Thursday, January 8, 2015

3D Printer Mini-Update

Today I spent some time in the shop milling out some aluminum parts for the printer. The Shapeoko 2 made quick work of the two parts, taking about 40 minutes and 15 minutes for the large and small plates, respectively. The aluminum plates form a pulley mount for the H-gantry system, and will be substantially more rigid than their plastic counterparts. I'll have to make another plate assembly and hotend mount before I'm able to test out the parts.

For milling 6061 aluminum on the Shapeoko 2, I'm using:

  • DeWalt DW660 Cutting Tool
  • 1/8" 2 flute carbide endmill
  • 400 mm/s feed, 60 mm/s plunge, 0.2 mm depth per pass


  1. (1) How are you holding the aluminum down? Screwing it into the MDF waste board? (2) Did you leave a little "tab" leftover so the part didn't completely go loose at the end, or did you just cut all the way?

  2. I use clamps ordered from Little Machine Shop with an aluminum T-slot bed that I ordered from Misumi USA. I set a piece of scrap wood on the t-slot, and then the aluminum I'm cutting gets clamped down on top.

    The T-slot nuts from LMS will need to have the corners cut off with a dremel to fit in the Misumi aluminum. This does allow the exposed steel to rust, so you should paint the exposed areas or keep them well oiled.

    2x Misumi part # HFSQN4-15250-500. These replace the 2x Shapeoko 2 MDF boards; same size. Much tapping required.
    And this clamping kit from LMS: