Re: [mill_drill] Coverting RF31 to CNC
- Good eye :) Yes, it's a 1993 968 in Amazon Green (actually a shade of blue), 6-speed manual with LSD.The spindle on the RF31 is standard R8. Dave DeCaussin (founder of FADAL) designed a toolholder which he calls Cat-R8, it's basically the tapered part of an R8 toolholder minus the straight part. There is a small pullstud instead. It gives you a very compact toolholder that is compatible with all regular Cat-R8 spindles. It's very clever. That RF31 in my shop is Dave's prototype machine that he built in 30 days (!!!!) to prove the concept. He has gone on to design and build the UMC10:Which is a much beefier and more capable machine. It's totally scratch-built from weldments, not a conversion of an existing machine. I am using Dave's Cat-R8 toolholders, and most of his design on my Denford Easimill 3 ATC conversion. I never would have considered this project if Dave hadn't shared so much knowledge & encouragement (he's a friend and lives locally) Some of the differences:-My carousel holds 12 tools rather than 8-My carousel is bi-directional-I'm using Mach3 instead of FlashCut-Because my mill has very limited Z-travel (3-1/2") my entire toolchanger is retractable to provide clearance.cheers,cOn Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM, CS Mo <cs@...> wrote:
Did you change the spindle on the RF31? And, is that a 968 in the background?
>you're starting down a fun path. HSM (or was it MW?) did a series about
>converting the RF31 a few years ago. One of the neat things is that you
>can put together a relatively simple system and still gain enormous
>capability, or you can go crazy and gain even more. I have a VMC8 which is
>a cnc'd RF31 with 8-tool automatic toolchanger running under FlashCut. A
>few days ago, I finished the automatic toolchanger for my Denford Easimill
>3. This one has a 12-tool bi-directional ATC running under Mach3.
>I look forward to following your project.