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Thread: intersecting components

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Creative Solids, Fairfield Glade Tennessee


    Well i have completed my first indexer project - to build a stand to hold the Paschal Candle for my church. They changed from the spiral designed to a fluted design, so that eliminated the intersecting components challenge, but i encountered enough ‘opportunities’ to make my brain hurt. But thankfully the end product was acceptable to my church and myself.

    - simply stated i learned a lot about aspire 9.5 - great program, but... the design drove me to use two rail sweep, but adding flutes to the center became the first ‘opportunity.’. training videos were good and helpful, but provided no solution to the opportunity. then modified design into three separate components in three separate aspire files. worked like a charm... until i went to put them all together.
    -when i combined them in one program, slices of the components would disappear - slices from a small sliver (see photo below) to almost half the component. I appreciated the support from Vectric, but the working solution was to export each component to Rhino as .stl file then import the stl file. This worked. But then when i went to make the cut file portions of the components where again missing. This precipitated a series of emails to Vectric Support which must have been ‘humorous’ when read in succession
    - this problem turned out to be that somehow a number was placed in the boundary offset in the machining limit boundary box. (Not sure how but am almost positive it was as other ‘opportunities’ i encountered - operator error
    - so now i am ready to do the actual cut - on my practice pieces - a great idea i believe from John. And now it it is time to encounter a new set of ‘opportunities!’ The first of which is the relation between the z travel, your router bit lengths and height of your indexer. Had built the indexer height based on clearance for 4x8 sheets on the prt table. And i tested it with 4 inch oal end mill. The bits i have for this project are 3 inch oal and there is not enough z travel. So by new bits or raise the indexer.
    - now i get to ‘meet’ every set screw or lack thereof one can think of. First is the face plate which screws into the head stock - in normal lathe mode this is always kept tight, but in indexer mode there can and will be forces that loosen it - have a degree in math, minor in physics so i should be able to compute the force generated by a climb cut parallel to the indexer axis, but suffice it to say it is greater than the force of tightening the face plate to the headstock, greater that the force generated by a set screw in the face plate (which i had to drill and tap as there was none) but is not greater that the sheer pin i set up by drilling into the threads on the head stock. But this solution is far better than watching the piece you are working on rotate as it is cut. After that i found that the forces even loosened the set screw on the gear connected to the stepper motor.
    - and now that i have all the indexer pieces aligned, tightened, adjusted and what ever, it is now time for human error! And i am very good at that. Rough cut on the production piece went very well. Did a great job editing the program to eliminate the ‘cutting of air’ and was very impressed with what i had accomplished and how smoothly things were now going. Next cut is the final cut - after much time on the internet i had found 4 inch oal 3/16 inch ball nose bits for the final cut. But i had also looked at how 3/8 inch would do - and it seemed to be just fine for my project. My human error was that i wrote the final cut of 3/16 and put the 3/8 in the router - and did not truly notice that there was something drastically wrong for about an hour into the cut...... human error and stupidity are a dangerous combination
    - now i got to spend about 3 hours bouncing between acad and aspire redoing the design so it would fit into what remained of my production piece. But, praise the Lord, it all worked and the piece came out just fine.
    - once the indexer was done, the idea to use a lathe and retain the ability to return it to lathe operation really paid off. I removed the stepper motor drive belt, re-installed the lather motor drive belt and easily sanded the cylindrical portions of the piece - worked perfectly.

    Bottom line - i think the project came out pretty darn good and the result was worthy of all the effort. an indexer is an absolutely fantastic addition to my shopbot. Aspire is an excellent program and fun to use. Building the indexer and the ‘opportunities’ is provided me to learn and over come has given me a great feeling of accomplishment. Finally, having the forum and the people at Vectric to ask questions is a true blessing. Cheers, Don

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Memphis TN



    As to your comment about the sander, you can easily get your indexer to spin by just doing a MB 36000 to get it to spin 100 times, then MB 0 to spin it backwards to zero.

    Flutes are ridiculously easy if you use the fluting gadget with Aspire. You'll need the right round bit to do that though. Takes almost no time to cut beautiful flutes, perfectly situated. No math required.
    ShopBot Details:
    PRS Alpha 96x60x12
    4hp Spindle
    12" indexer

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