Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh. - Page 2


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Thread: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

  1. #13
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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    So are the dips and peaks in the 3 inch tubing or only where it was welded to the uprights?

    Gary, how goes the build?

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router


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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    So are the dips and peaks in the 3 inch tubing or only where it was welded to the uprights?

    Gary, how goes the build?
    I'm heading that way to work on it this morning. I'll let you know. Not sure it makes a difference - a dip is a dip.

    Saturn 2 4848
    CRP Plug & Play NEMA 34, 2.2kw Spindle, Mach3


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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by micknm View Post
    Thanks, Gary. I'll keep you posted, as I've been following your efforts, as well. What's surprising to me is that this machine is so close to being the one to beat for twice the price, but for just a few minor production issues.

    Edit: I'm also surprised and perplexed as to why the problem hasn't popped up before. That's what made me suspect thermal expansion - longer run times = more heat. Aluminum and steel expand and contract at different rates.
    I'm not surprised considering the issues I've had with the build quality, I think a lot of the guys who have the machine don't use it enough to have problems. Now you have me worried about the rack and pinion on my machine since it's very noisy. I may have to add a piece of flat bar that is machined like the majority of steel routers have. It will also help with giving the rack and pinion better engagement, since even with the 3/4 inch gear rack it still isn't engaging enough. I just won't weld it on since it's already painted. Look at how shop Saber mounts their rack and liniar rails. It's because mill stock steel tube has a dip in the middle. What I would do is run some 3" flat bar get it level and parallel and mount the gear rack to it. Or just say F it and replace the rack and pinion with ballscrews. The ball screws would be the easiest since you only have to get it flat and level in 4 small areas, you will just lose some rapid speed.

    I'm just going to run mine the way it is though until there is a problem.

    Dan



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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    S
    Gary, how goes the build?

    Bill,

    I haven't started it yet. I had some tooling and optical scales/DRO on order. All have arrived, and I'm in the process of working out installation of the scales. After that, I should start moving things along. I will start a new thread to document the build. Thanks for asking.

    Gary




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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by GME View Post
    Bill,

    I haven't started it yet. I had some tooling and optical scales/DRO on order. All have arrived, and I'm in the process of working out installation of the scales. After that, I should start moving things along. I will start a new thread to document the build. Thanks for asking.

    Gary
    Hi Gary, Yes I have installed two sets of DRO on two separate machine and its a challenge. Good luck.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router


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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    So Micknm What did you find?

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router


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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    We haven't finished, yet, but here's what we've done so far:

    1. We started by dropping the motors on the Y axis, then fixed a Starrett straightedge to the outside face of the rack using 1" x 2" rare earth magnets to hold it in place. Using a flashlight below, we measured the gaps with feeler gauges along the length of the straightedge and then shimmed the rack. We did it on both sides, but the slave side was considerably worse than the Y side. The worst spot was out .039".
    2. With the motors still dropped there was still considerable binding in two places along the Y axis - just behind the point where we had trouble the pinions and about 20" behind that, near the back limit of travel. We popped the caps off the rails, loosened the gantry mounting bolts above and below and all the bolts on the slave side rail since the straightedge indicated a slight bowing in the rail. We used a spreader bar squared against the Y side rail to get the rails as parallel as possible, tightening the first bolt and moving two bolts down, tightening, etc., before retightening all of them. We then did the same thing on the other side. HUGE improvement in the gantry motion. We still have some bearing noise on the slave side and will replace those bearing cars soon.

    3. Since we already had the machine apart we decided to order a replacement motor drive cable that had been giving us random trouble as well as the pinion on the slave side which showed more wear than a machine with maybe 200 hours on it should. That should be here Wed. or Thursday. Once installed we'll recheck resolutions and I'll update the forum on our results.

    Saturn 2 4848
    CRP Plug & Play NEMA 34, 2.2kw Spindle, Mach3


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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Did you take pictures of what you did? Just curious to see in case any issues pop up on my machine now that it's getting used.



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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by micknm View Post
    We still have some bearing noise on the slave side and will replace those bearing cars soon.

    Is is safe to assume that you attribute the bearing car problem to the rack & rail misalignment? It's sometimes hard to accurately diagnose root causes of a failure, but in this case, there appears to be a direct link. However, I suppose it's possible that the bearing cars we defective. I wouldn't put my money on it being a manufacturing defect.

    In other threads, there have been been many comments about things like excess wear from misalignment. Your machine appears to provide a useful practical example.

    Are you concerned that the rails on the slave side may also be damaged? I don't know whether the rails are hardened. Some advertise that they are. Others don't say one way or the other, which probably means they aren't. If the rails on the Saturn 2 are not hardened, I'd guess there may also be an issue with the rails.

    Dan,

    If you haven't already done so, it may be worth going through the precise measurement exercise. IMHO, better to address potential problems now, rather than incurring extra expense having to address them when things start failing. Just my 2 cents.

    Gary




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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Are these variations caused by the box section steel frame or something else?

    Thanks,



  11. #23
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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by he1957 View Post
    Are these variations caused by the box section steel frame or something else?

    Thanks,
    It's a combination of errors, IMO. I believe the errors in the rack and rail mount alignment are due to the lack of a machined datum in the steel frame. As I said before, that practice is an industry standard anywhere there's a rack or rail or ballscrew or other precision component mounted. It is near impossible to get alignment tolerances in a welded frame anywhere near what FLA quotes on their website without machined datums. No doubt the cost of doing so is a factor. Again, the FLA machines are SO close to being great that it should at least be offered as an option, and at a minimum be mentioned on the website. A steel frame should be welded, stress relieved (normalized) then machined. Not doing so will require shimming, not just when the machine is initially assembled, but down the road once time has done the stress relieving. I've begun to think that time is the factor here. The frame is gradually stress relieving itself and as a result, changing shape.
    Another factor is how the bolt holes for the rack and rail are machined once the frame has been painted. Too many comments on this forum indicate to me that it's not a precision controlled process. The table holes certainly aren't. There are some really big (visibly off) variations in those, which make it a pain to mount, but in the end don't contribute to the tolerances of the machine. They do indicate to me a somewhat careless approach to the build in general, though.
    In a post about a year ago I went through a detailed approach to squaring the gantry on the Saturn 2 when we initially set up our machine. It was out by almost 1/4". Maybe it got knocked around in shipping, but more likely the build methods used did little to ensure it was close. Some of the mounting holes for our gantry plates are double drilled side by side because the first hole was off by 3/16" or so. The plate welded to the gantry itself is visually out of square to the connector plate that the bearing cars are bolted to.
    The whole process reminds me of my earliest days as a woodworker. I look at some of the pieces I made that I was so proud of at the time (they look nice) and cringe when I see the now obvious errors I made. I'm a much better woodworker now not because I have better, more accurate equipment, but because I started paying attention to how things should be done to guarantee better alignment, precision and better fit. It does not take me any more time to make something right - just the opposite - it just takes better practices. I said earlier that I'm at fault for assuming that good practices were followed in the construction of these machines when I decided that this was the machine for us. For example, I was impressed that Nate used 25mm rails on a machine in this price range. But putting $40 Blumotion slides on a drawer that's out of square does not make it any more square. It simply makes the out of square drawer open and close a little more smoothly.
    My whole purpose for bringing this to the forum is not so much a rant for ranting sake. We knew and discussed at length the pros and cons of this purchase beforehand. It took over a month just to get a quote from Nate. I posted because this could be a great bang for the buck with just a few improvements. If I were buying a Chinese machine sight unseen I would know going in that making these adjustments, corrections and modifications might be likely. I didn't expect it to be the case here.

    Saturn 2 4848
    CRP Plug & Play NEMA 34, 2.2kw Spindle, Mach3


  12. #24
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    Default Re: Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

    I don't know about you but we have had some extreme temperature changes over the past few weeks. Do you keep your shop at a constant temperature or like me its only 70 when I am working. If you have a slab on grade perhaps its changed, I would check your machine for level. Seems odd that your machine was fine after you set it up a few months ago and now its off?

    CNC RP does not do any machining on their frames, but it looks to be all readily adjustable.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router


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Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.

Yet another welding/machining/misalignment problem on Saturn 2. Sigh.