• I've built quite a few plywood and MDF machines using 22X8X7 ball bearings and find a configuration with 1/8 steel rods most suitable. One side of the track is fixed and the other adjustable.

    I use this set up for CNC mills capable of cutting aluminum, 4 axis foam cutting or 3D print with a stepper plastic extruder.

    Driver board is the low cost 4 axis driver board offered on ebay or alibaba. Motors Nema23 triple stack. 24 VDC 300 Watt power supply, software Mach 3.




  • Ok, so I continued working on the concept a bit, but I started realizing I was designing a lot of custom parts. So, in an attempt to lighten the load on the machinist's side, I decided to try making most the frame out of T-slots. At this point I wonder if the side plates are even necessary anymore. Maybe just for added weight and protection?

    I'm probably gonna mount the t-slot cage up on small spacers so that cooling fluid can flow back and forth and bits of scrap metal can be blown away. Some things need a bit of work to fit as they were before, so tell me what you think before I go any further!


  • Worked on this some more tonight.

    I wrote some more specific notes in the images' comments; please click on each one.



  • Here's the standoff plate. Too low?I can bring it back up the Z-way. It won't interfere with the gib blocks anyhow.

    I could add actual standoffs too...



  • Okay! So I'm back on the proverbial horse again. Tonight I made the Z-way dovetail:

    3692462530?profile=originalMonroe, as I understand it, the standoff plate we talked about 2 weeks back should be mounted where I drew the red rectangle? So I should put recessed holes so the bolts don't interfere with the crosslide during movement?

    I can make some more progress with the drawings during the week. Is there any other obvious "big" parts lacking? If not I'm just going to refine the bolt placements and add fasteners where there are none (for instance, how should we assemble the frame?). Also, if you have suggestions on how to mount the X-axis (gantry) leadscrew, go right ahead and tell me, because right now it could be problematic because of how we mount the gantry way itself. I think a proper idea would be to redesign the gantry mounting blocks so they can accommodate the screw ends too as well as being the motor mount at the same time.

    I hope some of you are still on board for this. We have our work cut out for us. There are tons of refinements to be done on those drawing, so if someone wants to help, don't hesitate!

  • I'm posting the SolidWorks (2010) files to this thread for anyone to check out, measure or add to them. I need some time to prepare for my exams so I won't be drawing as much for about 2 weeks, but I'll still try to contribute. I have to finish these drawings if I before I start thinking about the servo system... I'm having a few ideas :p

    I'm still figuring out how to lay out some fasteners, so some holes are omitted for now. I believe 5 bolts on each dovetail block will be enough to sustain the shear stress on the cross slide, but I haven't done the math yet :(

    For those who don't have SolidWorks, you can browse the files with eDrawings.

    Let's get this prototype going :)

  • Bleh, work and school are taking over, I might not have time to work on this before sunday.

  • I updated the album with my current progress.

    Sorry for the delay, I hope you like it.

    I'll have to make the whole frame larger to compensate for the size of the cross slide if we want to stick to our 18''x24'' build envelope. I'm still figuring out how to assemble the cross slide, but I think I'm on the right path.

    EDIT: I think I can modify the cross slide to make the tool ride closer to the way... That would imply adding another 3/8 plate though...

    If you don't have anything to add, I guess I'll work on the z-axis way next? Meanwhile, maybe you could sketch what you think the tool mount should look like?

  • Distributor

    Kevin, when we get to a point where we have a "functional" design I would like to start looking at making it more organic flowing lines instead of all straight ones.  That should not translate into any price difference and would make this machine stand out of the crowd.  Let's make sure it makes a statement just looking at it!  Oh and BTW, really nice work so far. Most of the time I am not sure what Monroe is saying! 

    If you guys thinks it's a bad idea (the organic look) let me know... If people agree and you need help I can take a shot at it... I used to do some 3D Studio / Rhino back in the days... 

  • Added new drawings and comments to the album:

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