Perhaps not worthy of a VMC but wax milling is a good job for a mill like the Taig. That implies the Taig is an excellent machine for the job.
As shown elsewhere in this blog, I have converted the standard Taig (not ball-screw) to a water-cooled spindle capable of 25,000 rpm.
The spindle is overpowered for wax milling. It just loafs along at near idle power. I turned off the water flow and let the mill run for an hour without water flow. The spindle became warm, but no where near hot. A lot cooler than the Taig standard CNC spindle motor doing the same work.
I have said wax milling is very low load, so this doesn’t surprise me. It tells me my cooling system is certainly far over engineered. Water flow is slow enough that wastewater (down the drain) cooling is certainly feasible for short to perhaps medium milling. The flow rate needs to be the smallest trickle. I would suggest collecting the (clean) water for plant watering or other uses.Continue reading
A video of my Taig mill with HS water cooled spindle running at 15,000 RPM milling wax double sided master for lost wax casting. Sorry about vertical format. I know better but filmed this originally for quick share with a friend on iPhone Messenger. Right click on image and open in new window for larger size and audio.
The new spindle performance exceeds all expectations. It is not a low cost option / addition to an already adequate micro-machine tool system, but it does provide a very good way to achieve more than double the stock Taig spindle speeds.
Some applications using very small diameter tooling are performed much better when running adequate SFM and cut travel speeds. High speed spindles and especially water cooled ones like this example are a joy to use because of their extremely quite operation.
The Taig spindle is known for its quiet operation and the water cooled spindle here is in my opinion just as quite or perhaps more so, even running at full speed. Tool cutting sound is the same but the spindle motor has none of the sound of a high speed router.
The water cooling has been added to the high speed spindle through the red tubes in the picture. This is phase one where I will be using a reservoir with a sump pump behind the bench.. This should let me operate for maybe an hour or so. I don’t have any idea how much and how fast the water will warm.
The next step in the water cooling will be to add a closed loop system with a radiator to move the heat out into the ambient air rather than store it in the water tank. But first I need to determine through running and testing how much heat per hour is produced by the spindle in my type of operation.
I will be in the 10K to 24K speed range for many hours of continuous wax milling. I suspect spindle loads will be very low but only through running and testing can I design an adequate cooling radiator system.
Next is the spindle three phase wiring and power connection, followed by programming the VFD. If all goes well the spindle should be operational in a few more days.