I am waiting on my SM 2 and interested in the CNC function as a hobby and would work mainly with wood. The shank is 1/8 inch. I believe based on my research that you can purchase a 1/4 inch collet for ER11 and expand the bits you want to use with the SnapMaker. I would really appreciate your advice if this is possible and supported before I spend any money. The collet and bits I am considering links are provided below:
Is for the Amana Tool CO-424 1/4 Inch Collet for ER11 Nut
Is for the # 7-Pc CNC 3D Signmaker Router Bit Set, 1/4 Inch Shank
If it is not recommended to change from the 1/8 to 1/4 inch shank, I would purchase the below kit:
Is for the Amana Tool AMS-112 5-Pc CNC SC Signmaking/Engraving 1/8 Inch Shank Router Bit Pack
Thanks for your assistance and feedback.
Yes, you can use any ER11 collet up to 1/4".
With bits you just need to be careful about getting too big of bits (surfacing bits) and trying to go too fast or step down too deep. Those bits should be fine.
Thanks for the review, advice and comments. Much appreciated.
One thing to note, that those are expensive bits. (Amana makes great stuff and they charge accordingly)
You might want to use some cheap bits when you’re starting out.
Those are all fairly good size so they’re not going to snap easily like some of the less than 1mm I’ve used, but in learning Fusion 360 l’ve had plenty of things go wrong and move too fast and been glad I’ve been using cheapies for practice and set-up. And then I switch to my Whiteside bits for final.
Good advice and that was my plan, I ordered the extra bits as part of my A350 preorder that are significantly less and will use those to learn on and make mistakes before moving onto the more costly bits. Thanks again.
Is there a post somewhere regarding maximums for things like bit diameters, speeds, and step down amounts? I’ve seen one that lists speed for certain materials, but I can’t remember where. And this is the first I’ve heard someone mention bit diameter as an issue.
I’m not super knowledgeable on this, but I think the diameter is a limit because of the spindle motor power being so limited, you just don’t have very much torque available to make big cuts. You also can’t run a big bit very slowly because the chip load is too small and it’ll burn rather than cut.
As far as if there’s a posted guide on these things, I haven’t seen one. If anyone is aware of one please post!
Yes, the concern with bit size is due to the power (or lack thereof) of the current head.
Not that it’s necessarily underpowered - just the power that it does have has limitations (hope that makes sense)
There are calculators on the web that will give you recommended speeds depending on hardness of the wood and size and type (# of flutes) of the bit. The larger the bit the faster the outside edge of it is traveling. There’s also a lot more torque for the head to spin.
I think the best thing you can do is listen to the motor and the bit. You can tell pretty easily if it’s straining. You can adjust the speed while it’s running. Err on the side of caution as far as stepdown. Start with .5mm and see what that does.
So far I’ve found running spindle at 12000 with a .5mm step down in hardwoods like oak or maple a work speed of 350 works well. For soft woods like pine I can push it to 600.
(If it sounds like it’s straining (one of my pieces of oak was extra hard) I slow it down on the controller.) Doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m using an 1/8" or 1/4" bit. I would’ve thought I’d want to slow down the smaller bit, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. I think the stiffness of the 1/4" and the increased speed of the cutting edge balances it out.
I haven’t tried a surfacing bit yet.
Increasing the size of the bit diameter effectively increases the speed of the cutting edge which can cause the bit to over heat (burn).
Also keep in mind that a 1/4" bit has more mass and a larger cutting edge than a 1/8" bit which potentially means more stress on the motor.