Aluminum grades

looking for help from the great people here…I am designing a bracket to attach to the Z axis carriage to mount a laser system to.
I am by no means a machinist nor do I have a mill…but I do know that I can make what I am looking for with my table saw and a drill press…caveman style…

what I do not know is what grade of aluminum is best for this…3003…5052…6061…6063…

basically I am building a saddle to go over the gantry carriage that is going to held in place with Allan key set screws…

if you want to bend it I would recomend 5052 otherwise 6061 is the most common

nope…no bending…just want to take a block about 6x4x1.5 and and mill it on a table saw…

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have you considered using delrin?


hmmm…Delrin…not thought of that…how will it hold up with the heat …UV…and vibrations?

I do have a mill and I would use 6061 to make it, mainly because it is the most commonly available grade.

I wouldn’t rule out 3d printing it, though. I have done a fair bit of cutting with this 3d printed water shield in place and it doesn’t show any sign of melting yet.

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I vote for 6061 or delrin. My 3D printed torch mounts last me about 9-months, and I’m good with that, I always have a printed spare in the spares box.

thanks for the replies…
I do not have a 3d printer and have not yet gotten into 3d design yet…so that rules that out

I might try looking into delrin availability…

so I know Cletus knows his stuff…so I will source out also the 6061…

main reason for suggesting delrin was because of the table saw, I would use stainless if I was making one :rofl: where are you located I might be able to help

6061 is what I would use. It makes good durable tooling. It holds treads well. It cuts well on a chop saw or a router.

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May I ask why it lasts 9 months ? I was going to say why it only lasts 9 months but that would suggest it should last way longer :see_no_evil:

I find the PLA material begins to fatigue and crack about nine months after installation. I assume since it is under constant stress by the two bolts clamping the torch body. I also assume, if printed in ABS it would surely be more durable. I do not print in ABS as yet, a buddy will be printing one for me soon in ABS.
I may make a holder from 6061, but I really like the elegance and low mass of this printed holder. As I said, I always have a spare on-hand. :smile:

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I live in Ottawa…Canada…
stainless would be to heavy and not very workable…
that is why I am choosing Aluminum…it can be worked with a table saw…just takes time…

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Try printing one in PLA+. I find it to be much stronger and more resistant to heat than standard PLA and it can still be printed with a stock printer. I print it 225C on my Ender 3.

Great! Wanted to experiment with that, will order some. Thanks

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6061 machines better. 3003,5052 both form well and will handle water environment. 5052 is a bit stronger and does better in slat water environment. 3003 tends to be cheaper. Since you’re “Milling” with a table saw and it’s a 1 off. Whichever one you can get cheaper locally. Just apply some lube (cutting wax, WD40,diesel whatever) to the blade to keep the chip welding to a minimum. If you were welding everything or machining a bunch of them we can talk about which one is best for that application. in this case anything that’s light weight and metal will work.

This is a link to McMaster’s About Aluminum page.

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Depending upon your location, you might have a Metal Supermarket somewhere near. You can get whatever you want there. There are also several online suppliers. If you were to 3D print I would suggest ASA as a filament. I use ApolloX on my Ultimaker 3E and get incredible results. It is dimensionally accurate, moisture proof, doesn’t warp, and is UV resistant.