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  1. #1
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    Cool Canuck's HD Metal Monster

    HD Metal Monster is purpose designed for cutting AL wing molds for model airplane gliders. I wanted a machine that was compact and would still be able to cut at least 6 foot long molds out of AL accurately.

    Here's my background: Since I don't post on CNC Zone very often, some of you may be interested. I'm a trained electrical engineer with little knowledge of metal working. I grew up on an Island off the east coast where my family has build fishing, sailing, and power boats for many generations. As a teenager I built my own row boat and grew up around the boat shop.

    My first foray into CNC machines was a home build CNC Hot wire cutter. I learned a lot on that build. In fact 2 builds as the first attempt was abandoned. The second machine is still in production and has cut thousands of wing cores for my hobby business Canuck Engineering. Since I have a background in electronics I even designed and built the controller PCB assemblies from scratch using bi-polar drive circuit to drive Vextra Steppers.

    Soon EPP foam plane design went by the wayside as I discovered higher performance glass and carbon gliders. Thoughts then went to some day having my own machine to cut molds. Inquiries to machine shops for molds was disappointing as the cost was far too prohibitive.

    I decided I could build a machine for about the cost of 1 finished mold set and then build all the molds I wanted along with everything else. I made a decision to start down that path. I knew I had a lot to learn and still do.

    First Step (3 years ago): Take basic milling class at local Community college. Next class was a G code class which was less useful but still needed if I want to understand G code well.

    Next Step: (1 year ago): I started drawing up my plans and accumulating material. CNC Zone is a great resource for a newbie like me. After a couple of months I had a design and a living room full of materials. See picture. Who doesn't have 700lbs of steel in their living room.

    Next Step: I joined the Club Workshop (Welcome to Club Workshop) in Denver to get access to their machine shop tools. 2 CNC mills, lathe, band saws, drill presses, welders, etc. I then took their CNC class to get certified and started learning CAM and making chips. I also moved my hobby business Canuck Engineering next door to the Club Workshop to have an excuse to be in Denver more often. (I currently live 80 miles away) The commute for work sucks buts its been worth it so far.

    Basic Machine Stuff:
    Chinese 2.2kw water cooled spindle
    HIWIN linear bearings for all 3 axis purchased from www.automation-overstock.com.
    700lbs of structural steel (all 1/4" wall)
    AL bits are MIC6 3/4" and 1" plate
    Machine cutting area 6' x 20" x 6"
    Accuracy and Repeatability in the order of 0.001" is the goal.

    All joints will be drilled, bolted, taper pinned, and Moglice similar to Madvac's legendary machine.

    Electronics, 4x 7.2Nm Servos, Power Supplies purchased as a kit from DMM-tech.com

    I'm planning on using Rack and Pinion for 2 axis with 2/1 reduction from cncrouterparts.com.

    The z axis is a ground ball screw acquired of feebay.

    Various tools, drill bits, taps, reamers, machinist level, straight edges, squares, etc. all had to be purchased.

    Total budget plan is to stay under $10K. Profit from Canuck Engineering is funding the project as the machine will be used to expand the product line currently offered.

    Actually first cuts and grinds started on 8/20.

    I intend this thread to document the build from start to finish.

    To be continued....

    Andrew
    Canuck Engineering |
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cnc router render.jpg   179397_495557681045_532676045_6628180_7624190_n.jpg  

  2. #2
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    damn thats a lot of steel in your living room!

  3. #3
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    Looks like it will be an interesting build, keep us posted.

  4. #4
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    More info on the DMM Technology router package:

    Peak 7.2Nm(1015 OZ-In) high torque AC servo motor, 4 Axis CNC kit for MACH3

    - 4 x Peak 7.2Nm(1015 Oz-In), rated 2.9Nm(408 Oz-In), Peak power 900W, AC servo motors
    - 4 x Dyn2-H AC servo drives for very smooth, quiet, high efficient driving.
    - 1 x DMB4250-8B breakout board, fully buffered Opto-isolated I/O, isolated PWM analog output
    for spindle speed control,and charge pump. Hardware generated X secondary X' for CNC Gantry with
    jump selectable motor turning direction.
    - 1 x 6ft DB25 parallel port cable
    - 1 x 6ft USB cable
    - 3 x 120 or 220Vac input, 350w,+48Vdc, 7.3A output DC power supply
    - 4 x 1ft cables between breakout board and drives
    - 4 x 10ft differential signal encoder extension cable, 25ft cable available too
    - 3 x inductive, non contact , LED indicated proximity Home/Limit Switches
    - 1 x Emergency STOP Switch
    - Necessary Cables, DMM software for tune up servo

    I haven't tried to get the motors to rotate yet. I did notice the AC servo shaft size is larger 14MM than what the CNC Router Parts Nema 34 Rack and Pinion Drive CNCRouterParts is designed for (12.7MM shaft).

    My plan is to bore out the pulley to fit the 14mm shaft. I have purchased a 14MM end mill of feebay to do the job.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 7p2Nmx4-AllPicture-596x427.jpg  
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
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    HIWIN Linear bearing and Rail Data purchased from www.automation-overstock.com

    Product ID: AGW15SB1TxxxxZ1H
    Product Name: Combo, 15mm T Rail, 2 Bolt Flange Block, Specify Length
    Quantity: 2
    > Exact length (mm) : 370
    --------------------------
    Product ID: AGW15SBZ1H
    Product Name: 15mm Bearing Block, 2 Bolt Flange, Thru Hole
    Quantity: 2
    --------------------------
    Product ID: AGR15RxxxxH
    Product Name: AG Linear Rail, 15mm, *specify length
    Quantity: 2
    > Exact length (mm) : 820
    --------------------------
    Product ID: AGW15CAZ1H
    Product Name: 15mm Bearing Block, 4 Bolt Flange
    Quantity: 4
    --------------------------
    Product ID: LGR20RxxxxH
    Product Name: LG Linear Rail, 20mm, *specify length
    Quantity: 2
    > Exact length (mm) : 2130
    --------------------------
    Product ID: LGW20HAZ1H
    Product Name: 20mm Bearing Block, Long Flange
    Quantity: 4
    --------------------------

    Bearing blocks were chosen from those in stock at time of purchase.

  6. #6
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    Structural Steel Info:

    All steel was purchased cut to size from a local metal and glass shop. It was a cold day in January when I picked up the lot in a Uhaul trailer.

    Legs: 4" x 4" 1/4" wall
    Long Axis: 2" x 6" 1/4" wall
    cross beams and Gantry: 2" x 3" 1/4" wall
    lower supports: 1" x 3" 1/8" wall

    The reason for the 1/4" wall was to allow enough material to tap threads easily.

    Club Workshop has a nice HD horizontal/vertical metal cutting band saw for any cuts I need to do. Plan before finding the workshop was to use a Harbour Freight bandsaw which was purchased but now is still in the original box as my shop is too small to have it taking up usable space.

    Joints will consist of 2 - 4 hex bolts, 2 taper pins for alignment, and a home made mixture of West Systems epoxy, AL powder, and thickener if needed.

    AL powder was found on feebay.
    Most of the rest of the Hardware was also found on feebay including the taper pins.

    Reamers, drill bits, and taps all found on feebay.

    Machine feet also found on feebay. Bottom of the legs will have 1/2" welded steel plate tapped for the feet. I'm not a welder so this task I will have to get assistance from a local club workshop member. I have the plates cut to size after last nights build session. I will grind the cuts and drill and tap them before getting them welded.

    One other note on tools. I picked up a Mag Drill off feebay for any drilling on the larger 2x6 steel parts. The smaller parts I'll use the mill in the workshop.

  7. #7
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    Some info on my shop.

    The shop has moved several times in the last 5 years. Canuck Engineering was started in 2005 in the basement of my house at the time.

    2 years later I moved it to a commercial rental space for 1 year while I was selling the first house.

    I ended up trading houses with a friend and moved the shop into the basement of the new house (much smaller).

    The latest move came 3 months ago to the Club Workshop Annex which just opened up.

    I have approx. 175 Sq. feet of floor space. The shop is triangle shapped with lots of wall space for the amount of floor space. It's tiny compared to my other spaces but being next door to 16,000 Sq. feet of space I can use helps. I've also been forced to consolidate and store many of my tools, bulk material, and toys in an offsite storage facility. Move still isn't 100% done but the shop is usable as is. Shop is also used for an office. I have customers drop by to pick up orders and such. I have a couple shelves reserved for retail display of the smaller stuff.

    The CNC Router will fit but I will also use it as a temporary build table when needed.

    The pictures of the signs are some recent practice projects while learning the CAD, CAM, cutting process. The workshop has a ShopBot 5 x 8 wood router that runs on EMC2.

    I have a full version of Rhino for CAD. I haven't purchased CAM software yet and am using Visual Mill at the workshop. The workshop uses EMC2 for all its CNC controls. I am still evaluating whither I'll use EMC2 or Mach3 for my machine.

    I am working with the building electrician to run a 3 phase 208 drop to my space. This will be hooked to the VFD for the spindle.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 183799_10150244050911576_271503321575_7944997_7360679_n.jpg   223858_10150243410566576_271503321575_7937266_1442256_n.jpg   263363_10150243411546576_271503321575_7937270_1874947_n.jpg   228928_10150243409931576_271503321575_7937260_2184618_n.jpg  


  8. #8
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    All right, I've been waiting on the build for this one. Will be watching as it goes along.

    BTW, you might want to talk to hambone, I talked to him and was going to cut corian molds for some of his new stuff, but haven't heard from him in a while, and honestly lost interest. But it is certainly something you could do on the side when this thing is built.

  9. #9
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    Can't wait to see progress on this. Reminds me a lot of this build:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/cnc_wo...ilt_steel.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by giz View Post
    Can't wait to see progress on this. Reminds me a lot of this build:

    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/cnc_wo...ilt_steel.html
    I wish I had access to a large surface plate. That would make this build a lot easier. I think getting my linear rails aligned will be the most annoying and time consuming part of the build. :violin:

  11. #11

  12. #12
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    Drilled 40 holes today on the mill. Not a bad start to the drilling process.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011-08-27 15.54.17.jpg  

  13. #13
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    Day 1 of the 5 day build marathon.

    Spent the day on the Eagle mill. It's more manual than the Bridgeport and better for drilling holes. Also has a larger working area which was very useful for what I was doing.

    Total.

    I drilled 64 holes and tapped the 4 1/2" leg base plates. The other 60 holes were for the cross beams that hold the table surface.

    Tomorrow I'll tackle some of the more critical holes (as far as placement accuracy) on the main table support cross members and the legs.

    Andrew
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Copy of 2011-08-29 16.41.02.jpg  

  14. #14
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    Did you get the higher voltage drives from DMM? Apparently they have boosted the voltage from 60v to 75v which brings the max speed up some.

    bob

  15. #15
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    No, I don't think I did. DMM stuff was purchased late 2010. I'm not worried about speed yet.

    Andrew

  16. #16
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    Day 2 of 5.

    Good progress today.

    Finished drilling and tapping the legs. 64 holes tapped with 3/8 24 thread tap. All were hand tapped which took several hours. Wore 1 tap out but did not break any.

    Also drilled another 8 holes to finish off the bottom cross supports.

    I have 2 main cross beam supports to drill and then its on to the long axis parts and hopefully soon some assembly.

    Picture shows all 4 sides of the legs. Used layout fluid to ensure I drilled on the correct side.

    Andrew
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011-08-30 17.16.31.jpg  

  17. #17
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    Much to hot for shop work today. I guess its just wearing me down after multiple days of 90+ in the shop area.

    I did manage to rough cut all the AL MIC6 plate. 3/4" for most of the pieces and a couple 1" stuff.

    All of it was cut on the horizontal band saw. It took several hours but easier work than running the mill in the heat. Band saw was limited in cut dimensions so I had to get creative in my setup and rotate the piece for longer cuts. The manual mill will be used to square up and size the pieces before starting the real mill work.

    Also I noticed that my DMM-Tech servo motors have 14mm shafts but the CNC Router Parts 2:1 Nema 34 reduction drives are designed for 1/2" or 12.7mm. Instead of ordering the correct pulley, I figured since I now have access to a mill I might as well try and convert what I have. I used a 14mm 2 flute ball end mill with the manual Eagle mill. It took a bit to get everything aligned by eye. In the end all 3 pulleys are now usable with my servo motors. Next I have to fix the plates at the servo motor screws align but the round is bigger than the reduction plate was made for. It doesn't need much, maybe 1/8" bigger in diameter and it will fit nicely.

    Now it's time to go and find air conditioning!

    Andrew
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011-08-31 19.08.02.jpg  

  18. #18
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    48 more holes drilled this morning in the main cross pieces that support the long axis. That finishes off all the drilling for the short pieces of the table structure. I have 2 long piece supports that need 48 holes and the drilling for the table will be done.

    Now the drilling on the long axis hasn't started. I will have to wait till my drill chuck adapter for the mag drill arrives.

    Andrew

  19. #19
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    Started squaring up the AL blocks this afternoon.

    Material is MIC6 AL from Ebay.

    First had some issues with surface finish. I started out using a 4 flute 3/4 HSS end mill and finish was really rough. I switched to a 2 flute 3/4 HSS end mill and the finish was slightly better. I then tried slower to 800 rpm on the manual mill and it was really bad. Picture a emery board for you nails. I then went to the other extreme 4200 rpm and the finish was much better. I stuck with this setup climb milling on the passes.

    Picture shows the finish results. Blocks are to be the base of the gantry and bolt to the linear bearings. I'm within a couple thousandths of my size and the blocks appear square when compared to a machinist square.

    Well I'm sad to say that will probably be all I get done for the first marathon build week. I head to KS for the LEGfest RC model airplane party for the long weekend tomorrow afternoon. Tonight I need to polish my resume for a great job opportunity in Denver. I've been talking with the recruiter all week and the more I hear the better it sounds. Finger's crossed. I'm tired of my 85 mile one way commute to work!

    Andrew
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2011-09-01 17.24.47.jpg  

  20. #20
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    Squared off the main Z-axis plate today. Didn't get much time to do anything else as I had a bunch of orders to fill from the web store. It took some time as the piece was too big to fit in the vise on the mill. I trammed straight edge on the mill y-axis for reference which made it easier. On the next piece it should go much faster.

    Picked up a nice 48" machinist straight edge on Feebay and the Jacobs drill chuck with 3/4 Weldon shank adapter came for the mag drill. I will now be able to start drilling on the longer pieces.

    I need to get the plates welded for the adjustable feet before I start fitting the table parts.

    Andrew

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