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 CNC Router Build 
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Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:17 am
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Location: Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
Post Re: CNC Router Build
Sorry D1 no experience with this interface here. I do all my changeovers manually which I have found to be quite quick.

Steve.

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Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:11 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Steve thanks for reply was begging to get a bit lonely on this forum .
Been looking at another screen . http://big-tex.tk/index.html
[youtube] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... 4_9NSY2Uqc[/youtube]
Seems to be the original alternative to the native Mach screen . Got really nice edge finding functions and laser pointer thingy ( just order one :D ) . I am sure all this is possible with separate VB codes but bit beyond me .
So think will go for the Big Tex dont like the colour though but thats been picky .
D1

Odd the youtube embedding seems to have stopped working .


Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:27 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi, D1, have not got my PC setup at present but I am sure there was a setting on Mach 3 that responded to the M6 code that I edited into the CamBam code or I setup M1 optional stop on the Mach3 screen ??

Check out the second post in this forum post, may be of use to you.
https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index ... pic=2459.0

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:22 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Mike yes i have got Mach to recognize a M6 tool change from Cambam . One is generated automatically in Cambam when a new number tool is inserted i originally thought it was just changing the diameter setting but it as to be the tool number .
So now my G code stops takes Z to a safe height then ya can jog about as you please change to tool and hit cycle start and it goes to ware it needs to be for cutting.
Big Tex on tool change will stop take the tool to a good place to change the tool which you program then it takes it to the touch plate to zero the tool height then takes it back and starts cutting all automatically from what i gather .
So a combination of that and the edge finding i think for £15 its worth a punt :D .
Ps hope house renovation going well you will need that fire soon supposed to be a bad winter apparently
D1


Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:24 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
DISPLACEMENT 1 wrote:
Hi Mike yes i have got Mach to recognize a M6 tool change from Cambam . One is generated automatically in Cambam when a new number tool is inserted i originally thought it was just changing the diameter setting but it as to be the tool number .
So now my G code stops takes Z to a safe height then ya can jog about as you please change to tool and hit cycle start and it goes to ware it needs to be for cutting.
Big Tex on tool change will stop take the tool to a good place to change the tool which you program then it takes it to the touch plate to zero the tool height then takes it back and starts cutting all automatically from what i gather .
So a combination of that and the edge finding i think for £15 its worth a punt :D .
Ps hope house renovation going well you will need that fire soon supposed to be a bad winter apparently
D1


Hi, Di, good to hear you have sorted the tool change, with the zeroing it should make set up that much easier.
House renovation going along slowly, I have almost finished the labouring tasks, got some CAT6 wiring for my PC through the ceiling and routed to its wall socket and tested. Just (5mins ago) confirmed with builder to start next Monday. The fire is glass fronted and enclosed, the difference in room temperature is amazing even in this unseasonally warm weather, together with high efficiency Ali radiators and a couple of holidays should see the winter off ;)

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Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:16 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi D1,

Yes Fusion issues M6 gcode, I use it all the time when changing tools. I wrote my own tool change script from scratch, but it's written in C, so no good for your needs.

This is a typical beginning of the Fusion G code:

(1001)
(T6 D=8. CR=0. - ZMIN=-15.5 - FLAT END MILL)
G0 G90 G94 G17
G21
G53 Z0.

(2D ADAPTIVE1)
M5
M9
T6 M6
M3 S1900
G54
M9
G0 X10.708 Y55.659

etc.


Nice strong router bed you have there. I read about problems with heat distortion, I am glad I am using aluminium. Good luck with the epoxy levelling and making the channels. People advise to make the cross channels a bit wider to facilitate the levelling.

Ed


Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:37 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Ages ago I promissed to put up a video of maikng the new wooden clock. In practice I didn't record enough video for a full docco on that subject but I did record the CNC router cutting out the parts which is what most readers of this thread might be inerested in.

Having at last finished spray-painting a set of new interrior doors for the house and, as a result, removed the plastic sheets from over everything in the shed/studio/workshop including my PC, here is the result. The cutting out took 90 minutes in total.

As can be seen, the machine itself is hardly up to D1 standards but I have a pile of new NEMA 23 motors to replace the rather hot NEMA 17s currently in use, new ACME leadscrews for the X and Y axes (the Z was upgraded recently anyway) which will have anti-backlash nuts and plans and materials for a major stiffening up of the Y axis rails and the Z axis carriage. I don't think it will ever be up to cutting aluminium using these rails and 'V' wheels but the wood cutting should be a lot more accurate and considerably faster once it's all done. First I have to use it in it's current state to cut out the new MDF parts required for the upgrade.

Kit


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Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:28 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Looks great Kit thanks for sharing.

Steve.

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Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:13 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Thanks Steve.

Kit

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Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:57 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Even more impressive result being carried out on home made router with just the right amount of detail to keep the video interesting Kit.

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Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Back again !
Hi Edward i haven't got Fusion to issue tool change commands yet. Not sure if its something i am doing wrong or the post processor just doesnt . Fusion doesnt seem to support Mach 3 very well . Iam still struggling to find a post processor that will deal with the 4th axis . If it was a Tormach machine then no problem !.Which post do you use in Fusion
Hi Kit router looking good and you have been up and running for a good time now . I have been at this build for over a year now and i still havent cut anything :( You win in my book :D .
So managed to get base poured not perfect time of year to be doing this . To cold makes the epoxy a lot more viscus but i got their have a feeling it will take longer to cure to .

[flickr]Image2017-11-08 14.16.17 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]
[flickr]Image2017-11-08 17.42.08 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]

Also managed a bit more work on 4th axis think it would have been easier to buy one of those Ebay ones, Not sure how accurate they are but dont think mine will be that great . But if i had bought a Ebay one it would just have taken up to much room and i would end up with very little travel on that axis .

[flickr]Image2017-11-08 20.51.38 by D 1, on Flickr
[/flickr]
[flickr]Image2017-11-08 20.54.31 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]

Keeping it simple just steel banded belt 25mm wide so should be no play if i crank it up tight

D1


Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:19 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
That's looking great D1. The self-levelling epoxy is a realy good way to get round not having a 6 foot square surface plate lying around the shed!

We're obviously at opposite ends of the DIY CNC machine quality scale but part of the point of building your own machine is that you can make what suits your budget and requirements at the time. I've actually started cutting out pieces for the latest upgrade after a long time of doing other projects and changing my mind over the detailed design. I have a friend who may want to use my machine for doing real work so that's given me the kick up the backside to actually make things happen.

The present design really shows it's weakness on the kind of cuts I'm making for the new machine pieces: 5mm wide slots which are actually 4.5mm and hav to be opened up on the drill press being one example. I'm using MDF still but this version should end up being way more rigid than the current one. I already have some radical ideas about the design of a completely new machine but we'll have to see how well this one behaves before going ahead.

Kit

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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:27 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit i like the way your machine evolves and solves problems as you go . I am afraid i may have jumped in at the deep end as their is little room for changes in my design time will tell .
Have you thought of using good quality marine ply instead of MDF . MDF is nice to machine but its not the most rigid timber . With ply you could also add a coat of epoxy and glass fiber to really give it rigidity. A fella many years ago was trying to develop a Africa car made in exactly the same way https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africar

D1


Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:36 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Kit, I enjoyed your video of the clock cutting. I will probably make a clock too as one of my first projects when I finish the router.

D1, nice epoxy pour, I hope you didn't get too many leaks:) It looks successful in the photo. Now that you've done this stage, the rest should be a doddle.

I've changed my mind about the design of my gantry. This time it's going to rest on top of the X (longer) axis linear blocks to make it more rigid. This means that the gantry sides will be pretty short, basically a sandwich of triangular right angle brackets. I need a gantry clearance of about 11.5cm. from the base. To achieve that height, the X rail will be mounted on 4x4 heavy weight extrusion which will be bolted to the 30mm thick aluminium base. Then, underneath the base, I will build the usual extrusion framework with triangulation to give it rigidity.

Are you having two motors, one on each side of the X axis? This is what I will be doing, master/slave combo.

For the Z, I was going to use pulley-to-motor, but on seconds thoughts, I will go direct connection with a coupler, which is what you are doing too. However, my only reservation is whether the weight of the Z, with the 5Kg. spindle and all, might be too much for the natural retention of the ball screw thread, in that it may have a tendency to roll downwards by its own weight. I know this happened with my milling machine, the head freewheeled downwards and to avoid this I used a pulley and 2:1 reduction instead of direct coupling. Having said that, a milling machine head is far, far heavier than a router Z axis, so I think it should be fine with direct coupling.


Ed


Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:22 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,
I've always ssumed MDF was more dimensionally stable than ply which warps horribly in this climate. I am being careful to store the sheets flat on the floor however and do plan to seal all the pieces once the cutting is finished. Eventually I'd like to replace the end plates and gantry cheeks with aluminium. Whether this is done by using the router to cut out plaster moulds and then casting the pieces (lots of fun and clever shapes) or the more realistic approach of using the router to accurately mark out a purchased chunk of 10mm plate has yet to be seen.

I don't think you have too much to worry about on your design. it's always looked like the bees knees to me.

Edward,
HEALTH WARNING: making clocks can become adictive. Spending hours getting them to run relaibly and accurately even more so. If you decide to take the risk then Clayton Boyer's designs are popular. I prefer the, to me, more elegant designs from David Atkinson at Woodentimes. Note that David will sell you either the paper plans OR the DXF files, not both for one payment.
You can design your own clocks and have hours of fun simulating them running using 'Gearotic' software from Art Fenerty (creater of MACH 3). There's a good forum to go with the software which is very useful. Links below.

Kit

http://www.lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/Claytonsite1.htm
http://www.woodentimes.com/index.html
http://www.gear2motion.com/

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Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:29 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Thank you for the links, Kit.

I like the stuff by David C Roy, I am sure you are familiar, it's not technically clocks, but similar principles. Plenty of links on youtube. This video shows a few of his works. I like his use of wood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqmLs1ekjeE


Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:36 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi kit would def go with good quality ply . Ply comes in lots of different grades but the one with fine multiple layers closed bonded is tough. So tough you may be best machining ali as it prob not much more difficult to machine lots little passes . Coating any timber will prevent it suffering from atmospheric changes MDF does like to suck up moisture .
Had another thought on your constructing you could build hollow box sections seal it then fill it with £5 bag of concrete. This would make it really rigid and add mass to your router gantry no chance of it deflecting or skipping about. My gantry weighs so much its difficult to lift on my own but this was my intention :D .

Hi Edward no leaks that would be disastrous sealed all joints with decorators chalk before the pour cheap and cheerful . Prob best pour to date almost glass finish it is essential you vac the epoxy before pouring to remove all the air bubbles .
My Z spindle will prob weight more or less the same as yours and it doesn't fall under its own weight when powered down . Their again i am using steppers which have more inertia particularly when they are wired up than a servo . You could fit a small gas ram to the Z i have seen this done also puts less load on the Z motor .
Yes using two motors for the long base axis (X ?) The CNC4YOU breakout board caters for this but first iam just going to wire two motors up to one drive and see if that works .
Back to post processors i take it you dont use Mach 3 so what are you running ?
D1


Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:16 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1, I will be using steppers to start with, 3.1Nm. Then if everything works properly, I may go for servos.
For the controller, same as the milling machine, another Kflop board with its own CNC program called KMotionCNC. It requires a bit of C programming. Once you overcome the initial usual problems, the program is very simple and basic, doesn't have all the crammed stuff of Mach3

In Fusion360 I tried various processors and chose one that writes tool change code, I think Haas, from memory.

Ed


Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:32 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Cheers Edward i may try some of the other post and see if they work . I have tracked down a couple from the Fusion forum developed by individuals so will give those a go to and see which works best.
My next new problem is bed skimming ! I was hoping to skim my ali bed with a fly cutter but do to the speed of a spindle motor this can be very dangerous :o . So bit stuck does it mean i have to use say a 10mm end mill . Thats not going to look to good and i wanted to machine past the limits of travel on the bed . Going to use a 20 mm MDF sheet first just to test things so order a cheap bottom cutter https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wood-Cutting ... SwAydZvBM3 no good for ali but will help in initial set up with MDF .
D1


Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:43 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,
I've already started cutting MDF so will stick with that for now, though I suspect there will be another upgrade soon simply because the new version will be able to cut the same pieces more accurately. With some mods based on experience. I have a piece of 60mm square aluminium box section for stiffening up the gantry but we're not into your league just yet :-) I have wondered about using concrete, though I'd use polystyrene beads as part of the agregate to get the rigidity without all of the weight. There's only me here to do all the lifting.

Re driving two motors for one axis: You can drive two motors with one stepper driver without a problem, that's what I do. The choices are to put them in series, needs twice the volts but no more current, or in parallel, needs twice the current but no more volts. it depends on the ratings of your driver and power supply which you go for. You can also feed the same step and direction pulses to two drivers if necessary.

There is an advantage to having two drivers and having your software treat the two motors as two separate axes which move together. This means you can have them zero separately. By making one end-stop adjustable this allows you to pull the gantry square as part of the zeroing process and trim out any last remaining errors. There's more information about this on one of the CNC forums somewhere but I can't remember where I first saw it. No idea which of the various bits of available software/hardware make this possible.

Kit

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Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:46 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Just fell upon this video on YouTube. It's a DIY CNC laser machine (not a DIY laser which would be loads more fun!) cutting 2mm stainless steel. The video is the same all the way through, it's the comments that are interesting: to cut steel the laser has to remain focussed into a very tight spot. This requires extra mirrors to keep the beam length constant as the head moves and a special head that measures the distance from the head to the cutting point and adjusts the height of the foucussing lens to suit.
Your next big boy's toy?



Kit

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Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:48 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit got my normal laser cutter think will stick with that . The new router should take over all the big stuff now although did come across this

Good to know two motors can be driven ok will go for higher current same voltage at first . Yes was going to tram my gantry similar way by powering up motors and slackening off flexible connectors . I should then be able to turn ballscrews to set tram then re tighten flexible connectors and bolts to Hiwin carriages.
Look forward to seeing your next iteration of your router .
D1


Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:32 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1, I think you'll find that if your router is properly trammed, you'll be fine with an 10mm endmill. I have flat surfaced parts with 10mm endmills giving me a perfect surface finish, no ridges, and that's what most people use for skimming router tables anyway.

I also use a face mill for flat skimming parts, but I am not sure if they are designed for 10K revs, probably yes. However, face mills require even higher care with tramming, because due to the large diameter any minute angle off from perpendicular will show as a ridge or step when stepping over. Myself, I will be using a 10mm endmill for that job.
Ed


Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:21 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Well been playing with Fusion last few days and it does give me headache but getting their. It does seem to have a mind of its own at times dont know if its my poor internet connection in the shed .
On post processor front the Tormach one seems to work fine if not better than Mach3's . Tool change works and it can be set up for 4th axis will keep testing. Their may be issues at some point and i haven't had it controlling the spindle yet . But relevant spindle speeds are displayed on the Mach3 screen so thats promising.
Hi Edward think will get face mill they seem to be more balanced than a fly cutter so would image they can handle the higher rpm better . The tramming is a good thing if theirs ridges then its a good indication that something is out of wack.
Still not sure how accurate this thing is going to be . The best course of action would prob be to do as Edward is doing and mount a 30mm machined flat piece of ali on top of the epoxy leveled bed then mount rails etc on top of that . But that solution is just to costly at over £1000 for a 1500mm by 1000 piece of Ecocast Ali :( .
So hoping just mounting rails on epoxy will suffice. I have test placed them and they do sit flat so fingers crossed .
It does make me wonder how accurate commercial Router CNC s are the two have used over the years seemed fine but was just cutting big lumps of timber . I have heard horror stories from over people though .
D1


Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:07 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Edward,
You have far more experience with this stuff than I do, I'd be pleased to hear your comments on the following...

D1,
At the moment you have a steel frame with a beautifully flat and level epoxy surface onto which you plan to fix steel rails. Sounds good to me. If you then add a layer of aluminium into the sandwich you may run foul of distortions due to differential expansion between the different metals. Aluminium expands twice as much as steel for a given rise in temperature so unless your workshop is a well insulated,temperature- stable palace ( hi, Edward :D ) there's a risk you might be spending money and effort to make things worse rather than better.

I'm wondering where to go next with the design of a much improved machine for myself and I'm becoming increasingly concerned at the dimensional stability of any design that mixes steel and aluminium (look at 'fully suported rails' for example) for use in a tropical shed.

Kit

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Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:58 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit yes different expansion rates my be a issue . Think Edward will be ok as hes going all ali construction i think .
But the biggest issue for me is the £1000 price for the ali plate :( I havent added up the total spend on this project but have a feeling it would been cheaper to find one on eBay and upgrade service that . The only prob with that was finding one to fit in my shed and think thats why i ended up building one .
Anybody else who as more space may be better considering picking up a ebay barging and converting it to Mach3. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CNC-Router-2 ... 1438.l2649
D1


Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:25 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Yes, I think that the expansion difference of such great mass of metals could be a problem, probably leading to some warping. Not that we have extremes of temperature here...up north it's either cold or less cold, but always cloudy and miserable;)

Mine is all ali, well, except for the rails, but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

D1, you are right that the cost of such a big plate of ali is just too great for your size of machine. You are right that for not much money you could get a good second hand router like the one you show and update a few bits, if you have the space, although making your own router is part of the fun.

You've put a lot of effort into it already, not far to go now.

Ed


Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,

I think you're just getting nervous as the new baby's first steps get closer! Your build looks at least as good quality as the machine in your link, probably better.

You've probably seen this youtube video on tramming, but just in case here's the link. The first stage with one guage is to create a temporary surface which is exactly parallel to both the x and y axes of the machine using a piece of plate glass (which is assumed to be perfectly flat) which then becomes the reference for tramming the spindle. One thing he doesn't emphasise is that if you cannot get this to work in both directions at once, one or both of your axes themselves are not aligned correctly. To me it seems the rest of the process then becomes a waste of time until you fix that. In fact this part of the process could be a practical way of ensuring the rails in your axes are exactly parallel in the first place. You just need a source of nice thick, reliably flat glass.

I have seen a video using a single guage on a bracket which is rotated around to get the two measurements you get at once from the Edge guage.

Kit


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmuipSuDNAs
http://www.edgetechnologyproducts.com/p ... 00-09-000/

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Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:31 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit yes i have seen those videos and that will prob be the next stage and yes ya prob right its that nervous stage .
Think the problem with this type of build is getting precision and measuring it . You could spend a fortune on gauges and ground surfaces etc but just using stuff i have is proving difficult . This was main reason for the epoxy method gravity does the leveling job. In a perfect world all this would be surface ground but i dont have a big one of those lurking in the shed.
The machine will cut and its rigid and i am confident of that as to the precision ? Will it be down to 1000 of a mm i doubt it but do i need it to be prob not .
Think i am delaying final stage as i am scared i am going to be disappointed . I did a quick add up prob over £4000 so far when you buy little bits now and then you dont realise how much ya spending :( . I have same prob with contactless when i pub !
D1


Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:46 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
You're right about the problems of making measurements without expensive test equipment but it can be done. I've been thinking some more about the final adjustments you can make and realised that that tramming video really does start by missing out a critical part of the overall machine set-up.

The sheet of glass is being used as a reference flat surface. If you have an expensive surface plate use that but us mere mortals must make do with the best, most accurate reference we can afford. What follows assumes your linear rails are dead straight.

What he's doing with the glass and cards is aligning the reference flat plane to the x,y plane of the router as defined by the linear rails. This plane should also be flat and if you cannot get a constant reading over the whole surface of the glass from a dial gauge mounted in the spindle, no matter how hard you try, then that plane has a twist in it so the rails need aligning. You will only need to shim up one end of one rail in each of the x and y axes to fix this. Working out which will take time but no more equipment than the plate and the gauge.

The whole point of your epoxy levelling is not having to make any adjustments at this point but the technique will confirm it for you. Did you use this on the back plate of the gantry as well?

Once you have the x,y plane truly flat then ( and only then) you can start the process of setting the spindle exactly perpendicular to the x,y plane. That's what the rest of the video is about.

The final step is setting the bed of the machine to be accurately parallel to the x,y plane of the rails. That's the simple bit of skimming the top of the bed with a fly cutter or end mill.

Kit

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Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:30 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Well finally got router into shed . I no longer have any space left in my shed :(
Had a re think on how i am laying out the bed . Decided to have a a precision bed area of 800mm by 460mm which will be 15mm or 20mm ali and the rest will be MDF with a ply sub base adding up to 30 or 40mm. Theirs also the fourth axis area which can cope with a 280mm by 600mm cylinder which will normally left open but can be covered by the MDF/Ply base .
Its unlikely that i will be machining large pieces of ali and if i am it will be simple profiling of 10mm stuff so the MDF/Ply base should be sufficient . For precision work I shall use the ali bed area . This area also is the main fix area for big sheet stuff with secondary fixings on the MDF area .All this is mainly cost driven and been realistic theirs just no point having a full ali bed i prefer to have a smaller but thicker precision area .
[flickr]Image2017-11-16 18.37.10 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]
[flickr]Image2017-11-16 16.57.33 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]
D1


Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:34 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
HI Kit ya type quicker than me but yes the rails should be on exactly the same plane as each other . The epoxy makes sure of this but not sure how you would do this any other way . Looking from above how do you get the rails straight. I haven't got a long ground edge i can reference against so i have its just a case of bolting carriages to the gantry then sliding the gantry down the rial and bolting it down as i go . Then i can tram the opposing one against this one . Toms job !
D1


Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:44 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
I don't always type fast. I usualy type for ages and realise the damn website has logged me out before i hit 'submit' and have to start again! I've taken to writing long replies in Notepad then copying and pasting the text.

Even then I always spot the flaws in my argument only AFTER I've submitted the post.

Using the sheet of glass will only allow you to correct alignment errors in the rails fixed to the base. This is the 'y' axis on my machine. 'x' axis errors will then show up as an inbility to exactly tram the spindle at both ends of it's travel at once.

I'm not sure how else you would fix the rails down other than fix one, then run the gantry along the pair to align the other. Without swanky test equipment we're in the realms of assuming the rails are made straight. Is that good enough?

You're looking for a much higher level of precision than I am as I'm only cutting wood for now but I'm still hoping to cut round holes with errors of no more than 0.1mm, which is only 4 thou in old thinking. I'm going to have to move up a step from MDF framing in the next itteration to achieve that.

One thing this discussion has done for me is to make me realise that the whole design of the next machine needs to be centred not just around a rigid frame but also around how am I going to align it? What can I measure and adjust with the tools I have? What components can I buy that will have to be assumed 'perfect' on arrival?

This is leading me towards using 25mm unsuported round bars for rails in the x and y axes. This is the biggest size I can get sent through the post. The deflection under load is acceptable for the lengths I have in mind and alignment then consists of shims under the end fixings. It had never struck me before but the use of a finishing cut is partly intended to get to the final dimensions using a cut which puts minimal load on the machine structure and thus has minimal errors due to frame distortion. I must do a test on the current version before it gets torn apart.

Off to Coral Bay for the weekend, I hope the buld goes well for you.

Kit

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Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:26 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Coming on in leaps and bounds D1. Just a thought, how many parallels do you have and can you lay them end on to make up the width between the rails, slightly shorter would be ideal and make up the final dimension by machining a metal spacer to size or use a few pieces of accurately measured bar ( length you can measure with calliper) ?
Fix rail one, space rail two approximately then fix one end with measuring bars in place, fix other end with bar in place and recheck each end till equally spaced.
May not be practical but may lead to some out of the box thinking :D

Sounds like your next project is a shed extension, meanwhile happy trammelling ;)

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Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:49 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
I'm a bit jealous that you are already so advanced.

I've heard a few methods to align the first rail. One of them is using fishing or cotton line clamped taught at both ends to serve as a straight line guide. Myself, I bought two ground straight edges for the purpose, but I am using 25mm Hiwin rail for the long axis, so I hope it comes quite straight, otherwise it may be difficult to tame into shape.

The idea of having a centre area in the router for machining aluminium precisely is a good one, otherwise a full plate is just too expensive (and very heavy). I am told that my bed plate will come in a pallet to avoid damage, it will weigh 48Kg, I will need help to hoist it up to the bench, I don't fancy breaking my back. D1, it looks like you will finish yours before Christmas, thus beating me to it by a month or so. I may catch up on the software side though, particularly since you are using one pulse signal for two drives, which I am told it can be unreliable, particularly with a noisy spindle next to it...but we will see when it comes to it...

Ed


Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:42 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Mike hope building going well think ya will be needing that fire now . Tramming not a problem was just concerned how straight the first rail is . No point tramming something thats not straight in the first place. But all seems to have gone well anyways and i now have a free moving long axis :D .

Makes me wonder if i would have got away with one ballscrew their seems to be no drawer effect but with a load on the spindle that may be different .
Sort of went for a extrusion method to make sure rail was straight . The hiwin carriages were bolted tight to the gantry base so i assumed the 20mm or so bit of rail between them was straight . Then moved gantry left and right from center doing on bolt at a time to keep rail travelling straight . I dont think ya can garentee those rails will be straight when ya get them . Mine 1500 long and ya can bend then who knows what could happen to the while been delivered.
[flickr] Image2017-11-17 17.53.50 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]

Hi Edward yeah nearly their but remember i have been at it a year !. Cant remember what size bed you are going for any chance of any pics ?
On driver front i am not splitting the step direction signals just to the power to the coils from a single driver . If this proves un reliable then a will split the command signals and have two drivers my breakout is capable of this and reliable apparently http://cnc4you.co.uk/resources/CP0-10V.pdf
D1


Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:47 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Mis-understood your intent with the rails, I was thinking setting up two rails parallel not initial straightness of the first rail.

Building work is progressing, plastering being carried out and heating needs to be off as pipes run in close proximity, so heading to the workshop will be a sensible option for the next 4 or 5 days. Will look to get the cnc machine running again, I had to use the PC for another application and the monitor and keyboard etc are spread around a bit.
I guess you will be comfortably settled into your workshop this winter Edward.

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Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:27 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Yes Mike, although I am now blissfully cocooned in my acclimatised triple glazed workshop, there was a time when I had to endure the cold, the draughts, leaking roof and the rust when pottering in the decrepit garage. I saved for this moment for years. Now I have to move things around to make room for the router, it's getting rather crowded here. It's an exciting project that is getting out of hand, money wise, as D1 mentioned. Still, you only live once, so what the hell!.

Good to hear that you are brushing the dust off your router.

Edward


Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:23 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1, that glides nicely! I find that the Hiwin rails actually like a bit of weight on them to glide smoothly.

How are you going to tram the spindle to be perpendicular to the base? Are you relying on shimming for front/back and a bit of slack in the spindle bolt holes for sideways tramming?

Ed


Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:30 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Just thought see how much the bed would need leveling . Sorry about mirror only bit of glass i had . Seems to be about .1mm ish drop off and just at one end for some reason ?

D1


Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:30 pm
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