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iModela enhancements

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:23 pm
Even though I own bigger MDX machines, I am still a keen fan of the little iModela machines. They work brilliantly with wax and take up such a small space in the workshop. I actually own three of these little gems.

After what seems like an endless search, I finally managed to acquire not only one of the Delcam rotary fixtures that allow these little machines to create complex rings, but also an original Delcam flip fixture, that allows accurate multi sided machining. Both of these items totally transform the machine, but are almost impossible to obtain nowadays, since Delcam was taken over by Autodesk and all the machine side of the business closed.

Of course as well as the fixtures themselves, you also need some powerful design software as well as the ability to customise a specialist postprocessor, but it just shows what the iModela could have been, with a little more development time.

Re: iModela enhancements

Posted: Sat May 12, 2018 7:56 pm
The little iModela has the same problem as the smaller MDX machines, which is essentially a reliance on double sided tape to hold down the work piece. Works great until you have warm weather such as we have had recently, which causes the tape adhesion to fail and the work piece to break free.

The solution is a simple work holding jig to firmly clamp the wax slab one end and and adjustable support at the other end. Using this type of solution means you can generally do away with a sacrificial bed, which has the added benefit of the user not indenting the work piece with finger nail marks from removing the tape.

This example was designed in Artcam and printed off on a 3D printer. The fastening pins are inexpensive M4 nylon bolts, meaning the tool would be unlikely to break if it inadvertently came into contact with them.

Re: iModela enhancements

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:19 am
by Joe Wigzell
Nice fix...simple but effective I imagine!

Re: iModela enhancements

Posted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:50 pm
In case anyone ever wondered what the Delcam iModela rotary attachment could create...
Sadly Delcam is no more, but the rotary attachment and flip attachment are so well built, they are unlikely to ever wear out.

We also ran this project on one of our bigger MDX machines that sports our own custom made 4th axis solution, purely to compare and contrast. The results are completely indistinguishable.

The surfacing was done with a 2mm cutter (3mm on the MDX) and the roughing and finishing paths with a 0.5mm cutter.