Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CNC - Projects

I know this post is not about Ham Radio, but . . .

At Jack's Homebrew Meeting
Jack, Bob and Walt
One of the many topic of discussion at Jack's Homebrew Club meetings last night, one was his Homebrew CNC project. He has used his CNC to cut Wing Tip molds for a Boeing Aviation Restoration project.

Also, I have been discussing and following John Hoaglun progress of his recently acquired CNC PCB Router. John has done some interesting experiments to create configurations that allow for detailed routed PCB projects.

All of this has rekindled my interest in my own, all most completed (75%) Homebrew CNC Plywood Router project - which I named the "M45".

M45 has been standing in the corner of the shop for several year, gathering a little rust, waiting for the right moment to be reactivated. If I remember correctly, the bed was designed to hold a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood, with an active routing space of 4 x 5 feet.

All of the parts for M45 were cut on my PlasmaCam CNC Cutter, Welded together, Milled, or folded in my shop. Motors, Transformers and some other Electronics were purchased from Surplus Center. The actual motor controllers are from Geokodrive. I added my own designed positions encoders to the motors.

The X and Y feed motors are quite heavy duty DC motors, I do not remember the spec's. They are about 4.5 inch diameter, about 8 inches long, and with a 5/8 inch shaft.

Y-Axes Motor and Drive Chain
X-Axes Motor and Drive Chain
The Z feed motor is smaller, with an internal encoder. This part of the project needs some rework to center the feed screw on the vertical carriage.
Z-Axes Motor (with internal encoder)
and Drive Belt

The Y gantry rolls on bearings at each end of the slide, and attached to a self tension Chain and Cable. An under slide bearing provide stability.
Y-Axes Drive Chain and Pulley

Y-Axes Rail
The Chain and Cable are self tensioned, the carriage attaches with a single bolt (one each side). The other rail looks the same.
Y-Axes Chain  and Cable Attachment

Under Slide Bearing
Tension is provide via the bolts on the ends
The Controller uses three Geckodrive Motor Controllers as seen on the left, the Power Supply and Transformers as mounted on the bottom. Four sets of Transformers and two sets of Rectifiers are paralleled to supply voltage to the large filter Cap. Rectifiers are mounted low on the front (right side), Controls and Switches upper right.
CNC Controller and Power Supply
Fuses and individual motor controls (i.e., On/Off and Jog) switches and status lights are on the front.
CNC Controller
Some un-used parts :-)
Un-used Motors
These were tried, but too small for this Project
They maybe used for another CNC project
About the only things that are missing to complete the M45 project are; the Wiring Harness, the Vacuum System, and some rework on the Vertical Feed. Note: This project was started long before I knew much about CNC.

As shown the Motors are mounted, and the Controller has been built and tested. The project was put on hold for a variate of competing interests and responsibilities.

I should complete this Project.

But alas,  . . .  I have too many projects, and too little time (now that I am retired :-)  to (re)start work on another project

I wonder, . . . How did I ever get anything done when I was still working a 60 hour per week job???


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