Multicolour build with spindle - Another West Aussie Build

I pulled the trigger on printing parts 6 months ago, and bought the main components from the V1 shop (SKR Pro build, all the electronics, belts, bolts etc). Since then it has been a really slow build, just bits and pieces here, then had to pause for quite a while as I needed to then build a mobile workbench to slide my LR3 base onto when in use.

I decided to go a semi random mix of blue, green and white, with gold for the controller box, although I may end up playing with the controller box to get it mounted a little more nicely, so it might change colour as things go!

One thing I did decide right from the start, was that I wanted to utilise a 1.5kw water cooled spindle motor, instead of the router body, for the benefit of less noise and more power, and to avoid heat stress in a West Australian summer of running a router for long periods of time.

Today I got to the point of running up the water cooling loop for the spindle, and testing it at full speed for noise and leaks. Wow… Just wow. I had to grab a video as you could quite easily carry on a conversation at normal volumes with someone whilst this was running at 24,000 rpm.

Spindle at full speed

It’s currently now sitting with the cooling loop running to make sure no leaks, then its on to cutting the strut braces, but man I’m looking forward to having some fun with this system! There doesn’t appear to be any / extremely minimal deflection from the weight of the spindle, as its quite a hefty thing, and I know that I’ll need to make some resting blocks that the gantry can drop down onto when the power is cut, but those are things for another day :slight_smile:


And I’m glad I ran the water cooling loop for an extended test, the supplied pump that came with the spindle from the Aliexpress vendor lasted 40 minutes and burnt out. Love it. Ahh well, live and learn, should have just gotten the spindle and VFD, and done the rest of the sourcing myself.

You have hockey in Western Australia? And you’re an Oilers fan?!

There is a teeeeeenie tiny local league, but my wife and I got into watching the NHL a few years back, and had to pick teams. She picked VGK (god knows why, what an awful colour scheme!) and I liked the Oilers :slight_smile: Really enjoying the playoffs this year!

We have a holiday planned to Alaska and Canada next year, only downside is its in the off-season, we really buggered that up!


Hockey is the best exercise, especially if no one takes it too seriously. I am roughly an Avs fan (but you can probably watch the games easier than me because of weird local blackouts). So instead I play in a few rec games per week. Two lunch Ice leagues and one outdoor roller hockey league. They aren’t usually going at the same time of year.

The NHL is so freakin’ talented.


Not sure if you knew or not but being part of the V1 crew means if you travel to anywhere that other V1er’s exist, meetup is almost mandatory. And there are a few in the Edmonton area that would certainly find time to share a handshake and a beer!


We have first chips!

I had some issues with my starting gcode, completely self initiated, as I forgot that there is relative movement and absolute movement, so having the code to lift off the touchplate was trying to drive it further down into the surface, it actually made me realise how good the design of the LR3 really is.

As the whole gantry system just rests on the guide pipe and the surface, if you try to drive the z into the ground (when its not spinning of course), the whole lowrider has the flexibility to lift up so you dont break things. I love it!

First thoughts, I love that I have chosen the watercooled spindle. The noise level compared to a router is just the best, I was able to close the shed and you could barely hear the system cutting. Quick clip of the unit cutting with the default single flute cutter head from the V1 shop:

My test cut was actually in painted 6mm mdf, not ply, it was a leftover sheet from an earlier project. It means the cuts came out pretty rough just from the acrylic paint tearing rather than cutting, but the mdf itself has beautiful edges.

Looking forward to the next cuts this weekend in the proper ply, I cant wait to see this machine all fully built and cutting in anger, it feels like its going to be capable of far faster cutting than the safe defaults its at now!


Wow, Great build there. I was looking at getting a water-cooled spindle at some point and after countless attempts to try and reduce/deflect/suppress the sound from the Makita I will now revisit that style of spindle.

Keep up the great work!! What are your intended projects for the LR3

I’m wishing I could have my tablesaw this quiet :joy:

At the moment I’m a little unsure, there are some random projects that are easier to do with a cnc than by hand, especially for the precision, but also I’d like to get in and make some signs and the like for myself and friends. It’s definitely a tinker and see what happens kind of project!

Got the strut plates all cut, sanded and fitted, so I was able to then get the cable routing as well as the hoses run out to the spindle neatly.

Rather than a cable chain setup I’ve gone for a pogo pole in the centre, as it lets me keep the cable and hoses clear of the workpiece, and also allows for natural bends in the coolant lines, plus its super lightweight, being just three pieces of 1mm steel tied into the frame.

Just a quick bit of final squaring to do now that those strut plates are done, and then fit some holddown tracks and spoilboard, and its on to proper use!

Darwin is in the very north of Australia in the tropics.
The Darwin Rock Sitters club has been world champions ice hockey champions for ever. The story goes (more or less) that some members of the club were worried they’d get a bit chubby if they just sat on the rock drinking (you can find more info on that yourself! :smiley: ). Someone got the bright idea that they should start an ice hockey club, so every now and then they wander down to check if the water has frozen, discover it hasn’t and go back to the rock until it does.

I’m pretty sure that most of their challenge matches they’ve won by default.


Great idea! Can you show some details as to how it is built?

1 Like

Pogo pole is probably not the best description of it, but its essentially a spring steel bar coming up in the centre with a loop at the top that I can zip tie the spindle drive cable and the coolant lines to, so that there is enough slack to allow full x movement of the core without the cables dangling down to the cutting deck or getting tangled. Maybe more a fishing pole arrangement than anything else?

I’ve seen it done a bit on 3d printers, and I’ve used a similar system but upside down on my CR6-MAX 3d printer, as the 400x400 bed there means it has a really long hot end cabling that just dangles all over the place.

It works really well because it keeps things tidy, its REALLY light weight, and if I want to, I could also tie in the vacuum hose to keep that out of the way once I work out my logistics there (I may end up running my dust collector from a roof beam above, with a reducer and small hose for the last bit, which may not even need to be fixed to anything except the core).


And final update for the build log, because I guess a test carve probably means the machine is now built and operational :slight_smile:

I ended up purchasing Vectric VCarve Pro, I tried a few of the others (Easel, Carbide Create Pro, Kiri:Moto, EstlCam), and out of those it was too painful trying to add in postprocessing (Easel, Carbide), Kiri:Moto just felt too complex for a beginner, and EstlCam was damn good, for everything except tracing bitmaps, it became a bit clunky for that side of things. VCarve Pro has removed the size limitations, and was expensive up front, but I think for the things I’m wanting to do, it just felt the right fit. Huge thanks to the guys in the forum for the postprocessor for Vectric, it made it so easy to add in my start gcode to set up my z probe etc, and it was off to the races.

The modified postprocessor for Vectric with my z probe code set up for a 19mm probe block and supporting arcs is here
VCarve Postprocessor - Lowrider 3 Gcode Arcs(mm).zip (1.2 KB)

And the first cut, whilst small was so cute, it HAD to be the first carve!