Month: March 2017

Z axis assembly

Z axis assembly

Computer, Electronics
I spent the last two evening finishing the plates for the Z axis and drilling missing holes on the backplate for the newly designed limit switches.  I also decided to use connectors for the limit switches and designed a bracket for it https://youtu.be/4MC9gMEZO4k I also received 2 replacement flexible coupling for the motors, this did solve a problem I had with the motors 'wobling' on their mount : the hole I had to enlarge on the coupling was not straight... I assembled the Z axis tonight and I was glad to see how everything went together without a hitch.  I will do the proper wiring of the motor over the weekend along with the limit switches.  Meanhwile, here's a short video of the Z axis moving (sorry for the audio, I will make a proper video so...
Z axis limit switches

Z axis limit switches

Electronics
I finally settled on using optical photo switches for all limit switches.  My reasoning is that optical switches should be more accurate and reliable than mechanical switches and there is no wear caused by friction as there is no contact. After a bit of research on digikey, I settled for https://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/tt-electronics-optek-technology/OPB472N11/365-1646-ND/1636911 which are small, inexpensive and can be used for all axis (different orientation needed).  I then designed a base that I will glue the switch in    Followed by adding the switches on the Z axis backplate and tweaking the Z nut adapter plate to provide barrier for the switches   I then proceeded to print the support and placed the order at Digikey....
Wiring and first motion

Wiring and first motion

3D Printing, Computer, Electronics
It's been a few days since my last post.  I made a lot of progress on the construction of the milling machine. Design and printing of various brackets and panels https://youtu.be/cpSZCr0v9j8   https://youtu.be/Jzw_BS4OWUU https://youtu.be/PUjdCl345Lk   I used T-Nuts + M5 screws to assemble the drives on the machine frame.  I also installed a wires guide to keep everything tidy.   I'm not sure how it going to hold up in regard to vibrations but I'll wait until the machine is up and running before making my mind.  I'm trying to keep the electronics embedded in the machine as much as possible.   I then assembled and wired the power panel.  I wanted to have separate switches for the the control / power sections. ...
Redesigning a stronger X Motor Mount

Redesigning a stronger X Motor Mount

Electronics
  Yesterday, I accidentally (AKA clumsily) hit the X motor mount which broke from the impact.  It was obvious that my first design wasn't strong enough so I decided to design a beefier one tonight.  I also accounted for the coupling which is slightly longer than the one I used when designed the machine. I then sent the job to the 3D Printer (0.3mm layers, 3 shells, 30% infill, 110mm/s low-quality print) https://youtu.be/17xRPOwXi7I   Then I threaded the holes for the screw and assembled the mount and motor on the YL plate
Frame assembly & wooden under frame

Frame assembly & wooden under frame

Electronics
Today, I bought the wood for the under-frame (posts + wheels) in order to be able to start assembling the machine frame.  After the under frame was completed, I did a quick assembly of the side rails just to confirm the length of the cross beams.  I then setup a jig on my miter saw to ensure all cross beams would have the exact same length.  Assembly of the frame was pretty much straightforward (as much as it can with t-nuts...)  I also added 1mm shims on each carriage in order to clear the ball screw which I found was rubbing by about 0.5mm.  I then manually move the Y axis over each crossmember in order to perfectly adjust the spacing between the 2 sides.  I also 3D printed the X axis nut plate and it went perfectly in place.  I was able to jog the X ax...
Y axis plates, Z Plate and test assembly

Y axis plates, Z Plate and test assembly

Electronics
Worked full day on the machine.  I started by drilling / tapping the Y axis plates followed by the Z backplate.  I then installed my saw blade on the table saw and proceeded to bring the plates to their final sizes.   At the end of the evening, I quickly assembled the X axis and Y plates together to confirm the fit and was agreeably surprised by how everything went together.  The X carriage is smooth and doesn't bind.  I noticed that the Z axis ball screw is somewhat shorter than the design. (see bottom bearing FF12 on the pictures).  I'm hoping to built the wood base tomorrow along with cutting / installing the cross beam of the base, which should allow trial-fit assembly of the whole frame (!!!!) Going to bed " template="default" order_by="sortorder...
X Rails and Z Motor Plate

X Rails and Z Motor Plate

Electronics
Last night I cut the X rails to length and assembled them on the 3" x 3" X Beams.  Then I proceeded to cut / drill /tap the Z Top plate, which is the smallest plate and thus was a good candidate in case of a screw up!  This was the first time I used my Optical Center Punch which I HIGHLY recommend for any drill job requiring precision.  I will try to put more explanations / details later   " template="default" order_by="sortorder" order_direction="ASC" returns="included" maximum_entity_count="500"]
Received SmoothStepper ESS from DashX / Warp9

Received SmoothStepper ESS from DashX / Warp9

Electronics
I received the SmoothStepper from Warp9 (bought from DashX.com, the Canadian distributor).  Delivery took about 10 days after I placed the order.   I was expecting a box but received an heavy-cardboard envelope.  The board itself was packaged in an anti-static bag wrapped in protective foam.  I'll try to test the board / drives / motors sometime this week
Assembling the Y axis side rails

Assembling the Y axis side rails

Electronics
I started by buying a non-ferrous metal blade for my table saw / mitter saw, this blade is expensive but worth it     After making sure my saw was straight, I proceeded to cut both Y axis extrusions using a stopper on the saw to ensure both side will have the exact same length, I sprayed a bit of WD-40 for lubrication. I then proceeded to tap the ends of the extrusions with 1/4-20 tap.  My tap wasn't long enough to tap all the way so I resorted to a 5/16 hole 1/4" deep following with tapping.  I used 3-in-1 oil for lubrication and cleaned up with compressed air.     I then cut the linear rail to 1425mm using a grinder (the rail is case-hardened and cannot be sawed).   " template="default" order_by="sortorder" order_direction="A...