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IndustryArena Forum > Hobby Projects > Hobby Discussion > Looking for ideas for a spindle motor positioner
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  1. #1
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    Looking for ideas for a spindle motor positioner

    I have a 6040 table top CNC that I use for engraving and cutting holes in 1/8" thick aluminum rack panels for custom electronic fabrication. I am using g-code ripper with a touch probe to map out the surface so I can get uniform depth engraving.

    The touch probe is long enough that I have to slide my spindle motor up in its slide. Then I have to move the spindle motor lower so the cutting tools can reach the surface to be cut.

    I'm using a 1500 W ac spindle motor which is 80 mm diameter. It's heavy enough that I have to be prepared to catch it every time I loosen the clamp screws.

    It would be nice to have a linear positioner that I could just crank up or down 2" or so.

    I'm thinking a manual dovetail positioner would be ideal but an Internet search hasn't turned up something suitable so far.

    The mechanism probably needs to be aluminum to avoid adding a lot of weight to the z axis.

    Another requirement would be that it doesn't mess up the spindle tramming too much, but I'm not talking super precision. I'm engraving the panels to label connectors and controls plus a name for the unit and usually my logo and company name.

    G-code ripper and the touch probe have enabled me to make professional looking panels. I fill the engraved lettering with acrylic paint.

    Any ideas for a straightforward way to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated. I'm willing to invest a few hundred dollars in a solution.

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for ideas for a spindle motor positioner

    Why not just get a shorter probe.
    One day you might not "catch" the motor unit or even damage yourself with a jerky movement while catching.
    Also any concerns of potential tramming loss would cease.
    Would be quicker, easier, safer.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    Why not just get a shorter probe.
    One day you might not "catch" the motor unit or even damage yourself with a jerky movement while catching.
    Also any concerns of potential tramming loss would cease.
    Would be quicker, easier, safer.
    Thank you for your response. That, of course, is what I am worried about. A shorter probe would have to be more accurately made to achieve the same positional accuracy. The probe I have is hobbyist grade. It has a 1/4" shank and a 2.5_<" lever arm. I have taken it apart because it got discombobulated. It is simple, but clever. For about $100 it has a positional accuracy in x, y, and z of 0.001" to 0.002", which is adequate for my application.

    I once had a coordinate measuring machine with a Renishaw head that was good to 0.00005". If I could get one of those with a 1/4" shank for a few hundred dollars that would be a simple solution. I think Renishaw probes are more like thousands of dollars. I haven't seen anything in between in accuracy and cost.

    I could mount a Renishaw probe, which has about a 1/2" shank, separately off the axis of my spindle or I could even mount my hobbyist probe off axis. That would solve the problem, but not be as convenient.

    I am investigating alternatives.

    Either way brings added cost and complications.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    Why not just get a shorter probe.
    One day you might not "catch" the motor unit or even damage yourself with a jerky movement while catching.
    Also any concerns of potential tramming loss would cease.
    Would be quicker, easier, safer.
    Your reply got me thinking. It looks like there is a shorter probe available on eBay from the Czech Republic that could be a good solution. I am investigating it further. Thanks for getting me thinking about alternative solutions.

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