1. This is my dream machine!!!

Can anyone help me with some questions in building almost the same as Senna? I'm looking to build using aluminium profile with max footprint of not more than 400mm by 400mm. How do I go about determining the length and size of the cutting table, the diameter/TPI of the ballscrew or linear guide way, and how much to reduce for the rest of the parts?

Any help will be very much appreciated.

TIA
Wongster

2. Originally Posted by wongster
I'm looking to build using aluminium profile with max footprint of not more than 400mm by 400mm. How do I go about determining the length and size of the cutting table, the diameter/TPI of the ballscrew or linear guide way, and how much to reduce for the rest of the parts? Wongster
Wongster,

Since the axis travel distances of my machine was based on what size of linear ways could be won on eBay auctions... I had no firm grasp of what I would eventually end up with for a machine size. I had an idea of what I wanted... but the fiscal realities at times forced a compromise or two which usually resulted in a down sizing of my machine. Those longer linear ways were typically too expensive for my budget.

Once I had the X,Y, & Z linear ways in hand... I was able to finalize the dimensions of my machine. The machine was drawn based upon the dimensions of the THK & Hiwin ways I won on eBay. The way I went about determining my cutting area or as you put it... the size of the cutting table... was to draw my machine in scale, then using the drawn components placed at max travel, you can locate the max cut of the tool bit. I did this for the Y-axis and X-axis. Knowing the dimensions of your components is a must so you can produce accurate drawings or CAD plans. The attached drawings might shed a bit more light on this sizing of the cutting area... and in the 2nd drawing the orange rectangle represents my cutting area based on the max travel distances of the X & Y axis.

As far as the ballscrew dimensions... I knew going in that I wanted to use DumpsterCNC products... and selected his 1/2" 5-start ABN, clamps, and coupler's because of their reputation, cost and availability. The 5-start was chosen for speed.

Hope this helps...

Senna

3. Thanks for the details, Senna. The drawings really open my eyes; something I've never considered.

I met up with a local distributor of THK Actuator to see if I find a short cut. The price of the Actuators are too much to bear though they would greatly reduced the problem of alignment and structural integrity.

I'll be going on the route of linear ways given its lower cost.

4. Installed the Y-axis leadscrew assembly today in the short time I had to work on the machine. I'm using Ahren's bearing blocks, 1/2" radial ball bearings, Dumpster AB nut, Dumpster threaded collar clamps, and 1/2" caged needle bearings. It went together very quickly. The most difficult part was the need to cut down the 5/16" carriage bolts as they don't come in a 2-1/4" length. I used my Sawzall and touched them up a bit on the grinding wheel. Looks great... works great...!

Senna

6. My lack of updates is due to some machining I need to do for the Z axis ballscrew I won on eBay. I need to make the bearing housings. My shop isn't heated and it's just not comfortable out there when the temps drop. Waiting on a bit of milder weather.

In he meantime I'm attempting to teach myself the ins and outs of Vectric's new ASPIRE software.

More as it happens...

Senna

7. When it gets too cold I usually just move into the dinning room lol. The aspire software looks a little pricey. How do you like it?

8. Originally Posted by FandZ
When it gets too cold I usually just move into the dinning room lol. The aspire software looks a little pricey. How do you like it?
I agree with your pricing comment... but the small amount of time I've spent with the trial version has me excited. I do believe it's something I want to invest in. My only reservation is that the software is so new that examples of machined projects are few. The 3d graphic models I'm creating look terrific... I would love to see how those translate into machined materials.

Senna

9. For those following along... here's an update. After much consideration I've decided to go a different direction with regards to the ballscrew. I have two on hand... a beautiful 370mm THK unit having installed bearings, but no bearing housings and a 570mm THK unit having installed bearing AND bearing housings. Having to machine the bearing housings for the smaller 370mm unit has held up progress. It's a simpler matter to cut the longer 570mm ballscrew down to size. With that decision made I'm now waiting on a replacement 15X35mm ball bearing needed for the radial end of the ballscrew.

I've also redesigned the Z-axis to accommodate some minor dimensional differences between the two ballscrews. It was an uncomfortable 38 degrees out in the shop yesterday... but I managed to get out there and I mocked up my new design out of some scrap OSB looking for fitment and any potential warts. Based upon this mock-up I made a slight last minute design change and locked it down.

Now it's up to UPS. I should have some progress pics within a week or so...

Senna

10. This is a beautiful project, thanks for sharing.

May I ask how you do your photos with no backgrounds? They're fantastic looking -

Dave

11. Dave,

Thanks for the compliments.

I use the Magic Wand in Photoshop mostly... with some Eraser in the few areas the Magic Wand fails to deal with. I never work on the background level... I keep that white and paste my image to a new level to do the work. As you eliminate areas with the Wand or Eraser.. the white background becomes the backdrop for the subject in the pic. It's almost quicker to do than to describe...

Senna

12. Well, you're pretty deadly with the magic wand tool, my friend.

Nice work-

Dave

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