One step forward, one step back.

For the most part is has been too cold to work on the machine for the last month or so, so I have not made a lot of progress, and I managed to crack part of the Z axis while testing the machine.

First the good stuff:

I decided to mount the power supply and electronics in a cheap storage container, which is exactly what I did with my last machine.  I used an x-acto knife instead of a drill this time, and did not any issues with the plastic cracking like I did last time.  However using the x-acto knife to drill this many holes by hand did lead to a couple of good sized blisters, there is a better way I am sure.  This part is pretty much done with the exception of a toggle switch on the power supply AC so I can turn it off without unplugging it.

Case 1
Case 1

Case 2
Case 2
Case 3
Case 3
Case 4
Case 4
Case 5
Case 5

Now for the bad stuff:

After  hooking up the electronics I went back to my EMC2 settings and starting adjusting them to get the maximum speed out of each axis.  On the Z axis  (~8″ of travel) and X axis  (~24″ of travel) I was able to get about 42 IPM reliably, I backed the Z down to 12 IPM and dropped the X down to 36 IPM for good measure (As far as I can tell at the moment, EMC2 adjusts in .1 IPS, so I have to adjust in 6 inch increments).  On the Y axis (~48″ of travel)  I could get 36 IPM reliably, but had some issues when I got within 4″ if the motors (I need to figure out why, I am sure it is some sort of alignment problem), I backed Y down to 30 IPM.  BTW adjusting the Y was somewhat of a pain since every time the one of the motors seized, I had to realign both sides.  I did not have this issue with the first machine which also used dual screws, but my max speed was only 24IPM due motors and lead nuts, so I guess I never got fast enough see the issue.

I was really hoping to get speeds closer to 60IPM, some reasons I am not seeing this could be that my DIY lead nuts are too tight, there are alignment issues, or I just had unrealistic expectations, time will tell I guess.

I went ahead and ran the EMC2 default program a few times to see how things went, and had no issues.  Then I got stupid and decided to tape a sharpie to piece of wood and use some C clamps to attached it to the z-axis.  The first run went ok, but the pen was not secure, so the drawing was not that good.  So I added some more duct tape to hold the pen more securely, re-homed EMC2 and ran again…  the drawing looked better, but then I noticed that bottom of the Z axis was cracked,  it seems when I reattached the pen on a stick, I put once of the clamps a little lower and it ran into the bottom pipe clamp and cracked it.  I decided that rather than smash the machine, I would just go to bed.  (The drawing are also backwards, but this just means I need to reverse the X axis direction…I think)

Drawing Test
Drawing Test
Cracked Part
Cracked Part

The next morning, since I now had to re-cut the part anyway,  I resigned the way the pipe is attached to eliminate the splitting I had with the pipe clamping portion of the part.  I cut 2 copies of the part for the top and bottom of the Z axis, and I am now waiting for a little warmer weather to paint them and attached to the machine…  hopefully soon.

New Parts
New Parts

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