Check out my new web site. It's new and still a bit rough, but you
should get the point.
We have worked out a system
for cutting keys using a cnc milling machine. I dont think there are
any keys you cant cut using this system. Ok there is one that i know
of. hope you didnt just but that quattracode :)
I looked at your first photo and it was deja vu all over again!
When I got my Volvo, I wanted a key without the big plastic
bow, that I could put on my key ring without a big bulge. Since
it was impossible to purchase a blank without one, I just bought
a sheet of nickel silver and wrote a CNC program to cut my own.
Later, I was master-keying my business and home, so did exactly
what you show in the bottom video to cut all the keys. Since
it was for a one-off project, I did not bother to put in a fancy
user interface. I just wrote a G-Code program that called a
subroutine with the required cuts. Then I only had to stand
at the machine, put in a blank, and press "Start Cycle".
You have clearly taken the next logical step and developed it
into a product. I wish you the best of luck!
One idea I was kicking around, but never did anything with, was
to mill my own broaches and blanks so I could duplicate (or
create) any key system. The problem was the number of cutters
that would be required. It was too much work for too little
Interesting. But if I may make a suggestion. I noted on the first photo
where you are cuttng a Lexus key, you have an end mill in a chuck.
While expedient, this will cause mischief. If the chuck loosens you lose an
end mill, and the chuck is not as accurate as a collet so one of the flutes
is doing the bulk of the work at half efficiency.
I think an optimal set up would be to have a collet with an internal stop to
make depth adjustment easy when changing from one cutter to the next.
I always wanted to rig a small DRO and a set of cranks to a side winder
machine, but it looks like this is even a better idea.
How many end mills did you snap while you were figuring out the feeds?
I will second this. Not only can the chuck loosen, but they
are simply not designed for any sideways force. Unless they
are the threaded type, the taper can suddenly let loose and
your chuck drops onto the floor! Collets are the way to go
if you don't have the proper end mill holder.
LOL! I remember my first attempt to machine a detailed die
in my mill. I went through sixteen 1/32" end mills before
I got it right. :-)
You can duplicate many types of keys for which blanks are unavailable,
just like you can duplicate CDs and DVDs using basic hardware and
software intended to get around protection. Many keys are stamped DND,
but blanks are usually available from ilco so those can be duplicated
w/o this fancy machine.
For those truly restricted blanks, duplicating them is patents
infringement(unlawful manufacturing of patented goods for commercial
purpose) and subjects you to civil liability just like providing
duplication service for copyrighted work. Are the blanks for keys
mentioned in your page just happens to be not available or are they
unavailable because they're patented?