CNC Vacuum Table

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This vacuum table project was just an experiment to see if a design like
this would work. I think it turned out pretty nice, and performed well considering I did zero research before designing and making it.

The basic design goals that I was working around was to make it as thin
as possible while maintaining enough vacuum clamping ability to hold a variety of materials down. I also wanted to be able to machine the entire top of the work area, so that it could be machine level. Finally, I wanted to be able to have it bolt directly to my aluminum table extrusion. For the most part I hit most of my design goals without too much problems. I still need to mill some countersunk bolt holes on the back to get rid of the two clamps on the back side, but it works great so long as you remember to put those clamps on the backside of the fixture.

I tried a couple of jobs using the vacuum table. One of them with brass shim stock, and the other with some 1/4" thick oak. The shim stock didn't work so well, but I think that with a little bit of fussing I might be able to get it to work. The wood on the other hand, didn't give me any problems at all. Anyways, here's a couple more pictures, and a video I made documenting the project.

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    Discussions

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    I like you design concept and a few suggestions should be in order. MDF is Extremely Porous and might have performed better if you would have painted it on all of the sides after machining and you don't need nearly as many holes. Also I'd try using a Vacuum Pump instead of a Vacuum Cleaner. My Vacuum Pump will Pull Down on average by 24 Inches of vacuum without any issues and hold it there once I close my valve and shut my pump off. I gave up on MDF entirely and switched over to a Square One inch thick piece of HDP Plastic that was 8" x 8". I could have purchase the same type of Hold Down, but why not build your own as I did with my Openbuilds C-Beam XL which I have now added a 4th Axis too.