We are a school team building a CNC machine for the first time. We will update this with details of our progress each week. So far we have opened the box of parts from Ooznest and watched the Openbuilds video. We have split into 3 teams of 2 to build each of the axes and can't wait to get started tomorrow.
09/03 Each team have begun building the roller bearings and add them to the build plates. They're really enjoying understanding the video and applying it practically. Excellent organisation of parts has made this much easier though one team lost some shims in amongst all the empty bags!
10/03 Even with several of the team on netball tour the x-axis is now running on the c-beam, put together so quickly and so easy to adjust. Hoping to make good progress next week with the whole team back in attendance. Total build time now about 1 hour but varies for each member of the team!
13/03 Two teams have fitted the rollers to their build plates and adjusted them to fit the beams which was so easy, not sure how critical the exact tightness is but there is no play and each roller is engaged with no slop at all. Fitting the lead screws will be tomorrow's task which will probably take a couple of sessions.
14/03 The x-axis plate is now attached to the c-beam but might have to come off as the girls missed the screw on the anti-backlash nut. It's a feature missing from the video but parts were in the bag - a lesson to be learned there! When you take something apart and put it back together you're always left with a nut and no idea where it goes!!
17/03 z-axis almost completed thanks to replacement shim from Ryan Lock at Ooznest. Found that aluminium spacers had been missed when the lead screw was fitted but dead easy to strip down. Now just need to add the stepper motor and it can be handed back to x-axis team. Not only are my team of 12 year old girls having great fun building this kit they are learning all about key engineering concepts.
22/03 The z-axis is now complete and ready to be added to the x-axis. Struggled today with the video which just didn't want to play at the point we needed so couldn't work out where the tee-nuts needed to go, finally worked it out and the bell went for the end of lunch! Back to square one but should be better tomorrow as two of the girls can use their DT lesson time - a whole hour - might have the build finished!
25/03 The z-axis is now attached to the x and the router mount in place all set for the frame. Not sure why the y-axis is talk g so long but the pair building that are getting there. It is impressively easy to put together and also take apart when you forget to tighten something. Don't expect to get too far this week as we have a team going to Silverstone for the F1 in Schools UK final as guests.
03/04 Made excellent progress over the past week. The y-axis is now complete with the addition of the board to hold a jig to machine the model F1 cars - I think that will need some adjustment but it helps it look the part! Started putting the base frame together today but struggling with the video as our connection isn't good enough so spend too long waiting for buffering but need to know where the tee nuts go before fixing everything in place - guaranteed to miss one! Could do with an orthographic drawing of the finished machine to see where the cast corners go - might draw one when we are finished.
20/05 Working with my Year 11 students has soaked up all my time but my Year 8 girls have been in every lunchtime since the start of the year and we now have a c-beam that is complete. It almost worked perfectly first time too which is amazing. It has been a fantastic experience and has helped the girls develop great engineering skills.
The frame went together very easily, adjusting and tightening the various parts was challenging as it is difficult to know exactly how much force to use and the girls tended to be a little cautious - it is hard to explain the feel when you are doing up nuts and bolts and they didn't want to break anything. The electronics were much more challenging at least in part because the girls tended to look at the pictures and not read the text. Really good, detailed instructions from Ryan Lock at Ooznest but some parts are so fiddly even for small hands that progress was very much slower than the frame etc.
24/05 Our C-Beam is alive and all axes working almost first time, just wired the y axis in the wrong terminals, quite an easy mistake but a good opportunity to learn fault finding skills! Swapped the leads (at the motor end) and the fault transferred with it so took out the wires and refitted and all good. The girls had a fun time driving it back and forth. I really like the way the travel seems so smooth accelerating and decelerating softly - don't know if its the x-pro or software but it is impressive! Now waiting on materials to build the cabinet which we need as it is for use in a school. Taking the opportunity to tidy the wires by cutting them shorter and re-fitting. I'm sad we have finished, it has been a great experience but looking forward to machining our first car!
15/11 Our machine is now housed in a cabinet with interlocked switches so that it is safe to use in school, this took me quite a long time as I was making it up as I went along! It is essential though as an exposed cutter would make an awful mess of a hand. I have fitted switches to home the axes as we plan to machine the same size block of foam into model F1 cars, this did cause me problems as I was wrongly zeroing the axes after homing which caused all sorts of problems. I think I will add limit switches at the opposite ends of the axes as one of the students is bound to send it crashing into the end of the travel. I'm really impressed by the smoothness of the movement and expect it will give many years service. I'll add some photos tomorrow with videos to follow when we have machined some cars.
22/11 Machined the first design today - what a brilliant start, I'm so impressed. Only did a roughing pass but it was really smooth and surprisingly quiet, looking forward to playing some more for the next few days. The cabinet still needs a bit of work but the two interlock switches are in place and working well. Happy days
This is a build supported by Ooznest by a team of girls in Year 8 (12/13 years old) to machine model F1 cars for the F1 in Schools competition.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution - CC BY
Reason for this BuildTo have a dedicated machine for making the model cars.