View Full Version : taking the plunge............

10-10-2007, 04:48 AM
well i officially started tonight. after extensive research and checks to see what i had onhand.....my plasma table is underway......

first a bit of background on myself. married 32 yr old from tupelo, ms. tool and die graduate in 1996. recently returned to school to take electrical tech. and possibly industrial maintenance as well. i've been working as a maintenance/machinist for the past 10 years and compter and machines gets me going.......even more when you put the two together.........

here's my virgin build............

i'm thinking a 5X6 for the reason of having a FULL 4X4 workable area. i know that a workable area of 4X8 is more consistant with full size sheet metal BUT i'm kinda cramped for floor space and i figure since our local steel supplier will shear the metal at no additional cost...........why not???

i've got the frame of the table completed and i'm going to install legs and ways next. if i can find my cad program i'll get some prints posted ........... if not you'll just have to wait for pics when i get the thing home.

i found these http://web1.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Motion_Control/Stepper_Systems/Motors_-z-_Cables/STP-MTR-34066 and figured they would work fine for a home system without a TON of weight.

can't decide if i want to buy stock drivers or take the plunge with pc boards and components and build the drivers myself......still have to decide that.

retired dell pc that i plan on using as the pc controller.......the pc i'm on now with bare the remainder of the load of drawing, programming, etc. the dell will do nothing but control the machine.

i have a copy of autocad 2000 but i'm not sure if i want to use it or not......suggestions???

i think that pretty much covers it.......

anyone got any links to controllers that will run the above motors??? LOL

hope to hear lots of feedback as this is my first cnc machine build.

other things to note ........... planned water pan for cooling, filtration, etc.

now i'm wishing i'd had some prints or photos to attach...........oh well, we'll get there...LOL

and last.........i forgot to mention..........the only thing i do SLOWER than type is BUILD.............LOL so if you're wanting to give someone your two cents worth and don't mind waiting on a slowpoke.....just keep an eye on this thread.


10-14-2007, 01:06 AM
Good luck on your build. :)

10-14-2007, 01:34 AM
My only suggestion would be to maybe look for a cheaper motor. I started making a plasma table but abandoned it because of design flaws (just a bad design). I got the Y axis working with a Nema 23 (I think - about 2.5 inches in diameter, 1/4 shank). It was strong enough for me to stand on it while it moved (although it was geared a little bit too low, part of my bad design). I bought about 5 of them at Electronic surplus stores for around $5-$6 each.

I'd look into Gecko Drives. They seem to know their stuff. Also, I see thier stuff in tons of systems out there so it must be working. And you can't beat the price (well, I couldn't). The first system I mentioned I built my own drives...it was a pain and never did get fully dialed. It was fun to say I did it, but now that I've done it I wouldn't bother doing it again.

last piece of advice...look into Sheetcam. It's nice simple 2d CAM software.

Good luck. I'm in a similar situation planning a Mill conversion right now.