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I was looking at some completed projects and some mentioned run times of about 10 or 12 hours. This brought up several questions:

1. How many of you guys have regular spindles vs. routers?

2. Is the spindle air cooled or water cooled?

3. Air Cooled or Water cooled, which is your recommendation?

4. If you have a router, do you run it that long at one time?

5. On a project that runs for 10 or 12 hours, do you leave the shop while it is running or do you stick around making sure nothing goes south?

Edited by Chips N Dust

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I use routers until my college will let me upgrade our two Probotix CNC to spindles.   I keep my variable speed routers (with speed dials that go from 1 to 6) on 5 max and keep a close eye on them as they cut.   We don't do much 3D work though, but I've had a few projects that took 5-6 hours.  


I recommend water cooled though as those don't have a fan that will reduce the effectiveness of any dust collection.    Spindles also generally require 220vAC so be sure you have access to that in your shop. 


I would never let a project run without being able to at least listen to it as it cuts.  If it looks like I need to leave during a long 3D cut then I pause the job, write down the current G-code line I'm on, then STOP the file and shut the CNC down until I can get back to it.   You do have the ability to start a job on any line of the G-code, but since the router/spindle start command is usually in the beginning of the file then be sure you've started up your router/spindle before running the G-code. 


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I does, and it is pretty close with 2D/2.5 D cuts, but much worse with 3D cut times.   If you keep a record of estimated VS actual cut times then there is a variable you can change to adjust the estimate for a closer guess.   Hover over the created tool path in the list and cut time is something it will show. 


I use that feature more for a relative comparison.  I often can tell me such things as "will this cut using the moulding tool path take longer or less time than a 3D finish tool path"?



Edited by 4DThinker

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