Home of the GrumpyGeek

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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