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Old Sun 24 May 2020, 13:41
Just call me: Chuck
Port Aransas
United States of America
Vertical table conversion of MM-feasible?

Hey everybody, good to see things still up and running here, I've been away for a while as my MM has been in storage. It's a sizable beast, table of approx 22' X 6.5, carrying a 4 KW Colombo spindle. Had I applied for a build number, which I neglected to do though I did document the construction on the forum, it would have been machine approx #7. It was built with the aim of being able to cut a 20' X 6' sheet of aluminum alloy, which it proved to do handily.

Anyway, the size is both a blessing and a curse, and one reason why it is presently languishing in storage. I am wondering....would it be possible to convert to a "vertical" (actually probably 70 degree from horizontal) table. This would reduce floor space requirements considerably. I can't tell you how painful it is to contemplate the alternatives...such as cutting it in half so it will fit.

Would really appreciate you guys thoughts. Lots of considerations, trying to get a grip on forces, reactions. And I offer my thanks to Metalhead for keeping the dream alive.
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Old Mon 25 May 2020, 15:20
Just call me: Brad #10
United States of America
I guess I'll jump in again.

Obvious: the primary issue here is that anything depending on gravity will have a lot less to utilize. That shows up in holding the car to the gantry, the gantry to the table, and resisting cutting generated forces on the z axis - "plunging".

Starting from the X axis, the weight of the gantry and car is no longer balanced between the two rails, so the load on the lower rail will be a lot higher, and not centered over the V wheels. Imagining rails at 20 degrees instead of 90 degrees with matching wheel cantering, it may be supported, but there's nothing to keep it from getting pushed off. Maybe some kind of pressure roller 90 degrees from the V wheel against the side of the rail could counteract that push?

Moving to the Y, I can't think of any good way to rework the V rail system, so I think you might be at linear guides. Luckily, that dimension is short enough for them, unlike the X. I have never looked to see what performance looks like with an angular stress on them, though. That needs some checking with manufacturer specs.

Z will probably just work, with some unusual wear patterns, any maybe a less aggressive counterbalance.

However, when I step back and look at the big picture here, a 6.5' table must mean an overall floor area requirement of about 8.5'. At 70 ( or 20 ) degrees, I think that's about 0.342 of the space required, so you're at 8.5 * .342 = 2.9' plus some clearance for the gantry, car, and spindle heights means likely 4.5'.

Are you sure this level of engineering and trial and error is worth it to save 4' ( x 24' or so ), or is there a less expensive way of handling the space need?
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