I finally got around to expanding my X-Carve (hottest days of the year in garage) and decided to make a modification to the wasteboard area and figured it was worth sharing because now I’m able to cut a piece of MDF and install it in less than 15 minutes without having to take the work aluminum frame area off and that’s on an expanded 1800mm x 1000mm X-Carve. That 15 minutes is also me cutting the MDF to size.
I 3D printed out something similar to a corner brace except they fasten the MDF to the aluminum extrusion. Then I use screws from underneath the work area to fasten the MDF to the frame. I slide my machine just over the edge far enough to drive a screw from below into the MDF holding it in place. For the middle pieces because of the size of my machine I set up work horses as a fake table and slide the machine over exposing the middle braces and screw in the middle sections. These are 3D printed parts and I haven’t tested durability of them and in an area that gets hot like my garage but with everything being exposed they are easy to replace. I have a cheap 3D printer and have not had time to perfect ABS printing but I’m going to give this a shot first.
My hope is that they can be made out of aluminum as a standard part if anyone wants to do something like I did. I do have more T-Nuts inside should I want to add more connection points. I am not a 3D CAD person but was able to get this working maybe someone with more experience in Sketchup or CAD can improve the design you will find the files below.
It really is easy to install especially with everything easily exposed. No real blind trying to align a T-Nut.
Machine before I put MDF on top.
Basically screw braces for MDF.
Looking up from underneath I scoot a corner over the edge and put a screw through the hole in the bracket into the MDF to secure it.
X-Carve 1800mm X 1000mm nearly ready for testing. Hopefully just need wiring and a few tweaks.
I still haven’t tested but I’m feeling confident that this will work going forward. I also believe the MDF having multiple connection points in the center area will improve the rigidity of the X-Carve expansion.