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STEPCRAFT Spindles and cutting tools

STEPCRAFT cutting tools

The STEPCRAFT hobby CNC machine has a 43mm collar on the machine Z axis which allows the machine to be used with a variety of tools and associated adaptors. The Proxxon and Dremel spindle systems are introductory spindles for your STEPCRAFT system and are very light systems. As the Dremel and Proxxon are hand tools they must only be used for a short time duration before being switched off and allowed to cool. The maximum recommended cutter diameter is up to 3.2mm diameter when using the entry level spindles. This typically limits the cutting depth to 15mm – and up to 20mm with special tooling. For this reason the Dremel and Proxxon tools are fine to get going but it is important to consider a more substantial spindle as soon as you can afford one.

The STEPCRAFT Version 2 machine supports the Kress spindle which is a very popular CNC spindle. The Kress opens up the machine to larger cutters as large as 6mm and 1/4 inch cutters.

STEPCRAFT also off the HF spindle. The HF spindle is a three phase brushed DC motor equipped with an ER11 collet allowing larger cutters to be loaded into the machine.

We offer an INDUSTRIAL spindle that is a full blown three phase AC motor and it is driven by a variable frequency drive (VFD). We have been using these spindles in the larger sizes powered by the same VFD control for years with excellent reliability.

See below for more details and a summary of all of these spindles

KRESS
STEPCRAFT HF
INDUSTRIAL
KRESS
HF SPINDLE
INDUSTRIAL
Proxxon vs Kress vs HF spindle

We have summarised the three spindle specification in the below table. Please have a look at the specifications and then look at each spindle in more detail below the table.

Spindles Kress STEPCRAFT HF INDUSTRIAL
Weight 1700 560g 1500g
MAX RPM 25000 RPM 20000 RPM 24000RPM
Power required to power the spindle Standard single phase supply Standard single phase supply Standard single phase supply
Recommended max Cutter 3.2mm shank cutter | 15mm deep 1/4 inch cutters | 25-30mm deep 1/4 inch cutters | 25-30mm deep
Collets Kress collets ER11 Collets ER11 collets
Software Controlled On/Off and speed on spindle dial Fully Software controlled Fully Software controlled
HF spindle

The HF spindle is based on a three phase asynchronous motor (heavier duty and quieter) and has an ER11 collet that allows larger cutters to be loaded into the machine. See Click here for some more images of the HF spindle.

  • Spindle speed up to 20,000 RPM
  • 350 / 500 Watt versions available
  • Steel ball bearings for long motor life
  • ER11 collet allowing cutters up to 8mm to be loaded (extra care is required when loading cutters larger than 4mm into the machine
  • Comes with air pump to seal motor to keep dust out of motor
KRESS spindle

The Kress spindle is a very popular spindle for CNC systems. We recommend the 1050-1 Kress spindle. The kress spindle is a cost effective alternative to the STEPCRAFT HF spindle. Note that the Kress is heavier than the HF spindle.

  • Spindle speed 5-20,000 RPM
  • 1050 Watts consumption | 560 Watts effective power
  • Weight 1700g
  • Kress Collets
INDUSTRIAL Spindle

The INDUSTRIAL motor is a three phase AC motor with full industrial operation in mind.

  • Spindle speed up to 24,000 RPM
  • Industrial grade double angle contact bearings
  • ER11 collet allowing cutters up to 8mm to be loaded (extra care is required when loading cutters larger than 4mm into the machine
  • Fully self cooling and balanced spindle
Proxxon Spindle

The proxxon spindle has control between 5,000 and 20,000 RPM. You need the 43mm mounting collar to mount the proxxon spindle into the STEPCRAFT machine.

  • Spindle speed 5-20,000 RPM
  • 1/8th HP (100Watts)
  • Weight 500g
  • Comes with hardened steel collets (up to 3.2mm)
Dremel Adaptor Mount

The Dremel adaptor fits into the 43mm collar of all the STEPCRAFT machines and allows the Dremel spindle system to be installed. The thread on the inside of the mounting collar shown in the image here – matches the dremel system. Therefore the collar allows easy installation and removal of the Dremel spindle into the machine.

Proxxon Adaptor Mount

The Proxxon adaptor fits into the 43mm collar of all the STEPCRAFT machines and allows the Proxxon spindle system to be installed. The internal dimension of the mounting collar shown in the image here – matches the Proxxon head structure. Therefore the collar allows easy installation and removal of the Proxxon spindle into the machine.

Up-cut and Down-cut End mill cutter | 1mm 2mm 3mm diameter available

The cutters shown have two cutting edges and are known as 2 flute cutters. They are availalbe in both “up cut” and “down cut” options click here for a very useful description of the differences between cutters typically used for CNC router processes.

Suitable for Aluminium woods and plastics

Single fluted milling cutters | 1mm 2mm 3mm diameter available

Single fluted cutter (not as strong as dual fluted milling cutters). As this type of cutter is single fluted it is more efficient at evacuating chips/waste from the cutting zone. Very good for use on softer materials like plastics. The feedrate can be halved without any extra “rubbing” (causing heating) when compared to a dual fluted cutter for example.

Engraving V bits | 30 45 60 90 and 120 degree angles

Vbits are used for engraving detailed letters or designs in engraving materials like composite aluminium, traffolyte and acrylics. The angle of the cutter will influence the final finish details and profile. Typical uses are engraving, printed circuit board track machining and chamfering.

Radius ECO mill | Ballnose | 1mm 2mm 3mm shank diameter

The Radius Mill ECO cutters are centre cut – therefore is it okay to plunge (carefully) with this cutter type. These cutters are solid carbide ballnose cutters – all with a 3mm shank. Can be used in most materials. Typically used for carving and machining 3D profiles for 3D shapes.

Special cutters | Depends on materials requirements

Special cutters are available for a variety of special materials. Composites like carbon fibre and other performance materials require special cutting conditions and cutters. It is best to enquire and talk to us / tooling specialists about your special material cutting requirements. Always pay extra attention to extraction when cutting composites as the dust and swarf is extremely hazardous.