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  1. #1
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    Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Hi All, long time lurker, first time poster????

    I was originally inspired by this guys work - CNC router 'Otocoup' and have always wanted to try something like it.
    After a long time procrastinating, I bit the bullet, and started by purchasing a pre-built Z-axis off e-bay (7 years ago, lol) and carriages from Avid.
    The design is:
    1. Primarily for Non-metals – the sort of tasks I have in mind didn’t require high accuracy and were larger, often repetitive (plywood, MDF, PU Foam)
    2. Not for metals – these sort of jobs require higher accuracy and are typically small and therefore more easily/cheaply outsourced
    3. Mostly for 2D or 2.5D work, so a large Z travel is not required (but nice to have some.)
    4. Must do a full 2400*1200mm sheet (I can do small jobs already – a small machine doesn’t gain me anything)
    5. Toothed belt drive. As a result of the size it was the best option financially. I did look at gear tracks first but the cost of shipping to NZ killed it.
    6. I have a small garage so the only real way to achieve tis is with a vertical machine


    I designed two versions of tables in SolidWorks using 100mm square steel box section and another using 80/20 aluminum extrusion but choked on the cost of it! .
    Following an improvement in our financial position I went with AL extrusion from Autoline NZ ( a very helpful bunch) and upped it to Nema 34’s to keep all the components operating in the low-to-middle range of their curves.
    I redesigned it in Onshape and splashed out on motors, drives, spindles about 18months ago and its taking shape well. Its 3000x1700mm overall which fives me roughly 2700x1300mm working area, and I have 100mm(ish) on the Z.

    I went with Mach4 and an all-in-one WiXCH controller only to find it doesn’t work properly (should have checked here first) so have an ethernet smooth stepper and HGH08 breakout board under construction. I did eventually manage to get the WiXCH working and have been able to test the motors/motion etc on all the axis.
    People have asked what am I going to use it for? 7 years ago I would have said boat patterns, bucks, moulds & furniture.... but to be honest its been more the fun of building it an learning a bunch of stuff along the way.

    I’ve really appreciated these forums over the years and thought I should post some pics, videos and details (once I work out how) to help give back this community .

    Cheers

    Roly

  2. #2
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    First motion test:
    https://youtu.be/Jnjzs5qM_Sk

  3. #3
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Quote Originally Posted by 76special View Post
    First motion test:
    https://youtu.be/Jnjzs5qM_Sk
    I like that setup. Work holding might be frustrating sometimes but, the use of space is great.

    Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Update: drag chain swapped out for larger one, limit switch's on X wired in. Checked the spindle and found it wasn't earthed! fixed that and plumbed in water lines & pump.
    Bad news - z axis driver died, no smoke or lights, just dead.
    Same with VFD (a Chinese YL620-A) had been working OK, but turned it on on morning and got a 1/4 turn and a err4 (IPM Failure)... ordered another one from local company, costs as much as the VFD/Spindle package from china, but here's hoping it lasts longer

  5. #5
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    So I spent all day working out the correct settings for the new inverter to run on the Chinese spindle. It would only turn over for less than 1 sec before giving a various over current errors.
    Eventually I discovered I had the wrong mode selected - once I switched to 'Sensor less Vector' (SLV) it ran like a dream!
    I'm leaving the parameters here for anyone else in NZ/AU who ends up with an RS501 Series VFD and a 2.2kW Zhong Hua Jiang Spindle (?80/2.2KW/ER20/220V) and I'm bound to need them again at some point.
    # Step Parameter Value Comment
    1.0 Confirm model 13-00 203 ensure it matches the model, in this case "203"
    2.0 Set Motor Rated Current (A) 02-01 8.4
    2.1 Set Motor Speed (rpm) 02-03 24000
    2.2 Set Motor Rated Voltage (V) 02-04 220
    2.3 Set Motor Rated Power (kW) 02-05 2.2
    2.4 Set Motor Rated Frequency (Hz) 02-06 400
    3.0 Set Control Mode to 'SLV' 00-00 1 doesn't work in 'V/F' mode, get over current warnings
    3.1 Set run source to keypad 00-02 0
    3.2 Set Freq selection to Keypad Pot 00-05 1
    3.4 Set upper Freq limit 00-12 400
    4.0 Run Autotune 02-07 1 will display 'AT' and show 'END' when complete

  6. #6
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Quote Originally Posted by 76special View Post
    Update: drag chain swapped out for larger one, limit switch's on X wired in. Checked the spindle and found it wasn't earthed! fixed that and plumbed in water lines & pump.
    Bad news - z axis driver died, no smoke or lights, just dead.
    Same with VFD (a Chinese YL620-A) had been working OK, but turned it on on morning and got a 1/4 turn and a err4 (IPM Failure)... ordered another one from local company, costs as much as the VFD/Spindle package from china, but here's hoping it lasts longer
    The YL620 are not a good VFD Drive, do you have the manual PDF that you can post for the new VFD or the manufacturers name
    Mactec54

  7. #7
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Yeah, I was pretty unimpressed with it. It only ran a handful of times for test runs - no actual cutting.
    Here's the link to the manual - and hopefully its attached to this post as well.

  8. #8
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Quote Originally Posted by 76special View Post
    Yeah, I was pretty unimpressed with it. It only ran a handful of times for test runs - no actual cutting.
    Here's the link to the manual - and hopefully its attached to this post as well.
    The VFD Drive looks to be quite good, there are other Parameters that you need to set though, I will go through the manual and post what Parameters you need to be set.
    Mactec54

  9. #9
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Update:
    1. Replaced Y axis motor (vertical travel) with a braked nema34 to stop the z-axis & spindle assembly crashing to to the bottom when the e-stop is tripped.
      Got sent wrong one, with a keyed shaft and had to order & wait for new keyed pulley.
      Wired the braked motor through the existing 24v supply and the unused side of the e-stop switch.
    2. Junction boxes and cable protection fitted to the Y & X motors.
    3. Axis trued up and clearances & tension adjusted.
      X axis carriages reinforced with tensioning ties (Threaded rod) to pull them together against the rail.
      Multiple dis-assemblies
    4. My garage PC died and I had to get another one and reinstall Mach4 along with the Wixhc drivers.
    5. Mach4 calibration started. Driver DIP switches, reductions and basic Mach4 configuration has been redone.
    6. Did a very light cut on some scrap with a blunt cutter I had lying around to check how the tension & clearances held up under "real" work.

    So far so good.
    next up I have more limit switches to wire and want to run a basic square cut to check calibration.

    https://youtu.be/gZBO13ZZW50

  10. #10
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Update: Mach4....lots of Mach4
    + running a bunch of very small codes to get the hang of Mach4 and how it all works
    + Made a spring-loaded pencil for the spindle and drew shapes to get the pulses/mm and check for squareness/backlash
    + 3mm & 6mm cutters arrived & did a series of cuts in scrap ply

    Had a near miss when I used the wrong program after calibrating the Z, which resulted in a 30mm cut rather than 3mm. Was quite impressed it went through 12mm ply and most of my base board it one hit without missing a beat.
    Attachment 477474

  11. #11
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Yay - an all axis test with everything running properly and at the correct Z depth :wee:
    https://youtu.be/PapP_CutiOQ

  12. #12
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    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Update: I replaced the main shaft & pulleys in the reduction gear/carriage drive with keyed versions.
    I'd run my first 'proper' job cutting 1200mm desk for the local school where my wife teaches. Multiple cuts ran through the same path top & bottom but was getting some drift in the X axis, about 10mm!! I traced it back to a badly fitted pulley slipping. I screwed the grub screws, Loctite them, ground flats onto the shaft and still could not prevent it moving.
    I got some precision ground keyed shafts from Phidgets.com, which were great,
    https://www.phidgets.com/?tier=3&cat...=74&prodid=731.

    OMG, I wish I'd used that from the beginning!! Not for the keyway, but for the precision ground hard steel. I'd been using 12mm mild steel bar because it was readily available, and hadn't thought much of it. But with all the disassembling I've been doing, I've had a lot of trouble with the pulleys jamming because the shaft surface getting chewed up by the grub screws.

    Also got a dust extractor, which I’, hoping will be the last major purchase.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2005
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    14477

    Re: Finally...Vertical Al T-Slot build

    Quote Originally Posted by 76special View Post
    Update: I replaced the main shaft & pulleys in the reduction gear/carriage drive with keyed versions.
    I'd run my first 'proper' job cutting 1200mm desk for the local school where my wife teaches. Multiple cuts ran through the same path top & bottom but was getting some drift in the X axis, about 10mm!! I traced it back to a badly fitted pulley slipping. I screwed the grub screws, Loctite them, ground flats onto the shaft and still could not prevent it moving.
    I got some precision ground keyed shafts from Phidgets.com, which were great,
    https://www.phidgets.com/?tier=3&cat...=74&prodid=731.

    OMG, I wish I'd used that from the beginning!! Not for the keyway, but for the precision ground hard steel. I'd been using 12mm mild steel bar because it was readily available, and hadn't thought much of it. But with all the disassembling I've been doing, I've had a lot of trouble with the pulleys jamming because the shaft surface getting chewed up by the grub screws.

    Also got a dust extractor, which I’, hoping will be the last major purchase.
    Pulleys with grub screws are only for those that are not serious about their machine build, a key is always needed for a reliable machine
    Mactec54

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