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> Crane's Next Cnc, On to #2
crane550
Posted: May 07, 2012 08:58 pm
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Yea the username was InWonder or something like that. Doesn't peeve me too bad, but I can see how Ron would have a problem with that.

In all honesty, he probably improved it in a couple areas, but still you should credit where you got your base design.


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JoOngle
Posted: May 07, 2012 09:13 pm
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QUOTE (crane550 @ May 07, 2012 08:58 pm)
but still you should credit where you got your base design.

I absolutely agree...

...stealing someones design straight off...without even crediting the originating author is just pure lame, man...I really frown upon people like that...

...oh well..that's the nature of internet, if you put it out there, anyone can grab it and claim it as their own. But personally I go by the "honor system". Honor means more to me than patents and money...



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ccrewz
Posted: May 08, 2012 12:45 am
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Thanks for clearing that typo up Alex I was very confused as to how it could be that cheap. I had guesstimated 10,000 which by today's currency convertor is $16,000 so I wasn't off by much.

I would like to contact Ron to ask his permission for a copy of his parts list and any information he would like to share concerning the machine he designed and built.

Therefore so that no one misunderstands who designed it I say this:

FOR THE RECORD; I intend to copy / reproduce Ron from Boise, Idaho's design for a MechMate inspired CNC machine.

Alex your in Boise; I have been trying to contact Ron via the Internet for a week would you please let him know I am trying to contact him? At some point I would happily give you my personal email address for you to pass on to him if he is willing.

Perhaps we should start a forum dedicated to his design of CNC machine like there is a forum dedicated to the MechMate......

How did your child like riding the gantry? biggrin.gif a great demo of your gantry!!!

Thanks Alex

Regarding the weight issue I just bit the bullet in the end and piled all the steel for the new gantry onto the existing gantry and jogged it back and forth. It worked fine!! So when I rebuild it using all steel I don't think it will adversely effect the operation of the machine. I am using a chain drive system.

Thanks to everyone for their advice about the weight.

This post has been edited by ccrewz on May 08, 2012 12:56 am
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crane550
Posted: May 08, 2012 03:17 am
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I will talk to Ron before giving out his info. He might be a little reluctant to give out more info since someone ripped him off and wants to sell his design. (understandably)

Even so, we both understand that these ideas are nothing really too crazy special. It's one thing to see someones work, and wish to mimick it. That's what I did with Ron. We both have a desire to help others get going, and as long as your not looking to take our (mostly his) design and sell it we got no problem sharing. I would encourage you to start a new thread, and quote from your last few posts here to get the discussion going. I will be happy to help best I can. I can probably answer anything he can at this point, and he's not a member of this forum. He actually calls ME now when he has questions about electronics and software, LOL. I have made it my business for the last 2 years to learn everything about these I can.


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ccrewz
Posted: May 08, 2012 07:29 am
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I have started a new post here:

http://www.dutchforce.com/~eforum/index.ph...=ST&f=1&t=39241

concerning the EXCELLENT machine machine that RON designed and built.

Thanks everyone thumbsup.gif
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crane550
Posted: June 04, 2012 06:53 am
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user posted image

user posted image

Welded some gussets into my gantry this weekend. I was not sure how much it would help, but I was surpised to find it actually made a pretty big difference on the very quick and short rapids, like a 1 inch jog along the X. Needless to say I am happy. I might even bump up my acceleration a bit.

The new spindle is working out very well. Today I cut a guitar chamber with a 2 flute 1/2" bit carbide end mill at 180IPM taking 200thou passes. Cut thru mahogany like butter. :twisted:

user posted image


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Jawno
Posted: June 04, 2012 02:08 pm
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Interesting table there in the last pic. Hard to tell but those must be t slots right? did you cut them into a solid chunk of wood or assemble them from several pieces?
Good to see your machine is getting some real use. Seems like a lot of machines don't see much use as the owner was more into making the machine than into making the parts the machine could make.
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johansen
Posted: June 04, 2012 03:08 pm
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"Welded some gussets into my gantry this weekend. I was not sure how much it would help, but I was surprised to find it actually made a pretty big difference on the very quick and short rapids"


That sounds like vibration. I bet if you were to put your finger on the side, across the steel plate and the aluminum you would feel something.

A redesign would be to weld that 4 inch square steel to a 6 inch square plate, and then bolt the 6 inch square plate to the aluminum block with no less than 12 bolts. you would have to make the table 4 inches wider however.


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crane550
Posted: July 31, 2012 06:11 am
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http://youtu.be/GBr8q5kXAaQ

Video of it in action today. I'm running full speed at this point. Not sure if I will ever get around to painting it.


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crane550
Posted: May 18, 2015 06:16 pm
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I guess it's time to resurrect this old dinosaur of a thread.

Since the last post I have been using this machine almost daily with not much trouble to speak of. Overall I have been super pleased. However, with the move to a new shop I thought it might be time for a little "refresher", get the thing painted, redo the electronics box, etc. It was already partially disassembled for the move, I have not leveled it at it's new home yet, and I figured a facelift, cleaning, and maintenance would be a good idea.

Here is the old electronics enclosure.

user posted image

It will be replaced with an enclosure (no picture yet) which I am currently prepping to mount under the machine.

Disassembly has begun. It actually went really fast.

user posted image

And paint started on the gantry. I started by molesting the entire thing with a sanding pad and got all the sharp cut corners rounded. Smoothed out any surface rust I could find, and in general just cleaned it up. Then washed it with a soapy bath, sprayed down with carb cleaner and did a final wipe down. Then came the rattle can self etching primer followed by three coats of Rustoleum Flat "Poop brown."

Question my color choice all you want. I chose the color in less then 10 seconds.

user posted image

user posted image

More progress on the way.


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crane550
Posted: May 19, 2015 05:12 am
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Silly question... but for my electronics enclosure, is there a standard type screw for mounting things to the back of the case? There is an aluminum "backing plate" in there. On the old system I just drilled a hole and nutted from the back, but for here it seems that getting to the back is not possible. Is it just standard to drill and tap for the standoffs for the various circuits?

Alex


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Sch3mat1c
Posted: May 19, 2015 10:22 am
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Years ago when I was tasked with panel wiring, the procedure was:

Remove panel from enclosure (four nuts in corners)
Mark, centerpunch, drill and tap mounting holes for everything
Use 1/4" or so screws (usually #8 or #10) to mount DIN rail, raceways, contactors, etc.
Route panel, dressing wires in a sort of harness or using raceways (or follow plans if already mapped out)
Test panel (if possible)
Return panel to enclosure
Finish wiring outside connections to panel

Sucks if you have to add something after the fact. Preferable to take the panel completely out, drill tap and wire, then return, but you may find it's worth the desperation of putting up masking tape around the drill holes to catch falling chips, and do it in situ...

Tim


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GPG
Posted: May 19, 2015 10:51 am
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MacFromOK
Posted: May 19, 2015 07:37 pm
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If the metal is thin, you might be able to punch the holes (with a pointed punch) rather than drilling them.

This bends excess metal into the hole area (instead of removing it), and gives a larger surface area for threads.

Just a thought. beer.gif


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crane550
Posted: May 20, 2015 03:38 am
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The big brown gantry is finished. I will just find some retro type of font to put my company name in it. I kinda like these.

http://www.dafont.com/ds-digital.font?text=Crane+Designs

http://www.dafont.com/computerfont.font?text=Crane+Designs

user posted image

Started on the base. Took everything off that wasn't bolted or welded. Spent a day weldiing things I forgot to weld in the first place. Not that it needed it, but might as well do it now. Added a couple of gussets and reinforced the cross bars on the top a bit. Then I used a wire wheel, sanding pad, and grinder to clean up corners, smooth out dings and such.

user posted image

Covered in Rustoleum Self Etching primer.

user posted image



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crane550
Posted: May 21, 2015 07:05 am
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Much more progress today. I got the body painted. Looks great! Can't wait to start putting it back together.

user posted image

Most of my time was spent on the new electronics enclosure. I don't know why I didn't do this the first time. Having everything tucked together will be really nice and the better cable management will just make for a cleaner setup.

I am also upgrading from dual breakout boards via two parallel ports to an Ethernet smooth stepper. Not completely needed, but the idea of only having to run a single cable instead of two parallel cables which have limited length and are a bit more clunky. Going to a new PC instead of having the computer parts combined in the cabinet worked, but I think I am going to go back to a detached tower.

This is prob one of my favorite steps. I like wire management. It's relaxing.

user posted image

user posted image


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johansen
Posted: May 21, 2015 07:16 am
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crane what kinds of misalignment are you dealing with at the rails.

seems to me the way most folks get around this is simply that the 20mm or 25mm wide rails that most folks use are simply strong enough to deal with it.. distorting the gantry and the bed to fit the difference.

also if you were to support the two opposing corners of your machine, and let the others hang, how much would they sag? i'm curious...
seems that a lot of folks are chasing two tenths getting their machines "leveled"
which seems to me that its fundamentally wrong.. how hard is it to engineer the frame to be held up from three support points...

i know of course these issues don't matter for a router, for the most part.

any issues with the metal creeping on you?

i have a machine i have welded together and i think i've observed the metal relaxing on me, but, i really don't have the equipment to accurately measure it, but for my case i'm dealing with 90 pounds of metal and 10 pounds of welding rod.. seems yours is a much lower percentage of weld...and a totally different topology that is much more forgiving.


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crane550
Posted: May 21, 2015 04:14 pm
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With the misalignment of the rails I wouldn't say there is any. I have one rail which was set as the "master" rail, and then the gantry was run down the table a little at a time and the second rail was tightened using the gantry asa "guide."

There is a little bit of misalignment in the plane of the two rails. This is due to one or both of the frame beams not being perfectly straight. If you look back a bit in the thread I dealt with this by splitting the difference. It has never been an issue, and if you run the gantry by hand it has the same amount of rolling resistance the whole length of travel. I'm sure the gantry distorts just a little to make up the small difference but it's not that much. I spent several days just getting it level.

For my base I have nearly a ton of steel which makes up the frame. I can't imagine I used more then 2lb of wire in the welder. Prob much less when that. It does use 4 point leveling, but it doesn't sag. It is a brick and if it is not level it will rock or one foot will be off the floor. Jack up one side and the other foot lifts off the floor. Also the rolling resistance doesn't change. I agree it is good to have it level with all 4 feet on the ground, but sagging isn't something I am concerned about.

My method for leveling it is the put a jack in the middle on one end and then level the two feet on the opposite end. So now it is level back and forth from left to right. Then I move one foot down in the front until it is level. Once it is level from front to back I turn down the other front foot until it touches, keep going until the other foot lifts and then split the difference. It is a turn at most before the other foot starts to lift.


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crane550
Posted: May 24, 2015 09:27 am
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Great progress to show for. She is starting to look like a CNC again.

Continued working on the control box. Note that I will no longer be running via parallel ports- and my input is now here which connects to my Smooth Stepper by Warp9. I have not got to run it yet, but will let you know how I like it compared to directly driving it via the parallel ports.

user posted image

Placed the gantry back on by myself. Wasn't too bad with the help of a cherry picker.

user posted image

user posted image

Ran a dial indicator back and forth to align the top master rail with the gantry beam. Now I understand the gantry beam will not be perfectly straight, so some error is expected. The rack sits on top of the gantry, so this is mostly for rack alignment. I shot for 5 thou and got 3. Way more precise then any of my needs on this machine will dictate.

user posted image

Reassembly of the transmissions.

user posted image

Also spent some time soldering up some cables. These were just jumpers for inside the cabinet. BTW, I am wondering about grounding. I have shielded cable for, well, everything that leaves the box. Do I need to connect the shielding to the ground of the box and if so, how well? The connectors I bought aren't too good. They are hard to install, and the plug is so short its hard to get the strands from the shielding to make contact. I did my best, but didn't feel like any of the connectors really made that great of contact with the shielding. I did run a continuity tester on each one (shielding on the far end of the cable to ground) and I did have continuity. I just wish the connectors made better contact with the shielding. Again, not sure how much that matters. Here are the connectors for the cabinets end.

user posted image

Last task for today was wire management. Everything now is contained and nicely routed. I now have my drag chain for the X going, firewall plugs, and all my wire has been upgraded to actual CNC motor wire for IGUS. (expensive, but oh so pretty)

I did do one of the locking connectors for connecting one of the motors to the cable. It was such a pain I just reverted back to Molex for the rest. The Molex has served well for the last 3 years, and if it's not broke...

user posted image

user posted image

Measley Molex connectors for the rest...

user posted image

And the current state of affairs

user posted image

The carriage is off at the machine shop right now. Just doing a couple of small mods. I will elaborate more once I get it back.



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Sch3mat1c
Posted: May 24, 2015 02:59 pm
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What kind of connections will you have out there? Shielding is mainly important for sensitive or high speed analog or digital signals. In an industrial environment with motors going around (such as this), it can make a lot of difference.

If everything is slow, you can simply filter it at the board (hopefully the boards you've selected already include this?) and be done.

What you'd be looking for is some sort of ferrite bead and/or RC filter for signals, and preferably a meatier solution for the motor switching lines (ferrite beads don't do jack over 0.1A or so, even the big kinds).

Tim


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crane550
Posted: May 24, 2015 06:40 pm
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The shielding I am talking about is for the step motor drivers. They run at 36V and around 3.5 amps in alternating currents. This is more about noise prevention then immunity. I'm not worried about noise getting in for these, but there are wires that run with all the others that have +5V and +12V control signals. A false positive can potentially ruin a work piece if you get a false E-Stop. In the same way, I want to put a cycle start button on my gantry ends, and a false start could be bad too.

I had these for a while with the old setup, but had so much noise issues I just disabled them. But this was while I was running the old motor cables, and the runs were about twice as long. With my newer and better shielded cables and shorter runs I hope this will be less of a problem.

I was thinking a small cap that ties the connector at the breakout board to gorund might help. No idea what size to use, however.


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Sch3mat1c
Posted: May 24, 2015 09:38 pm
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Grounding and shielding things is generally better than worse, but there are some things you can do that end up making things worse (incorrectly terminated cables serving better as antennas than shields, for example).

RFI caps are usually in the 1n-10n range. Clip-on ferrites are handy, too. Probably "low frequency" or "wide band" types, 50-200 ohms.

If you have an AM radio and empty station handy, you might be able to figure out some basic things, as far as whether a cable is being exceptionally noisy or OK. You'd want to set it up so it's just exercising itself (motors going back and forth, single steps to high speed), and listen on more than a few channels if possible, and in different locations around the machine.

Even better would be a shortwave radio, since EMI/RFI stuff really starts getting interesting in the MHz, where signals don't like to stay inside wires. Ideal would be a spectrum analyzer, but..

Tim


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crane550
Posted: June 02, 2015 05:45 am
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Thanks for the tips! As it turn out the smooth stepper has settings to ignore spikes. Giving it a very mild debounce value took care of it, and it hasn't been an issue since.

The work continues. I'm actually getting very close to calling it good.

I got the bed and sacrificial layer both secured. Leveled the bed and was pleased to see it was very level to begin with. Only took off about 20 thou at most, and that was on one cross beam where I knew because of the weld it was a bit high. Pleased with the state it is in now.

Also got my new fixture positions marked and cut new keyways for the hold down channels. Changed orientation from where it was before and tweaked positions to make it more suited for my needs. It's an evolution.

user posted image

Forgot to select G54 and made a mark in the new sacrificial layer...so I guess its broke in now!

user posted image

Also as promised here are some pics of the newly boxed in carriage. Again, I don't think this was absolutely necessary, but since I was taking the time to refresh this machine I thought I better go ahead and do it.

user posted image

user posted image

Also love how few cables show now. There are only 4 going up to the carriage at this point- 2 steppers, spindle, and a proximity sensor wire.

user posted image


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crane550
Posted: June 02, 2015 05:58 am
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Here is something that might be valuable to others. I decided to hook up my Hitachi X200 VFD to Mach3 and control spindle speed via the computer rather than adjusting it manually for different tools. I will also make Mach 3 turn it off and on, but I am waiting for relays. Another advantage besides convenience is E stops will also kill the spindle.

For now I only have the speed control working. It was kinda a pain to figure out, but once I did it wasn't too bad to get it tuned in.

I am using PWM directly from the breaker board. My breaker board doesn't have an analog 0 to 10V out, so I needed to get one of these:

user posted image

It was $6 on eBay. Search for "Analog Digital 0-10V PWM" and you will find it.

Mine was a bit more complicated since I am using the Smooth Stepper. Keep in mind that some of the Mach 3 options get bypassed when you use the SS, and you need to go find those settings in the SS config screens, and not in the Mach options.

I set up spindle in "Pulleys" to range between 7500 and 18500 (500 buffer on each side), and used a base frequency of 1000Hz in the Smooth Stepper settings. In Mach I set it up for PWM and then cranked up the ramp up speed in "Motor Tuning."

As far as wiring, it wasn't too bad once I figured it out. Supply with +24V, hook common and your breakout board port to DIN- and DIN+, GND goes to L on the X200 and AO to O. And thats it. I think my voltages actually ranged from .92V to 8.4V, but it worked. Sure enough, the S command in the Gcode changes spindle speed.


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