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New Z Axis mount

January 12, 2011

Switched on viewers will note that this photo is back-dated. Youc an see the dust collection system in the background.In the aim to make the Z axis a bit more rigid, I have created a new piece. It was milled on the machine itself, and then glued together. Seems to be much more rigid, and provides a better base for me to attach my soon to be dust collection system. Still have some flexibility in the axis which I hope to deal with one day by upgrading the bearing mounts to 8mm aluminum.

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New (but old) hall table

December 26, 2010

New Hall TableSo, here we have Kylie’s new hall table. She picked it up for a few bucks off eBay, and it was in pretty bad nick. A few repairs were needed like fixing the drawer rails, re-attaching the lower (curvy) bits, and fixing the top surface. After years of sitting in someones back shed, the top had warped a good 35mm or so. I needed to crack it into four sections to get anything resembling level, then clamp, glue, fix and sand.

A few new handles, a paint, and we have a pretty nice looking (but retro) hall table.

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Finally cutting some polycarb!

November 15, 2010

So on Sunday, the machine did its first real cuts.

We started cutting some of the pieces of the ships, and I must say that it went very well.

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Had a few problems with the grub screw in the coupler coming out. Not sure why, but it seems that the vibration might be loosening the grub screw, and then all of a sudden, a axis stops moving.

I’m looking at a few solutions for this, one being a mechanical join between the two X axis, another being a electronic solution, and also just simply using some locknut.

Anyway, the pieces came up quite nice.

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Ready to rock

November 3, 2010

CNC version 2 is almost complete. I have wired up all the steppers, and bolted all the mechanics in place. (Sorry about the annoying time stamps.)

Anyway, should be cutting its first piece soon!

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Quick conversion

October 25, 2010

So, I had a big DC linear power-supply that I picked up whilst I was in the states, but the problem was, it was built for 110volts (not 240volts like here in Australia). A bit of thinking later, and I popped the Toroidal Transformer out of its enclosure, and discovered its model.

Thankfully it was simply a matter of re-wiring the input so that it is in series, not in parallel, and I have a HUGE 40v power supply to use for the CNC machine. Sweet.

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New towers for v2

October 5, 2010

So, worked on the machine tonight. The new towers have been built for a little while, but they were not bolted to anything. Now, the bearings have been attached, and the whole lot has been bolted to the Y axis.
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I created new towers because the old ones were ever so slightly out of shape. The old machine had created them, and the racking caused them to be slightly off. Oh well. I remade the new ones by hand. They turned out pretty damn accurate.

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CNCv2! (Or is that v3?)

September 15, 2010

So, after working with the CNC machine for some time, I began to realize just how useful it really is. I can literally sit inside at my desk, design something in solid-works, convert it to G-code in solid-cam, press go. I hear the unit outside kick in, the dust collection whirl up, and 10 min later it all shuts itself down with the part created. Its woodworking for lazy people.

So, to this end, I decided that this invention (OK, not really my invention, but my design) should be upgraded. Currently the machine has a theoretical accuracy of 0.07mm, but in reality, I am lucky to get accuracy of 1mm or so. This is because wood is simply too flexible and the weight of the unit can make the gantry rack quite badly.

A upgrade is in order.

So, I picked up some aluminum extrusion from a local company. Its the same stuff as 8020, but made by Bosch Rexroth. Some 3mm steel bar and a bit of a blue spray with the gravity fed sprayer (that I use to paint cars/bikes/trailers) and its starting to look awesome.

Current status…

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Well, actually, these have all been screwed down now, but close enough.
Note the super awesome hold-downs. I picked these up to avoid having to screw each piece down every time I work on it. They are really strong and heavy.

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Originally I was going to paint the towers blue, but now I am thinking black to make the blue on the rails stand out more. I’m going to have the machine re-make them anyway as they are about 1mm out of whack.

Anyway, thought you guys might like to see.

Gotta find some time to get to the bearing shop to get some thrust bearings…

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Control Unit

May 19, 2010

So, I finally got around to taking a few shots of the control unit.

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Starting from the top left, thats the opto-isolated relay control it turns the router/dust collection on/off.
On the right hand side is the breakout board. Basically a TTL level IO.
The three middle things are the stepper controllers. They are each connected to one of the 5 pin outputs on the side.
The funny looking red thing is my very own 5 way power regulator. It has 4 12v outputs (fans) and 1 5v output (relays).
Down the bottom is the power supply.
On the right is the main switch, and a handy status LED.
On the left are all the connections to the devices, including the 240vAC output for the router. (Shortly, the speed of the router might be controlled in software!)
On the top is the 60mm fan I whacked in there for good measure.

Still to be done are the home/limit switches, and actually wiring up the 12v heatsinks.

Thought you guys might like some pics…
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You can see the new dust collection shield on this one. Works a treat. No longer does my router blow dust all over the joint. Now, the colelction unit sucks up 95% of the dust straight away. Need to get some brush seal stuff to stop the other 5%. You can also see the new e-chain being used on the Y axis. Much nicer. Also, the vertical brace is visible on the side of the machine. Seems to have tightened the machine up considerably.

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Blind watertanks.

March 31, 2010

Did a bit of work on the weekend.

Kylie painted the last wall on the bedroom, so that’s now finished. Hopefully this weekend, we will re-oil the porch, and it will look shmick. Also note the finished blinds. We now have brand new internal and external blinds. Woot. Very basic, and hopefully soon they will be electronic.
TinCan-House

Planning to continue to work our way up. Eaves, Gutters, Facia, Tiles.

New watertank is in.
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Hooked up to the toilet, collecting from the West side of the roof. While the plumbers were there, I got them to re-do all the water piping. We now have brand new pipes from the road, all the way through the house. Yay for drinkable water!

Also been working on the glazing. Have replaced 3 of the 6 windows that need replacing. By the end of the weekend, I hope to have them all finished. Pics of that soon.

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Aww, but its cold…

March 27, 2010

I’m a terrible human being.

This isnt what I signed up for

Hehhee.