Exposed Ball Screws

I’m concerned with the exposed ball screws on this machine. I would be concerned about the chips and coolant flying all over the place and getting lodged in the ball screws. Why did Langmuir cover those like other CNC mills?

You would have to install you own covers. centrycoverapplicationguide « Centryco

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We’ve seen this question come up quite regularly but the simple answer is that we did it because it provided no advantage in our testing and it saves pretty big on cost. The linear rails are fully sealed and the ball screws have wipers. We have thousands of cutting hours across years of MR-1 iterations and we have been passing the same linear rail sets and ball screws across these machines to study wear and any other issues. The reality is that we have not had one singular instance of the machine stalling due to debris getting into the ball screws and we have not seem any damage to any of the ball screws and nuts we have used, period. We have ball screws that have been running hard for years with the same backlash as the day we put them in.

MR-1 was carefully designed to optimize both cost and performance. Something as simple as adding ball screw covers would have meant that the machine would have to grow larger in size to accommodate the extra travel required for these covers to compress fully and this means cost grows since rigidity decreases exponentially with a gantry style mill as the travel increases. One option that we have conceded to alleviate folks concerns is that we are developing a molded silicone seal for both sides of the ball nuts that can be added on after the fact. This would be a very low cost option (~$25 total) that could be purchased at any time and installed onto both sides of the X and Y axis ball screws. The main reason we see the advantage to these parts is when cutting wood since it can make a fine dust that could get past the ball screw wipers. For metal cutting, MR-1 makes big chips even when doing finishing passes that simply don’t get past the ball screw wipers in all of our testing. Hope this helps!

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Thank you for that detailed explanation I truly appreciate it. Tell me these seals you wrote about can they be installed at anytime or when assembling the machine? Are they an option that can be ordered when I order a machine?

They can be assembled at any time but would be easier at the time of first assembly. We plan to have these available in our online store when balance payments are requested before the machine order ships.

Why not just include them in the price. Yes 20 bucks will kill you?

$20 is $20! LS making some money means new products for us to buy. Me saving $20 also a good thing! Can always retrofit later IF needed.

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i am ok with most of that, as my current cnc is the same. now those limit switches being exposed might be interesting. Did you guys have any issues with chips causing false stops?

I’m sure the exposed screw and rails will work over time, but…

If you are like me, this is more a hobby and the second it gets done cutting, I am guilty of not doing other things, so I will shut it down and run out the door.

My concern is, if i forget to wash it down and coolant and chips sit for weeks, the water evaporates and the residue turns to chip sludge (ever cleaned out a sitting machine). That’s a me problem I’d like to avoid

So I think I will try to build some “curtains” held up with bungee to keep the crud off the ways and screws

Same thing for a hood over the limits.

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I agree, I operate the same way. I guess I’ll try to make a habit of blowing down and rinsing the screws when I finish.

Please keep me posted on the silcone seals for the ball nuts. I will do some Cast Iron cutting on the MR-1.

if you run big compressors can always put a small air jet on the ends of the linear bearing to blow off the rails as it moves. wouldn’t take a lot of air if done right