy in large quantities to get better deals and do my best to offer what I feel is a great price for everyone.

The z axis isn’t really the weak link its just the most effected by distance. make it as short as practical, and always mount the material to be cut right under the center gantry. I actually have a new 660 mount ready I just need to test it but the machines are backlogged with printing. The new mount should increase rigidity a bit by raising the tool as high as possible, 20mm higher if I remember right. You’ll really only notice these tweaks when milling aluminum, everything else is a piece of cake.

Yup fairly easy to scale just leave extra stepper wire room. I would make the x and y as big as you think you will need. making it smaller would only really allow slightly faster cut times. Only important if you are doing production with it.

A big nozzle might have a tough time with some of the 40+ degree overhangs, maybe not.

$700?? Just over $500, right?

Thanks for the compliments

Thanks for the reply.

Got caught up with some other stuff for a bit but I got my filament for this project today. I did a corner block with a .8mm nozzle @ .4 layer height and 50mm/s, came out reasonably well. The top fillet on the half circle is pretty sloppy but I don’t think it will affect fit. The 45 degree overhangs came out very clean so it can do a good job up to there and a bit further at least. The thin outer parts for the nuts/bolts are pretty ugly too, not enough cooling? I struggle with thin parts like that. On the bright side it seems crazy strong and I was able to print it in just over a hour vs the 5 spec’d in the BOM. Since I’m using S3D I will try using multiple processes to slow or otherwise modify down the layers where I’m having problems. If I can get good prints with such large extrusions I should be in business in no time! I should probably order your kit soon…

Re: $700, rough number including printer/cnc and the various accessories they entail. Probably a little on the low end, thinking about it more. I will have to build a new bench (in my dining room LOL, apartment life) I need tooling for the mill, an enclosure and shop vac + eventually a way to pipe exhaust outside so I can cut CF safely.

Edit: Photo too large to attach

That block looks very good for an .8mm nozzle printing that fast! I can’t get my .4mm over 35mm/s without loosing a lot of layer bonding strength even if I turn up the heat a lot.
The rounded overhang always prints kinda crudy so don’t worry about that, hopefully it is out of the way enough. The rest looks great!

Do you have any printing videos up anywhere? I wouldn’t mind seeing that in action.

The mpcnc can handle high speeds very well but that .4mm nozzle seems to limit it. I guess I will put on a .5mm and see what happens.

The other problem I had with a larger nozzle was interior hole sizes. What size is that corner hole measuring? I am guessing simplify3D handles these issues a little better than the free software. Time to experiment I think. I would love to be able to print some of the bigger pieces faster.

I’m getting .135"/3.44mm vertically and .14"/3.6mm horizontally. They definitely don’t look good but I figure I can drill 'em out a little if I need to, they shouldn’t need to be torqued that hard. I only used 2 perimeters but my extrusion width is typically around 1mm so that should compensate. There is also a horizontal size compensation feature that could be useful depending on hole orientation. Never used it before so I can’t comment. Looking at my top layer it looks like I was overextruding a tiny bit so that throws an extra bone in the mix.

Might get better prints if you changed that fillet to a chamfer with an easily printable angle? Totally understand if you don’t want to bother, not like the artifacts are bad enough to matter and I’m sure it’s less of a problem with normal layer heights and nozzle sizes.

I absolutely love my Volcano and set of big nozzles. it’s fantastic to slice a big object at .4 nozzle, be like “ugh xx hours”, swap nozzles and change a few settings, reslice and I’m at xx/~4 hours (obviously varies a lot but you get the point.) If we can figure the hole size issue out this hotend might really be worth it for you depending on your production rate/etc.

Regarding speeds- I haven’t done testing to determine my layer adhesion, is there a method you use for this or just a “feel it out” kind of thing? Sometimes I break parts for fun and the stuff I’ve printed with the big nozzles at those speeds is at least as strong as my more standard stuff, probably stronger.

You’ve inadvertently set me on a conduit building spree, what a fantastic light duty structural material! You really can’t beat it for value @ $3.40/10 ft. I’m currently working on a floor standing triple monitor stand for sim racing, the cheapest commercially available solution is ~$180 + shipping. This project should only cost me about $20-30 and will replace a sagging plywood/2x4 POS which got designed as it was built. If things go well I might offer a refined version to that community as a set of brackets a la your printed parts kit. I’m building a library of various brackets, once I’ve got a lot of options it will be so easy to just print the brackets I need for whatever and cut tubing to length for various projects. I’m thinking workbenches, shelving, etc. The Volcano really shines in this department, putting out ugly but strong parts in ~1/4 the time a standard printer would.

I don’t have any video of me running larger nozzles, I’ll shoot a bit though and post here when I do.

While I’ve got your attention, regarding software- I’m in a CAM class right now (college student) where we will be using MasterCAM x8. Can I expect to use this software with the MPCNC easily, assuming I have access to a license? It’d be great to use the same software I am for school with this. Not sure whether CNC’s and CAM programs go together as easily as printers and slicer/host programs, my CNC experience is limited to a bit of high school stuff a few years ago and I can’t even remember what program I was running.

For mastercam you just need to find the right post processor. It really shouldn’t be too hard, just compare the output to the test file I have linked in the estlcam walk through. I am pretty sure arduino just ignore commands it doesn’t recognize. If you guys get into it a little deeper you can write your own post processor if there already isn’t one. Really we only use the coordinates and maybe pause and resume for tool changes or material flips. Not to many bother with spindle speed control.

The benefit to mastercam is I believe it has a very good feed/speed chip load calculator. The mpcnc will always be on the lower end of there suggested numbers but that information is golden.

Cool, doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll look into the post processor. I’m not much of a coding guy (beyond G-code) but perhaps if I can’t manage myself I could drag my professor into it :slight_smile:

I slowed it down a bit for a Roller F and the fillet on the semicircle came out much nicer, still not perfect but fine by me.

Side effect of using big nozzles- My parts are very overweight. Corner block weighing in at 69g (118%) and Roller F is 116g (129%). Good new for durability but I might need another spool of filament. I’m guessing my perimeters are too thick (3 perimiters w/.4 nozzle would be about 1.5mm vs 2 rings with ~1mm extrusion width is 2mm.) I don’t think I want to go down to a single super wide perimeter so I’ll just say screw it.

What is the real dimension on the hole you asked about?

Conduit hole is 23.6mm the screw holes should be 4.01mm.

On my printer they print at 23.3mm and 3.8x3.95 (oval)

Ok, I’m getting 23.25 for the conduit and the screws are undersized as we know. I drilled the screw holes out a very tiny bit and they fit #6 screws just fine. I will probably just drill out whatever I need, seems worth it for the vast reduction in print time.

I just noticed your parts bundle is on backorder, how long do you expect until they’re back in stock?

You should be just fine, I’d save the time if I was you.

I have everything but the steppers, I bought them out last month and they promised they would ship the new batch this week but they did not reply today. I was hoping Monday shipping date. Not sure until they answer the phone. I did ask them to rush a box of 50 so, fingers crossed, Monday.

Cool, I’ll place my order now then. No biggie as long as I’m not waiting weeks and weeks.