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Easy Multiple Spindle Options for G-Wizard

Mar 24, 2017   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, DIY CNC, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

It’s fairly common to find machines that have multiple spindle options available.  I don’t mean that you can specify multiple, options, but that there are actual multiple options delivered with the machine.  A very simple example would be multiple pulley ratios.  More exotic would be sub-spindles, for example a high-speed auxiliary spindle or speeder on a mill, or live tooling on a lathe.

How does G-Wizard handle multiple spindle options?

The easiest thing to do is just to add more machine profiles, where each profile corresponds to one of the options.

I recently had a customer approach me about setting up for a Kress high-speed sub-spindle he had mounted on his Tormach for acrylic work.  Mounting an auxiliary high-speed spindle such as the Kress or a trim router is a very common thing to do, and it can add a lot of flexibility.  We’ve written about how Austin Barnett used it to good effect making custom car badges:

auxilliary high speed spindle

High speed spindle piggy-backed on Bridgeport makes work go a lot faster…

Barnett’s badges are gorgeous…

The high-speed spindle is perfect for Barnett’s gorgeous custom car badge work.  It’s all 3D profiling with small endmills and small stepovers, so being able to keep the feedrates and rpms up with the faster spindle really helps get the work done a lot faster that the Bridgeport spindle was capable of.

BTW, if you like the idea we’ve got a whole page of similar auxiliary high-speed spindle rigs to give you some inspiration to create your own!

Getting back to our story, Tormach sells an inexpensive kit to clamp a Kress high speed spindle to the PCNC 1100 spindle:

The Kress spindle clamped to the Tormach’s main spindle…

And here’s the additional profile I had my customer create for the Kress spindle:

kress spindle tormach feeds speeds

Kress Spindle machine profile…

The steps required to create this profile were simple.  After going to the Setup Tab:

1.  Select Tormach 1100 machine profile
2.  Change name to be Tormach 1100 Kress Spindle
3.  Save.  Now you have both regular 1100 and Kress spindle to use as you like
4.  Change Spindle to “Other” instead of R8
5   Set min/max rpms
6.  Set 0.420 KW power
7.  Save
Done!
BTW, creating a profile like this is a good way to evaluate alternatives and see how well they’ll perform for your work.
Consider using the Tormach without the sub-spindle.  Let’s set up a cut with a 1/16″ endmill in the Tormach’s main spindle on some acrylic:
Tiny Micro Milling Cutter Not Enough RPMs
Tiny cutter eeks out 0.0239 cubic inches a minute MRR…
It’s not a very extreme cut–the tiny cutter eeks out 0.0239 cubic inches a minute Material Removal Rate.  We’re using a fraction of the available horsepower, but it’s all we can do because the RPM’s are maxed out.
Now let’s try the same cut with the Kress profile:
micro milling auxilliary high speed spindle
The Kress is delivering 0.1359 cu in/min MRR–almost 6x what the base Tormach can do!
The Kress is delivering 0.1359 cu in/min MRR–almost 6x what the base Tormach can do–Wow!
When was the last time you could spend circa $400 to get a job done 6x faster?  That’s what the Kress kit from Tormach costs.
And guess what, this cut begs for even more rpm if it was available.
So, if you wondered why people were strapping trim routers, Dremels, and other crazy things to the side of much more expensive mills–now you know.  If you’re working with smaller endmills in soft materials, they can make a huge difference to your productivity.
 

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