Project Shapeoko HD

discussion of design changes / improvements / suggestions
jessegraham21
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by jessegraham21 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:34 am

Louis
First of i would like to commend you on how great a machine you have designed. I have been a long time lurker on the Shapeoko form and have watched the progression of this design from the start. I have a shapoko 2 upgraded with a Dewalt DW618M but i am looking to move to a more beefy machine for commercial applications. Any ways, i have not been a part of the community long enough to send you a PM. If you could send me a PM to discuss the possibility of becoming BETA tester for the HDX i would appreciate it.

thanks
JG

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:27 pm

Last call for the month. Anyone interested in a beta kit please PM me. I plan to build the first round of kits in the first week of December. If anyone has any questions or requests about the machine please don't hesitate to ask. :)

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:25 pm

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and that you continue to have a great rest of the year. I've been busy (designing and fabricating custom parts for various CNC machines among other things) so I'm sorry I haven't made any posts recently. All beta testers have postponed their purchase by anywhere from a couple of weeks to as late as January/February due to the holidays, which is totally understandable. So, that gave me some time to re-examine the machine and to try to streamline its production and perhaps even improve upon the design.

After much thought I've decided to drop the cold roll steel flat bars used as gantry support in favor for a third 4080 extrusion. It would actually be easier and more time efficient to simply bond three 4080 extrusions together using a special epoxy (designed for bonding structural aircraft parts) than to drill all the required holes on the steel bar, paint it, and fasten it to the gantry. This also brings in some additional benefits such as the gantry being more rigid and 3 pounds lighter! :)

Now, since the x-plates are so tall due to fully supporting the z-axis there was a concern that the x-axis carriage assembly might slightly twist about the axis. I don't think I need to elaborate on why this would be bad. :( With that said I haven't noticed that problem with my current machine, but it is something that could happen depending on certain circumstances. However, with the taller gantry that problem should be non-existent.

Now best of all, all modifications (including the taller y-plates and restructured x-plate) will not increase the price of the machine. 8-)

All beta testers will be able to opt for this updated version of the HDX, though shipping costs may increase slightly. I'm still accepting orders for beta kits so if you guys are interested please PM me.

Here are some photos of the updated HDX next to its older brother, enjoy! ;)

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:31 am

Hello everyone,

I have a decent update for you this evening. As you know everyone has postponed their purchase of a beta kit, mostly to do with the holidays. This of course has given me free time to re-evaluate the machine. I swear the design bug has bitten me several times, lol. These new updates have been a couple of weeks in the making and I was going to run it by the beta testers to gain their feedback for possible implementation for the production version of the HDX (beta testers would have received the updates for free), but seeing as how they postponed their purchase I decided to post it on the forum instead.

I've had the machine test driven and used for about two-three weeks by a couple of friends (when I wasn't using it) . I basically told them to not hold back, do whatever projects they felt like doing, and to push the machine as hard as they felt comfortable doing. The feedback that I have gotten has been great. Overall they were satisfied with the performance and design of the machine but there were some suggestions. When combining their suggestions with my personal opinions some changes were just inevitable.

Something both my friends and I agreed on was that the position of the belts weren't ideal. Debris getting on the belts and pulleys was annoying to say the least, especially if you weren't using a dust shoe or if you were working on a project where it wasn't practical to use one (like cutting aluminum :? ). Constantly having to clean them up was something that I wanted to avoid.

So, what's the solution? Well I decided mounting them on the sides of the extrusions would be best. They would be facing away from the cutting area and wouldn't be susceptible to getting a lot of debris on them. Now in order for this to work the stepper motor would have to be mounted vertical, which requires a separate plate. Now you may argue that this increases complexity, but I believe the pros far outweigh the cons. Doing it this way allows easier access to the motor and pulleys (in case they need to be replaced) since the design is now modular. This has nice implications because now it's conceivable that one could upgrade from Nema 23/24 motors to Nema 34 without having to swap out the main plates of the machine. You'd simply replace the modular motor mounting plate with one that supports Nema 34 motors. I've also designed the machine to accept up to 20mm wide belts for potential Nema 34 support as I don't know what the future will bring, I want this machine to be as flexible as can be.

I've also designed additional hole mounts onto the modular motor plates to accept upgrades and additions. One such example would be a 2:1 or 3:1 pulley/gear box to increase precision. The machine's current step resolution (micro step I should say) is .0012". With an upgrade it could be around .0004" per step, which would be great for wood workers who do a lot of 2.5D engraving where ultra fine details matter.

Another thing to note is that the pulley engagement has been improved from around 35-40% to about 60-65%. This will help increase feed rates by as much as 20%. I've had a few instances where the belt slipped during cutting aluminum or other hard materials when set at very fast feed rates (50+ IPM). This only occurred on the x-axis, the reason for this was that the y-axis had more pulley engagement due to having two pulleys instead of one. Increasing the belt engagement should solve this problem, or at least minimize it.

Next is the z-axis. While the current design is rigid it's not perfect. My good friend and colleague Josh Alltop took it upon himself to design a new z-axis which I must say is an improvement over mine. He really had a problem with the spacer blocks and the fact that the wheels were so far away from the spindle mounting plate. He also wanted to see if the spindle itself could be closer to the carriage plate. After a couple of weeks in the making he came up with a simple solution. Basically he threw the spacer blocks in the trash, cut the z-axis extrusion in half and rotated the two pieces 90 degrees. The steel rail now faces the inside, so rather than the steel wheels clamping onto the rail they now press against them. This also has moved the spindle 3/4" closer to the carriage assembly, but more importantly the wheels now sit directly on the spindle mounting plate (each one on top of a washer of course). This new design will definitely increase the rigidity of the z-axis without affecting cost. :)

This updated HDX is more or less the final version and I'm pretty confident that this will be very close to the production version. I don't expect to be making anymore changes to the machine unless beta testers come to a unanimous agreement that something must change. (And by the way beta testes, this is the machine you will be testing :) ) I will however be coming up with various upgrades that can be attached to the new stock HDX starting sometime next year. In regards to upgrades when I release the DXF files next year others may create their own additions and upgrades for the purposes of sale.

My goal for the HDX is to design an excellent foundation, a design that can stand the test of time and be supported for several years with ease of upgrading. One thing that I do not want to do is make a new machine every year and alienate those who bought a previous model. While it's unavoidable in the long run if I can have the machine last at least 3-4 years before a major design change I will be a happy camper.

Down below are some photos of the redesigned machine. Enjoy. :)

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Close up of y-pulley system (the lighting isn't very good in this render, I'm sorry :( )



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Z-axis


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Close up of z-axis
Last edited by LouisV on Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Damin69
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:00 pm
Location: Muscoda, WI

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by Damin69 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:17 am

Like it Looks Great Louis.
Shapeoko 2 #6971
Upgrades
Makita 0701, Nema23s, ACME Z Axis, Nema 23 Belt drive
Expanded to 1000 x 1800
Electronics upgrade C-10 BOB, SainSmart ST-M5045 drivers, Mach3
Damin69's Build Log

RobCee
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am
Location: Birmingham, UK

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by RobCee » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:25 pm

Great idea on the upgraded Z-Axis, I have been thinking about how to do something very similar for a while now. You beat me to a sensible solution though!
ShapeOko2 #3400 - Chinese 800W AC Spindle - Stiffened X-Axis - TR10 Z-Axis - Inverted Z Motor - Hall Effect Limits - Drag Chains & Custom Brackets

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:10 pm

Thanks guys! I'm cutting out the new parts on MDF to make sure there are no conflicts during test fitting. I didn't notice any when modeling it up but sometimes things can be missed so I have to make sure.

I have also translated the changes that I did on the HDX to the HD machine with great success. The new changes should make the HD cheaper, more robust, and more flexible (in terms of upgradability) than it was. I'm trying to design a family of different class CNC machines that cover a wide range of performance levels and budgets. More information on that later.

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:52 pm

Another update guys. Below this wall of text are some renders of the HD machine. It looks really similar to the HDX which is nice, but of course it's scaled down in order to bring cost down. You'll notice that the stepper motors are mounted the same way as in the HDX as well as using the same motor mount/pulley system, however the HD will be using 9mm wide GT2 3mm pitch belting as opposed to 15mm wide GT2 3mm pitch as the HDX. You will be able to upgrade to 15mm wide belts if you choose to however, whereas the HDX can be upgraded to 20mm wide 3mm pitch belting or 15mm wide 5mm pitch belting when used with Nema 34 motors.

The carriage assembly and z-axis are pretty much the same in design as the HDX, but some things are different. The x-plates and the ballscrew are now 50mm shorter, which does reduce the effective travel from 150mm to 100mm (6 to 4 inches), but this is to better balance the carriage assembly due to a shorter gantry and of course to reduce cost. You might notice that the ballscrew assembly is identical to the HDX now. It uses the exact same aluminum screw mounts, anti-backlash nut, and angular contact/radial bearings which is a nice upgrade over the older HD design. You'll also notice that the steel rail has been replaced with open rail. Likewise the solid aluminum extrusions of the HDX used to secure the steel rail onto has been replaced with 2040 extrusions. The M8 screws/spacers that hold the carriage plates together have been replaced with M5 screws/spacers.

The stock HD will come at a size of 1000x1000mm and will have around a 760x760mm (30x30 inches) cutting area. It will use 8020 extrusions for the y-axis and one 4080 extrusion for the x-axis. However it can be upgraded to use 4080 extrusions on the y-axis if the user wants to extend the y-travel and two 4080 extrusions on the x for extra rigidity when using heavier spindles/routers.

I want to use CNC USB Controller MK2/4 with four Nema 23 150oz-170oz stepper motors for the electronics package on the HD as opposed to a Gecko 540 with four Nema 24 380oz stepper motors for the HDX which is more commercial grade. I am also open to using a cheaper driver that uses GRBL but I want to make sure that it's up to the task of giving the type of performance that I'm wanting from the HD.

The stock HD is designed to accommodate a 5 pound 1HP spindle (800w) or a 1-1/4 HP palm router, though doubling up on the 4080 extrusion on the x-axis can allow you to use a 10 pound 1.5kw spindle or router. The plates will be made out of 9 gauge mild steel as opposed to .25" 6061-T6 aluminum of the HDX, this is mainly to keep cost down. While 9 gauge steel isn't quite as stiff or strong as .25" thick aluminum, for the class of machine that the HD falls under it's more than strong enough. As with the HDX I plan for the HD to have a few upgrades available next year, including a 2:1 or 3:1 belt/pulley drive system among other upgrades.

My goal for both the HD and HDX is to establish a family of CNCs that follow the same design philosophy and standards yet can handle a wide array of work loads requiring different levels of performance. I feel that the ultra light and light duty CNC markets are pretty much taken care of and established by other DIY machines, but affordable medium and heavy duty DIY machines that are open source are pretty scarce as far as I'm aware of, at least when it comes to a ready to assemble kit that anyone can purchase. This is where I come in. I don't have a set price for the HD but my aim is to have a mechanical kit go for around $799 - $899 and a full kit for around $1,299. Considering the relatively large work area, scalability, modularity, and performance/accuracy I think it'll be very competitive among other machines. Out of the box the HD should have the same performance as my heavily upgraded and modded Shapeoko 2 (If you guys remember it) and will be able to surpass it with relatively simple upgrades.

The HDX on the other hand will most likely go for $1,799 - $1,999 for a mechanical kit and about $3,300 to $3,500 for a full kit with commercial grade plug and play electronics. The HDX will be quite a bit more expensive than the HD, but it's in a different class of its own. Even an upgraded HD with a more rigid gantry and 1.5kw spindle will probably only reach 50% of the cutting performance of a stock HDX, among other things. The HDX is definitely a machine that could be used in small businesses in a real production environment.

I will be posting more information about the HD and HDX later this week. As I've said in the past I'll be planning to run a Kickstarter campaign for early next year (probably February) for the HD machine and perhaps even have the HDX in there as a top tier reward since they share many design elements and parts. I will also be coming up with an official name for the machines that I'll reveal next year since HD and HDX were nothing more but acronyms for adjectives.

Anyway I've been rambling for far too long so here are the photos of the updated HD.

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And here's a photo of the HD and HDX sitting side by side. :)

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:29 pm

Got some basic specs on both machines for you guys. Some are subject to change upon testing and verification but I'm confident in the numbers.

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The HDX will require at least one mid span support on each side of the y-axis or other means of increasing stiffness if the length is going to be increased beyond 1500mm. The Openrail must also be butt together when going beyond 1500mm. I've tested this and it seems to work fine.

Edit: Minor typo in the expandable size of the HDX section. Where it says 1500x3000mm, it should say "4x 4080 extrusions". So there will basically be two 4080 extrusions on each side of the y-axis.

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

Re: Project Shapeoko HD

Post by LouisV » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:01 pm

Another quick update. Here are a few photos of the new HDX plates cut out in MDF. They will be used to verify that there will be no conflicts with assembly, clearance, or machine operation.

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After I'm done test fitting everything I'll make the plates out of aluminum. I'm aiming for the updated HDX to be running no later than mid January (the holidays kind of throw a wrench in my timeline). I'll also be making a prototype of the HD next month, in time for a mid February launch (hoping anyway :? ) of my KickStarter project.

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