Posts Tagged ‘MDF’


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!


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.


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.


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…


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.

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…


Control Unit

May 19, 2010

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

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…
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.


Number 5 is alive!

January 28, 2010

Its alive!

The sucker in all its glory...

Ok, so its not number 5, its actually number two. CNC design number one failed a horrible death when I discovered that the flex in the center of the slide was something around 20mm at 5kg. Terrible. That table quickly became a workbench for me. But…

For the past week and a half, I have been building a CNC routing machine. I have planned on building one for over two years, but recently with the great Aussie dollar, and the after Christmas specials, picking up the electronics needed was a no brainer. I haven’t made any cuts with it yet as I am still configuring the software, but I have drawn some very straight lines with a pencil attached to the router head!

Basic Specs:
X Axis travel: 1200mm
Y Axis travel: 380mm
Z Axis travel 150mm
Spindle power: 1HP
Steps per rev: 200
Rev per cm: 7
(10mm / 7revs / 200steps = 0.007mm resolution!)

The electronics was purchased from probotix. I have gotten three of the small steppers (PK266-02A) that put out 166lb of torque. I have also grabbed a tripple relayboard which will control all the 240v AC equipment (router, dust collection etc)

It has the classic dual Vee linear slides with cheap 5/16 skate bearings.

The unit is very rigid, but is a bit of a mess as I haven’t completed the wiring or the mounts for the electronics. Once the machine is cutting, I will be making a mounting board for the electronics, and remaking a few of the scrappier parts. The plan is to get the small inaccurate machine to build the small accurate machine, to build the large accurate machine.

Its all controlled by a live linux distribution called EMC2. Currently sitting on a spare computer, and connected to the breakout board via parallel cable.

Most of the cutting I will be doing will be MDF of various thickness, balsa wood, foam, and some light aluminium.

Cant wait to make the first piece!