DIY Cable Carrier


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    Default DIY Cable Carrier

    Has anybody made their own cable chain carrier, I know energy chain is the IGES brand name for it but that sort of thing is what I am talking about.

    I had a go at making some with some 3mm LDPE but didn't have very good results, with my router nearing completion I would like to use it to make some parts for itself, namely cable chain, better stepper mounts, blah blah blah.

    Anyone have something to start with, or should I start drawing something up myself ?

    Cheers.

    Russell.

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    Registered project5k's Avatar
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    i have seen the energy chain used, and i have also seen people use what looked like a bicycle flag pole, to just hold the wires up and bend when the axis' move... seems to be the way cheaper way to go to get the machine working... i would love to have some energy chain, but its just outside the scope of my budget...

    Grizzly X3, CNC Fusion Ballscrew kit, 3 500oz-in bipolar steppers, 3 203v Gecko's, Linear power supply from Hubbard CNC, Mach 3, BOBcad Pro Art V22, Rhino.


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    I have been playing with the thought of using normal curtain slides, you know like T-slots with those plastic things you attache the curtains to running in a groove. Ofcause they have to be upside down, so you need a enclosure or be close to a wall or something. The upside of it, is that its pratically free



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    Hi ,
    If you have your machines working use plexiglas & glue .
    make all sort of neet cbl.carriers.
    Bear



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    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    Has anybody made their own cable chain carrier, I know energy chain is the IGES brand name for it but that sort of thing is what I am talking about.

    I had a go at making some with some 3mm LDPE but didn't have very good results, with my router nearing completion I would like to use it to make some parts for itself, namely cable chain, better stepper mounts, blah blah blah.

    Anyone have something to start with, or should I start drawing something up myself ?

    Cheers.

    Russell.


    At the bottom of this page is a start. http://solsylva.com/cnc/5cnc54.html

    Jason



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    Yeah, I'm thinking of rigging something up temporarily - probably loom tube and then making some chain with the machine, just thought someone might have a design I could "borrow" lol

    No matter, I might start a design that is simple to machine, with minimal amount of components, I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to give their machine that professional finish...

    I am thinking three different pieces, one rectangular piece with rounded ends to form the sides and pieces that lock into these to form the top and bottom sections, using something like a rivet/eyelet to hold the sides together and allow movement, OK so maybe I better draw it out... man the "to do" list aint gettin any smaller.

    Russell.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Marsha View Post
    At the bottom of this page is a start. Jason

    Lol I came across that photo lookin around yesterday, I was thinking of something similiar using rectangular cable duct, cut into pieces in the same way, the advantage is a lid that is made to click on... might do for a temp fix.

    Hmmm could even use small hinges, cheap and soooo easy to make, only seen it in white and sometimes brown, looks like I am goin searchin the bowels of the workshop tommorrow for some black duct.

    Even if I had to buy a length, 4 metre length of cable chain for around $10.00... priceless !!!

    Watch this space...

    Russell.



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    Well I got some duct, cut it up into pieces, but haven't been able to locate any hinges yet... work in progress.

    I did try to glue a length of webbing to the underside hoping this would make a nice hinge, alas nothing sticks to the duct AND the webbing. Tried PVC glue, Super Glue, contact glue, Super glue again to make sure, thought that sounded too easy.

    To rub salt into the wounds, talking to our storeman today he informs me that during our last store upgrade, about 2 LARGE boxes of cable chain were thrown out !!! They were supposedly sitting for a couple of years left over from a job. Dammit

    Russell.



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    I did see somewhere that a normal wide measuring steel tape can support and control cable if it is bent around with the curve inside.
    Hope this helps. tapes are cheap these days at the local hardware.

    The More I Learn The Less I Seem To Know


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    Quote Originally Posted by wjfiles View Post
    I did see somewhere that a normal wide measuring steel tape can support and control cable if it is bent around with the curve inside.
    That would work, you could also measure the cable run at the same time - lol.

    I guess I should probably concentrate on finishing the router first, then look at using it to make this stuff, shame the duct is being difficult.

    Especially when I basically just have to bolt it together and do all the adjusting for the final time, then start on the software side of things.

    Russell.



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    perhaps using canvas as a backing similar to a roll to desk may suffice.
    i have seen cups with a pin on either side, this might reduce the twisting effect.
    ... just a thought ...



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    www.joescnc.com joecnc2006's Avatar
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    why not do the simple and cheap route and use the blue plastic electrical conduit from lowes or homedepot or and hardware store, it is flexible enough and you can use a bolt to strap the ends to so it can bow across the for the Y and Z axis.



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    I like the bow that shopbot uses...in fact I like a lot that shopbot uses. Lionclaw made a nice diy take on the Y-Z cable routing:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=142

    Not fond of the wood. I'll use some phenolic, but the same way. I got some nice big echains from a zoner for cheap. Will use for both of my big table's X axes.

    Steve
    DO SOMETHING, EVEN IF IT'S WRONG!


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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2000che View Post
    why not do the simple and cheap route and use the blue plastic electrical conduit from lowes or homedepot or and hardware store, it is flexible enough and you can use a bolt to strap the ends to so it can bow across the for the Y and Z axis.
    Yeah, that is pretty much how my machine is at the moment, 'cept I used black loom tube, I'm guessing same stuff - flexible with a cut along its length to push the cable in.

    Just wanted to "flash" it up a bit.



    Quote Originally Posted by Madclicker View Post
    I like the bow that shopbot uses...in fact I like a lot that shopbot uses. Lionclaw made a nice diy take on the Y-Z cable routing:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=142

    Not fond of the wood. I'll use some phenolic, but the same way. I got some nice big echains from a zoner for cheap. Will use for both of my big table's X axes.
    Yeah that was a nice simple idea that would work fine, I'm goin to use what I can and then hopefully make something on the machine, with the intention of posting the g-code so others can do the same (hopefully it works...)

    Last attempt is drying as we speak, got something to work, just need time to dry, only have two links at the moment, I think it will hold together long enough for some photo's and who knows, maybe the machine's first cuts before it catches fire...

    Russell.



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    OK, here is the first attempt, try not to laugh too hard when you have a look, I used 40mm by 25mm dual channel duct, it is used to run phone/data cabling alongside power cabling and keep segregation between the two. It was also the first bit of scrap I picked up from our workshop... sold!!!

    I cut it into small pieces as you can see then glued them to a piece of webbing that started life on my teenage daughters carry bag, don't worry, she doesn't read any cnc posts... lol.

    Used PVC conduit glue and had to let it all sit clamped for a few hours to set well enough.

    Pretty happy with the result, only issue is that it tends to bend too well and the radius sometimes goes too small. I think I can fix this fairly easily by including a stiffening rod, maybe fibreglass spars you see on cheap kites, something that will not bend too tightly and also not intefere with the cables.

    The black colour is from me "painting" one side with permanent marker.

    Anyway it will do until the router lives.

    Russell.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Cable Carrier-e-chain-006-jpg   DIY Cable Carrier-e-chain-002-jpg   DIY Cable Carrier-e-chain-005-jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by epineh View Post
    OK, here is the first attempt, try not to laugh too hard when you have a look, I used 40mm by 25mm dual channel duct, it is used to run phone/data cabling alongside power cabling and keep segregation between the two. It was also the first bit of scrap I picked up from our workshop... sold!!!

    I cut it into small pieces as you can see then glued them to a piece of webbing that started life on my teenage daughters carry bag, don't worry, she doesn't read any cnc posts... lol.

    Used PVC conduit glue and had to let it all sit clamped for a few hours to set well enough.

    Pretty happy with the result, only issue is that it tends to bend too well and the radius sometimes goes too small. I think I can fix this fairly easily by including a stiffening rod, maybe fibreglass spars you see on cheap kites, something that will not bend too tightly and also not intefere with the cables.

    The black colour is from me "painting" one side with permanent marker.

    Anyway it will do until the router lives.

    Russell.

    I think your concept is ok, but you may want to try to bend in other direction and make slant cuts at about 5° or what will work with the radius you need, so when it bends it hold itself up, that is how the commercial ones work. Here is a sample drawing i threw together.

    Joe

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DIY Cable Carrier-cable-carrier-jpg  


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    Instead of using glue to attach the backing strip, you might consider pop rivets. Just make sure that the head is on the inside so that the wire is not abraded.

    Ken

    Kenneth Lerman
    55 Main Street
    Newtown, CT 06470


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    Joe, yep you are right, that would work perfectly, back to the drawing board.

    Ken, I thought of using pop rivets, but I wanted to keep the "hinge" as close to the edge as possible and the stuff I am using is very thin plastic, probably wouldn't hold without some damage. I guess I could rivet a small rectangular plate alongside the edge to hold it in place.

    Well version II should be better, after all, this first attempt cost, well nothing, all from scrap lying around.

    Russell.



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    If you used Joe's idea with the channel bending his way, cut your dual channel into sections with sloping ends. Then cut the just through the thicker ridges on the snap-on lid at the same intervals as the lengths of the channel, and use the flat surface of the lid as the hinge.
    If it's too stiff, cut half way through it.
    I think the amount of flexing would allow quite a long lifetime before it started to crack up.
    John

    It's like doing jigsaw puzzles in the dark.
    Enjoy today's problems, for tomorrow's may be worse.


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    Great idea Epinah.



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