Homemade Plasma X-Y thingy
I'm not going to use the name "Ghetto CNC Plasma Cutter" since another thread already used that name. However, this project would fit that description for sure.
When I was building new workbenches in my garage, I deliberately built a protruding open top cabinet into the floorspace for the CNC machine to sit on, so I have access to three sides easily enough:
I built the base of the machine out of angle iron, and the uprights out of pre-punched 1" square steel tubing, just to make it easy. Across the top is 1" angle iron to give some structural rigidity:
I made the z-axis first, even though I probably won't need to automate the vertical movement of the plasma cutting torch, but if I ever want this feature now is the time to do it:
And after a few months of 30 minutes here, an hour there, one ends up with a nearly completed CNC plasma cutting system:
If any of you are interested in the full build web page (it's a big page with lots of pictures), it's located here:
I figured posting a couple of pictures would give an overview of the project, and people interested can click the link for more detail, rather than filling up this post with 150 pictures.
Made another motor mount today. This is really not the proper way to use a forrester bit however it does work. Once making this part was completed, I was able to install it and the stepper motors didn't bang into anything. Cool!
Looking good Midiguy!
A few more of those 30 minute sessions & you will have the X-Y thingy cutting.
Thanks for sharing your progress.
I'm at the point where it's mechanically done, minus two leadscrew nuts I have to make on the lathe. I'll be doing that once I get my lathe chuck to not wobble (grrr).
Almost done the wiring however, but I'm having trouble sourcing the flexible, plastic "links" that the wiring goes into, which prevents the wiring from falling into the machine or off the side. These links flex in one direction, but not the others.
I've tried mcmaster and google, but I'm not finding it. What is this stuff called? Hard to search for something if you don't know what it is lol. I've tried "flexible conduit" and "flat conduit" and similar.
Try a search for IGUS or Igus cable trays.
Originally Posted by midiguy732
McMaster has them listed as cable carriers.
Either should give a lot of responses.
Last edited by Weldtutor; 07-25-2006 at 10:30 AM.
Well do Weldtutor, thank you. I just wasn't sure what they were called. What I was searching for didn't give me much to go on. Thanks!
To continue with the progress...
Mounting the rest of the steppers:
And making tensioning pulleys for the belts, which should arrive "any day":
Of course wiring is always fun...
And the start of the auxilary control board (which buffers the axis limit switches, turns on and off the plasma cutter and coolant pump, and monitors the emergency stop button). Soldering ribbon cable is a real PITA. Wish my hands were steadier, this would have gone much faster. Now it's time to solder on transistors!
Its too bad my new workbenches are completely covered in CNC project parts, it would have been nice to solder wires with the PC on the workbench, rather than wobbling on the bed of the lathe lol.
Good looking progress!
It Shows how "resourceful" you are, as do your other great projects.
Originally Posted by midiguy732
Thanks, and glad you're enjoying the pictures.
I will admit I'm getting tired of making it, but only because I really want to be using it!
I hope you got an answer by now, but if not, try Igus Track for the flexible conduit.