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mvaughn
06-15-2004, 05:48 PM
For the last 6 or 7 months I've been planning, learning, researching and planning some more on my CNC machine. This will be my worklog for building my CNC router.

My goals for the machine are as follows:

[list=1]
Have a cutting area of about 15 inches by 30 inches.
Use everyday common parts
Build it all with simple tools (ie. no welder, lathes, or mills)
Combine techniques used in other CNCZone memeber's machines.
Be as cheap as possible
[/list=1]

Materials:

Following in the footsteps of those before me I decided to build the majority of the components out of MDF.

The rail system for Axis' X, Y, and Z will be made out of 1 inch, .75 inch and .5 inch drill rod purchased from Enco.

I'm going to try the bearing style used on this machine [click here (http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=31121#post31121) ]. Again from Enco I purchased a 12 by 12 sheet of 1.5 inch UHMW.

The lead screws will be .5 inch 10tpi ACME screws from Enco.

Stepper motors will be used from used surplus printers. The stepper driver is custom built from the plans at buildyouridea.com (http://www.buildyouridea.com). Thepower supply will be a modified ATX PC power supply.

All other materials used will be discussed at the approprate time.

mvaughn
06-15-2004, 06:13 PM
Here are some rederings. I know the lead screws and such are not threaded, I'm still learning.

Dimensions of the machine are as follows:

The base is 34.5 inches long by 26 inches wide. The overal height of the machine is 19.75 inches tall.

mvaughn
06-15-2004, 06:15 PM
2nd pic

mvaughn
06-15-2004, 06:19 PM
3rd pic

mvaughn
06-15-2004, 06:20 PM
4th pic

mvaughn
06-15-2004, 06:23 PM
last of the renderings...

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 01:42 AM
Here is the beginnings of my construction phase.

I started with the steppers because I already had them. They are from HP Laserjet III printers that I bought off ebay.

I built the driver circuit from the plans for sale at www.buildyouridea.com. The plans were $25 USD and the parts were about $30 USD.

For those of you that are superstitious;

I have NOT spun the motors yet...

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 01:45 AM
another...

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 01:47 AM
bottom of driver board...

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 01:50 AM
300W ATX Power Supply.

Stepper Motors
100oz.
5.2 volt
1.4 amp

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 01:51 AM
last pic, for now that is...

ynneb
06-16-2004, 08:42 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post all your pictures. Please keep this thread running with all your progressive work. This will be good for other newbies to look at.

Your off to a great start. With your permission we will compile this into an open source document, once it is finished.

chuckknigh
06-16-2004, 11:01 AM
Want to make up a few more of those boards? I'm sure there are those among us, who would appreciate a pre-etched board.

-- Chuck Knight

ger21
06-16-2004, 11:03 AM
He'd probably have to send Dave $25 for each one he made.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by ynneb
Your off to a great start. With your permission we will compile this into an open source document, once it is finished.

Of course, it would be an honor if you used parts of the construction in your open-source DIY documents. The only part that can't be included is the driver schematics.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by ger21
He'd probably have to send Dave $25 for each one he made.

Yes, Dave would need to be paid for his work.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:33 AM
Here are the drill rods I'll be using for the linear bearings. There are two 3' x 1'' rods, two 3' x .75'' rods and a single 3' x .5'' rod that will be cut into two rods later.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:38 AM
more drill rod

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:42 AM
Here is the ACME threaded rod.

One 6 foot piece and one 3 foot piece. Both are 1/2 inch 10-tpi.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:43 AM
A closeup view.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:45 AM
UHMW Sheet that will be chopped up into bearing blocks.

Measures 12 inches square by 1.5 inches thick.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:47 AM
The label says: 1 1/2'' x 12'' x 12'' UHMW - SHEET

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:50 AM
3/4'' Sheets of MDF. I bought 2 for good measure. I think I will try to build a cabinet for the CNC router to sit upon.

I didn't realize how incredibly heavy this stuff is until I had to load it into my truck by myself at Home Depot.

The rest of the wood there is for another project.

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 11:51 AM
Last pic for now...

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 02:35 PM
I took a few minutes to make a cut-out guide for my mdf sheet. I didn't add any labeling to it, this is really just a step I took to ensure that I didn't waste a ton of mdf before I started cutting it up.

arvidb
06-16-2004, 04:47 PM
Wow! Looks really good! Keep going! :)

Arvid

mvaughn
06-16-2004, 06:38 PM
I've done many woodworking projects before, but never with MDF. This will definately be a learning experience all the way.

I'm going to cut my teeth on building a cabinet/table for the router to sit upon. It's not the best design but I only have on extra sheet of mdf to use for the cabinet.

buscht
06-17-2004, 09:00 AM
mvaughn, looks pretty good.
Some things to consider with MDF. Predrill your screw holes, its pretty easy to strip them out.

A shop vac might fit under your table just fine. You could use that for dust extraction, or possibly a vacuum table.

You might want to consider some ribs on the gantry frame to stiffen up the structure.

Good luck
T

mvaughn
06-17-2004, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the suggestions buscht. I am trying to decide whether to pre-drill and use fiber board screws or to drill and tap the holes and use bolts.

ynneb
06-18-2004, 05:43 AM
With all the pics you are posting You are going to make compiling an open source project very cool indeed.

Don't forget we can help you with any questions along the way.

Oh and thanks for accepting the offer to share your work. There will be plenty who will appreciate it. We will name the design after you and make sure you get full credit for it in the published file. Just think, there will be people all around the world who will build the machine you designed. Cool thought hey.

Now get out there and do some more work. :)

Edit: I must say that I agree with buscht. The side supports to the gantry will need more bracing to reduce side ways movement.
I was thinking how you could do that, and cant really see where you could put the bracing. You could however double the thickness of the sides, by cutting 2 sides for each panel and glueing them 2gether. Otherwise you project looks sound.

I didnt see any dimentions in your drawings. How hard would it be to post the dimentions of each piece? Am I pushing you too hard?

mvaughn
06-18-2004, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by ynneb
With all the pics you are posting You are going to make compiling an open source project very cool indeed.

Don't forget we can help you with any questions along the way.

Yes, I'm sure I will have many questions along the way. I haven't yet started cutting out pieces, I'm waiting for this weekend. As soon as I begin that I'm sure it will raise many thoughts and questions.




Oh and thanks for accepting the offer to share your work. There will be plenty who will appreciate it. We will name the design after you and make sure you get full credit for it in the published file. Just think, there will be people all around the world who will build the machine you designed. Cool thought hey.

Yes that would be cool. I just hope the fundamental machine will be worthy of copying. I have my doubts about my UHMW bearings.




Now get out there and do some more work. :)

Edit: I must say that I agree with buscht. The side supports to the gantry will need more bracing to reduce side ways movement.
I was thinking how you could do that, and cant really see where you could put the bracing. You could however double the thickness of the sides, by cutting 2 sides for each panel and glueing them 2gether. Otherwise you project looks sound.


Yes I could double up on the sides of the gantry. Before you mentioned it I was thinking of using 1 inch square tubing and making 2 vertical ribs up the outside of each side of the gantry.



I didnt see any dimentions in your drawings. How hard would it be to post the dimentions of each piece? Am I pushing you too hard?

I will post dimensions of the pieces. I just have to figure out the best way of presenting it.

mvaughn
07-10-2004, 03:24 PM
Hey all,

I just wanted to make a quick update on the project. It's been a few weeks since I've been able to put any time into the cnc machine due to a few house projects that sprang up.

With the house projects nearly under control I'll be getting back to work on the cnc machine soon!

mvaughn
07-29-2004, 03:19 PM
Dimensions of the machine are as follows:

The base is 34.5 inches long by 26 inches wide. The overal height of the machine is 19.75 inches tall.

I've finally caught up with my summer home projects and can finally put some effort into my cnc machine.

I was going to dimension every last part and post it here but I think I'll build it and see if it functions first.

The actual working or cutting area should have a capacity of 26 x 16 x 4 inches.

mvaughn
07-29-2004, 03:33 PM
I've got a few pictures to post today. I built the cabinet the CNC machine will sit on so now I definately have no excuse to not cut out any parts.

By the way, I need your opinions. Should I drill and tap the mdf and bolt the parts together or should I use fiber board screws?

mvaughn
07-29-2004, 04:01 PM
Here is a pic of the cabinet.

It measures 34.5 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 28.75 inches tall. It's a tad short but the height of the cnc machine should bring nearly 8 more inches to the deck height. As a bonus it is made entirely out of 1 sheet of mdf except for the center rib under the table top.

mvaughn
07-29-2004, 04:04 PM
This morning I've been busilly marking lines and making cuts. It's amazing how smoothly the mdf cuts, the edges don't even need finishing.

buscht
07-29-2004, 04:51 PM
Mark, you are doing a great job, that base is super. I just put my machine on an extra dinner table I had in the basement.

I prefer to either glue and wood screw MDF together or use Confirmat screws which are design especially for MDF. I have never tried to tap MDF, although it would probably work. It seems like alot of effort to me.

Always predrill your holes in MDF no matter what screw you use. The end grain strips out very easily.
Trent

High Seas
07-29-2004, 05:33 PM
Mark - thats looking swell. Hope you're gonna stock the fridge with plenty of brews to celebrate when you "fire-up!"
Have you considered using a dado blade, slotting the mdf and gluing up? It would require you redimensioning any of your drawings a bit - but you'd have a pretty strong joint.
I did that on some 1/2 inch and it got a bit wiggly - but stabilized when dry. The biggest problem I had with that approach was the fact it was 1/2 inch mdf - really too light. Will move up to 1 inch on the redo, and dado again.
Cheers - Jim

Patrick2by4
07-29-2004, 06:12 PM
glue and screw

ger21
07-29-2004, 07:11 PM
I'd go with a 1/8" deep dado, glue and screw.

mvaughn
07-29-2004, 10:23 PM
You guys have talked me into the glue and screw method. Seems simpler and more cost effective.

The dado is a great idea however I just finished cutting out all the pieces before I read this suggestion. I'll make a mental not for the next machine...

High Seas
07-29-2004, 11:10 PM
If you think you might need more glue surface - you could make some glue blocks and lay along side the joints to add surface area. Just an extra 2 cents worth - you probably knew that, but I know in the "heat of construction" I sometimes forget the simple things and have to back up and add 'em in later too... I say that having spent all day on the master bedroom ceiling recessed/tray lighting - ughhhh added some extra blocks to support -- hehehe arggggh
:cheers: Jim

mvaughn
07-30-2004, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the tip Jim. I think I'll play it by ear for now and if I see a weak spot I'll probably glue in some gussets.

mvaughn
07-30-2004, 08:40 PM
I managed to get a few more pieces cut out today. These pics are of the gantry pieces. The sides of the gantry have been the most challenging so far because of their shape. I used a harbor freight jig saw to cut them out after tracing them onto the mdf with a template.

I clamped the two sides of the gantry together so I could do a little touch up sanding to get them evenly squared up. I'm also going to drill the holes for the lead screws and bearing rods before I unclamp them to make sure they are true.

The I-beam shaped piece is the rear brace of the gantry. The other two pieces will join the sides of the gantry together at the bottom.

mvaughn
07-30-2004, 08:47 PM
Here are the two table end pieces. They are clamped as well so I can drill the holes for the x-axis bearings and lead screw. I have also marked them for four notches that will hold the 1" square tubing table supports.

By the way... The lines for the notches really are square. The perspective of the camera made them all weird.

Patrick2by4
07-30-2004, 09:53 PM
It's coming out great mark, keep those post and pictures coming.

mvaughn
07-30-2004, 11:25 PM
I've been thinking about how I'm going to finish the mdf. I think I read someone saying that you should shellac (sp?) the mdf before painting it. Can you guys put your $.02 in and let me know how you would recommend finishing the mdf.

Patrick2by4
07-31-2004, 01:13 AM
I use a oil-based primer followed by two coats of a oil-based enamel. It does a good job sealing the mdf. I would only use a shellac based primer/sealer if drying speed was a big consideration. It isn't as effective sealing in the chemicals use to make mdf (formaldehyde will off-gass for a long time) nor is it as good a vapor barrier as oil-based finishes. Stay away from Latexes, they make the surface swell and become a little rougher.

ger21
07-31-2004, 08:39 AM
You might want to use some type of filler in the edges, Like Durham's Rockhard putty, or drywall joint compound. (The drywall compound is easier to sand, but not as hard.)

You might want to try rustoleum Hammered paint. You don't need to prime it, but you'll probably need 2 coats. And it's more expensive, but it looks cool. You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot.

mvaughn
08-01-2004, 12:20 PM
Patrick, when you say an oil based primer. Would an oil-based sealer/primer for a house work? I have some left over 'killz' from when I painted my garage.

My biggest concern is that I don't want the mdf to warp, swell or have an uneven surface when it is finished.

Bloy2004
08-01-2004, 01:09 PM
Hey! I'm really enjoying this Log/thread

High Seas
08-01-2004, 01:14 PM
mvaughn - Mark
I've been using a bunch of mdf on this house remodel - (trim bits etc) and have been using a similar product - 123. No worries on the mdf - takes about 2 coats and then covers great. 123 is a water based product but the qt of Kilz-like product (Seal Zall) I have in the garage is oil based.
BUT - If you are thinking of using the Rustoleum Hammerd Finish - why bother with the Kilz? Like Gerry (ger21) said - 2 coats and its great. Thats how I painted the side panels on SYSTEM2 - looks super and no problems with any warpage etc-- and thats on 1/2inch mdf!
cheers - Jim

Patrick2by4
08-01-2004, 01:24 PM
As long as it is a oil-based you shouldn't have any problems. I use killz myself and had good results. You might want to coat the edges twice, it sucks up the finish like a sponge. Just make sure each coat is fully dry before you put on the next coat.

mvaughn
08-01-2004, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the input on the paint guys.

I'm a little stalled on the progress right now due to the lack of a drill press. I'm hoping my brother will be kind enough to let me use his wood working shop soon.

I took a few moments to update a few drawings. One of my goals is to waste as little MDF as possible. I only bought 2 sheets of is and the nearest Home Depot is 45 miles away. I managed to get all the mdf parts for the cabinet and the machine out of 2 sheets.

Here are the layouts I used. I'll add dimensions to these at a later date.

mvaughn
08-02-2004, 11:00 PM
I made a little more progress today and actually started with some of the assembly of pieces. I've got quite a few pictures and they should be mostly self-explanatory.

Ask away if anyone has questions.

mvaughn
08-02-2004, 11:03 PM
After getting the holes for the drill rod and lead screws finished I assembled the gantry structure. :banana:

mvaughn
08-02-2004, 11:05 PM
The base is starting to take shape also.

mvaughn
08-09-2004, 08:48 PM
I've managed to get the alignment blocks for the x-axis assembled. I decided that instead of relying on threading the actuall MDF, I would use some rectangular T-nuts I found at the local hardware store.

mvaughn
08-09-2004, 08:50 PM
I also used T-nuts to bolt the alignment blocks to the base of the machine.

mvaughn
08-09-2004, 08:53 PM
Here are some pictures of the machine and how it looks so far. I'm also test fitting the 1 inch drill rod that will be used for x-axis rails.

These pictures were taken while it was close to 100 degrees fahrenheit. The base of the machine had to be clamped down to the cabinet because it was bowing up at the ends about an 1/8th of an inch.

mvaughn
08-09-2004, 09:02 PM
My next step is going to be cutting the UHMW onto bearing sized blocks. I have a 12" x 12" x 1.5" sheet of it. I am planning on using my table saw to cut it up and some forstner bits to drill it.

Do you guys have and words of wisdom, I've never cut this stuff before? :drowning:

mvaughn
08-10-2004, 04:38 PM
Today I decided to take the plunge and attempt cutting the UHMW with my table saw. The saw nearly choked on it, and took forever to cut. I expected that however, because the saw is severly underpowered.

Anyway, here are the results so far...

Patrick2by4
08-10-2004, 07:54 PM
Hey Mark
A little tip on boring holes to hold the bearing. Since I'm making my bearing blocks in Aluminium, ran into the problem of not having the proper size flat bottom bit to make the hole to hold the bearing. What I've done in the past with wood is to use a spade bit and carefully grind down the sides free hand and then test the fit on a scrap block. I've gotten the proper size so close that the bearing snaps in place. This works well with 6061 alum but you will have to see if it works with UHMW.

Note: I use a drill press to make these hole. :idea:

pminmo
08-10-2004, 08:50 PM
Good for both MDF, delrin, 6061 al. SOmetimes they are on sale for $7.99 beats the tar out of spade bits.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=1903

Phil

High Seas
08-10-2004, 09:08 PM
I'll add - holesaws in delrin/UHMW are NOT the way to go - you can make a hole - but heaps of cleaning up and the bit is shot when thru. The Forstner bits are the ticket! And at that price you can toss 'em rather than regrind - Just kidding. Cheers - Jim

cbcnc
08-10-2004, 10:28 PM
Be forwarned! Those Harbor Freight bits are not true Forstner bits. They don't have a continuous rim like the real ones do. Not to say that they won't drill holes. But real Forstner bits can drill half a hole on the edge of your stock.
They sure are cheap though, I have a set. :)

Chris

Patrick2by4
08-10-2004, 11:25 PM
I think I need to explain a little futher, I have forstner bits which I use for woodworking. The problem I was trying to relate was that some ball bearings do not come in standard sizes. One set I was using, the outside diameter was slightly smaller than 7/8 of a inch. I took a 7/8 spade bit and lightly grinded off just a little off of each side so that now the outside diameter of the spade bit was maybe 13/32 or slightly less. If I used a forstner bit, the resulting hole would have been a little too big and the bearing would rattle around in the hole. As it is, it worked beautiful in boring the hole in 6061 Aluminium, in fact the ball bearing snapped in place snugly. I use this technique when I have to insert wood dowels perfectly in a block of wood (a 1/2 dowel many times isn't a 1/2). Since spade bits are so cheap, I usually just toss the bit after I'm done. This is just a suggestion, not the bible. If your bearings are 7/8, by all means try a forstner bit first.

cbcnc
08-11-2004, 01:04 AM
Patrick,

I understood what you were saying about flat spade bits, I've done it myself to make them undersize for whatever reason. It brings up a good point. Skate bearings are metric sized; 22mm od x 8mm id x 8mm th. A 7/8" bit is too big and a 13/16" bit is too small. 55/64 is even too small (1/64 smaller than 7/8").
To be exact:
7/8" = .875"
22mm= .866142"
-----------------
.008858" Difference
So my point is that if you grind about 4 1/2 thou. off of the diameter you will have a 22mm sized bit. You could do that with a spade bit or with one of those Harbor Freight psudo Forstner bits.
I doubt you could do that with a true Forstner bit and not ruin the cutting edge.
I think any of those bits work well in Delrin. I'm not positive about UHMW plastic.

Chris

ger21
08-11-2004, 07:55 AM
You can get a metric forstner bit here : http://www.cheyennesales.com/catalog/cmtforst_met.htm

cnc2k
09-03-2004, 11:40 PM
Any upgrade?

mvaughn
09-04-2004, 01:59 PM
Actually, yes I do have some update to post. I'm just trying to get myself organized.

My sister just had a baby, so she borrowed my digital camera. I'll get it back so I can post the updates for you all to see.

FYI, I've basically gotten the bearings done for the x-axis and it's assembled. I have also painted most of the machine with Rustoleum Hammered Paint.

Cheers,

mvaughn
09-09-2004, 10:18 PM
Time for an update with pictures...

I've finished the x-axis so far and have it partially painted.

Here are a few pics of the machine as a whole so far...

mvaughn
09-09-2004, 10:20 PM
pics from the other end...

mvaughn
09-09-2004, 10:22 PM
Here are a few closeup's.

The bearings turned out pretty good for being hand made. The glide very easily, a even easier with the addition of a little silicon lube.

starCNC
09-10-2004, 03:37 PM
very nice, keep up the good work;)

creative_mind
09-10-2004, 04:20 PM
Maybe I've missed it somewhere in this thread. Are the drawings in Solidworks?

Graham S
09-11-2004, 09:05 AM
The paint job really makes it look the part, great job!

mvaughn
09-17-2004, 11:08 AM
I was recently emailed a question about my CNC project. I thought I would post the question and my reply so all could see and the documentation would be preserved.


This is the message:

I read through your project log and got inspired to design my own machine. While doing the research for the drill rod, I noticed that Enco offers multiple types (grades). Which rod did you use (air, oil or water hardened)?

I also like the plastic linear bearing. Are you having any friction related problems?

Any additional insight would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Adrian

I'm glad that I've inspired you to build your own CNC machine. I went with the oil hardened drill rod, purely based on cost. I'm trying to do this as inexpensive as possible.

As far as the plastic bearings go, I'm very happy with them so far. At first I had my doubts because I was having trouble getting them aligned. As individual bearings they slid very well with little to no lubrication, which by the way I was using WD40 at the time (all I had). When I mounted them as a unit on the gantry they seemed to bind a little. Not to terrible but enough to make me concerned whether my stepper would be able to handle it. To correct this issue I did two things:

1. I played with the positioning of the bearings as much as I could. I didn't design any kind of adjustments into them. I also found that the tightness of the bolts I used to mount them cause so distortion in their shape, which affected their sliding ability. I decided to use nuts with nylon inserts so they would be self locking.

2. I switched from lubricating oil, to a silicon based lubricant. This made the most difference. I went from being able to push the gantry with a few fingers to being able to push it with just my pinky finger.

Another thing I would recommend doing is to polish or deburr the drill rod. It is a little rough from ENCO, but using a little 600 grit wet sandpaper for about 10 minutes on each rod polishes it up very nicely.

By the way the plastic that I used for the bearings is called UHMW. I purchased it from ENCO as well.

Hope that helps; Regards,

Mark

cnc2k
10-12-2004, 06:14 PM
Its another month, any more upgrade. can't wait to see it running.

mvaughn
10-17-2004, 01:15 PM
Yes, there has been some more progress and I do have some more pics to post. I have just returned from a vacation in California, thus I haven't gotten much done in the past 2 weeks.

I'll make an update this week.. I promise :cheers:

mvaughn
10-21-2004, 01:28 AM
Here is a quick update for the current status of my project.

X and Y axis is now complete minus the lead screws and motors. The body of the Z axis is complete as well. I still need to polish and mount the linear rails before I can call it done.

One thing that has really slown down my progress is that up until this point I haven't tested my driver controller and motors. I heeded the advice of the gurus and didn't spin the motors when I began this project. I found that by constructing the machine without ever having a feel for the power of the motors hindered my progress. In the back of my head I always thought, "those little motors will never be able to move this monster."

I finally took the plunge and spun the motors up. I was suprised by two things, one, I can't believe that the DIY controller worked on the first try, two, the little HP printer steppers are quite powerful. They have rekindled my motivation to get this thing moving.

I've made a slight temporary change in the design of the machine. I've decided to substitute 1/4-20 all thread for the lead screws. I currently, don't have the resources to turn down the ends of my 1/2-10 ACME rod and I want to get this thing up and running ASAP.



Question:

If any of you guys with HP LaserJet Steppers are reading this, or anyone for that matter knows. What is the MAX speed you can reliably drive those steppers? I'm using a 12 volt PC power supply, with 4ohm 10W power resistors. It seems that 1000hz is about as fast as I can push them, any higher and they just sit them and hum and whine without spinning.

mvaughn
10-21-2004, 02:20 PM
OK everyone,

I know it's been a while since I've posted any progress pics, mainly due to slow progress. My "Honey Do" projects always take priority to my personal projects.

I've gotten the base of the z-axis complete and assembled. It is now mounted on the machine. Sorry I didn't get any construction pics of it, my camera has been on loan to someone else for a while.

The Y-axis slides very effortlessly after many hours of tweaking the DIY UHMW bearings. I think one the the first things I will machine with this is a complete new set of bearings, the table saw doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to cutting 1 1/2 inche thick UHMW.

The next step I'm taking is to make the lead screw nuts out of some scrap UHMW and start mounting the electronics.

Here are some pics for you to enjoy:

mvaughn
10-21-2004, 02:22 PM
More pics:

Sorry about the lighting in the pics. I took these photos early this morning before I left for work.

cnc2k
12-05-2004, 08:49 PM
Haven't hear from you in awhile, any update?

mvaughn
12-05-2004, 08:56 PM
Not much in the way of updates unfortunately.

I haven't had much free time since the school year started up, I'm a teacher, but I'm looking forward to Winter break where I should be able to wrap things up and get some motion out of this project.

Finals week is next week, so I should have plenty of time to get this project rolling again.

mvaughn
01-18-2005, 01:32 PM
I've been slowly gathering parts to continue and finish my CNC router.

I was planning on using a 12 volt computer power supply to run my 3 steppers. Here are the specs for them.

LABELED: Astrosyn
TYPE: 23LM-C701-01
P/N: RH7-1048 04
5.2 V/Phase
1.4 A/Phase
1.8 Degree/Step

I have spun them and have an idea of the torque that they can output. It seems that I will want to upgrade to a 24 volt PS in the future. I used stepper calc to figure out that these motors will require two 13.43 Ohm 26.32 Watt resistors per motor. The 24 volt PS will need to provide 8.4 Amps

Here are the products that I think match the requirements. They are the closest matching parts I could find. Will they work?

http://www.mpja.com/productview.asp?product=15080+PS

http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?handler=displayproduct&lstdispproductid=234978&e_categoryid=354&e_pcodeid=02818

Mouser Part #: 284-HS50-15F
Mfr. Part #: HS50 15R 1%
Mfr.: Arcol
Description: Arcol 50W Aluminum Housed Resistors 50W 15 OHM1%

cnc2k
01-18-2005, 03:25 PM
I have an extra 24v power supply at 10amp. let me know if you are interested. BTW your project looks great.

mvaughn
01-19-2005, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the offer cnc2k, I'm going to wait for a while and give my 12 volt setup a chance first.


I've ordered some flange bearings so I can mount my lead screws. Victorbl is using these on his cnc router and I thought I should grab a few of them since they are only $7.95 USD each.

http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?item=1-201-08-4

I also got a new digital camera for Christmas and have no excuse to delay this project any longer.

Since my lead screw flange bearings are on the way, I decided it was time to build my lead nuts. I'm using 1/2 10tpi generic ACME thread from Enco. I cut off a 9 inch piece of it and made an ACME tap with my drill press as a makeshift lathe and a cutoff wheel to cut reliefs in the tap.

For the lead nut I'm using 3/4 inch thick bits of UHMW. I bored a 3/8 inch hole in them and used the acme tap. Each lead nut took about an hour to fully tap and get them running smoothly. I used the drill press to hold the tap perpendicular to the lead nut, and turned the drill press by hand to get it tapped. It took quite a bit of effort to tap the UHMW because it seemed like it didn't cut all the material the first run through. I had to run the tap through several times until it stopped removing material from the nut.

Next, I threw the UHMW lead nuts in the freezer to firm them up and shrink them slightly. I chucked the ACME tap in an electric drill and ran it through the nuts several times.

Now the nuts spin freely and there is no noticible backlash.

Hobbiest
01-20-2005, 03:33 AM
Glad the freezer trick worked for you. My buddies and I got some old screw action garage door openers a while back. 1/2-10 acme, had to use the freeze method.

mvaughn
01-20-2005, 01:53 PM
It has been excessively wet for the last month, not uncommon for Western Washington. It has also been rather humid, which is uncommon this time of year.

Last night I noticed a large amount of condensation on my MDF CNC router. Luckily it is painted and shows no warpage or swelling, but I decided to move it indoors where I can control the environment. It must weigh 250 pounds and wasn't easy to get up the steps to my house.

Now I'm much more motivated to finish it up and start CNCing stuff because I don't have to sit out in a cold dreary garage when I want to work on it. :cheers:

mvaughn
01-24-2005, 12:39 AM
My flange bearings didn't show up friday like I was hoping, so I didn't get my lead screws mounted. UPS tracking says they were delayed due to severe weather.


I worked on creating some heat sinks for my driver board and power resistors. I used 1 1/2 x 36 x 1/8 inch aluminum stoch from Home Depot. Here are a few pics for now.

pminmo
01-24-2005, 05:38 PM
Boards look really good!

Phil

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 01:13 AM
Thanks Phil.


I've got a small update for anyone who is interested. The flange bearings I ordered arrived today. They are a little cheap, but seem very sturdy. My only complaint was that the bearings weren't aligned in their housing properly. A small tap of a hammer on a block of wood swiveled the bearings into position, kinda like a heim joint would work.

It's late, so mounting them will have to wait until tomorrow. I did snap a few pics of them after I test fit them.

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 01:17 AM
I have a few more pics for those people that like to look at them.

Here is how my contraption sits today. It's doubling as a table for the moment. Hopefully, by posting pics and updates I'll be motivated to finish it up sooner than later.

victorbl
01-25-2005, 02:39 AM
Looking really nice. I like the hammered paint on your machine.

My flange bearings arrived a little out of angle in their housing as well, but as I later found out, they are designed to have a little rotational play in them. If you haven't already, put a few drops of oil in the grease zerk, then placing a scrap piece of 1/2 rod through the bearing....get them loosened up by angling them around. It might take a hammer on the scrap rod to get bearing moving/covered in oil. Once the are loose, and mounted back on the machine, they allow a little bit of angular play in the threaded rod if your not 100% lined up.

pminmo
01-25-2005, 11:35 AM
Are you planning on using the old PC power supply for your motor power supply?

Phil

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 12:09 PM
Yes, I'll be using the old PC power supply at first. :violin:

My main goal is to get this thing running and then fix the weak points. I originally went the the 12V PC power supply because I had on laying around, I'm working on a limited budget, and because I just didn't know any better at the time.

My driver board requires a 5 volt input, which the PC power supply has, and I would also need to find new ballast resistors if I upped the voltage to the steppers.

I plan to build a new set of drivers, maybe the 3977 boards you are working on, to replace my current setup. Then I'll do it up right.:cheers:

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 01:13 PM
My flange bearings arrived a little out of angle in their housing as well, but as I later found out, they are designed to have a little rotational play in them. If you haven't already, put a few drops of oil in the grease zerk, then placing a scrap piece of 1/2 rod through the bearing....get them loosened up by angling them around. It might take a hammer on the scrap rod to get bearing moving/covered in oil. Once the are loose, and mounted back on the machine, they allow a little bit of angular play in the threaded rod if your not 100% lined up.

Victor,

Thanks for the tips on the bearings. It did seem rather easy to change their position when I tapped on them. I'm assuming when you say put a few drops of oil in the grease zerks, that you removed them to do so. I was leary about greasing them because I didn't want the high vicosity of grease to take power from my steppers.

What weight oil did you use on your bearings?

santiniuk
01-25-2005, 01:25 PM
Really enjoying following this thread.

Some cracking photo's and the paint finish looks superb.

Good stuff !

Rance
01-25-2005, 01:26 PM
>>I originally went the the 12V PC power supply because I had on laying around, I'm working on a limited budget, and because I just didn't know any better at the time.

I like your idea of keeping it inexpensive this way. Have you tallied up your total investment so far? Any idea on expected total cost when completed?

Rance

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 01:43 PM
>>I originally went the the 12V PC power supply because I had on laying around, I'm working on a limited budget, and because I just didn't know any better at the time.

I like your idea of keeping it inexpensive this way. Have you tallied up your total investment so far? Any idea on expected total cost when completed?

Rance

I'll try to tally up the cost when I am finished, however, it will only be an estimate. Part of the reason for trying to be detailed in this build thread is to log the parts I've bought to put into the project.

1. Steppers were free
2. Electronics came to about $50 USD
3. MDF was $40 USD
4. 1 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INSRAR2&PMAKA=408-0061&PMPXNO=947621), 3/4 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=408-0045&PMPXNO=945624&PARTPG=INLMK32), 1/2 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=408-0029&PMPXNO=943418&PARTPG=INLMK32) inch Drill rods were roughly $35 (on sale at the time)
5. UHWM 12x12x1.5 sheet was $26 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=240-2257&PMPXNO=4838271&PARTPG=INLMK32)
6. 1/2 10 TPI ACME threaded rod $12 (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INSRAR2&PMAKA=408-0220&PMPXNO=942694)
7. Porter Cable 690LR router $99 USD
8. The miscellaneous nut and bolts have turned out to be the most expensive part. There is a ton of hardware in this thing like T-nuts, confirmat screws, nuts, bolts, washers etc... I'll estimate 50-60 dollars in hardware.

I would say that I've invested between $320 and $330 USD in materials.

I'm going to have to buy a speed controller, wire to connect the electronics, and some more nuts & bolts.

I would say that when I'm all done I will have a project cost of about $350

JavaDog
01-25-2005, 02:13 PM
I would say that when I'm all done I will have a project cost of about $350

Hot damn, I'm spending that on the Geckos alone!

Can't wait to see what you'll be able to crank out (and accuracy) once you get this up and running. Really excellent work thus far! :cheers:

mvaughn
01-25-2005, 02:18 PM
Thanks JavaDog,

This machine is really just a proof of concept for my wife. If I can show her all the potential that CNC has to offer, then I can build a bigger better machine.

mvaughn
01-27-2005, 01:08 PM
I have a question for you guys.


If you look back at my last set of pictures you will see the flange bearings I'm using to mount my lead screws. I will use one bearing per lead screw and use the stepper to hold the opposite end.

The question I have goes like this: Does it matter what end of the lead screw the bearing holds?

My theory so far is that I should mount the flange bearings for each axis near the home position of the machine. That way, on average, there will be less distance between the bearing and the lead nut; which will allow for less flex when "pushing" with the lead screw.

I really need your opinions on this matter...

Thanks,
Mark

BobLWeiss
01-27-2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the offer cnc2k, I'm going to wait for a while and give my 12 volt setup a chance first.


I've ordered some flange bearings so I can mount my lead screws. Victorbl is using these on his cnc router and I thought I should grab a few of them since they are only $7.95 USD each.

http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?item=1-201-08-4

I also got a new digital camera for Christmas and have no excuse to delay this project any longer.

Since my lead screw flange bearings are on the way, I decided it was time to build my lead nuts. I'm using 1/2 10tpi generic ACME thread from Enco. I cut off a 9 inch piece of it and made an ACME tap with my drill press as a makeshift lathe and a cutoff wheel to cut reliefs in the tap.

For the lead nut I'm using 3/4 inch thick bits of UHMW. I bored a 3/8 inch hole in them and used the acme tap. Each lead nut took about an hour to fully tap and get them running smoothly. I used the drill press to hold the tap perpendicular to the lead nut, and turned the drill press by hand to get it tapped. It took quite a bit of effort to tap the UHMW because it seemed like it didn't cut all the material the first run through. I had to run the tap through several times until it stopped removing material from the nut.

Next, I threw the UHMW lead nuts in the freezer to firm them up and shrink them slightly. I chucked the ACME tap in an electric drill and ran it through the nuts several times.

Now the nuts spin freely and there is no noticible backlash.

How did you get the threaded rod smooth on one end? The rod from Enco is threads from end to end correct?

BobLWeiss
01-27-2005, 01:15 PM
By the way, NICE MACHINE!!

I have another question for ya, how did you connect the steppers to the threaded rod? I assume you used a coupler but where did you get it from? The threaded rod is 1/2" right? Steppers 1/4"?

Thanks,
Bob

mvaughn
01-27-2005, 01:20 PM
How did you get the threaded rod smooth on one end? The rod from Enco is threads from end to end correct?

This may sound crazy, but it's true.


I chucked the 1/2 acme into my drill press and used a flat file to slowly file the tap down to 1/4 inch. I occasionally used my caliper to check the diameter.

It was a slow process, and made we wish I had a lathe.

mvaughn
01-27-2005, 01:27 PM
By the way, NICE MACHINE!!

I have another question for ya, how did you connect the steppers to the threaded rod? I assume you used a coupler but where did you get it from? The threaded rod is 1/2" right? Steppers 1/4"?

Thanks,
Bob

Thank you,

I haven't yet connected my steppers. What you see in the last set of pics is the flange bearing supported by 1/2 inch drill rod. The drill rod is run through some 1/2 inch holes I bored. It's my way of getting the holes in the gantry, lead nut, both ends of the machine, and the flange bearings lined up and centered. After I get the lead nut, steppers, and flange bearings mounted, I'll enlarge the 1/2 inch holes.

I'm planning on turning down the ends of the acme rod the same way I did on my acme tap. Then, I will join the steppers to the acme with a 1/4 inch inner diameter piece of tubing. (hopefully hydraulic line)

mvaughn
01-27-2005, 11:21 PM
In case some of you missed my question from above...


I have a question for you guys.


If you look back at my last set of pictures you will see the flange bearings I'm using to mount my lead screws. I will use one bearing per lead screw and use the stepper to hold the opposite end.

The question I have goes like this: Does it matter what end of the lead screw the bearing holds?

My theory so far is that I should mount the flange bearings for each axis near the home position of the machine. That way, on average, there will be less distance between the bearing and the lead nut; which will allow for less flex when "pushing" with the lead screw.

I really need your opinions on this matter...

Thanks,
Mark

yukonho
01-28-2005, 02:38 AM
I dont think it much matters which end you mount the bearing on. I have mine on the opposite end of the steppers and have no difficulties at all.
colin

victorbl
01-28-2005, 01:55 PM
Hey mvaughn, I can provide one perspective on your question. While I'm by no means a seasoned cnc'r like most of the people on the forum, I can say that with my machine it makes absolutly not difference. I have my Y and Z axis with the flange bearing on the home side, and my X axis with the stepper on the home side. Basically, if your machine is aligned properly, your threaded rod should float in the assembly, and all the weight should be supported by your drill rod/linear bearings/etc.

When I aligned my machine, I would place the threaded rod in position w/o the motor or flange bearing...and adjust the drill rod until the acme threaded rod literally floated in the dead center of the flange bearing mount and motor mount. This gave me the best performance in terms of no binding.

mvaughn
01-28-2005, 05:57 PM
Thanks Victor, I'll be working on getting my lead screws and bearings mounted up this weekend.

Have a good one!

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 02:43 AM
I have a little update on my progress. I spent a few hours this weekend mounting my leadscrews and devising a way to mount my steppers. I came up with a solution but ran out of time.

Currently, I have the x-axis lead screw and stepper mounted. The y-axis is partially done. The good news is that I wired up my x-axis to my driver and can say that I have it it moving under it's own power. The gantry scoots along quite nicely. I believe I had it up to 17 inches per minute before the stepper started missing steps, and that is with my 12 volt PC power supply.

I have some tweaking to do yet. But for all you who question whether a stepper from a HP LaserJet III printer can spin a 1/2-10tpi ACME lead screw, I can attest to it.

I'll post some pics and maybe a movie later. BTW, does anyone know of an easy way to compress an avi down so I can post it here?

ynneb
02-07-2005, 03:33 AM
This is a fine thread you have here Mark. I am looking 4ward to the movie.

Do you have windows XP ? It has a movie maker in Start/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Windows Movie Maker, While it is limited, it will do what you need. You can then export your movie out as WMV. Most other windows users can see this type of file in their wndows player without having to download some other crappy viewer. Let me know if you get stuck and i will guide you along the way.

EDIT: WMV is the Microsoft equivilant compressive standard to a mpeg video.
For those who do not have a way of vieiwng these files, you can always download Winamp a free media player. It is probably the least invasive on your system of all players. However as I have said b4 most windows installs have a player already installed by default.

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 11:36 AM
Thanks Benny,

I'm compressing my edited video as I type this reply. Is should be done in about 10 minutes. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I'll post a link to it after I find a place to host a 10MB file.

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 01:49 PM
Here is the video of the very first movement my router ever made.

As you can tell, the table top is not attached, and the electronics are crudely assorted. I just couldn't resist firing it up as it was, just to see if this project I've been working on the last 8 months could even move.

As it turns out the lighting in the room wasn't very good... and the camera man was a little shakey. It's a little difficult to hold a camera and operate a computer at the same time.

There are two versions of the video... small and large. The small video is about 1.3MB and the Large is almost 9MB

Small Video (http://www.freeipods.illusionfxnet.com/cnc/CNC-First-Movement_2.wmv)

Large Video (http://www.freeipods.illusionfxnet.com/cnc/CNC-First-Movement.wmv)

santiniuk
02-07-2005, 02:31 PM
Video looks good to me :)

Looks really smooth motion. Congratulations !

This is a real incentive for a CNC novice like myself to keep going.

Thanks for taking the time to share your project.

Cheers

Jay C
02-07-2005, 02:59 PM
I finally took the plunge and spun the motors up. I was suprised by two things, one, I can't believe that the DIY controller worked on the first try, two, the little HP printer steppers are quite powerful. They have rekindled my motivation to get this thing moving.
Have you already discussed your DIY controller ... I did a cursory look and didn't see it in this thread. also, looks like you are using a PC power supply ... what voltage are the HP motors rated for, and do you plan to use a linear supply? Also, since you moved from 10 tpi to 20tpi, is your speed half of what you may have calculated, or is there enough RPM in the steppers to compensate?

Jay

ynneb
02-07-2005, 04:23 PM
Good video Mark.....You will have Hollywood trying to head hunt you now.
Was that maximum speed ? Surely not?
It will be good to see it fully in action and cutting something.

You are a bit like me. just get the thing going even if every thing is not mounted properly. The only difference is you are tidier than me.

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 04:38 PM
Have you already discussed your DIY controller ... I did a cursory look and didn't see it in this thread.

I discussed my DIY controller in brief. Basically I bought the schematics and build my driver board from the pikeresque plans at www.buildyouridea.com It was very simple to build and works like a charm. It's not the best driver available, but it fit my needs and my budget.


also, looks like you are using a PC power supply ... what voltage are the HP motors rated for, and do you plan to use a linear supply?

The motors are rated for 5.2 volts, here are the specs that are on the motor labels.

LABELED: Astrosyn
TYPE: 23LM-C701-01
P/N: RH7-1048 04
5.2 V/Phase
1.4 A/Phase
1.8 Degree/Step

I'm not sure I know how to answer your question about using a linear power supply. I don't know what linear, in respect to power supplies means.



Also, since you moved from 10 tpi to 20tpi, is your speed half of what you may have calculated, or is there enough RPM in the steppers to compensate?

Jay

The move fo 20tpi all-thread was short lived. I never used it, only thought about using it. What you see on the machine in the pics and video is 1/2-10tpi ACME rod.

If you have any more questions or need clarification I'd be happy to help.

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 04:46 PM
Good video Mark.....You will have Hollywood trying to head hunt you now.
Was that maximum speed ? Surely not?
It will be good to see it fully in action and cutting something.

You are a bit like me. just get the thing going even if every thing is not mounted properly. The only difference is you are tidier than me.

Benny

That video shows it moving at 10 ipm.

With my 12 volt power supply I had it running about twice as fast as the video shows. The problem I encountered was that I could put moderate resistance on the gantry and cause the motor to skip steps. I figured that would cause problems when I put 3 steppers on the power supply all together.

I'll bet that running a 24 volts would increase the speed quite a bit. I'm just learning to walk right now, the running will come later. http://cnczone.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

I'm not that tidy... you would see that if I had pointed the camera in another direction. lol

Jay C
02-07-2005, 05:04 PM
I'm not sure I know how to answer your question about using a linear power supply. I don't know what linear, in respect to power supplies means.
A linear power supply uses a transformer to step line volatge (120 V AC) down to some lower output (12, 24, 30, etc... V AC) which is then fed to a diode bridge (aka rectifier) and then to a capacitor for smoothing.

This as opposed to a switching power supply like those used in a PC and most electronics. The reason I asked was that I was surprised at the speed (and no offense meant but it seemed very slow). I'm still trying to get an idea of what I can expect and was alarmed that yours is the second I seen crawling along.

I guess there is a learning curve and a reality check in my near future, and huflungdung's words to keep me going: "first you get good, then you get fast".

Keep the reports flowing, and don't let my comments distract you. I'm right behind you will my CNC lathe project :D

Jay

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 05:25 PM
No offense taken, when I take my budget into account I'm lucky that it moves at all.

Thank you for the explaination of the difference between linear and switching power supplies. I plan on using a linear ps eventually, if not on this router then on the next.

I've read in other discussions that increasing to 24 - 30 volts will do wonders for speed and power.

ynneb
02-07-2005, 05:37 PM
Hey Mark, I remember you once saying that you wanted to get into CNC so that you could make MAME cabinets. Are you planing to make them for dwarfs ? He He

MrBean
02-07-2005, 05:41 PM
I was using a PC power supply and L/R drivers. My max speed was 17 IPM. Was ok for a while but you soon wish for more speed, so I built the PICStep drivers and a linear PS. Now I get 100 IPM on my slowest axis. It's not that cheap if you're on a tight budget, but for me it was too painfull @ 17 IPM.

Building the drives and PS probably cost me around £120.00 but I bought most bits in multiples of 10, just in case I needed some spares, so the cost could've been kept lower if I'd bought only what I needed.

Regards Terry.....

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 05:48 PM
Umm yes... MAME cabinets for Dwarfs, it's an un tapped niche market that is ripe for the pickings. :idea:

.
.
.
.

Actually, I do want to build MAME cabinets, or at least the control panels via CNC. This was a thought that came to me after I had designed my first machine. The original plan was to cut out some one-off custom PC fan grills, etching and drilling PCB's, and Make a few wooden clocks like balsaman.

This machine was all I could justify when I started because I had no idea what I was getting into. I will probably decommission it after it helps me build a more accurate and larger router. I doubt this one will be very accurate... since the basic tools I used were a jigsaw, a drill press, and a cordless drill.

mvaughn
02-07-2005, 05:57 PM
I'd like to think that If I built a driver from one of Phils designs, or Alan's PicStep and a good power supply, I would be moving alot faster.

I think I'll finish the machine before I start upgrading.http://cnczone.com/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif

MrBean
02-07-2005, 06:07 PM
That was my plan too. Get it moving and upgrade if you require it.

Excellent thead BTW. Have been watching with interest.
Your machine is looking very nice. Keep up the good work and posting the pictures.

Regards Terry.....

pminmo
02-07-2005, 08:48 PM
As has been pointed out in other threads, a linear powersupply based on this transformer:
http://www.mpja.com/productview.asp?product=7846+TR
Plus a rectifier :
http://www.mpja.com/productview.asp?product=5245+BR
Plus a good filter cap 10,000 to 15,000 uf 50WVDC,
is a very good stepping stone. You wind up with about a 33Vdc power supply that would work for the Allegro 3977 bipolar stepper drivers, as well as using it with resistors for cuurent limiting.

I'm still looking for a inexpensive source for large filter caps, anybody?
This might be a possibility:
http://www.mouser.com/index.cfm?handler=displayproduct&lstdispproductid=361892&e_categoryid=386&e_pcodeid=64717

Phil

mvaughn
02-08-2005, 10:37 AM
I was PM'd with the question of "What is a MAME cabinet"

Here is my response in case anyone else is wondering what MAME is. Words can only describe it so much... click the links to see some examples.

A MAME cabinet is an arcade cabinet that contains a PC. The PC has software installed on it called MAME, which stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulation.

It allows you to play emulated arcade games. The cool part is that it can contain thousands of games to pick from.

Here are a few links:

http://arcadecontrols.com/arcade.htm

http://mamestation.com/ms2home.html

http://www.thirteenth-planet.com/arcade/pic_gallery.htm

ynneb
02-08-2005, 03:40 PM
The good thing about MAME is for those of us who grew up playing arcade machines and spending heaps of money doing so, these games are now available to play on your PC for free. In some ways it is just a blast from the past, and it is nice to feel like you are playing something for free that you used to pay for. Other than that the games are quite boring by todays standards. Still, thats enough reason for me to be interested in it.

MAME is essentially a computer within a computer. The game programs from yesteryear will not work in todays computer environments. That is until MAME came along. What MAME does is simulate the computer of yesteryear within your modernday computer and then alow you to load the old software into that simulated envirinment.

Mark, sorry if this has varied your thread off the subject a bit. I will not make any more posts in it other than on subject.

mvaughn
02-10-2005, 08:10 PM
Benny, don't worry about posting off topic.. It will be back on topic when I post some more updates.

Speaking of progress on my machine, there hasn't been any. I've started a new job and the hours make it difficult so work on extra-curricular activities.

I'll get some updates to you guys this weekend.

xairflyer
02-12-2005, 08:37 PM
Just been reading your log for the first time tonight.

Your machine is looking great and I think using the T nuts in the inside of the centering blocks is a great idea.

I had a go amking them from nylon, but found that they took a long time to cut out, tap and cut the center hole so I went with 1" mdf.

I got good threads using a roll tap and thin super glue, but have always thought how the idea would last long term, I will stock up on the 'T' (captive) nuts so if they do strip I can make an easy repair.

Anyway keep it going.

mvaughn
03-20-2005, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the kind words xairflyer.

It's been a while since I have been able to make any progress on my router. I have learned from other projects that I tend to rush a project when I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With this project I have forced myself to step back, regather my thoughts and goalsl, and then get back on track. I didn't want to let the quality slip any more than it already has (considering my budget of nil).

Anyway, I've been thinking long and hard about how I will enclose and mount my electronics. I have looked for inexpensive enclosures high and low. It seems that when the enclosures approach the size I need the price is out of my budget.

The solution I came up with was something I had set aside for another project. I used to work indirectly for a network security company that sells these cool network firewalls in red powder coated boxes. I have had a few of them sitting on my shelves for a rainy day, and I decided to gut one for the router project. I'll have to do some modifications to it, but it is already setup for cooling and mounting my power supply.

Here are some picks to keep you guys interested.

mvaughn
03-20-2005, 01:55 PM
My idea is to mount some threaded studs on the bottom of the box and then use those studs with some wing-nuts to secure the enclosure to the side of my router cabinet. I'll post pics when I get it mounted.

Here are some pics of the inside. It has plenty of room for future changes, like a better power supply.

I have ordered some panel mount connectors that hopefully will fit in the rectangular cutouts. These will be the X, Y, Z axis, and limit switch connectors. I will also enlarge the port marked "console" to mount my parallel port connector.

Ninjak2k
03-22-2005, 08:30 PM
mvaughn, your build looks great! Hope you don't mind just a few questions on construction techniques. How did you get those nice slots for the T-nuts in your adjustment blocks? Also, to get the circular holes around the perimeter of your linear bearing blocks, did you just use a drill press and careful alignment? Would you describe what the purpose of those holes are?

I really like seeing your progress and what you can do with the tools you have as this is exactly what I will have available to me - no fancy equipment to help out.

~Dan

mvaughn
03-22-2005, 11:05 PM
I'm happy to answer any questions you can throw at me...



The slots for the T-nuts were done with a square hand file. I originally tried a scroll saw but it wasn't accuratly repeatable for me. Even when I used a fence as a guide. After I drilled the center hole in the blocks I carefully measured and drew a line that was the thickness of the T-nut flange and tangent to the center hole. Then I clamped two pieces of angle iron, one on each side of the mdf, flush with the line I drew. Then I filed down a slot for the T-nut until I reached the angle iron. After the first couple of times I learned to clamp several mdf blocks and filed them all at the same time rather then independantly.

The reliefs around the perimeter of the bearings were done just as you said , carefully by hand with a drill press. I used a compass to scribe the diameter of my linear bearing on the undrilled bearing blocks. I marked off evenly spaced spots to drill using a compass rose because it was easy to draw with a ruler. Then I drilled the small holes with a normal spiral bit. Then I drilled the main center out. I had to de-burr it all afterward with a razor knife. If you look closely at my bearing blocks you can see they are far from perfect, in fact they look hand made. However, they work and I was planning to build new ones with the CNC when it is finished.

I hope that makes sense and answers your questions.

-Mark

Ninjak2k
03-23-2005, 01:31 AM
Yes, indeed! Thanks. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

~Dan

mvaughn
03-23-2005, 09:59 AM
I have some parts on order. When they come in, I should be able to get my electronics done and finish up my Z axis. I'll be posting more progress pics soon!

JavaDog
04-07-2005, 06:37 PM
So...anymore progress to report? :stickpoke

:p

Btw, I really dig the Red firewall box...good looking housing!

mvaughn
04-13-2005, 12:05 AM
Thanks for the nudge Java...:rolleyes:

I've made a little progress on the electronics. The connectors I ordered have arrived and I've installed them into the enclosure and wired it all up.

I've also re-done the ends of the stepper motors with the matching 6-pin connectors.

On the bottom of the enclosure, I mounted some bolts so I can mount it to the side of router's cabinet.

mvaughn
04-13-2005, 12:11 AM
Here are a few shots of the wiring done on the inside of the enclosure.

In addition, I almost have the work table of the cnc router bolted down. I just have to make another trip to the hardware store for some longer bolts.(chair)


Once that is done, I need to turn down the lead screw of the y-axis and finish up the z-axis.

It's been hard to focus on my CNC project lately because I recently purchased 2 chevelles on ebay and have been focusing on transporting them.

JavaDog
04-13-2005, 08:08 AM
Thanks for the nudge Java...:rolleyes:

No problem! :wave:

Any pictures of the Z-axis thus far?

A friend of mine had a classic Chevelle, it kept him busy...I can only imagine what a pair of them will do to the Free-Time-O-Meter! :D

mvaughn
06-18-2005, 08:02 PM
Sorry Java, the z-axis is still unfinished.


However, I've silently been working on my router in the evenings when I found time, and now I have a milestone to report.

The X and Y axis' are now complete. Electronics turned out to be a major hurdle that I had to rethink. It turns out that my PC power supply was not able to handle driving or having more that one motor connected. It would just shut down totally whenever I had more than one motor connected.

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because after ordering a 24 volt power supply from MPJA, I now have the X and Y axis' running at 30ipm. A major improvement over the 12ipm from before. Heat seems to be more of an issue now. Nothing that a few heatsinks and fans can't fix.

mvaughn
06-18-2005, 08:26 PM
I've also realized that I'm going to actually need limit switches on this router. Before I could stall the motors when I ran out of travel... Now I can't stop the gantry by hand, and don't want to see what happens if I let it crash into the end of it's travel.

mvaughn
05-30-2007, 07:27 PM
Anyone remember me?

It's been a loooooooooong time since I've been able to put any work into my cnc router. I'm determined to get this thing working before it's 3 year anniversary arrives.

I think I'm ready to finish it off so I can put it to use building a modified Joe's or Lionclaw router.

Looks like there is a whole new crew of guys here and a mix of older familiar names as well. It's good to be back.

Jason Marsha
05-30-2007, 10:41 PM
Only yesterday I realized I had not seen a post about your machine in a long time. Good to see you are back and finishing the machine.

Jason

spalm
05-31-2007, 09:37 AM
Welcome back! Good to see you again my friend.

I know the feeling,
Steve

mvaughn
05-31-2007, 10:03 AM
Lol... it's good to be back.

Last week I dug my cnc router project out of my rented storage unit. I've moved 3 times in the past year and didn't want to pack it around. I'd forgotten how heavy MDF can be.

I'm going to have to take inventory on it and see what I need to do to finish it up. If memory serves, the x, y, and z axis are complete. The electronics are complete. I need to build a PC for mach3. I need a refresher course in CAD, CAM and gcode.

I've been eyeing Cambams cam software and think I'll give it a try. Is anyone else using it?

mvaughn
06-02-2007, 08:21 PM
I made a little progress on getting the router all setup. I was dying to get it all hooked up and see if it still moved. Knowing my luck it would have seized up after being in storage for over a year. The good news is that it still works!!!

I know the picture is a little blurry. All I have is a cell phone camera at the moment. It's 100% complete except for making sure it's square and devising some way of holding parts down.

Now if I can only find my endmills...

10bulls
06-20-2007, 07:17 PM
I've been eyeing Cambams cam software and think I'll give it a try. Is anyone else using it?
I've been giving it a bit of a thrash. It's not bad. The guy that wrote it sounds like a bit of a fruit loop though! :rainfro:

Good to see you back on the case!

MikeF's got his up and running...right...we just need to give JavaDog a bit of a stick poke now...:stickpoke

mvaughn
06-21-2007, 12:06 AM
I've been giving it a bit of a thrash. It's not bad. The guy that wrote it sounds like a bit of a fruit loop though! :rainfro:

Good to see you back on the case!

MikeF's got his up and running...right...we just need to give JavaDog a bit of a stick poke now...:stickpoke

Haha!!

I'm self taught when it comes to CAD and I find your cambam program very intuitive. I did have a problem with milling a pocket. It seemed that it left a little triangular piece when cutting out a T-shaped pocket. I can't wait for your next version.

(nuts)

What? JavaDog where ya hiding?

10bulls
06-21-2007, 04:51 AM
...I did have a problem with milling a pocket. It seemed that it left a little triangular piece when cutting out a T-shaped pocket. I can't wait for your next version.
Yes, later versions will address that problem.
Usually, reducing the stepover distance will make these go away (stepover is a % of the cutter diameter). Setting the ShowCutWidths=True machining property will help you spot these.

So what you planning to make next?

mvaughn
06-21-2007, 11:22 AM
Usually, reducing the stepover distance will make these go away (stepover is a % of the cutter diameter). Setting the ShowCutWidths=True machining property will help you spot these.

So what you planning to make next?

Thanks, I'll give that a try.

At the moment I'm putting cambam through its paces cutting out all the parts for my 2nd router. I'm too focused on the next router to make anything else.

eqalizr
06-27-2007, 01:18 PM
I see that you have connected the HP steppers to the RED box and added connectors to the steppers. What is the sequence for connecting your steppers? I have the same ones, but not sure of the wiring since the colors don't seem to match any diagrams that I have seen.

wolfdagon
01-07-2008, 04:05 AM
I also have those exact same steppers. Bought them on ebay last year after I stumbled uon the Zone and got bit by the bug. Got side tracked for a while but have started planning again. Any info you can give on hooking them up will be greatly appreciated. Are you still using the 24V power supply? I have two 24V 7.2A power supplies I got from ebay that were pulled from some kind of machine, although I need to check the actual output. I was told I would probably need higher volts. How has yours been doing with 24V? Also, did you ever upgrade to one of Phil's drivers like you had planned? That is what I was thinking about using for mine. I am thinking about doing a machine based on the one at www.buildyourcnc.com with a few changes inspired by things I have seen on the Zone. I was not sure if the motors would be big enough for it but your machine is slightly larger than what I have planned so I am enthusiastically hopefull.