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 CNC Router Build 
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit that looks nice for sign writers. Emphasis why i need to get my X axis running a bit quicker :( .
Running a CNC without a monitor can be troublesum Kit . Used to run one at one of the places i worked real pain ya just plugged in a usb stick and hoped . No idea what the spindle would do next . I like reading the code on my Mach3 screen and seeing the tool path been generated . But horses for courses, think its a much safer why of working though .
D1


Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:59 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit

I concur about the drag engravers. I tried writing fine text on my cnc mill and mostly succeeded in breaking the tiny cutters. The main problem is the work is rarely perfectly flat relative to the z axis, unless you machine it first, which is not practical with sheet metal. So using a spring loaded device is the best solution - they are a bit expensive though... :(


Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:44 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Gerald,
Diamond drag engravers do vary a bit in price. You can save a bit by making your own spring-loaded holder if you have the tools but I have my eye on an $85 AUD unit which comes complete. It all depends on how long the diamond lasts! I have a potential customer (the local source of Aluminium profiles and useful offcuts who I'm keen to keep sweet!) who wants to put engraved labels on the trailers he makes. Mine may be the only CNC router within 800Km of here.

D1,
The g2core software on the Arduino Due board does all the time-critical thinking about generating the step and direction pulses for each motor and handles the emergency stop, limit switches etc, but the software on the laptop still controls the whole thing and includes a graphic display of the tool path and where you're up to, much like LinuxCNC and, I assume, MACH3 does. The advantages are that the pulse timing is much more accurate and the USB link and Windows based program means I only have to find bench space for the laptop when I'm actually making sawdust.
The makers also claim their acceleration profiles are super-advanced leading to smoother moves at higher speeds with less broken tools.


Kit


Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit think laser cutters have taken over the etching market these days . You have to apply a spray that helps the etching process on aluminium i think. Not tried it on my machine yet but if i ever do will let ya know .

Will be interested to see how your controller goes incase i ever run out of XP machines . Mach3 been used in industry for years now so think that speaks for that though .
D1


Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:33 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Well router finally earning its keep . Been running all week on various jobs with no problems at all . Even leave it to it now i was a bit unsure about doing that a month or so ago.
[flickr] Image2018-02-23 14.21.01 by D 1, on Flickr [/flickr]
[flickr]Image2018-02-23 18.17.40 by D 1, on Flickr[/flickr]
Only problem i have had is breaking my 1,5mm ballnose and that was m fault . Really annoying as they nearly £20 a pop so using cheap Chinese 2mm ones now. They are fine on acrylic and a fraction of the cost . Funny doing such small stuff on such a large machine but thats what it was made for .
Must get rotary axis sorted out but now its in use find hard to find time for more messing about .
D1


Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:11 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Wow, these are great and it looks like you are doing some 3D stuff already!

What are they? They look like miniature stools.

I am glad you are using your router for work.


Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:52 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Yep miniature bar stools . Still using Fusion360 but the more i use it the more frustrating a find it . It could be great but theirs somethings just not right about it. Doesn't matter how quick your computer is if you got a bad internet connection i think you get problems. My sheds connection not great and seems to drop of drastically after 3.30 dont know if its kids coming home from school or what . But because of the auto save in Fusion it just slows down and some things just dont work and a bit latter they will so hard to tell when its your fault or programs :( . Will stick with it as its free and its the only 3d cad cam i can get .
Hows your build going Edward look forward to seeing some pics .
D1


Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:20 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Those bar stools look really neat, great to see the machine earning some return for you after all the hard work and trauma.

Fusion 360 has an offline mode for those times when your internet connection is not adequate. I used it once years ago when I took my laptop away from home to do some drawings.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/ ... fline.html

Kit


Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:19 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Cheers kit will give that a go when the kids hit their devices . Must admit with Fusion every time i do something i know i could do it three times quicker in Designspark .
My main bug bare is the constraints dominate to much and you cant switch them off . You can hold the control key that disables them but not a perfect solution . Also the design history is to clever for its own good and is to complicated when ya build anything more complicated than a cube . If you try and change something on the initial sketch in a complicated design then be prepared to do a lot of waiting to then get a error code .
Theirs other things you cant move a solid into sculpt mode so whats the point ! I could go on lots of really annoying things specially when ya get into 3D stuff on cam side . But as say its free and spent 6 months with it i will carry on but maybe i should look at Rhino or something .
Hows your build going Kit any nice pics to look at yet ?
D1


Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:33 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,
I'm still happy with Cambam, I tried Fusion 360 but spent too much time not actually making any of the things I wanted to use Fusion 360 to help me make!

My own router is not very happy at the moment. I bodged the new ballscrews into place (definitely NO pictures of that mess!) but one of the X motors is not behaving so the gantry gets out of square. I won't be getting to the bottom of that one until the end of next month as we're off on our holls to Tasmania at the weekend. I did get to test my diamond engraving bit today though and the machine ran well enough to produce some nice results. May need several passes to get good depth of cut but that's OK.

I'm making slow progress with the G2core software plans. I've ordered a breakout board for the Arduino Due from Djuke in the Netherlands and I'm trying to get my head round the software used for compiling real programs rather than simple Arduino sketches. And I've reassembled the semi-automatic loom that got pushed aside to make room for a knitted coral reef last year and begun de-bugging the Arduino sketches for that. Still trying to do too many things at once as usual :D

Kit


Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:25 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Yep Cambam is a solid preform never had any problems with that one . Think Fusions problem is its almost trying to do to much and it all just falls down in places .
Ah problems with twin motors on the x axis i did warn ya :D
I am having my own problems at mo the auto zero tool randomly slams the tool into the work piece . Not electrical problem think its a software issue . Their are a few auto zero plugins out their just think i picked the wrong one . Costing me a fortune always seems to do it when the most expensive cutter is loaded :(
Enjoy ya hols Kit .
D1


Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:29 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
I couldn't resist sticking my fingers back in it today and fixed the motor problem. Needed to shim one of the bodged up motor mounts to take some tension off a bearing which was making that side's ballscrew noticably harder to turn than the other. Seems OK now, I can run over the same engraving job three times after sending the tool all over the place between runs and it comes back to the same starting point bang on. Nice to know that job isn't waiting for me when I get home.

I'm sorry to hear about the zeroing problem. I use LinuxCNC and found a program which runs on an Arduino (I must have about 20+ of those damn things around here by now) to talk to the software. It has a plate to sit on top of the workpiece and a croc-clip to connect to the tool. Only problem is that if I hit the 'start' button by accident there is no way to stop the tool running down other than shorting the croc-clip to the plate, which will have fallen on the floor under the bench as you'd expect. Even the EMERGENCY STOP! button doesn't work under these circumstances. I haven't broken any tools yet but I'm still using a small NEMA17 motor on the Z axis which stalls fairly easily but works fine for cutting wood which is all I do.

Kit


Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:43 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Well little update on all things CNC think Kits thread prob of more interest now as its a new birth . Mine is just a troublesome teenager now :D .
Been using it a lot so few little problems resolved and a few more discovered . Think solved the auto tool zero failing on occasion and more often not when my most expensive bits in the chuck :(
Think it was the puter going into sleep mode in some way so i put all settings to non sleep mode ! Seemed to work any ways.
But i have now bust the bank and spent £15 on Big Tex blue screen http://big-tex.tk/ Worth every penny .
As a very good tool zeroing function but it will also can probe a circle and find the centre , find edges and corners to .
It also lets you define a touch off place when you change tools so dont have to worry about the fact you may have machine the touch off height away .
You could prob do all this in Mach 3 yourself with different scripts etc but for £15 my time is more valuable.
Another problem i was having was false e stop singles. Not sure why may be the spindle motor interfering with stuff not sure . Never had it on my small mill but their again i dont have any e stops or limit switches on that one .
Simple solution seems to be upping the debounce factor mine was at zero so that explains a lot of that and seems to be working fine now . https://www.machsupport.com/forum/index ... c=15570.10 .
Sure their will be more teething problems but nothing major just wish i had gone for 10 pitch ballscrews . If i ever find a use for the 5 pitch ones i would swap them for the 10 .

D1


Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:47 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,
I'm glad the machine is behaving reasonably well and getting plenty of use.

My Z homing has stopped working for some reason so I'm back to the piece-of-paper-under-the-tool method for now. I also had problems in the past with limit switches (I use microswitches not magnetic ones) false triggering which I fixed by connecting capacitors accross the inputs to the inteface card to supress electrical interference. RS components part number 715-2808 if you have more problems in future. Just connect them across the input teminals making sure you get the + and - the right way round. They're about 15 pence each!

My machine uses LinuxCNC which is easy to set up for a simple, vanilla machine but is a pain for add-ons like auto zeroing of Z and especially for having separate control of the two X-axis motors for removing racking errors during zeroing. I've been thinking that the easiest way to do this is to add on some simple external circuitry (with an Arduino in control of course!) which briefly takes over controll of the relevant motor drivers just to do the racking correction and Z-zeroing. This is much simpler than trying to get my head round the documentation for LinuxCNC which seems to tell me everything you could possibly imagine: except what I want to know!

Here's a picture of mt latest test. I'm working on a wooden clock design and like the idea of quite industrial looking wheels, a bit steam-punkish. The intial gear was designed in Gearotic and a DXF file copied into CamBam for editting. The wood is Jarrah.

Attachment:
JarrahGear-1.jpg
JarrahGear-1.jpg [ 86.91 KiB | Viewed 500 times ]


Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:53 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit the cog looks good will be interesting to see the finished clock .
The higher denounce setting seems to have solved my false triggers . Having it set to zero was a little optimistic considering the length and number of cables etc . I did use screened cables on the spindle and steppers. But as i say seems ok now . Makes me realise how much i dont know about Mach 3 their always seems to be a thing you can click that sorts things out or at least attempts to . I do recommend it especially with the Big Tex screen i will never go back to bit of paper .
Its also solved my problem with tool change on the rotary axis because i can set a separate touch of point . All i need to do is find i nice lump of wood so i can carve something out of it :D .
D1


Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:11 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit. The gear looks very clean, and so small too. I wonder though how do you do the flip side? Bolt it down using the center hole or some other scheme?

Perhaps you could build more than just a clock from timber?

For CNC I use KmotionCNC with the kflop controller - same as used by Mantis. It allows creating subroutines quite easily. Edward wrote a homing sequence for his mill which works well. I've just been a bit too lazy to make a sensor, so I use a magnifying glass and do it manually...


Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:00 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi guys,
Good to see that there is a flurry of activity yet again.
I've been quite inactive on this front because it's taken me a while to sell all my surplus camera and photo equipment in order to be free to continue with my router build. Also, it's been so damn hot that I've become lazy, I don't know how you guys in Oz can bear to do anything in your hot summertime. Instead of being stuck indoors, I bought myself a little Mazda MX5 to tour around the country with my wife and have a break from it all.

Now I am regaining the zest for making things again and I'll start posting shortly on my progress with the router so we can compare notes. First I will be making more desktop space in my workshop using a combination of 40x80 ali profile for the structure and 30mm hardwood on top. I also want to treat myself to a good vertical bandsaw to cut thick ali. So my search for a decent one begins tomorrow and I will let you know what I get eventually.
Edward


Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:16 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Gerald,
The gear is actually 110mm in diameter. It does look small in that photograph in spite of the lined paper and the pen. The limiting factor is the tool size for cutting the teeth. This one used a 2.5mm tool.
Smaller diameters with few teeth are OK as the teeth are pulled apart by the tight curvature. Fortunately the Gearotic software tells you the minimum tool diameter required for a given design as soon as you set the required diameter and tooth count. It's designed by Art Fenerty who is also responsible for creating MACH3.
I did video the whole making of the gear but have not had time to edit it yet. The method was far from perfect but I learned a lot. Basically I cut a square blank of timber, clamped it down and then used the machine to drill holes at each corner, screwed it down and removed the clamps. This meant I could flip the blank over without losing registration. Fixing by the centre hole alone will not prevent the material rotating under cuting load. Been there, done that, got the scrap timber to prove it. I may decide that only the front, visible face needs the recessing anyway, it's purely cosmetic.

There are all sorts of machines and toys you could make with wooden gears. Of course it would also be a good way to make patterns for casting heavier duty parts in metal as well. Thogh I do NOT have any plans to make a 1/4 scale traction engine at the moment ( I have to add that bit to appease my wife).

Edward,
My wife had an MX5 (with heated leather seats) in England. It was one of the few things she was sorry to leave behind when we came to Australia. The climate here is not really a problem regarding making stuff. In January we just spend lots of money running the air-conditioning in the shed instead of lots of money running the heating as you do (though your workshop is deliberately well insulated I think?). Pommies don't really understand what 'hot outside' means (I once installed an area of decking on a 47C afternoon before I learned better), just as most Aussies ( except the Tasmanians) don't understand 'cold'. It does get a bit warm around my outdoor workbench at times with tools becoming too hot to touch if not put in the shade, and metal smelting never really got going thanks to the bushfire risk and consequent ban on open flames outdoors. We're still in winter at the moment so the weather in Exmouth is lovely: blue skies, sunshine, daily max around 23C.

Kit


Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:19 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
I've put a video of the gear being cut on vimeo. There isn't a comentary but it's fairly clear. After recesing the first side with a 6mm bit the blank is turned over and the same cuts made on the second side. The spokes should have been cut as a pocket not a profile, you can see how well the Jarrah splinters. The teeth were rough cut with a 3mm bit and finished with a 2.5mm bit. The centre drilling was done on the pillar drill to make it more accurate. There is a 16mm diameter recess for a ball bearing on the underside.

I deliberately cut quite fast and deep (2000mm/min and up to 3mm depth) to test the machine and the wood. One concern was whether the teeth with grain going across them would break off easily but this is not the case. The surface finish does vary with grain direction though.

Kit

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/284841202[/vimeo]

PS. I can't get the vimeo to embed properly, but the link is there for those who want a look.


Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:52 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit your machine looking like a pro now . Do wish i had 10 pitch ballscrews how many times am i going to say that :D . Just means you can go fast without the worry of gantry lock up hey ho.
Hi Edward nice to have you back i do believe we are down to a rather reduced list of contributors on this site . Least its not to chaotic i suppose .
Just a quick vid of Big Tex touch off . It makes tool change a pleasure i did avoid it in the past

After this initial set up all you have to use is the second plate which can be at any height and any place you want . If people fancy Mach 3 also came across this so you can use it with more modern puters .
http://www.cnc1.eu/en/UC100_en.htm
All the timing is done within the device so a lot more stable apparently. I still have a few decent XP machine laying about so not a issue yet . Also not sure how well it would work with my breakout board .
D1


Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:03 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit,
On Youtube URLs I remove the "s" from HTTPS and I make sure it has the www. I am not sure if the same applies to Vimeo. So something like http://www.vimeo....etc
In you gear cutting, did you also stick down the wood to the table with double sided, as well as the four screws? You don't show the end of cutting of the teeth, when the inner part separates from the outer part, and I am curious as to what happened if you cut it right through.

Hi D1,

Yes, good to get back to business.

I am not sure I understand why you need two touch off plates?

I made a similar touch off plate, I think. The way I wrote the macro is: you quickly jog the head to position roughly above the plate and quite close so you don't waste time when it auto descends at slow speed, then I press a button to activate the macro, the head then descends slowly until the tip of the tool touches the plate surface which sets the height coordinate to 20mm and then rises quickly to be exactly 30mm from zero (zero being the top surface of the piece to be machined).

The bottom half of the box is made of Delrin to insulate it from the metal on the vise. The height of the contraption is exactly calibrated to be 20mm.
I think the circuit works on 24V rather than 12V, you get a nice little spark when it closes, i.e when the tip of the tool touches the plate. At the switch end, I have an opto-coupler. When the circuit closes, the optocoupler activates the low voltage input switch of the Kflop which triggers the second part of the macro which has been waiting for something to happen. Or at least that's how I remember it, it's been a long time..

Here is the video again.



Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:13 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Hi Kit. I wish aluminium would cut that easily... It's a bit clearer, but still wondering - it looks like you are not machining all the way through with the teeth? So how do you separate it from the back? Do you flip it over again and face the other side off?


Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:06 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Gerald,
I uploaded the video without a commentary which was not actually Plan-A. Must be my age :D
The blank gets flipped over after cutting the top recesses and then the same MOPs run again. The teeth have holding tabs on every third tooth. I wanted to see how well this would work for tabs which are actuall suspended in mid-air (the underside is recessed and hence 2mm above the baseplate). After seeing how well this didn't work for the spokes, I reworked the CamBam drawing to put wider tabs on the spokes and more of them which worked out OK. This wood, construction grade Jarrah, is very brittle and not ideal for the job, but it's the only hardwood I can buy within 850km of home.

I've tried creating a single G-code file with pauses for complex jobs like this but find it less prone to error, and more flexible for changes if required, to have completely separate files for different parts of the work and always for a tool change.

Kit


Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:48 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
i have run several different cnc's that cut granite slabs into kitchen benchtops and mill out and polish the holes for undermount sinks or dropin sinks. all have those touch function plates you guys are talking about but their never utilized. all the tools heights, tool diameters are set by digital caliper or eye :). after the tools are setup they very rarely change except the diameter of the tool as it wears but usually that's only about .1 of a millimeter at a time. the drill i usually change about half a millimeter at a time to keep it cutting through the stone. for drilling we use diamond tipped core drills which gives the milling fingers some space to drop down into. i have two days work this week i'll take some photos and video. i have chatted to the tech guys about the touch function plates but i get vague technical replies which amount too, yes there is that functionality built into the machine but its not implemented very well so it doesn't get used, we are talking machines worth more than $250000 so it is kinda odd that they can do everything else but use the touch plate. besides i'd be out of a part time job if everyone could set up the tooling and run the machine lol


Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:17 pm
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
Almost a flurry of activity :D
Hi Edward simple answer is imagine if you had machined all the material away that gave you your touch of height . Something i do quite often and is a deff when using 4th axis . You would lose your touch off height when it came to tool change .
The second plate becomes the default touch off plate . The first touch off plate is just used to establish the height of stock after that you dont have to bother with it and i just disconnect it .
Another nice touch with Big Texs routine is the double tap it gives you a very accurate measurement . You can also specify ware the tool change position is so its easy to get to .It will go to that position every time .
Of course you could prob do all this with scripts etc but as say for £15 no brainer really .
D1


Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:03 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
I'm not sure I understand the two touch-off plates method. The device I made using a design for LinuxCNC I found online somewhere simply requires a croc clip connected to the tool and a plate held on top of the work. And it uses an Arduino!!! Press a button and the tool runs down slowly until it hits the plate and stops. I then manually enter the Z height as 3.0mm (the thickness of the plate) and zero is then the top of the work. Has to be re-done for every tool change and every new job with a different thickness of material.

For some reason this has stopped working but it had the slight problem of not responding to any commands from linuxCNC once in motion, including the emergency stop! I have plans for a new design.

Kit


Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:50 am
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Post Re: CNC Router Build
D1,
Thanks, I can see the logic. I don't think it would apply to me on the mill because all the tools are pre-measured and the program adjusts to different tool lengths accordingly. But on the new router I will have different tool distances every time I change them, and I will have to play with machine offsets. I think I will still somehow manage with just one touch off plate, but I will have to think it through when the time comes.

Edward


Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:13 am
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