3rd Party CNC Spindle

I’ve been toying with the idea of mounting a more powerful CNC spindle. I would like to do some aluminum milling, in addition to polycarbonate. which is why I need better and more controllable spindle. Something like:


I would set the RPM manually, and just use the snapmaker to move it around. As long as the CNC head is plugged in (but not mounted), this shouldn’t be an issue, right? I’m not super well versed in CNC, so I would love to get some input. Is the SM even sturdy enough to accommodate a heftier spindle? Is this a good idea or not?

I’ve been thinking about this also.

The linear rails lack the ragidity you want for milling metals. Although with some good cutters and a light chipload / depth of cut I think you could get away with some soft metals.

I did some testing on brass and the tool head would flex in the Y direction which kills accurate and surface finish.

As for adding a upgraded spindle, I think weight and torque might cause an issue on the stock linear rails. The linear rail modification in the snapmaker A351 thread is probably a good idea (and on the right track) if metal cutting is the goal.

I think the primary concern will be weight. If we beef up the system and make it more rigid, the motors might struggle to accelerate and burn up.

I would be very interested in your findings if you decide to try it.

I’ve already done the linear rail upgrade to support the bed. I was concerned about the weight as well. I’m not sure the X axis module would be able to handle the weight of a larger spindle. I also think it would toque the X and Z axis pretty bad. I also can’t really think of a way to alleviate the weight either, unless I used a bungee and more or less hung the spindle while it was attached to the x axis plate.

Personally I think this is a fool’s errand, by the time you upgrade the Snapmaker to be able to handle the stress, you’d have spent quite a bit of money for parts and materials, it’d just be better to get a dedicated CNC if you intend on spending money. I’ve done an experiment with aluminum milling on the Snapmaker, it can do it as is, but the head flexes on the Y a little bit and you have to go much slower and smaller step downs. It’s just not worth it, the Snapmaker was not intended to mill aluminum.

Unfortunately, I think @Artezio is right. By the time we come up with a solution it might just be cheaper to buy a separate unit.

That being said, I personally enjoy the process of upgrading my machine and thinking about how to tweaking things to make it better.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I saw the linear rails mod.

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