Hi there folks!
I know, i started a new topic! I changed all of my plans and i start over again, for the second time, but i know i have now a better design for my machine! It sounds a bit strange but im going to build the machine in a hanging position. This way it is compacter, stiffer, cost less and i only need 6 axis. And i can get it more accurate! So i start all over with my idea! I have all parts that i should use, exept for some small things. I also buyed a new industrial robot where i took some parts from! This shows me some new thinking about building a automatic faceting machine! I hope you enjoy the building. Please ask me questions or if you have any good ideas, please tell me!!!
Have you looked at the other automated machines ? There are a few , some like , some don't . They have pros and cons . From what I hear though , to get a good result , you pretty much have to babysit them . So to me , dosnt make sense . You will need to get around this problem . Quality , withstanding laps will be a priority . Things wear , and more than likely it will be the lap if you intend to go this way . I think you should find someone cutting stones and see where you can improve . No point making a machine that will cut average stones ( it been done already ) you have the know how and will , just not faceting experiance . I think a little of that will help you create and bring new ideas to the front . I know this sounds on obvious ,but that little feeling and touch of the machine as it starts to cut a stone can probably give you ides how to get where you want to be quicker . So many variation and problems on the rocky road to get a good stone . These variable need to be taken into account . Harder ,softer stone , how will your machine deal with that ? One seemingly tested pressure will work for one , but another with different hardness ? Might rip it apart , I like what your doing , but I think you need to check old school methods . I think this will lead to more unproblematic results for what you want to achieve . I think you will achieve a good machine , you have all the bits an willingness /passion , and wish you the best . I think you are missing some points though . That's why I suggested .. As said . You will do well,just don't skip the basics , your material won't be stock standard marbles . So that needs to be accounted for . I'd love to see you succeed , just remember , most machine cut stones are frowned upon for thier lack of weight return and bad quality . Hope you can change that
Got stuff to dig stuff up .. Got stuff to detect metal stuff .. Got stuff to facet stuff ...
I'm not sure how much faceting experience you have but I'm with Kingsolomon here - I think you really want to get the feel for operating a faceting machine before trying to build one. Probably a bit like putting the cart before the horse otherwise. Natural stones in particular can have their own little idiosyncracies and you really want to develop a feel for how a variety of different things behave on cutting and polishing laps.
I don't claim to be a guru or anything, far from it. But the experience I have had so far allowed me to rescue a stone the other week. It had somehow shifted on the dop in all three dimensions, right near the end of polishing the pavilion, much worse than it seemed at the time - rotated on it's axis, slid along the dop end and tilted over a bit at the top. When I was first starting, that situation would have been hopeless and I would have needed to have re-cut all over. But because I had enough experience with what this design was supposed to look like, I was able to build a crown by eye until everything matched neatly and aligned perfectly with the pavilion. There's probably better ways to do it but it was only experience that got me out of trouble there.
Spend some time learning to use a faceting machine first if you haven't already
Hello Kingsolomon and Lefty,
Thanks! I learned facetting when i was 12y old from my dad. I learned cutting on a homebuild machine, i did my practice on tourmaline. I know the basics, only with a automatic machine you cant feel anything. So i need to setup my software with trail and error. Im going to use quartz and ruby's for test. Im going to program my own software for controlling my machine. I cant manual controll the machine. So if something is going wrong i can push the NoStop button
I could calculate everything, like pressure, speed, etc. But i first want to use the most general settings, witch lap, witch hardness, crystal direction etc. The rest is all trail and error, if it takes 10 seconds for cutting 0.2 mm for quartz i can set it up to my setup for quartz-a, i can creaty a database for every cutted stone i did and use the information for the next cut.
The problem for building a machine like this, you dont have mutch references becouse it is not from your own feeling. The only thing i could use out of my experiance is the sound of cutting. The rest is all standard. I thougth about setting up 4 laps so that i can cut in stages. I will need to test different lap materials for polishing, i used aluminium oxide for the tourmaline, dont know what size but i can check it all again. There is good information for polishing and again, i also need it from trail and error.
The first stages for me is testing testing testing. The first form will be a standard diamond cut. Just as first database setup. I could even program the output from gemcad for my machine for other forms.
To get a new faceting machine is not an option. A second hand machine is rare here in the netherlands. The first one i know that can cut good stones is my dad only he lifes in Germany thats a long ride on my bike I know only 3 people in the Netherlands who can cut good. Only the distance is too far and they dont have time, they all run a shop.
If there are around 100 people in the Netherlands who can cut on a faceting machine, only 5 are pro's. (Dont think there are even 100 people that are cutting stones here in the Netherlands) This is a huge difference with Oz and US. It is realy a problem to find some one nearby that is facetting and sertenly some one who has his own faceting machine.
But! Im a quick learner for example: today i thougth lets take a aluminium plate of 20mm thick lets try. I learned today that my max drilling in aluminium is drill 6.5mm becoure the spindle has already got troubles at 6.4 but it just can go with it, i also tryed it with 8mm and it stopped. So 6.5mm is max! I spilled today 2 end mills today becourse i cannot mill deeper than the mill width. I used a 6mm end mill and needed to cut 20mm, the solution what i need to take is cooling. There are several way's to cool. Now i learned that if i dont cool down my end mill it will eat aluminium chips and get stuck/break. Solution, rappidly build something to cool my endmill en get rit off the chips! The end mills that get stuck i can throw away, becouse if i use them in wood, i will burn the wood and if i use them again in aluminium they will get stuck again. These end mills cost me about 20 euro each. But i need to learn with trail and error.
This is also an example how i need to build my faceting machine. There is no other way than try and error. If i break a Nubond disc, it be so. But i learned that i need more carefull with using my z-axis or my rotating axis. The machine has more power than i do .
This project is also a challenge. I saw many machines build on the internet. No one of them is like the machine i want to build exept one in Germany. It all comes to build one and then improve. I dont see a another way. I know the basics of facetting. I know what can go wrong. I know what to setup with different stones also the light setups these will all be variables in my software that i can change and store in a database. But there can always be unseen things and i need to learn to handle thos things.
Go learning again with a normal lapidary, is a good idea but i dont have any references for a automatic machine. The most of the time is learning polishing, digital and with the eye. I can not do this full automatic. A good eye is needed. But this does not take away i can make this semi-automatic! An example of how i want to do this is let the machine polish for a while, after automatic polishing, i can use the trinocular microscope while the stone is still on the dop and on the machine and select the facets that need to repolish.
Everything is on trail and error. Some things a fixed other thing must be variable. I dont know how how to tell you that it is impossible to do it on feeling, some things can, but not all.
Its something i cant explain but mayby the above gives you a idea?! It going to be a almost full variable machine. The sky is the limit as we say!
Please dont understand me wrong. I know how to setup a stone on a standard lapidary but not on a automatic faceting machine. There is no info about that! There is information but they wont give/share it to you/me!
One more thoughts upon your thoughts witch i can imagine why is the quality and lack of weigth. 99% of the automatic machines are build for speed. My machine is not going to be for speed. I'f a good stone costs me a hour to cut, it will take an hour. I dont want to be into the mass production. I want to make my stones by the 'book'
Again please dont have wrong thoughts about my build! Its hobby not a must!!!
Last edited by Nena (19 August 2016 09:52 am)
Sounds like you have plenty of faceting experience, you're well on your way to your goal then
Sorry, I know almost nothing about automatic faceting machines so I can't help you with information there. It sounds like an intruiging project though
It does seem to me as though you would have to babysit them a bit if you're going to cut a variety of natural stones. Laboratory-made synthetics are probably more predictable than natural stone that were formed in chaos. As an example, I found a number of amethyst crystals together in a small collapsed vug. They were sitting only inches apart in what was once the same little cavity probably not much larger than a coffee mug, so obviously they formed in the same spot from the same little quantity of mineral-rich liquid under the same set of conditions. Despite this, they did not behave in a similar manner on the lap - a couple of them polished up beautifully, quickly and easily while some of the others reacted badly to the same combination of lap and polishing agent, the surface coming away in tiny flakes and it was a hell of a job to get an acceptable polish on them. But you'd probably know this anyway.
Have you tried asking at Gemology online? They might be able to give you the information you're seeking.
Are you going to be 3d scanning each individual rock to be faceted so the database can calculate where and how to cut on each rock, or are you basing it off preform templates already saved in a database? What im mostly talking about is how will you calibrate unique rock shape and sizes unless preforms are used. Sounds like a very interesting project Nena
Wisdom is knowing how little you know
Hello Lefty & AtomRat,
I know about the various grow of stones and changes in hardness in a single stone. This can give problems with cutting and polishing. You should try cutting it the other way on your lap. Or change the direction speed of your lap. I can recognise the problem with listen to the cutting sound. So thats why i want to build a microphone into the cutting head.
AtomRat: No, i wont make a 3d scanner for cutting stones. It is a beautiful technique but it is too mutch work!
For now, im going to build the machine first completely out of wood. There is no way i can mill the plates in aluminium until i make some cooling on my milling machine! Later this day ill post my aluminium test plate i made yesterday and you can see what problems i got without cooling the end mill/aluminium. Im now going to see if i got some good wood screws so that i can build it if it was aluminium. If i have done my milling machine i could mill all parts out of aluminium.
Have you thought about casting aluminium parts to make less milling? A simply gravity fed milk or oil line should work for the cooling I would have thought. Keep it up! Sounds fun Are you using Mach 3?
Wisdom is knowing how little you know
I thought about casting aluminium but with the climate here in the Netherlands its to dangerous to cast outside I think i will use flood for cooling my aluminium, i also can go for minimum cooling (spraying with methylated spirit). Thought about a making a acrylic bin inside my milling machine. So that i can flood my aluminium and end mill. I am not using mach3 but EdingCNC. Mach3 is like a slot machine hehehe!
Here are some photo's of my first test with 20mm thick aluminium. You can see that i didnt cool my end mill causing to eat chips and distroying my plate Thats why i going to build it first in wood.
Also on the first photo you can see that the drilling with a 8.4 mm drill goes wrong. The rest of the holes i drilled with a end mill. The part im trying to make here is for the cutting head.
Last edited by Nena (20 August 2016 12:52 am)
looks like clamp is moving and the speed is to fast but are you talking about the side only.clamp and vibrations caused by speed and lube i recon crc might help wd40try more lube.
dont know unless i see a vid but i love your work nice
Those lines you see is from changing the end mill. I need a good coolant like flooding. The speed that i used was 200mm/min and i should use a single flute mill. And the material is AW 6082. I tried pieces of AW 7075 but that mills perfect! An coolant and one flute mills will do wonders The plate didnt shift but i didnt correct my settings. I already had something that the plate is going to fail.
My new milled plate, this time in wood I use other zise holes becouse i will build a test setup and need to use wood screws. At this way i can easily make changes in my build.
Last edited by Nena (20 August 2016 07:44 am)
This can give problems with cutting and polishing. You should try cutting it the other way on your lap. Or change the direction speed of your lap
Yes, I'm aware of all this Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Troubles with stones are usually relatively minor but sometimes you get a really stubborn one and you end up trying multiple approaches before something finally works.
I'm just curious to know how automated machines handle such natural discrepencies and how much a person has to take control at that point.
I hope I haven't come across as casting doubt on your project Christian, that's not my intention. A fully automated faceting machine is not something I would likely ever buy myself - the more I can just "push a button and stand back", the less I feel as though I can claim the credit for the end result. I can't speak for Kingsolomon but I wouldn't be surprised if he feels the same way since he is an airbrush artist.
I have a VJ faceting machine, complete with all the "whistles and bells". I ended up disconnecting all the electronics after I determined that the difference between cutting at 42.5 degrees and 42.48 degrees was zero when veiwed through a 20x loupe, and I'm pretty picky Highly accurate cutting only requires a very accurately engineered piece of otherwise very simple manual hardware, it doesn't need to be plugged into a supercomputer to achieve excellent results.
Also, "Murphy's law" dictates that anything that can go wrong sooner or later will go wrong, therefore the more complex a system, the more things that can potentially go wrong with it. The digital angle readout on mine fell victim to some wierd problem. I disconnected when I decided I could cut just as fast and accurately without it. For solidly built, precision-engineered manual parts to go badly wrong you probably almost need to hit them with a hammer.
But I'm just a serious hobbyist - if your goal is to turn out a lot of stones in a short time frame then automation may well be the way to go. Looks like you've certainly got the engineering know-how to build a machine yourself (are you a machinist?).
Be sure to put up a youtube video when you have it up and running, I'd like to see it in action
I think if I had the skills and half an idea of what to do. I too would build my own automatic faceting machine. And would have absolutely nothing to do with wanting to cut a truck load of stones. The enjoyment, for myself, would come from designing a machine that could do it and overcoming the hurdles along the way.
At the moment I'm designing and building a digital readout because I want the challenge. I'm using a 3.5 inch colour touch screen where an LCD would do the same job, but I can add stuff that I don't need, rpm, movies, play a tune etc. It's actually on final build stage as proof of concept has been achieved to 0.02*.
All because I can (I'm no electronics engineer(all self taught) - just a mechanic). That is the art and challenge, it's just not in paint or stone.
Christian I am watching this with interest. I think the real work will start in designing the electronics and software. Enjoy
I think it's safe to say we all want different things
Being the first person to see a many millions year old rough stone tumble from the ground dug by my own hand out in the bush somewhere, and then to take that stone and fashion it into a finished gem is what does it for me. I like the fact that I've been there for the whole process, I don't find it quite as exciting when working on something I didn't find myself.
But to each their own is what makes the world
I think you have summed it up Lefty. All just different strokes. And don't get me wrong, I also like to have a dig but it's not possible at the moment for me. The last dig I had a go at was at Black Springs, last year I think, but my daughter was convinced I had made her a sand pit and just played in the hole. Although I did speck a small one on the road as a consolation prize. So I'm banging away with the electronic side of it instead.
It's just good brain exercise while the TV regurgitates the same drivel every night.
Christian's project is a worthwhile one MM and I would still be interested to see a youtube video. To me, it's a bit of a separate thing to actual faceting because while some technical advancements in this field are designed to support the human (more precisely engineered moving parts, digital readouts/touch screens, pressure sensors, even having the machine play you the right sort of music to put you in the zone and having it make you caffeinated beverages to keep you sharp and focussed ), this particular innovation is designed to replace the human.
The forementioned things might improve my faceting overall but I'm not going to become a more skillful and generally better facetor by building a robot to replace myself with (not that I have the engineering skills anyway).
So while both have their own challenges, I see faceting and building a fully automated faceting machine as being two different things.
My personal preference is for better and better "dumb hardware" that allows me to turn out improving results as an operator. One example might be that my machine (and pretty much all of them nowdays I expect) can accurately split a degree into tenths via a more precisely made manual protractor. The machine I started learning on was a rather old Gemmaster, a good machine in it's day but there was no way to accurately split one degree by that much, if you could get close to splitting a degree in half repeatedly then you were doing well.
But I'm not naturally mechanically-minded so I have to rely on "becoming one with the faceting machine" and tapping into it's simple functions with sight, hearing and touch. Kind of the antithesis to building a robot to do the job.
But I still wish Christian all the best with his project, I'm sure he'll eventually reach his goal and have fun along the way
Last edited by Lefty (21 August 2016 11:46 pm)
I will read your message carfully again tonight, im now too busy learning to draw with triangles (text based 3d drawing. Building graphics by numbers ) so that i can make a little program to see gemcad output in my software This will take some time. Just got my first triangle on my screen, now positioning and and and...
Ill come back later tonight!!!
There is a vibration somewhere or unblanced ,maybe to tight .got me stuffed would like to see it working, trial and error .
good luck buddy
Mmm, mayby its just the kick to build sutch a machine but it is also an challenge to build one. Becouse it is not only building a machine. I need to make the electronics, software, etc. I'm not an machinist, i'm a programmer and i like electronics, robotica and chemistry! For the rest i have nothing to do at home thats why i want to start making a cnc faceting machine. When the machine runs and when i can do some test runs i will capture it for youtube
I think it is a race to build a machine that can cut a stone in a perfect shape. But not only that, it is also for trying new things. I could build a fantasy machine like ultratec did but there are more things what i could try then, like automatic dopping etc.
It is just for fun, bit of stress bit of fun, loads of work
Need some help!
I have found a simple diamond diagram on facetdiagrams and i want to draw the diagram in my software but if i calculate the hight of the pavilion with the angles, the messurements arent correct. How can this be?! What is the solution?! I have used the 42.10 and the 41.00 degrees. If i draw the angles with the heigth in my CAD software then the pavilion heigth is ore to long or to short?! What am i doing wrong!
Drawing is in inches as at the diagram
Or do i need to calculate from the bottom. I feel stupid it has been some years i calculated these angles...
3d results (these messurements ar not correct yet) three positions
Last edited by Nena (22 August 2016 10:53 pm)
if i take the angle of 42.10 and the width of 1" than should my hight of the pavilion be 0,335..."
1 / 2 = 0.5 * sin(42.10) = 0,33521330947939955949703742947078
Why is the document saying: P/W = 0.435??? thats a diff from 0.1"
That's one of those brain annihilating questions but I think you are on the wrong plane. The vertical angle is 0* the horizontal is 90*. So 90 - 41 = 49*
Using this calculator http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/calrtri.htm
Width: a = 0.5 Angle A = 49*. Hit calculate and it chucks out the answer length b = 0.435 Which, if I have this right matches the ratio P/W 0.435 in Gem CAD
Could be wrong - its late.
Thanks Mr Magoo!
Did not thought about that! Thanks!!! hehehe, made the change and it works correct now! Hopefully i can draw the complete gem now, but first i need to solve some stupid errors. My build is shifted a few degrees and i need to get it under the horizontal row. Then i should make it totaly variable to draw also the other planes.
The new calculation would be then: X = Diameter / 2 * sin((90 - Degrees) * PI / 180)
Your message: 03:17 pm!!! there is a 9 hour time diff with here lol
Calculation: 0.5 / tan(49) = 0,43464336890811333110004781935197 = 0.435 it has taken some time but there is my awnser lol
Dont have the pavilion good yet but im coming close, first time working with 3d in my programming language i like it but its painstaking work.. my programming language is official not for 3d drawing
Last edited by Nena (23 August 2016 11:12 pm)