APSX (Blue Ash, OH) recently launched the APSX-PIM, a redesigned and optimized desktop injection molding machine that aims to make plastic and metal injection molding cost effective and easy to apply for prototyping, testing, new product development and low-volume part production.
Now, APSX is introducing the Spyder, a precise and rigid CNC milling machine that can cut metals, wood and plastic. It fills a void in the market for CNC routers that cut specifically metals, not just wood. APSX Spyder is a complete system that includes configured Linux CNC, embedded PC, monitor, keyboard and pendant. It also uses a standard wall outlet for the control box and monitor.
Most air-cooled routers are rated between 10,000 and 30,000 RPM, and usually have torque on the low end of the RPM range. Keeping temperatures as low as possible around the cutting environment, including the spindle, end mill and workpiece, is critical for cutting metals, and water-cooled spindles do a better job at this than air-cooled models. The APSX Spyder has a liquid-chilled spindle with a wide range of RPMs and high torque at low speeds.
APSX Spyder uses a water/air mixing system to facilitate cooling both the workpiece and end mill. Without cooling, machining metals becomes harder as the temperature increases. At some point aluminum will gum up the end mill and will stop cutting effectively or not at all. This can sometimes damage the end mill, and it is difficult to remove molten plastic that collects on it.
If an aggressive cutting strategy is used or if there is not enough coolant, the spindle may be forced to perform above its capabilities. APSX Spyder is able to detect and stop motion before further damage is imposed on the workpiece and end mill. It will also keep x-y-z coordinates so machining can continue without homing.
APSX Spyder has steel shafts, hard anodized aluminum blocks, precision lead screws and strong stepper motors, making it a very rigid machine that is more comparable to vertical machines than CNC routers. The optional solid concrete base adds extra rigidity for high-precision milling.