The Fadal makes some money

The first batch of parts off the Fadal — a rerun of some parts I made on the PM940 last year. So much easier to run (because of the ATC and better repeatability), and definitely valuable for helping my figure out my workflow and starting to optimize programming and running the machine.

The softjaws hold two parts in each of three operations. First, cutting one end to length; then cutting the other end to length and surfacing the curved surface; finally, drilling holes and putting in countersinks. All edges are deburred in the machine, which I haven’t done before (because without an ATC it meant manually changing another tool in, when I was already standing there and could do it by hand while the 3D surfacing was running). The only real learning experience there was implementing a trace toolpath to go around the top of the curved surface, which worked out nicely.

The other learning experience here (possibly re-learning, since it’s been so long since I did this on the PM940) is that it’s easier to leave a lot of extra material while saw cuttingĀ  to make up for angled cuts and poor surface finish. I left an extra 1/8″, turning a 1.25″ part into a 1.5″ part, but that took my defect rate from ~50% down to 0%. All of which goes to say, it’s probably better to just have a good saw.

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