New Machine Build Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign


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Thread: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

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    Default Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    Hello. I'd like to share my first build with you all. I've documented this build on my website http://www.wadeodesign.com/cnc-router-build.html with pages devoted to an image gallery, description of design details, and a documentation page. I'll attach a couple pics to this post for a glimpse of the design but will not duplicate stuff from the site.

    The design is a fixed gantry steel construction using thk linear guides, ball screws, and overall goals of stiffness and simplicity. I tried to avoid fabrication methods (ie welding) in favor of purchase and machine parts.

    At the time of this post I've made a few 'first cuts' and now focused on installing switches, tweaking performance, & learning CAM prior to any real work. Still have much to do and will be leaning on all the great knowledge in this forum to help me put the finishing touches together.

    Hope you find something interesting on the site.
    Cheers

    Some basic stats..
    Mass: ~ 900 lb.
    Cutting area: X=30" Y=24" Z=6"
    Linear Guides: THK Linear Bearings X=HSR30 Y=HSR25 Z=HSR20
    Linear Motion: NSK 14-04 Rolled Ball Screws for X & Y with Lead Screw 12-02 for Z
    Stepper Motors: Schneider MDrive Plus Nema 23 with build in driver
    Spindle: TeknoMotor C41/47, 2.0 KW, 24000 RPM, ER25 with Delta 022E21A VFD (220v, 3 phase)
    Other: Mach4 software, Ethernet SmoothStepper

    Similar Threads:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign-img_20150822_190804373-2-jpg   Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign-1443387695-png  


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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    Great build, looks like you'd be able to machine aluminium easily on that!

    cheers, Ian

    It's a state of mind!


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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    I hope we see some feedback on how some of those components are working for you. Especially the steepers with built in drives.

    Also that table everything sits on looks nice, kinda like some of the machine bases at work. Is that base a purchased item?



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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    Is that base a purchased item?
    The website referenced in the original post describes it as a Brute Machine Base, a purchased item.
    The table's top is 1" Blanchard ground steel so will weigh around 400 lbs by itself. Brute seems as good a description as any.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    @aarggh – Thanks. Cutting aluminum is my primary objective with this build.

    @wizard – I’ll likely do a separate post on the Schneider MDrive steppers – still too early to pass judgement at this time but so far so good. As for the machine base, like cyclestart mentions above, it’s a Brute Machine Base and Inter-Lakes also makes a similar product. Both companies were nice to deal with and do custom stuff outside the standard ‘catalog’ products but expect to pay a high premium as these companies are not cutting any corners. I ended up purchasing used and the table was still ~$600. The big benefit of this base aside from pure mass is the blanchard ground surface which creates a nice flat reference for mounting the table rails and gantry uprights.



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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    Hello Wado
    Nice website, very generous of you to provide all the details. By DIY standards this has prefab features, someone with a large mill could have a little
    side-industry machining gantry tubes, such a pain to do on a small mill.
    You bought a lathe to machine the ball screws ? You wanted one anyway,,,, we're all tool junkies here, we understand.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    If your cutting aluminium mainly, your table would lend itself nicely to build a containing wall around the outside so you could use flood coolant. This would maximise cutter life as well as clear the swarf so less re-cutting.

    That's what I'm planning for the machine I'll be building down the track, cleaning up after aluminium cutting on the wood CNC machine is a PITA.

    cheers, Ian

    It's a state of mind!


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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclestart View Post
    Hello Wado
    Nice website, very generous of you to provide all the details. By DIY standards this has prefab features, someone with a large mill could have a little
    side-industry machining gantry tubes, such a pain to do on a small mill.
    You bought a lathe to machine the ball screws ? You wanted one anyway,,,, we're all tool junkies here, we understand.
    As for the providing the details... the documentation is still 'as is' build and depending on interest I may create a final build documentation package which generalizes the design and substitutes my ebay driven purchases with more standard component choices. I'm hesitant to put any time into that effort as I doubt too many people would want to replicate this build. So the documentation is posted for inspiration - I've also got all the pricing and web links in the parts list download so diy'ers can evaluate using some of the ideas in there build.

    You are correct that the gantry could be prefab'd without adding much cost to the gantry tube. You would really only need to have 2 sides of the tube machined flat and perpendicular and then drill your own holes. I highly suggest using this approach over an aluminum profile if building a fixed gantry. The benefits of mass, size options, improved stiffness, and even cost outweigh the fab aspects which as you indicate is not too bad. This 9"x7"x3/8", 36" long tube cost me $120 and although this was an off size and needed to be ordered via post, the standard sizes (ie - 8"x6") are typically available at your local metal suppliers for pickup. Compare this to the largest available size of alum profile from misumi of 200x100mm at a cost of $302. Another 'hidden' benefit of using rectangular tube is that I was able to tuck the y-axis motor, limit switches, and cable routing from the z-axis inside the tube which makes for a clean look on the gantry.

    Bought a lathe, ya..., along with EVERYTHING else in my new shop. I started with a drill press, looked around the basement filled mostly with storage boxes and thought, "Gee, I could build something down here". This router project was simply a reason to buy new toys



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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    This is a great resource for the DIY community! Thank you soo much for taking time to carefully catalog your build and sharing your experiences along the way! Very helpful for those in the planning phase as to what to expect to pay for parts and timelines.

    How did you go about sizing the gantry beam? Was this a case of 'feel' that it would be strong enough or was there some data/calculations behind your sizing? I guess bigger is better!

    Any videos of it cutting aluminum yet?

    I could see the design scaled to a larger size fairly easily, did you think about going larger? I am looking to build something with 48x48" cutting area. Hadn't really considered a fixed gantry build but the 'simplicity' of this one has me considering it.



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    Quote Originally Posted by CanonGuy View Post
    This is a great resource for the DIY community! Thank you soo much for taking time to carefully catalog your build and sharing your experiences along the way! Very helpful for those in the planning phase as to what to expect to pay for parts and timelines.

    How did you go about sizing the gantry beam? Was this a case of 'feel' that it would be strong enough or was there some data/calculations behind your sizing? I guess bigger is better!

    Any videos of it cutting aluminum yet?

    I could see the design scaled to a larger size fairly easily, did you think about going larger? I am looking to build something with 48x48" cutting area. Hadn't really considered a fixed gantry build but the 'simplicity' of this one has me considering it.
    Thanks - glad it's helpful... wish I took more pics and some video... Maybe the next build.
    The main driver for the gantry beam size was the linear rail spacing which I wanted to maximize. After that it was based on perspective to the other components. The radii of the tube is quite large so I only got about 7.8" flat machined area from the 9" height of the tube. I did compare the moment of inertia of this beam to aluminum profiles and was surprised to see that the geometry as it relates to stiffness was nearly identical when comparing same outer size... Then of course you get 3x improvement when moving to steel. I'd only be concerned with strength if the machine fell off a truck on the highway... It's beefy.
    Cutting Alum - Well yes, but my stupidity resulted in two broken bits as I tried to helical mill with too large diameter mill .... I'm finishing up the limit/home switch assy this week and the next project is to machine all the holes in the alum fixture plate and get it hard anodized. I'll do this directly on the router so will take a video then and post (about 2 wks or so)
    48x48? - that's a big area. The gantry is no problem and I wish my basement door was larger which was my limiting factor. The table gets challenging as for every inch travel you'll nearly double the base length. My 48" base allows 30" travel (I cheat a bit by overhanging the table off the base at max stroke), so increasing to 48 travel requires a base about 80"! (With some more cheating). That's a lot of waisted base material. Ball screw size will also be a factor as wip / critical speed will drive larger diameter screw and hardware, then more space between interfaces of linear rails.... And in the end may make this design the wrong approach and start sacrificing the simplicity of it.
    My gut feel is this design can go about 36 x 36 without too much modification, but price will jump.

    Cheers

    Last edited by wado1971; 12-07-2015 at 09:41 PM.


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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aarggh View Post
    If your cutting aluminium mainly, your table would lend itself nicely to build a containing wall around the outside so you could use flood coolant. This would maximise cutter life as well as clear the swarf so less re-cutting.

    That's what I'm planning for the machine I'll be building down the track, cleaning up after aluminium cutting on the wood CNC machine is a PITA.

    cheers, Ian
    Well I haven't considered flood but do realize after some first cuts that I must address cleanup asap. You've got me thinking now. Do you have any examples you can point me to? Does anyone use a dust shoe successfully with alum either dry or with mist?



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    Default Re: Fixed Gantry Steel, wadeodesign

    You could probably forget using a dust shoe if it's Aussie aluminium, most is quite gummy as has been pointed out, and I can tell you it aint fun cleaning oily swarf off the dust shoe!

    The other thing to consider is the high risk of explosion if your machining aluminium dry, and using some form of dust extraction, EXTREMELY good earthing and anti-static ducting is mandatory.

    Look up thermite!



    I'll simply be building a 100mm or so high barrier around the outside of the frame, with drainage holes going to the pump reservoir, doesn't need to be anything fancy, just high enough to catch all the spray, and a decent filtration system so you catch all the swarf but the liquid drains out. If it was a mill, I'd build a screw into a sloping base to actually move all the swarf out to a bucket, with the liquid draining off prior.

    Either way, the novelty of cleaning up after alu wears off quick. So in my book, an easier more workable solution is the way to go.

    cheers, Ian

    It's a state of mind!


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