Spent about 3 hours and have completed the gantry. No issues as all parts bags are very well labelled and packaged by sub-assembly.
The tapping was no issue - used WD-40 and took my time, but was really no harder than tightening a tight screw.
The only thing to watch out for is the set screws in the 20T pulley bags - they are not installed but loose in the bag, so can fall out and get lost if you are not careful. Once I opened the bag for the first motor, I installed all the set screws in the pulleys so there would be no chance of getting lost.
Tomorrow, I will continue, but I need get some spade clips to install on the ends of the wires which go on to the wire connecting strip (I just don’t like wrapping wires around the screws - can cause breakage and bad connections). I will also solder the wire strands first before placing them into the spade clips.
As far as those little screws goes, I had very good luck using a couple of magnetic parts holders for all of the loose screws. I’d take out the parts needed for the next step and drop them into one of the magnetic holders. Never had any trouble with them wandering off that way since we all know those parts are super sneaky and like to run off!
Actually did a bit more tonight!! Assembled the Y Axis and seated the gantry on it. I believe that I should be able to complete assembly bar the waste board tomorrow. Pics to follow!!
What Gcode Sender do you plan to use? I have been looking at a few and UGS looks a bit simpler to use than Chilipepr.
It’s unfortunate that the CAD programs can’t send the GCode directly to the CNC.
One point of interest. In your CAM program you decide what machining operations you want to do for the drawing or part model you have loaded into the CAM program. You decide what order you want these operations happen in. So if you have areas that need to have pockets machined and holes that need to be drilled or inside or out side profiles that need machining you tell the CAM program all about these operations. Bit size, spindle speed, feed rate, depth of cut, width of cut etc.
Once you have all of this information and if your CAM program will do a simulation you run that to make sure it is doing what you want it to. If not you make the changes and run again. When you are happy then you generate the Gcode.
The CAM program has been using operations that the CAM program designer built into the program. To generate Gcode you tell the CAM program you want to post the code.
You have to tell the CAM program what post processor it needs to use to generate the Gcode that will run on you control software and machine.
I run CAD and CAM software that runs on a windows machine. The CAM software posts to my LinuxCNC mill with out any problem. I then just load the code on a thumb drive to take it to the shop.
Hope this helps
So David, you are saying in a nutshell that a setup such as VCarve and UGS should be good to go?
As far as today’s build is concerned, belting was done, but Angus I recommend that you use small cable ties as explained in the video to hold the belt in place at the ends.
Z-Axis was no problem, but the ACME drive rod presented a problem - it would not fit into the bearing. I searched and found a thread Rod will not fit into bearing where some people had the same problem. Calipers revealed that the ID of the bearing is .310" while the OD of the rod is .312". Had to sand it a bit to get it to fit.
Also, I found that when I installed the Z-Axis belt, it appears a bit slack to me. I think that a worthwhile adjustment to the design would be to place slots instead of holes for the Z-Axis motor mount, so that it could be slid back to increase tension on the belt. Will have to see if this affects the operation.
These above steps were easy and most of my time was spent on the wiring - as explained, I do not like the idea of squeezing bare wires on a terminal block, so I soldered spade connectors to the ends of the wires before connecting them.
Drag chain and spindle mount assembly posed no problem. During the electronics setup, I got ahead of myself and soldered three strips of pins on to the gshield when it is only supposed to be one for the limit switches ::stupse:: Will have to desolder tomorrow.
As this rate, should be done by tomorrow night as only the last part of the electronics and wiring are to be completed. Will get my son to work on the waste board assembly while I finish up the electronics - so should be finished a little quicker.
My bad the motor plate DOES HAVE slotted holes. 'Twas a long day yesterday and I just did not see them even though I slackened the nuts - maybe, I did not slacken all of them and I did not even check the documentation. Oh well, that is sorted - thanks for that.
Yes hopefully, I should be up and running tomorrow even though I have not even started on my extension and the wife is a bit worried that I may start using it in the house!!
Have to get a desoldering pump this morning to remove those extra pins and also some wire wrap for the cables that go between the drag chains.
Will keep you updated!!
Almost done!! Today completed the wiring and electronics, but there are some catchyas to watch out for.
If you have ordered the limit switches, step 14 speaks to installing the “actuators” for the X and Y axis limit switches. However this means installing insertion nuts (26016-03) that have to be inserted in the slots in the X and Y axis. The nuts are supposed to be able to installed by pressing them into the slots but try as I might, I could not get them in. So I had to remove the tap screws from the Xaxis and the Yaxis plate and fight to slide them in. So I recommend that you slide them in before you attach the Y-plate to the X-axis and the end plate to the left side of the unit.
Now for the limit switch wiring on to the g-shield - it is horrible!! There is no real indication in the instructions about the order for the cables. Another thread for the limit switch wiring and this schematic will help.
You have to attach the pins to the white cable from each switch and press into the 8-pin header connector. No real problem, but the connector does not sit on to the pins properly - it keeps sliding off. Noticed that some other people complained about this as well.
As far the grounds, there are 4 (3 from the limit switched and 1 from the spindle control) cables that need to go into 1 terminal on the power supply, so I wired three together into a connector and then used one on the other side to connect the terminal.
Also wired an E-Stop on the +ve from the power supply to the gshield.
Will power up in the morning and update.
No, I did not strengthen the gantry- don’t know if I have to with the spindle that I have. Will have to wait until I start actual carving to see if there is a problem. Someone mentioned in the thread using hard plastic instead of the metal, so if I do it, that would the way I would go. I also like the angle brackets to support the Y-Axis.
I thought a little more about my wiring last night and am going to make a change. I do not like the idea of the cables from the unit going directly to the circuit boards as they can impose stresses on the circuit board terminals as well as the fact that the 8-pin connection for the limit switches is awful. So I am going to solder wire directly on to the limit switch pins (and cover with heat shrink tubing from Do-it-Best). I will connect the wires as well as wires from the gshield X, Y and Z axises and power to a connector block. Then I will connect the cables from the unit to the other side of the connector block.
This will allow me to route all the wires from the PSU and gshield neatly and securely to a base of some sort (wood or perspex). Will post some pics when I am done.
One other thing that I forgot to mention is the securing of the belt at the ends - I used cable ties to hold the loop together - make belt installation a lot easier (heat shrink tubing was also mentioned, but I could not find my heat gun at the time). I will also secure the belt clips at the “static” ends of the Y-Axis to the end plate as well (at the moment they are only secured to the threaded insert).
Angus, if you want to give me a call my number is 428-1527 or 231-5359.
Attempted to use Chilpeppr on Saturday and it was grief, so did first carve with Easel. Made an error with the outline/fill for the letters, but everything seems to be ok with the unit itself.
Played around with Chilipeppr for a while, read some threads and asked some questions and got it to work. In the meantime, as mentioned pulled apart wiring and redid it. Am not 100% happy with it, and will have another go when I get some 4 core cable - can’t find any here to use for the motor cabling.
Have to order some more bits now and spend some time in VCarve.
So that’s it for me for now as far as this build is concerned. Looking forward to hear from you when you start yours.
On the high seas… Makes me want to throw an eyepatch on, scream aaaarrrrr!!, and get me a second xcarve… Lol
Told you, eye patch. And arrrrr, I’ll get me a new machine. Lol
Hope you get it soon.
Oh dear…not good news. Hope that you hear something positive later in the week.
Getting closer Angus, getting closer!!!
Believe it or not…I am not!! Machine is still sitting on my dining room table as I wait to get the room built.
This is like buying 4 tires before a Car. Good luck. Keep your table as much strong and square as possible. Weak table changing level so quick and causing problems.
(Women can be so unreasonable, sometimes!)
I’m sure your wife is watching your screen over your shoulder. I know you would’ve say all the times.
“I’ll hug it. And squeeze it. And call it George.”
Yeeyyy, congratulations. Good clean and quiet days are over.