The latest addition to my workshop: Precise 1000U CNC milling machine!
Here is a link to the Austrian manufacturer: www.step-four.at
If you are interested to read more about the hard- and software, there is an excellent user forum: http://www.yesyes.rc1.at/step4/
The new Precise 1000U is an amazing piece of kit - of course I had to fit now a proper T-groove plate to be able to clamp metal properly for machining. This proved to be a bit tricky as I didn't have a T-groove plate for fixing the work pieces! In the end I think it worked out great, tolerance is around 2/100mm (DTI):
Here the finished mill with the T-groove plate fixed:
Working with the DTI with the clumsy clamping:
Machining the aluminium profiles for taking the fixing bolt - what looks like a 3-minute job took 2 evenings to get around 1/100mm accuracy:
And here the finished aluminium profiles:
I finally decided to upgrade the mechanics to a Precise 1000U giving 1040x600x160mm milling area! Wow! Max. positioning speed is 3500mm/min.
I have now upgraded my mill to Step-Fours' high-end CNC system: XpertMill Software running under Windows and their dynamic step controller XpertCNC:
And here is the new XpertCNC controller which manages to divide every 1.8 degree step into 64 micro step and by that achieves an amazingly smooth operation:
The upgrade was worth every penny - the mill has turned into a Rolls-Royce!
So far, my experience with both the milling machine and the software (V4Professional) has been excellent - precise, powerful and easy to use. It has been worth every pound spent. And it is so much fun!
Here is the actual milling machine:
I opted to go for the high frequency router with brushless motor, doing an incredible 50 000 rpm without hardly any noise. Especially with small diameter cutters (like 0.6mm), this makes a huge difference:
The control of the router speed is done through the software:
And here is a first result - designed on CompuFoil3D and Autocad 2004:
An additional note: Technical support is excellent, too - one year of free email and telephone support is included in the price, and whenever I had a technical question I got a satisfying reply on the same day.
This site was last updated 06/04/07