The CNC Router Spindle
So what is the router spindle? Don't be confused by the "fancy" terminology. The spindle is simple the actual motor doing the cutting, with the help of a cutting tool of course. In other words its the actual router of CNC router.
Like most everything else involving CNC routers, there are a variety of spindle types out there. Some made for wood, some made for metal, etc. As usual there are many factors involved when choosing a spindle for either your pre-build machine, or your homemade CNC machine.
If you are buying an industrial CNC router , then you should be well informed as to the capabilities of the spindle before you buy. Most companies who sell CNC routers do a pretty good job of displaying the spindle capabilities. The reason being, this information is easily understood and appeals well to the reader. For example, our machine offers a 7 HP router.
Most people readily understand these figures much more than linear bearings and lead screw information and make a direct link to the machines capabilities, which is somewhat true.
There are, however, many other important considerations. Such as, RPM, load ratings, power requirements, and the collet type and size to say the least.
If you are building a CNC machine, then you also need to make important decision regarding the router spindle. Again, I realize a lot of hobbyists are bound by budget which I respect. After all, thats part of the challenge. However, there are many choices to choose from within the same price bracket.
One of the most important decisions for the hobbyists , I believe, is the noise level. If you are anywhere near neighbors or your own house, then this is a huge consideration. You dont want to be running an extremely load machine for hours at a time, unless you want angry neighbors.
This section will go into detail regarding all aspects of spindles of all types. Well look at types and features, price ranges , mounting issues, and much more.
The Router Spindle: Types and Features
There are as many tpes of spindles as there are types of CNC routers out there. We'll take a look at all types, from...
Spindle Prices and Costs
We'll look at general pricing of different types of spindles. This assures you aren't getting ripped off by...
Mounting and Cooling Options
There are many ways to mount a spindle head, but there are very few ways to do it right. Cooling the spindle and the cutting tool is a major issue for some applications. The one way to make a bad...
Building your own
For the mechanically minded enthusiasts out there, there are ways to make your won spindle that is specific to your needs. Although I view this as an extra project and not a necessity as it would be hard to make something cheaper than what is available commercially. Alternatively, there are ways to crop parts from other machines to build a rather robust router spindle that is
Calculating Cutting Force
While designing, building, or operating a CNC router, you will probably run across terms such as cutting force or chip load. This section will describe how to calculate relative cutting force, chip load, optimal feed rates and spindles speeds...