SwissMak Offers Milling and Turning Center for Hobbyists
Tom Spendlove posted on April 23, 2018 |
Overlord Robotics is offering a five axis turning and machine for hobbyists and makers.

Perry Campbell was frustrated with the selection available when looking for a maker-sized CNC machine - low quality imported machines and scaled down copies of machines from the 1950s and 1960s were the best choices to be found. Along with his team at Overlord Robotics, Campbell set to work creating his own machine and is now crowdfunding the SwissMak as a mill turning center for a hobbyist’s shop.

SwissMak comes in a few configurations but the most prominent is a five axis milling and turning machine. The turning operations come from an eight station live tool turret and milling is done with a 30 taper milling head. The large structural components from the machine are made from 6061 aluminum while the spindles, shafts, and hardware components are steel. Digging in to the various pieces of information available about the machines yields the fact that the any material softer than tungsten carbide can be cut on the SwissMak. Steel, brass, aluminum and plastic are all cut in the campaign video. Linear movement comes from leadscrews, roller thrust bearings and anti-backlash nuts. The prototype parts shown in the video have aluminum boxways with acetal wear pads and the production components will be hard anodized with PTFE. The stepper motors on the linear and rotary axes are NEMA 24 style and the spindles are ODrive servos.

Mill-Turn kit with five axis swiveling head, 5 Axis Mill kit, Lathe kit, and 3 Axis Mill kit are the four different configurations available through the Kickstarter campaign. There are great insights on the campaign page about design decisions that were made so the machines will be easier to manufacture for this production run, and alignment components that the production machines will incorporate. Enclosures and coolant flow are shown in the campaign video but not mentioned in the current offerings. This is a great ambitious project and I’m hoping that many makers and hobbyists can use these machines to create some great projects over time. The campaign ends on May 18 and if successful the current scheduled shipping date is October 2018.

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