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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Using Heeks CNC

I am slowly making progress on the New CNC v2.0 machine! I recently bought some aluminium spacers and bolts off of McMaster.com. I just need to cut out two more pieces and the Z and Y axes will be done! For all the parts I have cut so far, I have been using Solidworks to draw the 3D parts and HeeksCNC to generate the G-Code for EMC to use.

My Y axis ends, drawn in Solidworks, tool path generated with HeeksCNC.

A part I cut out of foam for a friend.

HeeksCNC is the only decent free software for easily creating tool paths! It is not perfect but it does perform well enough to cut fairly complicated pieces.

I will have to take pictures of my Z and Y axes and post them!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Z axis almost done!

I have not posted in a while, but I have been making progress! The lead screws fit the skate board bearings nicely so I decided to cut two ends with pockets for the skateboard bearings.

I had to play with the tolerances to get a nice press fit of the bearing into the ends. The ends turned out really nice!

Now I just need to attach the lead screw nut to the carriage, figure out how to attach the stepper motor, and create mounts to hold the tool.

For the tool, I am thinking about upgrading my Dremel to the Craftsman professional palm router so that I can use 1/4" end-mills and have more power!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lead Screws!

I recently bought and received three lead screws from precisiontechmachining on ebay. I got two 18in and one 24in long 3/8-16 lead screws. They each came with a delrin nut which seems to work nicely. Unfortunately, the 24in one seems to have been damaged in the mail. I am trying to see if they will replace it.

It fits nicely between my linear bearing rails!

The ends are turned 5/16in. The 6mm ID skateboard bearings I have fit snugly. I might have to invest in angular contact bearings though.

The damaged 24in screw. It is not bad however it could cause significant whipping.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

V2.0 3D Model Continued, Theory Tested

I found some time this weekend to continue the development of my new and improved V2.0 CNC machine. Unfortunately, with my current machine I am unable to cut some of the pieces of V2.0 so I had to divide those pieces into smaller pieces that my current machine can handle. Check it out! Let me know what you think!

I used my existing CNC machine to cut out one of the bearing pieces to see how my machine does and see how the bearing concept works. It actually turned out fairly well. There is some play in the bearings however I think that I can adjust the bearings to eliminate the play. So far so good!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Backlash Fixed! Conceptual 3D model Started

I fixed the backlash in my v1.0 machine. It turned out to be as simple as adding another bolt to my lead screw nut to keep the nut from turning while applying a force to it. I re-cut the test pattern and my machine seems to have no more backlash, well at least no significant backlash.

So, I started drawing up the 3D model of my next machine. This design will be significantly more rigid by using the 3/8" steel V groove bearings and aluminum or steel extrusions for the rails. Check out the Z and Y axes:

I am having trouble figuring out how to support the ends of the Y axis. Any Ideas?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Backlash, Version 2.0 Design Concept

So I have backlash! I did not know how to measure it until I posted over on the CNCZonne. It was suggested that I cut a pattern in an attempt to figure out my backlash problems.

Backlash measurement pattern.

So I cut out he piece and measured it. It turns out that I have zero backlash in the Y direction, however I have 0.0155in of backlash in the X direction. I then examined my machine and found the cause to be my lead screw nut. It seems to have significant play. I will have to make another nut and see if that eliminates my problems.

backlash test piece, two 1" squares joined together.

I also have been working on a proof of concept for my next machines linear bearings. As I said int he previous post, I recently bought 3/8" V groove bearings. I used my CNC machine to cut out two end pieces out have a cutting board to hold 3/4" aluminum square tubing. It seems that this concept will work well! The two aluminum rails are extremely parrellel, only varying from one end to the other by a few thousandths of an in! If I correct that backlash problem I have, it could be even better!

This new machine is going to be awesome!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Workbench/Plans for CNC V2.0?

So, I have moved recently and finally have built myself a proper work bench to set up my CNC machine on, instead of the floor! Check it out, it is nice!

Also, I have been working on plans for my next machine! I am planning on using 3/8" steel V-groove bearings for the linear motion system, which I just happen to win 16 of them off Ebay! I am currently working on a drawing and will post it when I have completed it. They should defiantly be better then skate-board bearings!