Monday, November 10, 2008

Mini CNC Mill

Mini CNC Milling Overview
The Mini CNC mill is actually a smaller CNC mill that has been adapted for the use of hobbyists. It can create a variety of small projects in the comfort of a home workshop. Some people have been able to take a basic small mill machine and turn it into a CNC machine by adding the computer control panel; this is called a CNC conversion.

This machine is also called a table top CNC mill. The mini-mill also allows an individual who doesn't have a lot of space to work within a chance to do so because they don't take up as much space as the larger CNC mill.

Mini CNC Milling Machine
CNC has been used in commercial shops over the last ten years or so because of their convenience and ability to allow the operator to get more work done. For hobbyists, the prices have come down and there are more opportunities for the hobbyist to use these machines; many already understand CNC from their jobs so it is easy to convert a smaller machine.

Ideally when you use a smaller machine you want to make sure that it can produce the same quality as the larger machine and this is possible with the mini-CNC machine. They can create small parts and they are ideal for doing finishing work or for cutting some metals like aluminum. They also can cut steel because of the low-end torque they use.

Manufacturers like Haas and Syil make reliable mini-mills that fit on a desktop but have high capacity for work. These are usually bought as regular mills and then converted through the use of a kit into the CNC mill. Most of these types of mills can be converted very easily and quickly. Some conversion kits can show how to set up robotics as well.

The conversion process is much more cost effective according to those who have done it, than purchasing one out right. Buying plans and conversion kits can cost around $500 or less while buying a mini CNC machine can cost more than $2,000.

There are many advantages for hobbyists to use computerized programs for milling at home. Some of these include:

- They can work more materials like soft waxes and hard steels and this allows them to experiment with materials they may not have used when they had to mill it by hand. They can also produce parts much faster than with regular milling machines.

- This process allows them to work with more intricate patterns and produce higher precision components. This allows for more ideas to be produced.

- The small CNC mill machines can create smoother finishes on their projects and make for a better design.

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