Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

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Signals
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Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:55 am

Hey guys, I just finished building the default Shapeoko 2 full kit.

Did the Hello World test, and it came out properly after some minor tweaking.

Everything about the Shapeoko works perfect from the get go, except the Z-Axis is quiiiiite wobbly. I've played with it for a few hours and I'm pretty sure it's because the holes on the hex nuts on the top and bottom of the flanged bearing (the nuts where you use two wrenches to tighten them), do not have the holes centered exactly. The rod is straight, rolled perfectly across a glass table top. Anyway, I'm not too concerned about it, as I'll be replacing it with the Acme rod Z-axis as soon as it arrives - I'll worry if that wobbles. :)

Anyway, here's my plan: I plan to use this CNC for cutting a variety of larger woodworking projects, so I was hoping to extend the CNC to just over 3 feet on the X axis (gantry), and 7 feet on the Y axis. I'm sure Shapeokos are not really intended to be expanded to quiiite this size, so I was wondering what kind of pitfalls I should watch out for trying to push a Shapoko to be so large.

I have NEMA 23 motors that I plan to install quick here. I'm guessing those will generate enough power for the added makerslide weight to the gantry? I've read that the stock electronics (grblshield/arduino) are capable of powering these units decently? Should I look into swapping out the electronics system entirely? Also I'm using a Bosch Colt which I believe is a somewhat heavy palm router in itself, so I'm hoping the Nema 23's help there as well.

Anyway, I'm basically trying to build a solid system that will stand up to quite a lot of usage, so any tips would be great!

I'll post my progress in this thread as I learn and work on the Shapeoko.

Will probably need a bit of help on the technical side - totally new to the CNC software!

Thanks guys!

WillAdams
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by WillAdams » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:31 pm

There's no reason a large machine can't be a Shapeoko --- Rule #10 — No matter how much you upgrade your machine, it is still a Shapeoko (and all upgrades to machines must be recorded in one’s signature line and documented in the wiki). ( http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... f_ShapeOko )

Extending along the Y-axis doesn't pose any real problems, so long as one uses a reasonable number of mid-span supports and has a suitable structure (see below).

Expanding along the X-axis raises issues of rigidity, but there are other machines which are similar in size, so should be manageable. I think you'll need to fasten the MakerSlide together. You may want to work up some additional means for making the gantry more rigid (there have been some interesting things done w/ additional tubing, sistering in weld steel, &c.)

We still haven't arrived at a good formula or guidelines for when one should shift from NEMA17 to NEMA23 --- the new default dual-drive complicates that somewhat and makes one able to go farther w/o needing the larger motors --- I think it would work w/ the original motors, but since you already have the NEMA23s, you might as well use them --- if you're not past the line where the larger motors are needed, you're past the line where they're a reasonable option.

There are a number of 1Mx1M builds on the Scaling Up page on the wiki.

The real challenge (and expense) is going to be making a reasonably rigid and flat bed at this size, and working up a cable management system (you should probably just bite the bullet and buy drag chain). There's also the issue of dust collection and running the power cord for the router (will you have the option of using an overhead swing or line or track system for that?)
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

Signals
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:29 pm

I'm glad to hear there are other machines working around the same size!

My plan for the electronics for now was to use 4 conductor cable for all of it. Just going to snip the wiring off the Nema 23's and solder/shrinkwrap the individual cables to long lengths of 4 conductor cable going to the grblsheild. I was going to have the 4 conductor cables meet up around the Z axis stepper motor and just zip tie them together, planning to upgrade to cable drag chain later on. Not sure exactly how I would set up the cable drag chain, though it looks really cool, and I'll be definitely trying to figure that out in the next few weeks.

I think I can reinforce the gantry by milling some small metal spans that go across and utilize the little rectangle insets - hoping they can totally avoid touching the v-wheels, but I'll have to take a look at that.

As for the bed I was just going to toss the whole rig on a big 4 x 8 of Melamine, but I'm now guessing that's not going to be flat enough for work this precise, haha. In your opinion, what's the best bet on making a very flat bed? I want it to be able to carve 45 degree miter joints, so I take it it's going to have to be fairly accurate when comes to squaring and leveling to pull that off perfectly.

I haven't even thought of an overhead swing or anything like that, I was planning to extend cabling as required and group them all together in the same bundle - but I'm definitely open to better ways of doing things! I'm not afraid of trying things and building things as required.

Signals
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:07 am

Progress. Did the cuts, built the machine. Made the gantry longer than I was planning - go big or go home. :)

Anyone got any ideas for what kind of wasteboard to use? I was thinking of grabbing some pieces of plywood with melamine on them and just placing the machine on top of it - hard to say how flat that will be though. But I only really need this machine to be accurate within a half mm or so.

Image

I thought I might order a couple more of the black rails and reinforce the machine like this - does anyone figure this would be effective at all, or is it kind of a waste?

Image

Tomorrow I'll buy some four conductor wire (I think it's called?) and do all the wiring. Square the machine, do some test runs etc, see how it's going to work in this stock configuration.

Also I think temporarily for supports along the y (longest) axis, I'll throw some MDF supports or something on. That all depends on how the tests come out!

If anyone has any advice or thoughts, let me know!

WillAdams
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by WillAdams » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:40 am

That extra width is going to make things challenging --- how are you planning on moving the machine? I'd be worried about damaging the wheels unless it were disassembled.

My suggestion would be to build a torsion box frame w/ a central recess from front-to-back which would be sized to accept a 4' wide sheet of plywood or MDF to use as a replaceable spoil board --- let it hang out a bit front-to-back (you'll have to trim down a 4' x 8' sheet --- design project(s) which can use the waste, or design the machine so that it can be built from 4' x ~3' off-cuts) and attach it w/ L-brackets from the underside. Put all of your mounting hardware in the torsion box bed to either side of the wasteboard.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

Signals
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:25 pm

I'm just going to move the gantry to the lower left corner, tighten the wheels up, and just carry it sideways like an irresponsible bad ass.

It's home is going to be in the garage!

Torsion box idea is cool! Might need a diagram to understand how you're planning to mount it to the machine, though. It sounds similar to my current idea except that a box would be nicer because you could mount supports to and whatnot to it to reinforce the machine, and that it would allow 4 x 8's to be simply slid into place, where as currently I'll have to cut them and place them in.

It might be pretty heavy, but I could also just use like 2 pieces (figuratively, I'm sure it would have to built out of a few pieces of MDF to be large enough) of 1 inch MDF and use that as the bed. The machine would go on top of the first piece, and then the second piece of MDF would be on top, and fit inside the machine, so you can slide 4 x 8's into it without hitting the black end rails. Then you could screw L-brackets to the bottom MDF piece that the machine is sitting on to reinforce the machine structurally, utilizing those metal insets (that you use when attaching the end plates to the black rail, and the belt clips, etc) to attach it to the makerslide.

L-brackets similar to this would work wonders. http://www.masonplastics.com/images/gui ... ts-4lg.jpg

Any ideas on reinforcing the gantry? I was going to attempt to reinforce it by manufacturing a small piece that spans the bottom of the two rails and again utilizes the inset system. Hoping it won't hit the bottom wheels as they travel.

edwardrford
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by edwardrford » Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:16 pm

And the winner for the quote of the day award goes to:
Signals wrote:... like an irresponsible bad ass.
That phrase made me laugh so hard.

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 3 #2 - Stock

WillAdams
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by WillAdams » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:33 pm

Your machine is definitely going to be in the ``immovable except slowly and carefully on heavy-duty casters'' category.

For the torsion box, as I noted, my suggestion is to design it around using cut-offs from 4 x 8 sheet goods which you'll be using for the spoilboard area --- you'll need to gauge how many such boards it'll be reasonable for you to store up in advance to reduce the costs, but your machine is going to also be in the really expensive / requiring lots of materials category.

I cheaped out on my torsion box by building it out of particle board I fished out of my neighbor's trash and kept the machine size down to where it's man-portable so that I can move it out onto the deck to use it.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

Signals
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:11 pm

Oh yeah. This machine will be totally disassembled if it has all those MDF boards and all the stabilizers and has to move. It's not going anywhere for a while.

Got the Bosch Colt into the mount. Think I put it all together correctly.

Image

Image

Now I'm going to irresponsibly move it, buy/wire the 4 conductor cable (still need a good solution for wiring down the road. Drag chain looks cool, just unsure how to best mount it. I saw some people have built drag chain with their CNC's!)

I also got 2 M8 hex nuts that appear to have the holes centered from the local hardware store. Going to see if I can get my Z-axis working properly! I thought that maybe the problem. I'm sure I'll get the Acme/Nema23 z-axis kit down the road anyway, though.

Also I picked up this bit for a test bit. Will this be alright? It was the only thing they had that looked like it would do the trick. I'm hoping it doesn't have any problems plunging. 2 flute up spiral bit. The colt takes 1/4" shank, and I won't be doing much cutting under 1/4" at the start. I'll get an 1/8" collet and bits down the road.

Image

Signals
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Re: Making a big Shapeoko 2 - Build thread

Post by Signals » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:33 pm

Moved to garage. It was actually easy to carry the weight was perfectly distributed when you pick it up right at the one end the gantry is at, haha. Did belts.

Image

I also managed to fix the z-axis so it's working a lot better than it was before. I'm not sure if the new M8 nuts had anything to do with it, but I just tweaked and eyeballed it and kept spinning the coupler until I got the least movement out of the rod, then tightened it all up, making sure the performance was still good. The rod still moves a tiny bit, but I'm not sure if it's enough to cause issues. Is the rod with no spindle carriage supposed to wobble AT ALL when you spin the coupler? I've got mine down to wobbling maybe a few mm at the bottom. I think when I put the spindle carriage on the coupler will take all the movement out, but we shall see!

Going to do the four conductor wire cabling now, and then some tests! Woo! Can't really do much until I get a flat bed for the whole thing, though. Probably will just try a couple "Hello World"s, haha.

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