Please note that some of the text below discusses things that haven't happened yet in the past tense. I wrote out each step in preparation for the actual build but was unable to finish everything prior to returning to work. I'll continue working on everything as time permits.
I didn't have to cut any of the extrusions for the frame, I just planned the dimensions of my router around what was precut. Prior to putting everything together, I thoroughly washed all the aluminum with soap/water and steel with acetone, drilled the hole (3/4") for the y-axis ballscrew (in the middle of the wider of the two faces) with two tapped holes (#6-32) for mounting the ballscrew support, drilled/tapped two holes in the extrusion for the end bearing opposite the stepper motor on the y axis, drilled/tapped the holes for the x-axis stepper motor (#10 tap to fit what I could make custom spacers for), and tapped the end of the z-axis extrusion (M8-1.25 tap). When designing the 3d printed parts, I made use of the information on 80/20's website: 1530 and Thingiverse: www.thingiverse.com (as well as various datasheets on the rail guides, pillowblocks, ballscrew supports, etc). All parts were printed with ABS plastic.
I started by laying out the base extrusions, the support extrusions for the y axis rails, and the rails themselves. All were attached together with either 5/16"-18 economy t-nuts or #10 nyloc nuts and 3/4" long #10 machine screws with 3d printed nut holders. Both ends of the ballscrew were attached via the supports at this point, making sure to pre-insert any t-nuts that would be needed later on.
I made sure everything was square with the base prior to putting together the gantry extrusions with 5/16"-18 economy t-nuts and attaching the 16mm linear rails via pillowblocks with #10 nyloc nuts and 3/4" long #10 machine screws with 3d printed nut holders. The 8mm leadscrew and pillowblocks were similarly attached along with 3d printed spacers. I used aluminum plates at the corners of the extrusions to reinforce the connection to the base and aluminum blocks to secure the 16mm rail.
I proceeded to attach the gantry to the base with additional aluminum plates and 5/16"-18 economy t-nuts.
The z-axis rails were then attached to the z-axis extrusion with #6 nyloc nuts and 5/8" #6 machine screws with 3d printed nut holders. The pillowblocks for the z-axis leadscrew presented an issue... being metric, they are expected to be attached to metric extrusions and have 44mm center-to-center mounting holes. Since the extrusion t-slots were 1.5" center-to-center (around 38mm), I 3d printed an off-center t-nut holder for a nyloc nut. I also attached a 3d printed brace to the top of the extrusion (M8-1.25 hardware) and secured the stepper motor to it (#6 hardware).
The z-axis was then ready to be attached to the 16mm linear bearings. I again used #10 hardware with 3d printed holders for the Nyloc nuts.
The x and y stepper motors were then secured with #10 hardware directly to tapped holes with coupler nuts (x-axis) or via 3d printed t-nut holders and #10 nyloc nuts (y-axis) - also with coupler nuts. I need to pick up some more hardware to do this right.
The aluminum plate for the x/y bed did have to be cut to size. I did so on my table saw with a Freud D0756N Diablo 7-1/4 Non-Ferrous Metal and Plastic Cutting Saw Blade. It was my first time cutting aluminum and it worked great. I used wax as a lubricant. I 3d printed a drilling template for attaching the y-axis rail guides (KUE 25 http://www.norfolkbearings.com/products/ina/INA-445-666.pdf) and ballnut. Although designed full-size, my print bed was not large enough to accommodate the design so I cut it in half (and glued it back together using scrap DIN mounts and ABS glue). The locations of the holes for securing a layer of MDF and for a dust shield were not as critical so I drilled those by hand.
I also cut the MDF to size and drilled holes for securing it to the aluminum plate.
The router mount was 3d printed and then put together with #10 hardware.
The mount was secured to the rail guides, threaded onto the leadscrew, and the router secured in the mount.
At this point, I took a break to put together the electronics enclosure. I secured 4 additional pieces of 1530 aluminum extrusion together with L-brackets and 5/16"-18 hardware. I happened to have a perfectly sized piece of plexiglass handy and secured it with additional 5/16"-18 hardware to the extrusions after drilling holes for the mounting hardware. After laying out where I wanted everything, I secured two DIN rails with #10 hardware, the 36v power supply with M4 bolts, and the 5v power supply with a #6 machine screw after tapping the rear hole. The drivers (already mounted to 3d printed DIN mounts and with 5v fans secured to them) and parallel port BOB (also mounted to 3d printed DIN mounts) were secured to the DIN rails.
The 5 axis BOB:
Everything but the Beaglebone Black and parallel breakout board for the BBB:
The last components that needed to be located in the enclosure were the Beaglebone Black and parallel port breakout board. Since there wasn't room next to the other components, they were mounted to another piece of plexiglass with the idea that the plexiglass could flip outward when access to the components was needed. Unfortunately, for this setup to work, I needed additional depth. I cut some 2x4s to the same size as the aluminum extrusions on 3 sides and attached them with 1/4"-20 hardware. The fourth side was filled with additional 1530 series aluminum extrusion secured to a 4 1/2" door hinge using the included #10 screws and 4 Nyloc nuts in 3d printed nut holders. Before attaching the plexiglass with the Beaglebone Black and breakout board, I drilled holes for attaching a 5v fan and additional holes for exhaust.
The electronics enclosure was secured to the gantry and everything was wired up. I followed the pinout the BOB specified:
and the stepper wires per the datasheet for bipolar/parallel configuration:
An emergency stop button was mounted to the top of the electronics enclosure and a router speed control device was clipped in place.
A light layer of synthetic motor oil was rubbed over the rails.
An image of Machinekit was loaded up on the Beaglebone Black and I followed instructions for remote access:
Ananthan's Blog : Getting started with BeagleBone Black (Remote login via SSH with Linux / Windows)
Ananthan's Blog : Remote access your BeagleBone Black using vnc
and instructions for installing Cetus:
GitHub - machinekit/Cetus: Full-featured user interface for Machinekit
with the idea of running the Android app:
Machinekit - Android Apps on Google Play
After configuring everything and making a quick (successful!) motion test and calibration...
I attached plexiglass to the sides of the router using 3d printed clips and #6 screws. I drilled and tapped holes in the plexiglass instead of using nuts. The pieces were initially cut as over-sized rectangles with the plan to cut them on the CNC router later.
I wasn't thrilled with any of the dust shoes found on Thingiverse so I designed my own: Parametric CNC Router Dust Shoe by mredmon
And hooked up a shop vac with cyclone separator:
I adapted a dust control idea found on CNC Zone (www.cnczone.com/forums/cnc-wood-router-project-log/135232-cnc-software-forum-posts.html or seen in this video - DustCoverDemo.avi) to keep my y-axis rails covered up.
Having purchased a selection of endmills off of Ebay, Banggood, and Wish:
It was time to make something fun. As long as it's taken to get to this point, I figured I'd better make something for my spouse... who is a Hufflepuff: Harry Potter Hufflepuff Crest by Imminentfate
I loaded the .stl into pycam and ended up with:
Fixed Gantry CNC Router with Old Industrial Supplies
I got lucky enough to purchase aluminum extrusions and linear motion components (and nuts/bolts/etc) at scrap metal prices when a bunch of industrial automation equipment was decommissioned. The only problem is that the aluminum extrusions are not any of the widely-used metric sizes... they are the 1.5"x3" 80/20 series. It has presented a few challenges but nothing too bad. I have a few low end components to complete the build but would love to win the ultimate powerpack contest!
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution - CC BY
Reason for this BuildI built it for fun and to make custom gifts for family and friends.
Inspired byI've been inspired by many of the builds I've looked at over the years, most recently the C-Beam Machine XLarge.