Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

discussion of design changes / improvements / suggestions
will1384
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by will1384 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:10 pm

LouisV wrote:
will1384 wrote:
LouisV wrote:
Here you can see I widened the sub gantry assembly to accommodate 2 makerslides and one 40x20mm extrusion that will be sandwiched in the middle to serve as reinforcement.
Could you tell me what spacers and bolts you used, I am going to build a 60x60 inch Shapeoko 2 and I am trying to roundup all the parts I am going to need, it looks like you used 1/2" spacers on the idlers, but what about between the motor mount plates, it kinda looks like 1 inch spacers on ether end, but the middle spacer looks shorter?

Also what bolts and nuts are you planing on using to join the makerslides and 40x20mm extrusion?

Thanks.
Hey will1384,

I'm very interested to see your custom Shapeoko 2. Please post some photos when you can. The spacers I used are two 1" and a .875" for the middle, the bolts I used are 90mm socket head cap screws, though 85mm cap screws would work as well (if you can find them that is).

As for joining the makerslides and extrusion together you can do it in two ways. One way is to drill through one makerslide and the extrusion while only putting in pre or post extrusion nuts on the second makerslide (on the side that will be against the extrusion). You can use 45mm button head cap screws to join all three.

The second method is to drill straight through all three. You'll use washers and hex nuts to tighten everything up. The length of bolt you'll use with this option will be 65mm.

I hope I was of some help, if you have any more questions please let me know.
Thanks!

I ordered my Shapeoko 2 December 2nd so I am hoping they send it out soon, I have been buying parts the last three months, getting what I can afford, I have all the rail I need, and all the electronics, I just need some more extrusion, bolts and Spacers, what I have been doing in the meantime is cleaning out my small welding workshop, its only 14x20 foot, so I had to figure out were a 5x5 foot CNC router would fit, and rearrange everything, but I was able to find a space and build a table.

I will likely build the Shapeoko 2 kit without any modifications and use it as is for some time to get a better understanding of the Shapeoko 2, that will also give me time to buy more parts, I plan on later getting the NEMA 23 Z-Axis Kit and Acme Upgrade along with NEMA 23 motors and a better controller / driver, but thats likely two or three months away.

LouisV
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:41 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by LouisV » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:56 pm

will1384 wrote:
Thanks!

I ordered my Shapeoko 2 December 2nd so I am hoping they send it out soon, I have been buying parts the last three months, getting what I can afford, I have all the rail I need, and all the electronics, I just need some more extrusion, bolts and Spacers, what I have been doing in the meantime is cleaning out my small welding workshop, its only 14x20 foot, so I had to figure out were a 5x5 foot CNC router would fit, and rearrange everything, but I was able to find a space and build a table.

I will likely build the Shapeoko 2 kit without any modifications and use it as is for some time to get a better understanding of the Shapeoko 2, that will also give me time to buy more parts, I plan on later getting the NEMA 23 Z-Axis Kit and Acme Upgrade along with NEMA 23 motors and a better controller / driver, but thats likely two or three months away.
Oh ok cool. Your machine is going to be awesome, its going to be even bigger than mine. My machine is 5x3 feet, but I'll artificially restrict the XY travel size to 50x25 inches since the material I work with are 4x2 foot sheets of aluminum and acrylic. This will not only perfectly accommodate the material size but give me plenty of clamping room.

I'm glad to hear you'll be using Nema 23 stepper motor on the z axis as well as upgrading to the acme screw. It'll give you faster z travel and even more accurate results since the acme screw is stronger and more rigid.

I would highly recommend using Gecko G540, it's a little pricey but you won't regret it. I look forward to seeing your custom build. Have a great Saturday :)

jmorris4266
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by jmorris4266 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:43 am

I am also thinking of making a custom size bed for the shapeoko 2 but I wanted to understand the limitations on the parts that come with the unit and also the CAM software. Do you have a list of the products you used to make the 3x5 model and have you thought of using a powerful router instead of the dremel

LouisV
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:41 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by LouisV » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:15 am

jmorris4266 wrote:I am also thinking of making a custom size bed for the shapeoko 2 but I wanted to understand the limitations on the parts that come with the unit and also the CAM software. Do you have a list of the products you used to make the 3x5 model and have you thought of using a powerful router instead of the dremel
Hello jmorris4266,

The limitations you'll want to think about when it comes to expanding your machine are the motor mount plates and the makerslide. Don't get me wrong, they're great, but they can only get you so far. As you go bigger you'll have to reinforce the X and Y axis, otherwise you'll run into flex and torsion problems that will affect the final outcome of whatever it is your cutting, which usually results in people dropping the f-bomb. :o

Now reinforcement is fairly straight forward, for my machine I sistered some extrusions to the makerslides and even put mid-span support plates onto the y-axis makerslides (which are sold at Shapeoko.com). However due to the limitations of the motor mount plates you can only do so much. You can't use stronger and more rigid 80x20 or 80x40mm sized extrusions, there simply isn't enough room and no way to mount them properly. If your aim is to turn this into a heavy duty machine then you'll be sorely disappointed as you'll need to make your own custom plates and use steel v-rail (as opposed to makerlisde) which is a project in and of itself. However if you're only wanting a medium duty machine than an upgraded Shapeoko 2 will fit the bill. I'll be posting photos of my x-axis upgrade later, hopefully later this week (assuming my new drill press ever arrives).

I don't have a list of the parts I used to make my machine, but I might compile it later and post it on Shapeoko's blog section if I find time to do so. However if you're really interested just PM me.

As for the CAM software I don't believe the full Shapeoko 2 kit comes with any (I only bought the mechanical kit). Actually I think they want you to use MakerCam which is free. I haven't used it personally so I have no opinion on it. However I use VCarve Pro 7, it's really robust, easy to use, and you can do almost anything with it. If you're going to use your machine in a small business it's a must have in my opinion. It's fairly simple to learn and once you get the hang of it you'll be cutting and carving like there's no tomorrow. The only con might be the price tag, it's $600, but considering how much it does it pays for itself in no time.

Yes, using a more powerful router/spindle is a must if you plan on expanding the machine. I assume most people who want a bigger machine also want to tackle harder and thicker materials. I have a 600 watt DC spindle that fits perfectly on the machine. It's 5 times more powerful than the stock dremel that comes with the Shapeoko 2 kit, so it's a good upgrade and probably the perfect balance between weight, power, noise, and cost. It's this one right here http://www.aliexpress.com/item/0-6kw-7- ... 93423.html

I also bought an 800 watt AC spindle, it's about 6 1/2 times more powerful than the stock dremel. You can find it here http://ugracnc.com/AIR-COOLED-SPINDLES/ ... 0-V-R.html Now it's quite a bit more expensive than the 600w spindle, but it's also a better built spindle that is held to a higher standard (not like the cheap ones you can buy from eBay where you're playing Russian Roulette). The runout on this spindle is less than .001" and is always verified as such, it's actually not uncommon for the runout to be around .0005" for this brand. In conjunction with 800 watts of power turning the milling bit you'll be able to do great things with this spindle if you require ultra precision and you're wanting to work with harder materials like oak and aluminum.

Both spindles are great and offer excellent bang for your buck in their respective price categories, just keep in mind the 600w spindle is essentially a "throw away" item. Expect to buy a new one every year as you wear down the brushes, use all the spares that come with it, and ultimately have the thing just die on you. Considering the spindle only costs $150 ($225 if you want the power supply), it's not really such a bad deal, especially if you're using it in a business where you can easily write it off as a business expense. Also keep in mind that the 800w AC spindle is probably the largest and heaviest spindle you'll EVER want to use on a Shapeoko 2. As I said earlier, it's not a heavy duty machine so there is no need to strap a 1.5kw or 2.2 kw spindle to it unless you like doing highly experimental things and are aware of the potential consequences.

Well I feel like I've been rambling and that I've gotten off topic, if you need any further advice or help just let me know. :)

Louis

jmorris4266
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by jmorris4266 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:41 am

Wow Louis that was great. Thanks for the info. I agree, I was foreseeing that torsion would be a problem with a heavier duty unit. I think for now I am only looking for a medium duty product. It really comes down to the bed size and the router/spindle. I was thinking of using my rotozip first which is a 5.5 Amp 30,000 rpm unit. If it doesn't work well then I will definitely go with the 220 v unit you spec'd.

Well as far as this goes. it would make sense to get the shapeoko bare bone mechanics kit and start buying stronger rails. When did you think you would have the time to post your findings/pics of your unit (or I could PM you if that works). Did you buy your motor mount plates or did you make them.

You were saying that the material you work on is mainly 2x4 and that you arranged the limit switches to focus in on that. I wanted to work with a 3x4 cutting area. Do you think that's safe working bed or something smaller?

WillAdams
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Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by WillAdams » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:09 am

LouisV wrote: As for the CAM software I don't believe the full Shapeoko 2 kit comes with any (I only bought the mechanical kit). Actually I think they want you to use MakerCam which is free.
Yes and no.

Correct, no CAM software is provided (other than Grbl), but no one has any preference for what people use, except a slight preference for opensource. Lists of software:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Software

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAM

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... l_Software
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

LouisV
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:41 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by LouisV » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:05 pm

jmorris4266 wrote:Wow Louis that was great. Thanks for the info. I agree, I was foreseeing that torsion would be a problem with a heavier duty unit. I think for now I am only looking for a medium duty product. It really comes down to the bed size and the router/spindle. I was thinking of using my rotozip first which is a 5.5 Amp 30,000 rpm unit. If it doesn't work well then I will definitely go with the 220 v unit you spec'd.

Well as far as this goes. it would make sense to get the shapeoko bare bone mechanics kit and start buying stronger rails. When did you think you would have the time to post your findings/pics of your unit (or I could PM you if that works). Did you buy your motor mount plates or did you make them.

You were saying that the material you work on is mainly 2x4 and that you arranged the limit switches to focus in on that. I wanted to work with a 3x4 cutting area. Do you think that's safe working bed or something smaller?
Sorry for the late reply, I had jury duty today. :( I can't stay on but I'll briefly answer your questions. You can PM me with the exact details you're wanting, I don't think I'll have the time to make a super detailed post on the forums or blogs about my machine for at least a couple of weeks.

I used the stock motor mount plates. I wanted to keep as much of the machine original to the Shapeoko 2 so other people could upgrade their machines without having to resort to custom plates and using something other then makerslide. As far as 3x4 cutting area I think you should be fine. I don't see any immediate problems that would arise so long as you reinforce the machine. I can't say with absolute certainty that scaling up your machine to something that is even larger than mine won't have its own set of problems, but like I said I think you'll be fine. If you do run into problems just let me know and I'll try to help you.

LouisV
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:41 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by LouisV » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:07 pm

WillAdams wrote:
LouisV wrote: As for the CAM software I don't believe the full Shapeoko 2 kit comes with any (I only bought the mechanical kit). Actually I think they want you to use MakerCam which is free.
Yes and no.

Correct, no CAM software is provided (other than Grbl), but no one has any preference for what people use, except a slight preference for opensource. Lists of software:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Software

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/CAM

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... l_Software
Thanks for the clarification. :geek:

LouisV
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:41 am

Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by LouisV » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:48 am

Hey guys. Been a while since my last update. Well I have successfully reinforced the x-axis. :)

I sistered a 40x20mm extrusions in between the two makerslides. I used ten 45mm button head cap screws and extrusion nuts to secure them in place. I had some trouble with clearance with the X stepper motor's cap screw running into them so three of the 45mm cap screws are on the front makerslide as opposed to the rear. I would have used at least 18 cap screws to secure them onto each other but 10 was all I had and my local hardware store was out. However despite that the x-axis is super rigid now. I also sistered two 1/8th thick steel strips that are 4 feet in length to the top and bottom of the x-axis for extra rigidity. I bought a new 800w spindle that weighs 5 pounds so every bit of reinforcement counts.

Below are some photos of my most recent work. I'd say at this point in time the machine is 85% - 90% done, I just need to install the x-axis belt, the proximity sensors, the VFD, and wire it all up to the CNC control box and try to keep the wiring neat with some drag chain.

Image
Here's the 40x20mm extrusion sandwiched between the two makerslides.


Image
I added a 1/8th" thick steel strip to the top of the x-axis for extra strength. Though you can use 3/16" to 1/4" thick strip instead if you really want that piece of mind of having an ultra solid x-axis (as far as medium duty machines go that is). You just need to drill new holes on the motor mount plates for some additional clearance otherwise the spacers that hold the gantry sub assembly together will get in the way.


Image
Here you can see the steel strip on the bottom of the x-axis.


Image

Here's a 600w DC spindle next to an 800w AC spindle with their respective power supply and VFD.

The 600w weighs 4 pounds, uses an ER-11 collet, is 57mm in diameter, and has a runout of about .001 to .002". It's sold by a Chinese company at Aliexpress, comes in a little dinky box packed in newspaper, but it's $150 with free shipping ($220 if you want the power supply/PWM). Considering the price tag it's a good spindle and probably the best bang for your buck. It will meet most of your expectations and do solid work.

Now if you can afford the 800w spindle I'd go for that, especially if you're using your Shapeoko in a small business or if you require a little bit more power and precision. It weighs about 5 pounds, uses an ER-11 collet, is 65mm in diameter, and has a runout of .0005". It's not one of those cheap ones sold on eBay, it's sold by an American company so it's a bit pricey and is going to set you back $360 (another $300 for a good quality Delta VFD) but it's well worth it and comes with a warranty. Keep in mind this is the largest, heaviest, and most powerful spindle you'll ever want to use on a Shapeoko 2, regardless of how much you reinforce it and upgrade it. By design the Shapeoko 2 can never be a heavy duty machine so putting a 1.5kw or 2.2kw spindle is just beyond overkill, however if you're the type who loves being experimental then by all means go for it and let me know your findings. :)




Image
Here's my machine from a distance. On the side I have an air compressor with air gun to blast off any loose debris that the dust shoe and vacuum miss.


Image
Another angle of the machine. The x-axis certainly looks beefier. :)

WillAdams
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Re: Working on a custom Shapeoko 2

Post by WillAdams » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:52 pm

Ingenious!

I'd love to see a load bearing calculation like: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... Extrusions which had these strips addeded.

Where'd you source the steel from? I've picked up welding steel from the hardware store, but it doesn't look nearly as nice --- did you paint it?
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

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