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Denbo
06-15-2007, 06:30 AM
"A CNC what..?", was what my wife said when I told her about some hair-brain idea to build my first machine. Closely followed by "how much!!$#?" and several other expletives.

Well, it's really not that long ago since I saw my first video of a homebuilt CNC in action. That fateful day set everything in motion I suppose. The mind started churning and the flame of desire for one of these computerized marvels went from a small pilot light to a roaring inferno the more I read and researched.

So the decision was cast, a machine had to be built, but it had to be done on a fairly tight budget. I looked at a few homebuilt designs that were out there and I was all ready to go with something similar to a Rockcliff design using these fancy linear bearings I've read so much about. (Cough), that was until I got the quote for the bearings :eek:

My CNC dreams came crashing down in a big heap. The cost for the bearings and screws would have cost me close to 2 gorillas and that was before considering motors, controllers and all the other bits which make up one of these monsters. Quite simply, it was just way too much for my first CNC rig.

Unfortunately in the land of Oz, we don't have the multitude of vendors and suppliers which a lot of you guys can source your components from. So I shelved the whole idea for a while but the concept never left my mind.

Here in Australia we have a hardware store called Bunnings - its pretty much all there is anymore, but anyhow.. I find myself going there - a lot. Whilst there I ended up with the dream to build a machine using materials which I could source locally (mainly from Bunnings). A design started to take shape in my head and eventually I got to a stage where I had to start putting things together in the computer.

I know what you're thinking here.. he should have just gone with one of the many designs that are out there. Yes, you're right, but somehow I never seem to do things the easy way. I also set myself a few goals; these were:
1) I wanted a machine which was large, sturdy and scalable
2) The machine would need to be a flying gantry type so I wouldn't be constrained by height
3) The whole thing had to come in at around a $1000 aussie smackaroos
4) Most, if not all components had to be sourced locally.

In the spirit of my design goal number 4, I wanted to get my motors and controllers from an Australian supplier. I can't begin to explain the frustration in trying to get the right information and bits at the right price. In the end, I've gone with a plug & play 4-axis system from Xylotex using 425oz. motors. The fact that the AU$ was trading strongly against the greenback and fact that the xylotex system was ready to go straight out of the box had me sold. Have to say I can't regret going down that path. For under AU$700 I had all the electronics and motors, leaving me with around 300 or more to spend at Bunnings on build materials - happy days :)

So after much sweat, cursing and tears, I'm happy to say that I've finally finished the design on the computer and can start the build process now.

I'm sure I'll stuff up a hundred (maybe 101).. times along the way, but I'm starting to enjoy this little project. I'll post pics and stories along the way, but for now, here's a couple of drawings out of the puter.

If by any chance, you stumble across my sorry tale, look at my design and go "Ach du lieber Gott! What's he doing it like that for.. " and so on and so forth.. then please feel free to comment, contribute or make suggestions at will. I'll take all manner of comments on board and hopefully I'll come out the other end of this whole process with a machine that does .. well .. uhm.. something.

Here's the main design.
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/bunoz-cnc_full_assy.jpg

The main construction is MDF and in critical areas, clad and reinforced with aluminium. The rails are alloy as well with slides that are designed using standard ball bearings and a mechanism to allow for adjustment against alloy inconsistency, build errors and to to pre-load the bearings.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/slide_block_assy.jpg

Denbo
06-16-2007, 08:28 AM
Today marked the start of the physical build process. No more gazing at the screen it was time to print out some drawings and head into the workshop - yay!

All bits there and accounted for.. check (well uhm.. at least I think so). Good grief - look at all those bearings.. :)

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/all_thebits.jpg

I have to say it was good to get started on things and first on the list of things to do was x-axis rail number 1. No real problems so far. The whole thing went together very well and although I took my time with it, I'm sure the others will be a bit quicker as I get used to repeating the process 3 more times.

So at the end of day one we have:
- One complete x-axis rail assembly (pic below) and,
- one of the bearing slide blocks (of which there will be two per rail.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/first_x_rail.jpg

Tomorrow's task is to build the other x-axis side, make more bearing slides and hopefully complete one of the rail slide assemblies.

Regnar
06-16-2007, 03:10 PM
Nice progress for day 1. I was wondering what are you using to attach the pipe to your beam?

Also I noticed that you are using washers to space your bearing away from the angled aluminum. I would suggest just using another nut and not to use any washers because you don't want the washer coming in contact with the sides of the bearing and binding it up. If you have to shim it out even further go nut head, angle aluminum, washer, nut, bearing, nut. Good luck.

epineh
06-16-2007, 08:21 PM
Hey Denbo, looks like you are off to a flying start !!!

Great progress so far, it seems you have done a "little" research :)

I see in your profile you are in Qld, I don't spose you are further north than Brissie ?... I am waiting for the day we get somebody joining in the fun who is a bit closer to the pointy bit, just south of Cairns myself.

Welcome to the zone !!!

Russell.

Denbo
06-16-2007, 08:38 PM
Nice progress for day 1. I was wondering what are you using to attach the pipe to your beam?

Also I noticed that you are using washers to space your bearing away from the angled aluminum. I would suggest just using another nut and not to use any washers because you don't want the washer coming in contact with the sides of the bearing and binding it up. If you have to shim it out even further go nut head, angle aluminum, washer, nut, bearing, nut. Good luck.


Hi Regnar

Thanks for your comments. I've posted a couple of pictures below to illustrate how the channels are put together. The illustrations are for my z-axis, but the assemblies are the same throughout. The tube is basically mated to the alloy base by self tapping screws. This is then mated to the other angles using 3mm bolts and then finally secured against the MDF using 16mm screws. The first assembly turned out very solid and the only flex I'm getting is on the rail upright (something that should be sorted when the whole x-axis gets assembled and mated together).

With regards to the washers, I've made sure that they fit snug around the bolt so there's no chance of them making contact with the outer race. Initially I was going to use a collet for spacing, but the washers I had were a perfect mate so I'll go with that for now and see how things go.

D.
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/z_channel_assy.jpg http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/z_channel_assy-expl.jpg

Denbo
06-16-2007, 08:42 PM
Hey Denbo, looks like you are off to a flying start !!!

Great progress so far, it seems you have done a "little" research :)

I see in your profile you are in Qld, I don't spose you are further north than Brissie ?... I am waiting for the day we get somebody joining in the fun who is a bit closer to the pointy bit, just south of Cairns myself.

Welcome to the zone !!!

Russell.

Hey Russell

Nice to see a fellow Qld'er on the board. I'm in Brizvegas - so I'm afraid were just about at opposite ends of the state. Thanks for the welcome though.

D.

nev25
06-17-2007, 08:33 AM
Unfortunately in the land of Oz, we don't have the multitude of vendors and suppliers which a lot of you guys can source your components from.

Here in Australia we have a hardware store called Bunnings


I understand your frustration about suppliers
I'm in the process of building a modified JGRO machine
I was quoted something like $20K for steppers and controller (admitably they said it was for industrial applications not hobby)

I'm wondering where you got specialized items from (lead screws etc)
and what did bunnings have to offer.

I did see the local bunnings had a threaded rod that I was going to have a look at using as a lead screw but I don't think it would be suitable

Denbo
06-17-2007, 05:36 PM
I understand your frustration about suppliers
I'm in the process of building a modified JGRO machine
I was quoted something like $20K for steppers and controller (admitably they said it was for industrial applications not hobby)

I'm wondering where you got specialized items from (lead screws etc)
and what did bunnings have to offer.

I did see the local bunnings had a threaded rod that I was going to have a look at using as a lead screw but I don't think it would be suitable

Hi Nev

The irony is that the industrial and very expensive stuff is probably easier to find than something which is cheap yet usable. The company "Linear Bearings" has ball screws which I was tempted to get. Their rod is close to 200 dollars a meter though and if you want a platform nut you can add about another 400 on top of that. I'm sure the stuff is gold but so is the price.

Bunnings didn't have the threaded rod I wanted so I got 1 meter lengths from a place called Boltmaster. They are standard M8 rods - straight, cheap and they look fine, but I'm sure they won't be as accurate as ACME or ball screws.

I want to see what kind of accuracy and reliability I get out of bog standard components before I tear a hole in my wallet for the high precision stuff.

D.

crocky
06-17-2007, 07:16 PM
Good to see another aussie CNC being built and it looks like you have a zylotex kit for the steppers and controller :)

Keep up the good work!

Bob

Denbo
06-19-2007, 06:59 AM
I suppose you're wondering where day 2 & 3 went huh?
Well.. its been slow going. On day 2 I only had about an hour of work on the second x-axis rail before my bandsaw decided to go belly up (Groan!)

Day 3 was pretty much spent hunting around for a new saw after I decided the old one was overdue for replacement. Spent no time at all on the build of the CNC (bigger groan!). One good thing though was that I got a big chunck of Delrin for 20 bucks from Eplas. The Delrin will be cut into blocks and sit on the screw blocks to move along the threaded rod.

Ahh.. up to day 4.
I've managed to finish the 2nd x-axis rail. A quick check - hey would you believe it, they're even level :)
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/x-level_check.jpg

Now to the slide assembly. The drawing of this was already posted above, and I approached this with some trepidation as the slide is possibly the most complex bit of the whole design. Lots of drilling, routing and double-checking but I took my time with things and luckily I didn't encounter any major problems. One change I made was to bolt the side angle plates onto the top and bottom slide instead of using screws. The MDF can and will split all too readily. I doubt I'll build in MDF again - would probably use ply if any wood at all.

Well lets not muck around then, .. here's the bits of the slide assembly coming together and being preloaded against the rail. Whole assembly slides very nicely and had zero play or movement.
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/slide_assy.jpghttp://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/preloading.jpghttp://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/x-rail_assy.jpg

Oooh this is getting exciting now - another slide will have to wait until tomorrow. Once I get that done I can finish the front and back plate of the x-axis and mount the first motors. Lets just hope no more tools break in the meantime.

Elwood70
06-19-2007, 07:13 PM
" 3) The whole thing had to come in at around a $1000 aussie smackaroos"

Hiya Denbo,

Looks like a great project on the way there. Masterful use of CAD to make the original designs. Must have driven you crazy at times using Bunnings derived materials - switching from metric to imperial and back :confused:

Just wondering... Has the purchase of 'supplementary' supplies [eg. Beer - Pizza] pushed the project over the top of your original estimate?

Elwood

arvindk
06-19-2007, 10:12 PM
Greetings Denbo
I am really in full agreement with your remarks about obtaining stuff in our "clever country" ! I too wanted a low-cost router/mill that I could cut my teeth on so to speak. I am a newbie, and in my retirement, funds are not limitless. I actually have a Sherline 2000 mill, but do not want to ruin it by my inexperienced efforts. So I thought I should look for ideas in the CNCzone.
Full marks for your enterprising work, I will be following this thread to lap up the benefit of your experience and progress. Could you please post some dimensions to your drawings, although I can get a rough idea from the pics ? Also when you get to using the Xylotex parts, please post your experience/opinion of that setup.
Wish you were south of the border though, I'm in Sydney.
Thanks and more power to your elbow.
Arvind

Denbo
06-20-2007, 12:22 AM
Greetings Denbo
I am really in full agreement with your remarks about obtaining stuff in our "clever country" ! I too wanted a low-cost router/mill that I could cut my teeth on so to speak. I am a newbie, and in my retirement, funds are not limitless. I actually have a Sherline 2000 mill, but do not want to ruin it by my inexperienced efforts. So I thought I should look for ideas in the CNCzone.
Full marks for your enterprising work, I will be following this thread to lap up the benefit of your experience and progress. Could you please post some dimensions to your drawings, although I can get a rough idea from the pics ? Also when you get to using the Xylotex parts, please post your experience/opinion of that setup.
Wish you were south of the border though, I'm in Sydney.
Thanks and more power to your elbow.
Arvind

Hi Arvind

The dimensions are 1m rails on the x-axis, 700mm for the Y and 300 for the Z. Basically all made around 1m bits of alloy, which are easy to get and transport. The slide blocks are all 150mm long.

When I'm done building and got the whole thing running, I'll refine the plans and put up some drawings for people to use if it all turns out being a solid enough machine.

D.

Denbo
06-24-2007, 06:45 AM
After a couple of days of stuffing around and doing little on the CNC, today has been quite productive actually. I finally manged to finish both the uprights for the Y-axis.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/uprights.jpg

The only drama I've had so far, was that the uprights bolt onto the sliding units of the x-axis via 6 bolts on each side. Unfortunately 2 of those are blind recessed behind an alloy angle which supports the top plate of each slide assembly. This meant that I have to bolt the upright into place before preloading the slide assembly against the rail. Not a huge problem - once you know the sequence of assembly.

Anyhow, all seems pretty good... everything is still level and square - Amazing!. The only thing left to finish off the whole base is to build the motor/endplate and bolt it all together. The Y and Z axis slide assemblies are modular and should just slot into place on the uprights.

I managed to try the movement of the x-axis using a cordless drill for the first time tonight. Everything seems sturdy and moves smoothly. This monster sure isn't going to be speed demon. Then again, I kind of knew that one using standard threaded rod. The cost of going to a ball screw is too much at the moment, but I can see already that this will probably be a very real option once I've had this thing up and running for a while.

Denbo
06-25-2007, 04:49 AM
Another generally productive day and I'm happy with progress. Today's achievements were :
- completed the rear plate for the base, including the bracing
- mounted both x-axis motors
- made the motor shaft to threaded rod couplers
- finished assembly of the x-axis frame

This marks the end of the battle for the x-axis .. did someone say hoo-ray!?

Apart from some fighting with the motor mounting bolts and aligning the drive shaft couplings, all else went according to plan. A little fiddly lining everything up square for the base but nothing too serious. It's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster to look at for the moment, but a fresh slap of paint should pretty things up a bit after final assembly. Anyhoo, here is the completed x-axis assembly
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/x-axis_assy.jpg.

Its all very tight. No slack or movement anywhere and even sliding or turning the whole assembly around isn't mucking with the alignment. About the only thing that worries me is machine vibration and nuts coming loose after time - I suppose, I'll just have to wait and see.

I also started on the y-rails but the rest can wait until tomorrow.
The tally so far.. one blunt drill bit, plus 6-million bolts and counting :rolleyes:

Greolt
06-25-2007, 05:03 AM
Looking good Denbo :wee:

harryn
06-25-2007, 01:08 PM
Hi Denbo

Thank you for posting your nice build. I have read quite a few build threads, and I still learn from each one, advantages and challenges.

If you don't mind, could you tell me a bit about the sizes of parts ?
- Nominal pipe size ?
- Approx distance between bearings on the carriage ?

Metric or English units - does not matter, I am comfortable with either.

I am really impressed with your ability to hold even close to that budget. I am collecting pricing for a build, and the shopping list so far is way over yours. Maybe I need to re-think my concept.

Denbo
06-25-2007, 08:08 PM
Hi Denbo

Thank you for posting your nice build. I have read quite a few build threads, and I still learn from each one, advantages and challenges.

If you don't mind, could you tell me a bit about the sizes of parts ?
- Nominal pipe size ?
- Approx distance between bearings on the carriage ?

Metric or English units - does not matter, I am comfortable with either.

I am really impressed with your ability to hold even close to that budget. I am collecting pricing for a build, and the shopping list so far is way over yours. Maybe I need to re-think my concept.

Hi Harryn

The tube is 20mm alloy outside diameter. Carriage size all up is 150mm long by 145mm high. The bearings sit on on 20x20x3mm angle and are only just offset enough from the edge so that the bolt heads don't interfere with each other.

With regards to the budget, I'm going to go over my AU$1000 estimate, but not by much. The tally at the moment for everything is $1200, which I suppose works out at around US$900. Most, if not all of the materials used, are easy to get and budget conscious. The biggest cost is by far are the motors and controllers. Materials for the build would only constitute around US$300. MDF is cheap, so is alloy. The bearings are standard 8x22, and although there are 36 of them they are again very cheap (under AU$3 ea.)

If you buy in bulk, like for the bolts and bearings, the cost comes down even more. Good luck with your project..

D.

Denbo
06-26-2007, 11:32 PM
Time to bridge that yawning gap and put a Y-axis in there he said - heading with confidence into the workshop to kill another day.

One thing I've now put on the wall in big letters .. after building the Y-rails TWICE... "Always follow the plan!" Here I was, getting a bit overly confident and started drilling holes with spacings pulled out of .. well (uhm) you know where. Turns out that at least 4 bolts were colliding against each other after I got to final assembly :withstupi

So all got pulled apart again, plans pulled out, holes drilled again .. of course accompanied by much cussing and cursing. After all was said and done though, the Y-axis assembly was hoisted over to the work crane and slowly brought into position. The next stupid thing I discovered was that my beautifully sculpted and curved uprights had to have drill holes in excess of 15cm through the middle of them to mount the y-assembly. Weeelll... I can't begin to describe the joy of having to drill and bolt that sucker into place :tired: . I can certainly see a design change on the cards here.

Here it is:
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/y-axis_assy.jpg

Oh I forgot to mention that with the weight of the y-assembly in place, the rail slides which support it against the x were starting to show the strain and had to be re-tensioned against the rails. This is no lightweight. I'm guessing this thing is up to around 15Kg already.

What remains? Oh yes, right - a Z-axis. Did someone say toolholder? - sorry, yes, one of those coming up as well. It's sure looking the part though .. isn't it?:o

epineh
06-27-2007, 07:19 AM
Sounds like you are having lots of "fun" with your build... if it makes you feel better it certainly looks great.

It gets heaps better when it starts moving under PC control, you better get ready to have a silly grin for days when that happens :D

Russell.

Denbo
06-28-2007, 11:12 PM
Well.. after a bit more stuffing around with blunt drills and missing bolts, I've finally manged to get the Z-axis done. So apart from mounting an actual cutting tool on it yet, the whole thing is done - Yay!

Ladies and Gentlemen.. I proudly present the world's first Intelligent Cheese Cutter :) .. well that's what a friend suggested it was (aheam). Anyhow, you may notice the slight change in the Z-axis from the design drawing. Decided the better way to go was to have the motor and rail travel up and down instead of just the platform (so it's mounted upside down in a way). Apart from that, everything stayed true to the original design.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/completed_cnc.jpg

So does it work I hear you ask..? well, here I go to hook it up and .. you guessed it, the computer wouldn't work. Darn-it! So I'm currently in the process of cobbling together all the bits and pieces I have left lying around from about 5 non working systems and merging them into one good one... or that's the theory anyhow.

Back to it I suppose.. it hasn't run yet.

crocky
06-29-2007, 05:36 AM
But it's real close now :)

Bob

Denbo
06-29-2007, 08:27 AM
It worked - yeehaw!
Finally managed, after a full rebuild mind you, to get an old lapdog working under Win2k.

Now the fun really begins.. learn how to drive this thing :)

Mike F
06-29-2007, 08:38 AM
Excellent news - now for some video? Bet you can't stop smiling, I know I couldn't, in fact I still smile to myself every time I see mine move.

Well done.

Mike

Denbo
07-01-2007, 07:35 AM
Well.. I was smiling. For about 5 minutes that is - or however long it took for trouble to start appearing over the horizon.

You see, I'd love to be posting some grand video action right about now, but realistically, this IS a prototype. Right!@ .. and like any good prototype's its gonna be having some hickups. Well, I certainly encountered the first major ones.

Problem number 1 - The motor to shaft couplers which turn the screw threads. The Motor shafts are 1/4 inch and my threaded rods are M8, therefore I needed to make a coupling which accommodates a 1/4 D shank to 8mm round shaft.The original set I made were from alloy tubing which was 8mm inside diameter. This left a 1.65mm difference to the motor shaft which I filled using grub screws.

The issue was that the alloy tubing was way too soft and didn't have enough wall thickness to support the grub screws under load. The grub screws were stripped out as the machine was spinning and no amount of re-tensioning of the grub screws would work. So it was back to the drawing board.

After a few failed attempts at making various replacements, the current set which are on the machine are made out of Delrin. I spun up some round shaft on the lathe, then drilled a 1/4 inch hole all the way through the block and tapped the hole out to a M8 thread on one side. Again, a set of 5mm grub screws were used to hold the Delrin against the shaft.

The grub screws have some good bite into the Delrin, but I'm still not convinced that this is the best way to go.

Problem 2 is that there is flex (about 2-3mm) on the Y axis mount under Z-axis load. I'm not sure yet as to how significant the movement is when the machine is routing something, but I don't think its a good idea to leave it. I've got a workaround planned to strengthen the assembly against load using another bearing and an alloy track, but I've been held back with this motor coupling problem so no real progress has been made on that front yet.

Oh last, but not least is the tool mount. Well (uhm).. there isn't one yet. Again, time just got away from me. Hopefully tomorrow I'll actually mount the router to the rig and try to start making some wood chips.

There's always Mach3 to top things off. Although it seems like a good package, there is that inevitable learning curve attached to it, but I'm not too worried about the software side.

The fun and games continue.. a video will be coming soon - or at least I hope :)

crocky
07-01-2007, 07:52 PM
Keep at it, it is prototype as you say and some problems are sure to surface. You have still made some decent progress :)

I am getting there too now :)

Bob

Denbo
07-02-2007, 08:34 PM
AARGH! The whole machine is in pieces again.

OK.. so the story goes like this. Motor couplings were fixed. New Delrin versions were working great. I also managed to mount a router. So the first few runs were just using a felt pen and some basic shapes to test movement and accuracy. All seemed OK as well.

Then, I decided to fire up the router and start by carving a circle using one of the wizards in Mach3. All seemed to be working fine.. except, I was too busy grinning at the moving router rather than watching the path of the Y gantry. Uhm.. the circle I carved was outside the limits of the Y gantry travel - Doh! Before my brain kicked into gear and noticed why the whole gantry was undergoing gyrations, the damage was done. The 429oz motors were easily strong enough to snap metal screws and pull the delrin screw block from the y axis slide. Double - DOH!

I was an idiot.. I'd planned all along to wire up some limit & home switches, yet decided to delay that side of things until everything proved itself to be running as intended. Second, I should have set some software limits, at the very least .. and third I should have double and triple checked before pressing the go button.

Oh well.. not a lot of damage really, just the torn out thread block - easily fixed. The only pain was that I had to unbolt the X-slide assembly from the main machine to get to the screw thread and slide. Whilst I have the whole thing apart, I was pondering some changes anyway. The main one will be that I'm going to toss the M8 threaded rods in the bin. They are too soft, bend too easily and the pitch is just ridiculously slow. A local Bolt supplier quoted me around $60 for a 12ft length of 1/2" ACME rod and I've decided to take him up on the offer. The price is within my budget and I expect the quality to be a lot better than what I was using. I'll see in a couple of days, when it arrives.

I'll have to get the ends machined up, which I'm hoping won't be all that much either. The other items I'll be adding are another bearing support to take the weight of the router and, aheam.. the limit switches, especially given the fact that the whole machine will be moving a whole lot quicker using the ACME rod :)

Oh well.. we build, we break, we learn huh?
At least the machine should be a notch better with the above changes.

Denbo
07-08-2007, 04:52 AM
I received the ACME rod a couple of days ago .. all 12 foot of it. Luckily the nice lads at the boltshop had a drop saw to chop it up for me so I could cart it away without too much drama. The whole rod was only AU$60 which I was very happy with.

I also opted to buy 4 nuts at 10 bucks each, which ironically I didn't even use in the end, but we'll get to that part later. So now I needed the ends machined on the rods .. well uhm, my initial idea of it not costing much were dispelled when an engineer quoted close to a hundred an hour for the work, plus the 3 hours or more to do the job - geesh!. Well that was just the kind of frivolous excuse I needed to go out and buy me one of these :)

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/lathe.jpg

This now gave me the opportunity to machine up the ends any way I liked, plus I also managed to stay with the Delrin screw blocks by cutting up my own ACME tap..
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/ACME_tap.jpg

So out with the M8 rod and in with the ACME. I opted to leave the M8 for the Z axis as it doesn't travel far and I figured the extra resolution in the thread would probably come in handy for depth cutting. I also made the extra strength alterations, including running an extra bearing on the bottom of the Y channel assembly to stop any unwanted flex from the weight of the router.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/spt_bearing.jpg

So without further ado.. here's the finished design:

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/finished_cnc.jpg

Did someone say video.. ? :) All here to please the masses..
The first part is scribing a circle.. yes, like the one that broke the machine in the first place. The second was an attempt at some dovetails.

BUNOZ_CNC_1st.wmv (http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/BUNOZ_CNC_1st.wmv) - (6.93MB)

Mike F
07-08-2007, 02:53 PM
Excellent work - Good to see it moving - a video is worth an awful lot of words. Have you got the limit switches on yet or are your fingers still firmly crossed? :)

Mike

Denbo
07-08-2007, 07:13 PM
Excellent work - Good to see it moving - a video is worth an awful lot of words. Have you got the limit switches on yet or are your fingers still firmly crossed? :)

Mike

Yeah thanks Mike.. uhm, we're supposed to learn from our mistakes right? Limit switches (cough, sweat).. well, they're not on there yet. I did however set some softlimits in Mach3 this time.

The microswitches are going in this week as soon as I get time to swing past the local electronics store.

crocky
07-08-2007, 07:15 PM
That is much better :cheers: good job and also on the (other) bit too :)

Bob

Denbo
07-12-2007, 06:06 AM
Well I've tried a few things now that I've had the machine running for a few days. Welcome to the wonderful world of building a CNC and then finding out that getting from CAD to CAM is a terrifying, costly and long winded journey.

I bought the full version of Mach after exhausting the limits of the free version, but that still left me with little or no things to do. All the great programs which take CAD or other graphic designs and transform them into nice Gcode, all cost a fortune - so not the kind of thing to suit a budget builder :-(

I tried the Vectric software such as VCarve, PhotoVCarve and Cut3D. If I had the money, I'd sure buy the set. It's all very user friendly and seems to do the job (see below - sample VCarve photo of Big Benbeing routed onto sheet alloy). The accuracy of the machine seems to be within a hundredth of a mm, which I'm happy enough with. The main thing I wanted to do with it was carve wood, so working down to that accuracy will suffice for now .. at least till I build me a CNC made out of metal :)

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/pic_carve.jpg

The journey continues..

spalm
07-12-2007, 08:23 AM
Hey, good to see you back up and running. Good looking machine.

Not sure what you want to cut but there are several ways you can have some fun for free.

Since you bought Mach3, it will allow direct import of DXF and BMP files. Use BMP files for importing pictures. Not sure how useful it will be but it’s free. You can create DXF files for 2.5D cutting of mechanical parts and such-not with Alibre Xpress and then load these into Mach.

I have not tried the newer versions, but CamBam (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=307869&postcount=4) is looking pretty good for a CAM G-code generator also with quite a bit of control.

Of course you could always cut some spirographs (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=188645&postcount=5)……

Steve

Denbo
07-13-2007, 03:31 AM
Hey, good to see you back up and running. Good looking machine.

Not sure what you want to cut but there are several ways you can have some fun for free.

Since you bought Mach3, it will allow direct import of DXF and BMP files. Use BMP files for importing pictures. Not sure how useful it will be but it’s free. You can create DXF files for 2.5D cutting of mechanical parts and such-not with Alibre Xpress and then load these into Mach.

I have not tried the newer versions, but CamBam (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=307869&postcount=4) is looking pretty good for a CAM G-code generator also with quite a bit of control.

Of course you could always cut some spirographs (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=188645&postcount=5)……

Steve

Thanks for the tips Steve. I've given CamBam a go and it seems to do a pretty good job on text engraving which is one hurdle out of the way. The problem I'm having in LazyCam is that I'm importing from Corel in CMX, which kind of works, but the conversion doesn't use arcs. All radial objects are converted into straight lines by LazyCam which leaves objects looking a bit ordinary.

I'll keep at it.. in the end as I'll grow with the use of the machine I'll probably bite the bullet and buy one of the thousand dollar type packages to run things properly.

The next cab of the rank is to build a table base insert which will really finish of the machine to the state where I want it. I also want to try a different puter on the controller side as the old lapdog I'm running is very much out of date (400Mhz, 64MB RAM). I'm hoping I'll be able to push up the speed a bit more with a faster machine.

dertsap
07-13-2007, 03:44 AM
nice job ,thats a great design

try these progs

http://gcam.js.cx/index.php/Main_Page
http://www.polaris.com.gr/gsimple/home.html

Denbo
07-16-2007, 11:22 PM
nice job ,thats a great design

try these progs

http://gcam.js.cx/index.php/Main_Page
http://www.polaris.com.gr/gsimple/home.html

I've had a look at both of these - thanks for posting the links. I'm starting to get the hang of doing 2.5D type work but the main thing that still eludes me is to do some real 3D cuts and objects.

The only CAD that I've got access to through a friend/client, is Solidworks. They don't do any CAM so I'm stuck with anything I've designed in Solidworks, unless I buy something like SolidCam or Cut3D -(sigh)

Anyhow, I'm happy continuing to learn on this machine. CAMBam seems to do a really nice job on text engraving on metal or wood for now. I'm just in the process of finishing off the work table and the next thing after that will be to purchase a new computer to run the setup with. Maybe.. just maybe after that I'll scrounge up the cash to buy the Vectric software.

epineh
07-17-2007, 05:17 AM
CamBam will do the CAD and CAM side of things as well, played around with it a little last night for the first time and I am quite impressed, I had g-code created quickly for something I drew entirely with CB, it would make 2D stuff a breeze, I am going to use it a lot more as soon as my machine is up and running again.

Russell.

P.S. nice work so far :)

Denbo
07-17-2007, 08:14 PM
Yes, yes.. I know I've said it before, but now I mean it. I am finished! My first CNC - and I doubt it will be my last. I'm bitten by the bug now :)

The worktable is a worthwhile addition to hold the job down properly (all up cost to build the extra table was around AU$80). I made some clamping blocks with billet alloy on top and a delrin runners below (works a treat).

The table is removable by just lifting it out, so I can still clamp things into a vice from underneath or insert a smaller work piece if I like.

Thanks to everyone who's left a message or suggestion during the build.

http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/cnc_wtbl1.jpghttp://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/cnc_wtbl2.jpg

Here's a sample of some text engraving on MDF, using CamBam to generate the GCode (depth at 0.2mm)
http://www.docsolutions.com.au/personal/CNC/scripted_text.jpg


Now.. as to the final cost (in case anyone is interested). Here is the build list. All prices in Ozzie dollars:


'Item Cost / ea.Qty.Total
'(Bunnings Items)
'MDF 1200x450x16 10.9 3 32.7
'Screws Self Tappers 6x16 (Pk100) 3.99 1 3.99
'Screws Self Tappers 6x12 (Pk100) 3.5 1 3.5
'Screws Self Tappers 6x32 (Pk100) 4.6 1 4.6
'Screws M3x15 (Pk20) 2.2 4 8.8
'Nut M3 (Pk24) 2.2 2 4.4
'Bolts & Nuts M8x25 (Pk 4-HT) 4.05 3 12.15
'Screws Self Tappers 6x12 (Pk40) 2.95 1 2.95
'Screws Self Tappers 6x16 (Pk35) 2.95 1 2.95
'Washer-Spring 5/16 (Pk40) 2.95 1 2.95
'Alloy Tube 20mmx1 6.5 6 39
'Alloy Channel 12x12x1.5 3.94 6 23.64
'Alloy Angle 20x20x3 .98 4 31.92
'Alloy Angle 12x12x1.4 2.6 14 36.4
'Alloy Flat Bar 40x3 8.67 3 26.01
'Grub Screws - Hex M5x5 2.2 2 4.4
'Washer - Spring 1/8 (Pk75) 2.95 1 2.95
'Bracket Angle 150x125x20mm 3.18 4 12.72
'Nut-Lock Nylon M8 (Pk5) 2.2 3 6.6
'Screws M8x25 (Pk4) 2.2 3 6.6
'Washers-Flat 1/4x3/4 (Pk30) 2.95 2 5.9
'
'Sub Total 275.13
'
'(Other Vendor Items)
'Delrin 20x25x600 22 1 22
'Bearings 608RS-J 2.85 25 71.25
'Bearings 608RS 1.2 11 13.2
'M8 x 25 Setscrew 0.23 8 1.84
'M8 Hex Nut 0.11 5 0.55
'M3 Hex Nut 0.03 30 0.9
'1/4x3/4 Washer 0.01 60 0.6
'M4 x 30 Capscrew 0.27 16 4.32
'M8 Threaded Rod x1m 1.21 3 3.63
'M4 x 20 Capscrew 0.23 16 3.68
'M4 x 25 Capscrew 0.24 28 6.72
'M4 x 75 Capscrew 0.6 24 14.4
'M4 x 30 Capscrew 0.34 12 4.08
'M4 x 50 Capscrew 0.58 12 6.96
'M4 Hex Nut 0.02 92 1.84
'M4 Flat Washer 0.04 200 8
'M4 Spring Washer 0.02 100 2
'50x25x1.4 Alloy Rect.Hollows (10m) 68.87 1 68.87
'
'Sub Total 234.84
'
'Xylotex 4-Axis Kit 760 1 760
'
'Total 1269.97

Greolt
07-17-2007, 08:29 PM
Well done Denbo. Looks great. :cheers:


Greg

crocky
07-18-2007, 01:34 AM
Yep, I have to add to that. :)

Looks like it is in the right position too :wee:

Bob

moreil
07-19-2007, 11:03 PM
Looks like a great build! Couple of questions.

I don't understand how you attached the pipe to the channel?
I'm confused about the direction of the screws. Did you drill through the channel into the pipe?

Also, where did you get your 50x25 Al Rect hollows from? I'm paying twice that price getting it from Edconsteel!

Oh, and where did you get your ACME and capscrews from?

Many thanks,
Michael.

Denbo
07-19-2007, 11:49 PM
Looks like a great build! Couple of questions.

I don't understand how you attached the pipe to the channel?
I'm confused about the direction of the screws. Did you drill through the channel into the pipe?

Also, where did you get your 50x25 Al Rect hollows from? I'm paying twice that price getting it from Edconsteel!

Oh, and where did you get your ACME and capscrews from?

Many thanks,
Michael.

Yes, the pipe is screwed on and drilled through the base of the channel. the channels are bolted together first to the angle which makes up the rest of that rail support and then the pipe is screwed on last.

The rectangular hollows I got direct from Capral Aluminium. I looked at Bunnings, but they didn't have that size and their prices were a bit expensive to tell the truth. One thing I should add is that the default length is 6 meters. If you end up buying shorter lengths you will get charged a premium. I got two full lengths and used the left over bits for other stuff.

All the capscrews came from a place called Boltmaster and but most screws I bought at Bunnings or had in my screw collection. The ACME rod I got from a place called BoltKing in Capalaba.

Hope that helps..
Dennis

Mash
04-20-2010, 08:46 AM
Hi,
I want to use the system you are using bearings.
How did you install pipes on profiles?
more detailed pictures please...
thank you...

( sorry my english )