So right after the last post I did a bunch of work in about two weeks and was to the point were I was just about ready to run, and then nothing… this update has been sitting in draft mode for 2 weeks so I decided to force myself to finish it tonight, so here we go.
The first thing I decided I needed to do was to wire up and test the surplus motors I bought. I used 22ga 4 wire security system wire I found out home depot, I used this wire on my two previous machines without any issues. Using the documentation over at the Lin Engineering site, I was able to easily wire the motors up as bipolar parallel.
Then with a bit of remorse, I reclaimed the electronics from the Rockcliff Mini Model D, removed the extra parts (4th Axis – Probotixside step and MDFLYbreakout board) and wired it all up to the remaining Xylotex 3 Axis controller. After making the necessary changes to the EMC2 configuration, I ran a few quick tests and everything just worked… this is the first time that has ever happened, but I guess 3rd time is a charm after all.
It has been a month since I did my first cuts with the new machine, and yet those very cuts were already the start of the next machine.
I started by creating a new cad project and importing all of the pieces that I felt worked from the old project and then began modifying them to eliminate things that did not work as well as I would have liked. I then proceeded to make a number of changes I thought would make the machine better and easier to assembly. I think the results are a little mixed, I really like look of the new design, and I think it will be easier to assemble and more sturdy overall, however I nearly doubled the number of cross dowel connections being used which adds complexity to the production and build process.
I decided to make another attempt (my 3rd) at using Sketchup to assemble things in 3d to try and catch any errors before I start cutting. And thanks to a Goggle search which turned up this blog entry: In Sketchup… How to Import & Trace 2D CAD Drawings, and another 9 months experience playing around with cad programs it actually worked this time.
The machine was designed with a 24″ x 48″ cutting area in mind, but it should be easy to build up to a 24″ x 60″ cutting area (~36″ x ~72″ foot print), the one shown has a 12″ x 36″ cutting area with a foot print of ~24″ x ~48″.
I said I would post this about a month ago, but then I got going on the next machine… yes another one… it is really just a revision of this one, but there are some significant changes. I should be posting about it later today.
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.