This month we were approached by Eagleisystems Ltd of Dundee to assist in the design and prototyping of brackets that would go into a bespoke fixed wing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). More info on the UAS can also be found at: www.raptoruas.com/
In order to achieve minimum footprint and optimise the strength weight ratio, the designers at Eagleisystems requested that the brackets be made from titanium alloy.
Titanium needs little introduction since it is used in nearly every high end application or industry. Examples of course are the medical implants through to acidic environment machinery.
The one thing most machinist know but design engineers sources necessarily, is that it is a interesting material to work with. From its self igniting dusts to the propensity to gall to other metals and even to the fact that it springs back.
We have had the opportunity to experience these challenges first hand and would like to share some tips with you.
We use Mach 3 by Newfangled Solution LLC as the control software on our CNC machine tools. The flexibility and customisability of this package combined with the fact that it runs on Windows (XP, Vista, 7 and 8) makes for a very good solution despite the limitations imposed by being tied to a PC.
As time has progressed, the parallel port originally used for the control of the cnc machines through Mach3, has just about faded away. Software and hardware limitations have crept up on it and although the golden standard for many, including the Linux community, it now is not as common as it once was.
The SmoothStepper in action on our KRV2000
Thankfully vendors of solutions to the issue have emerged to ensure we are still able to use our beloved machines with newer operating systems and hardware.