Friday, February 12, 2010

What is the hoo ha with CNC Router?

The followings are some of the response O get when ever I mention I'm building my own full fledge CNC Router...

"When was the last time you visit your shrink?"
"Not funny...."
"Can you do that?"

To me, this is the tool to end alcl tools. I can sell my circular saw, my router, my jigsaw.... almost my complete collection of power tools.

Anyway, I would talk more about some of the stuff the CNC can churn up. Picture tells a thousand wors, so here goes

Enough for now, don't want to slow down page up loading...

Your imagination is the limit of this robot.....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

MechMate Gantry & Y-Car Assembly

With the availability of CNC laser cut machine, fabricator's life gets a lot easier then it use to be. BUT that doesn't say one gets a free ride when fitting them accurately.`

Level & alignment is of paramount important in this excercise. 
Hence, I build 2 adjustable trestle from C-Channel off cuts.drill & tap M12 holes for attaching adjustable leveler legs.

Setting up the box section beam on  the trestle.
  • Using Spirit level to line them on horizontal plane. 
  • Align the box section beam by measuring the parallel distance. Comparing diagonal distance to ensure they are square to each other.
  • Clamp down to hold the position.
Rubber mallet for fine movement by tapping them lightly on the correct places without damaging the paint work. 


When you are ready, spot weld to hold the assembly together & check for distortion.before doing the final welding.

Here are the Gantry & Y-car after welding & a coat of red oxide primer on the weld.

Closser view of the Y-car, The original paint was severy damaged by welding spatters....Shouldn't have painted...

.....Nothing I can't sort out with a coat of paint.

Friday, February 5, 2010

MechMate Table Assembly Works

From previous post, I shown the fabricated steel parts for the MechMate build in total loose form, all cut, dressed & painted. A friend who visited asked if they are kit supplied? Luckily, the scent of wet paint proved that I did the fabrication works.

This post will show the progress of assembling the "kit".

BTW, the table is good for 1220mm x 2800mm (8'x 12.5') working area.

The welding set

The "precision" measurement equipment I need for aligning the assembly.

Some of the welding were done on this make-shift welding bench. :)

The tube truss fitted & welded

How I fit the leg perfectly square & perpendicular to the main channel rail.

Both side frames completed

Aligned the two complete side frames square & parallel to each other

Place the table cross bearer on its appropriate position accurately. Then weld...

Fit & weld the cross pipe & diagonal pipe brace & you have a table.

There you have it, what is left is to get a group of 6 full muscle grown-up to flip this chunk of metal over...

This is only the table, we have gantry, Y-car....

Stay tune ;)

Is there anyone out there???? Give me a sign...
please do leave your comment & response in the comment lines...

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Kitchen Table Project

This project is created by designer & creator of of Mechmate, Gerald.

He is the avovacate of testing out the control electronics & software before the mechanical works were carried out.

The goal AFAIK is to
1) find out if the control panel design one put up will actually work before it is installed on the actual CNC machine.
2) force learning the very basic of the motion controller software (EMC2 in this case) by actually putting you hands on it and not just talk.
3) confirm if the hardware are in working condition as early as possible.

He carried out the assembly & testing of the control panel components in the comfort of his kitchen dinning table, hence the name...

There are a few very detail design which he put up in his plan & discussions in the forum, one can just buy the stuff & follow the "map to complete the whole she-bang. BUT being me, I just have to know the what/why/where/when/how or the system.... so.... took the long way around to do this project ... again...

My design based strongly on Gerald's concept with a twist...
All components are different from his original but they work...
Electrical circuit also varied a little... but still resemble his original concept.

This is my concoction

Motion Control Software :- EMC2 2.3.4 release
O/S : Ubuntu  8.04LTS "Hardy Heron"

Computer :- Intel D945GCLF Atom with 2M DDR2 Ram, 8Gb Thumdrive as storage, 15" LCD monitor, keyboard, PS2 mouse
Motor Drive : M860 Leadshine Micro stepping driver, 6A max
Stepper Motor : 98HS9801, 450Ncm, 4.1mL/phase, 4A
Stepper motor Transformer :- EI core 540VA, 0-48VAC
Computer Breakout/ interface board : Sinyu 5-Axis Ver. 1
Breakout board Transformer 0-9VAC, 9VA
Magnetic Coil Contactor : 3 phase, 240V, 18A
other electrical components : Push button, Indicator light,
Control Panel Chassis : Powder coated Metal chassis, 500mm (H) x 400mm (W) x 200mm (D)

Took me over 4 months to get the motors running under EMC2 control.

It had been a huge struggle for me from day one of this kitchen table project. Time, money, sweat, draw a few drops of blood, late night..... frustration come & go....

Some how the moment you hear the motors singing a quartet for you for the first time....  Priceless...........