Cut & tapped X beams (926mm lengths) Sore fingers with all the tapping!
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
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...
I received the linear rails and ball screws from Joomen yesterday. Packaging was neat and they used a plywood to ensure screws don't get bent during transport. I received 8 SUU20 blocks instead of 4 Ballnut blocks. I didn't plan to use the ballnut blocks anyway so no big deal. Initial review of screws shows that the overall quality is acceptable. The ball nut on the 350mm screw was a bit tight to turn. Most carriages on the 20mm rails are not so smooth, I'll look at adjusting them later (hopefully they can be adjusted). Delivery and service from Joomen was fast and I'm quite happy except for the previously mentionned issues. I also received my screws order from McMaster. " template="default" order_by="sortorder" order_...
I received the motors/drives/power supplies from Wantai I decided to order from Wantai instead of StepperOnline mainly due to shipping costs (45$ vs 108$) and the 2 x 350W power supplies vs 1 x 400W, both 36V. Wantai also throws in a breakout board which provide opto-isolated outputs for the drives. Packaging is neat and everything is in good shape. Linear rails and ball screws are expected this Friday, stay tuned!
I worked on the design of the machine this week. I will probably replace the mechanical limit switches with optical sensor from digikey - I feel they will be more precise and reliable I received some shipments over the week for the CNC Mill project From TNutz.com : Received t-nuts for the Series 15 extrusion along with double inside corner angles. I planned to saw / drill the corner angles from strock aluminium angle but at the price tnutz sell them... From CPIAutomation.com : Received a 65lbs worth of extrusions! Quite happy about the quality of their product. I was worried about the X axis not being rigid enough but now that I received the 3x3 extrusion, lets just say I don't think this is going to be an issue Linear rails / leadscrews ship...
Added most screws and limit switches. I like the fact that the limit switches on the sides are under the frame and protected. I may eventually switch to optical barriers as I feel this would be more reliable / repeatable (at least for the home). I also confirmed that MACH3/4 support Axis+/- limit switches. I also started to think of a safe way to mount the electronics inside the frame. I'm planning to use either rubber mounted or spring suspension in order to keep vibrations away from the electronic. Also planning to put at least one fan to ensure proper airflow. I'm also looking at putting the VFD right up in the mast and water pump/tank(s) under the bed which would allow for a totally standalone machine (just need to feed power and air)
What a week... I started to place the order for the extrusions at OpenBuilds.com and found out the shipping cost to Canada would be 218$usd + customs. I then found a local supplier in Montreal and called for 3 days in order to get a quote. I finally gave up on this supplier and looked at imperial extrusions instead, which are way easier to find in north-america. I found a distribute for 8020 inc in Ontario and then decided to change the current design to use imperial extrusions. While modifying the original design, I also spent some time trying to identify possible ways to make the design / construction easier. I then decided to change the bottom frame of the machine for one that would be easier and cheaper to construct. Specifications : 7" Z clearance below the beam
Today, I 3d printed a bunch of parts that I will later machine out of aluminium. I also placed the order for t-nuts and will probably order the extrusions tonight or tomorrow. I'm having a bit of an issue with the rails supplier (china) due to holidays there. Worst case, I'll find another supplier! I set my 3D printer to the fastest print / lowest quality (0.35mm / layer, 120mm/s) as these parts will be discarded anyway. I also had a 'spaghetti' incident where one of the supporting rods for the head disconnected (magnetic) and the head simply sprouted plastic in the air.
Progress update Over the last few days, I added all missing screws, normalized screws lengths and started to build my orders for material. I'm going to start with the rails / extrusions in order to build the frame. Printing the plates using my 3D Printer I've finally decided to print all parts that can fit on my 3D printer. Pros: Faster than manually cutting / drilling the parts Allows for inexpensive test-fit / changes Allows to use the machine itself to machine the parts using aluminium Cons: Not sure about the rigidity of the printed parts : will the machine be stiff enough to machine its own aluminum parts ? Will require complete disassembly / reassembly to replace the parts Here's a teaser of some motor mounts, limit switch holde