Saturday, June 9, 2012

Profiled metals for marine customers

Independent multi-metal stockholder Aalco can also offers customers in the marine industry a full profiling service using a 3-axis CNC router.
Aalco stocks an extensive inventory of aluminium, stainless steel, copper, brass, bronze and nickel alloys in all semi-finished forms covering a wide range of grades/alloys, shapes and sizes - both industry standards and special or bespoke items for particular applications or individual requirements.
The Aalco service offer to the marine industry is further enhanced by a 'MultiCam' 3 Axis CNC Profiling Router, complete with a 9m x 2.44m vacuum table, which is installed at the Southampton Service Centre. This gives Aalco the capability to offer customers, commercial suppliers, boat builders & subcontractors a full profiling service using the latest CNC technology. Aluminium bespoke components can be profiled to customers’ drawings & supplied as single parts or in kit form. Components can be engraved with identification marks and datum lines for ease of manufacture.
Jeremy Chase, Product Development Manager for the CNC Profiling Centre comments;
“I have worked in the marine industry for 34 years and as a previous customer, had always been impressed by Aalco’s ability and willingness to work with customers as a key part of the supply chain”
“Now that I have had the opportunity to move to the supply-side I am able to bring knowledge and experience from a customer perspective to make the best metals supply service even better”
To reinforce the company’s ability to service the marine industry, Aalco stocks 9000 x 2000 and 6000 x 2000 Dual Certified 5083-O LRS/DNV 3.2 and also 5083 H321 DNV 3.2 material in various gauges.
Aalco provides customers with a cost-effective single source for all their metals requirements, together with a comprehensive processing service which includes polishing, coating, blanking and 'cut to length'
Marine industry customers include the MOD, commercial shipbuilders, repair yards and the rapidly expanding offshore energy generating industry.

Android CNC controller

[Matt] is the proud owner of a JGRO-based CNC router and he’s been working on a way to control it without a computer. What he came up with is a way to drive the CNC machine using this Android tablet.

A big part of the hack is the CNC controller that he’s using. The TinyG is a board that can take commands via USB and convert them to instructions for up to six axes. In the video after the break [Matt] shows off a direct USB connection as the control method. This is the most interesting part to us, but the system can also be run through the network with the assistance of a computer feeding commands to the TinyG. This second method means the Android controller would be wireless.

A trio of repositories host the code [Matt] is using. From the demo it looks like the Android app has no shortage of features.

Friday, June 1, 2012

CNC Router can build a house

If it’s true that those with the biggest toys win, a few lucky engineers over at EEW Maschinenbau in Germany just earned a gold medal; they have access to a gigantic CNC machine that is large enough to machine a house.

This machine was originally built to manufacture molds for fiberglass wind turbines that are over 50 meters in length. Because building a 50-meter-long CNC machine wasn’t overkill enough, engineers at EEW Maschinenbau settled on a design that is 151 meters long, or almost 500 feet. Of course the HSM-Modal, as this machine is called, can only make parts 151 meters long in the x dimension. The y-axis has a span of 9 meters while the z-axis goes from 0 to 4.25 meters off the ground. Large enough to build cars, ship hulls, and even houses out of a single block of material.

There’s a bunch of technical documentation on the EEW website and a PDF going over the specs. Not only can this gigantic mill machine molds much like an embiggened desktop CNC router, this thing can do drilling, sawing, grinding, plasma cutting, and even extrusion just like a Makerbot.

If you’ve got the cash, EEW Maschinenbau will build you one of these gigantic machines. We can’t imagine how much that would cost, though.