I Think Irish Broke My Mind

He sent me some 5 Axis machining videos.

I thought I had some idea of what they could do.

I was wrong.

My jaw was hanging open before this was done.

Then he really fucked me up.

Jeebus, I had no idea there was such a thing.
Thanks man.

8 thoughts on “I Think Irish Broke My Mind

  1. 600 or 1200 finish on that stuff. Geez, even at machine speeds that should have taken a long, LONG time to machine!! Those tool bits looked to be getting rather hot, and also how they can get those machining speeds without chatter is just fantastic.

    Pity it will all be obsolete when 3D printers can start handling other metals. Imagine this in solid copper, aluminum, or even (think big here) rhodium!

    We live in an age of miracles.


      • Thanks for the lesson, Irish – it’s been over 30 years since I have been exposed to machining processes, and as usual the technology just goes racing by my feeble little experiences.

        And 3D printers are just getting started. Hang on, people!!


  2. Tool and die making is moving away from human skill with a tool to computer programming skill with remote controlled tools. The precision is astounding. We have a lot of small tool and die makers in this area and I have not been to visit them in a few years, may have to go and see what they are using now. Can’t imagine one of those 5 axis babies is cheap.


    • No, I’m sure they’re not cheap, but once you’ve got ’em programmed right, you can turn out a gazillion identical widgets.


      • Which is the beauty of CAD/CAM, the 2349 widget is identical to the 2350 widget. The computer didn’t get bored and miss something.
        As someone who had done production machining on a manual machine, it’s a thing.


  3. The machines are remarkable but the truly gonzo thing is the software they’re selling. Look at the motions that thing is doing. They’re very complex. Everything moves in curves. All five axes can be moving for every cut.

    I could add all the hardware to make a fifth axis to my four axis home or hobbyist CNC system for another K-buck, but there’s no such thing as or hobbyist level CAM software that will do five axis systems. While I don’t know that particular software, my experience in high end electronic design software is that it will be around $40,000 per year. Those are sold as licensed seats – one seat means one guy can be using it at a time. A company with a thousand engineers might buy five seats, because the chances are that’s how many people are at that exact point in their project.

    At this point, the hold up in getting that into YOUR shop is the software.


  4. When NASA was looking at remanufacturing the Rocketdyne F-1 engine, engineers 3D mapped and imaged several of the surviving engines. They marveled at all the complex welds and gasketing done to make the F-1 the F-1.

    Tossed into Cad-Cam, they reduced the number of parts from bazillions with welds and gaskets, to hundreds, using modern multi-axis machining and 3D printing. Which would result in a weight loss of around 10% with a performance increase of 15% of thrust just in static use. Increase in actual usability from the weight loss, well, that’s that much more fuel or payload.

    Combine that with modern machining and material joining, like stir welding (where they take two huge sections of tank and spin them together to heat the joins and weld them together) and they could make a Saturn V carry much more, be lighter, be cheaper, and be better.

    So, of course, they’re going with that dog of the SLS system (Space Launch System) using shuttle era main engines (which were reworked Saturn upper stage J-2 engines.)

    Which is why SpaceX is beating them like a rented mule.


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