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  1. #1
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    My first T-slot CNC router

    The design of my first T-slot CNC router. Just received the laser cut parts. Expecting the rest of the machined parts next week. Cannot wait to start assembly! Comments welcome!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cnc5.jpg   cnc4.jpg   cnc3.jpg   cnc2.jpg  

    cnc1.jpg  

  2. #2
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    JCvdW,

    Nice CAD drawings. I would suggest that you use a single motor in place of the two on what I assume to be Y axis. If one motor fails or looses steps then the surviving motor is going to put your framework in a potentially damaging bind.

    RFB

  3. #3
    Excellent, looks like you will be having fun and making great things with your new machine.

    Tweakie.
    CNC is only limited by our imagination.

  4. #4
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    Great design!. As RFB suggested, instead of two motors for the Y axis use only one, either in the center of the frame to equilibrate the force applied, or on one side the motor and put a belt to the other nut.

    Sorry for my english.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by traxxxto View Post
    Great design!. As RFB suggested, instead of two motors for the Y axis use only one, either in the center of the frame to equilibrate the force applied, or on one side the motor and put a belt to the other nut.
    Thanks for the comments!

    I took my idea for two stepper motors from a commercial German design: CNC Fräsmaschinen und Graviermaschinen, CNC fräsen für Profis und Hobby Fräse CNC Technik. I would appreciate feedback of experience with these machines...

  6. #6
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    I'd stick with two motors, loads of builds here using two with no problems and it will ensure no racking during normal operation, sure you can tied then will belts and pulleys if you wanted but i'd run it as is.
    Loading forward to watching your build.
    I'll get it finished sometime after I start it.....

  7. #7
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    Partial assembly to check that everything fits

    Just received the squared T-slot extrusions and rail supports from the machine shop. Attached some pictures of the first partial assembly to check that everything fits. Surprisingly rail alignment was spot on first time. The frame is solid and sturdy. Still waiting for motor mounts and ball nut blocks to arrive from machine shop.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20130421_205611.jpg   IMG_20130421_180417.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Everything together for the first time

    Had to straighten one of the Chinese ball screws that was bent during shipping. Still have to deal with two small dents on the 20mm ball screws that got damaged during shipping. Have to decide on where to mount the limit switches and then re-assemble the whole machine will lock-tite on all the bolts. Should have it up and running within a week. Must also still design and build a proper base on wheels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20130425_223453.jpg   IMG_20130425_223655.jpg  

  9. #9
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    All three axes under computer control!

    First time with all three axes being controlled by LinuxCnc. Fortunately no need to use the emergency stop (yet!). Disappointed that one of the Chinese flexible couplers have been drilled skew! Still have to connect limit switches and fire up the spindle. Finally ready to reassemble with thread lock on all the bolts and measure the accuracy and repeatability of the machine.

  10. #10
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    It works!

    Chai from items in linearmotionbearings store on eBay! kindly offered to replace the skew flexible coupler free of charge!

    First routing of a piece of foam - using the default demo g-code that comes with LinuxCnc. Very pleased with the result!

    Now to find suitable CAM software and learn how to generate G-code. The aim is to do some 3d modeling of chess pieces.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCvdW View Post
    Now to find suitable CAM software and learn how to generate G-code.
    Vectric makes some of the best CAM programs there is. In the downloads section you can get trials of their software. Try Cut3D and Cut2D and do the tutorials.


    If you use irc, irc.freenode.net #linuxcnc is where a large group of us LinuxCNC users hang out.
    My CNC Router Build - http://tinyurl.com/c3vs3ca

  12. #12
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    The aim is to do some 3d modeling of chess pieces.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by r00t4rd3d View Post
    Vectric makes some of the best CAM programs there is. In the downloads section you can get trials of their software. Try Cut3D and Cut2D and do the tutorials.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I am also considering DeskProto. Their pricing for hobbyists is quite reasonable.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCvdW View Post
    ...........I am also considering DeskProto............
    Deskproto has excellent features and if you want to do rotary machining or use waterline path strategies there is not much else out there for a reasonable price.

    However....it is a bit difficult to use, has a zillion parameters and even more opportunities to screw up. Complex surfaces may take a VERY long time to process. I use it when I have to but for most simple jobs I prefer Vectric Cut3D. I can get from a 3-D model to g-code in a fraction of the time compared to DeskProto.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryBurks View Post
    I use it when I have to but for most simple jobs I prefer Vectric Cut3D.
    Thanks for the good feedback. The picture shows a first attempt at a Blender model of a chess knight that I want to machine out of hard wood. Would Cut3D be suitable for something like this, or would I need Deskproto?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chess Knight.jpg  

  16. #16
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    Nice model! How big is the resulting figure supposed to be?

    If it is regular chess set size, the detail features will be a big challenge. You would need a very fine tip ballnose and very long machining time.

    It can probably be done with Cut3d 4-sided machining but precise re-clamping very difficult. Also, Cut3d can only raster scan the surface for the finish cut, probably not an optimal strategy.

    To machine this properly I believe a rotary axis would work best in continuous rotary mode. Segmented rotary machining may leave steps between the surfaces machined from various sides. Anyway, DeskProto may be better.

    I purchase a chess set 3-d model from Turbosquid last year which is not even as detailed as yours. But I lost patience after 8 or 10 attempts to machine the king with various misconfigurations and other errors. Got to try that again sometimes. Here a toolpath made in DeskProto:


  17. #17
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    To machine this properly I believe a rotary axis would work best in continuous rotary mode.



  18. #18
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    LinuxCnc vs Mach3

    Using LinuxCnc to get the machine up and running made me realize very quickly that unless you are a Linux expert, this is not the way to go. Could not get the USB ports on the PC to work, and therefor could not load my own G-code file!

    Started playing with Mach3. It was equally easy to configure, and I had it up in running within a few hours. Mach3 is in another class with good documentation and on-line tutorials! The first G-code generated with DeskProto transferred seamlessly to Mach3.

  19. #19
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    None of your usb ports worked when you tried LinuxCNC, not even for keyboard or mouse?

    LinuxCNC also has more documentation then most people will ever need: http://linuxcnc.org/docs/html/
    My CNC Router Build - http://tinyurl.com/c3vs3ca

  20. #20
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    Chess knight - first attempt in foam

    Quote Originally Posted by r00t4rd3d View Post
    None of your usb ports worked when you tried LinuxCNC, not even for keyboard or mouse?
    I am sure it is finger trouble on my side. I may have switched off all the USB ports in the BIOS at some point in an attempt to get the parallel port jitter as low as possible. But I must admit, with the results I am getting with Mach3 and DeskProto, I do not even feel like going back to Linux and fault find further.

    Attached is a picture of the first attempt with the chess knight modeled in Blender. It took about 30 minutes to machine out of foam using standard Dremel bits that I had. It looks promising!

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