Multimachine plan

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Multimachine Multimachine development plan.


6 month plan

6 weeks shaper production

2 weeks for rail production

6 -10 weeks lathe and milling machine production

2 weeks for production of surface grinders rails (scraping / grinding on mill)

6 weeks surface grinder production

Idea Development

Parameters: self replicating machine shop capable of roughing parts quickly and finishing parts to within 1 thousandths of an inch (25 microns). Extended parameters: finishing parts to withing 3 ten thousandths using specialty grinders, as well as specialized tools for specific part production (automated screw/bolt machine, ball bearing jig, etc). Basic tools required for this ability is a mill and a lathe, especially if the mill can surface grind (req spindle RPM >6000) and the lathe has an accurate grinding attachment(1). A shaper made on site using concrete casting and round ways (2) will rough out rails for itself, the lathe, and mill, and later on surface grinder etc. rails will then be scraped true by hand with the aid of gauges made on site (3). Rails will then be bolted and epoxied onto concrete machine beds. After machine ways are cured into place the carriage will be clamped onto the ways and bolted and epoxied to mating part. Spindles for both the lathe and mill will be mounted into the concrete bore with a mandrel inserted, aligned with the machine ways, using the mandrel, and then epoxied in place(4).


for each concrete machine tool prototype 1 ½ months of semi-constant production


1 week to make/prepare mold and get inserts/reinforcement prepared

3-4 weeks to let the casting cure during which ways, spindle, gearing and everything else is produced

1 week for assembly, alignment, and epoxying

time can be reduced for succeeding machines by reusable molds, and alignment jigs from previous machines.

Once basic functionality of the shop is reached specialty parts for other machine tools can be made in house, extended list of tools includes surface grinder(gauges and hard material removal), cylindrical grinder(for tapers and internal grinding), centerless grinder(for making rails longer then available machine tools, ball bearing jig(coupled with iron worker and induction furnace for hardened and ground ball bearings), screw lathe(coupled with induction furnace and iron worker to produce bolts on demand in any size),

1 grinding auxiliary spindle, a grinding spindle can be “easily” made with a pair or angular contact bearings, seals and steel for housing and spindle.

2 machine tools using concrete with cast in threaded inserts, table and reinforcing rebar, powered by hydraulic motors and pistons through the power cube. Most of the ideas are listed on the multimachine yahoo group and its sister site multimachine-concrete-machine-tools

3 gauges made in sets of three to average the error (accuracy of 35 bearing spots per square inch)

4 epoxy grout Alignment: using resin epoxy pure or mixed with a granite aggregate a part can be aligned in place without expensive boring and fitting operations. A simple jig to hold the part in alignment and the measurement equipment to align the part is all that is required.

shaper: a set of 5 ft(1st gen) ways set next to cast in place t-slot table. A cross slide will be mounted on the carriage with a gear that can be incremented at the end of each stroke. A clapper box, allows the cutting bit to raise up away from the part on return stroke, is mounted at the and of the cross slide by a bolt. The hydraulic piston will be mounted on a 4X4 steel pipe embedded into the bed. Control through a pair of table dogs





1 make mold for concrete (1 week)

1 assemble internal components and inserts

1 time table ~1 week

2 cast shaper bed with internal components start curing process (3 weeks)

2 manufacture round ways, carriages, and hydraulics

2 time table 3-4 weeks

3 finish curing casting and bolt ways and hydraulics

3 time table 1 week

surface plate (hand scraped or while waiting on shaper, or purchased granite plate)

rails roughed on shaper and scraped to alignment on surface plate(3 days)

replace round rails on shaper with dovetails and epoxy in place (1 day + 1 to cure)

shape out rails for other machines in production (~1 day per rail pair (1 way 1 slide))


1 make mold for concrete (1 week)

1 assemble internal components and inserts

1 create sand core for spindle bore

2 cast lathe bed with components 3-4 weeks cure

2 make ways on shaper

2 make spindle housing on lathe

2 make quick change gear box (now or later, mounting insters will always be there)

3 bolt everything onto lathe

3 align 2 ways and spindle co-axially then epoxy in place

4 bore out and ream tailstock with main spindle

See Also

Multimachine Multimachine