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eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:53 am
by madmanmoe
I think I'm going to call it the M⁶ to save time.

Firstly a huge thanks to Edward for starting this whole thing, and to Cat for putting together the eShapeoko. It's an amazingly well put together kit, I was so excited by the fact that everything had it's own little labelled bag I was apprehensive about having to dump them all out to actually build the thing and instead took up a very precise process of counting out pieces for each step, photographing them and then proceeding to build that stage, I'm not really sure why, maybe someone slipped Ritalin in my coffee.

Here is what my setup looks like at the moment.


I bought an eShapeoko with dual Y and dual X upgrades.
I'm running LinuxCNC on an old desktop I had lying around (a Dell Optiplex GX260).
Currently the spindle is my Dremel 4000, but I want to change that, because I'd rather keep my Dremel free for other things.
If it works out alright I'll just buy a cheap rotary tool, otherwise I've no idea what spindle to put in.
It's currently running off of a 12V power supply. I've got a 24V supply on order. Is the reason to use 24V (or slightly less than) to get faster speeds? I've run my axis up to 100mm/s with no problems, so do I really need to switch over to 24V?

Other than the new paint job I haven't made any major modifications.
I've got 4 a4988's hooked up to a stepper shield, but because I'm using LinuxCNC I had to construct an interface board myself.


It's based around Bart Dring's open source 4 axis stepper controller, there's not much on there, just schmitt triggers for isolation, a 5v regulator, some pull down resistors and a few filtering capacitors.

Then the shield just plugs in like normal.


In that picture you can see that I was testing out paracord to group my stepper cables. I have a bunch of 550 cord so, I used it to sheath my X and Y motor cables.
It was a bit of a pain, but it adds a lot of rigidity to the cables and has stopped them snagging on things, like the other wires continue to do.

I've got a bunch of microswitches ready to add limits. Luckily the switches I have fit the mounting holes, so that should be easy. Although I'm not sure what to do with the Z max switch. The best I can come up with is to mount it to the side of the Z makerslide and have one of the protruding bolt ends trigger it?

I've also got a load of t nuts on order ready to make myself a proper clamp system.

And to finish off here's the obligatory video.

Thanks for reading,

- Tom

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:10 am
by PsyKo
Nice setup you got here :)
I suggest you cover the electronic : when milling aluminium or copper it will prevent the shavings to short circuit your board. But it will also protect it from any falling object, etc...

Your video look good. Keep going :)

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:35 pm
by Tom Smith
Wow, that looks really nice. I'd echo PsyKo's comment about the power, maybe mill yourself an enclosure :)

On an unrelated note, how did you dye the nylon? That really adds some unique style to your build.


Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:01 pm
by jsbannis
A fellow cable sleeving addict? Paracord is pretty nice, gives it a finished look for not a lot of money. I need to get some of the larger diameter kind, I was only able to fit one wire through, so mine doesn't look quite as neat as yours.

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:10 pm
by madmanmoe
Yeah, I'm going to detach the electronics from that board (too crowded) and I'm in the middle of drawing up a separate enclosure box for it all.

The spacers were done using Rit Dye. Nylon takes colour really well.

I'm mostly trying to sort my cable management at the moment. I've ordered some molex connectors and a terminal block to mount at the back of the machine. The paracord I have at the moment just about fits the 4 motor wires, but if I wanted to get clever and group the limit switches etc, I might need some thicker cord.
I also found some drag chain for £5 so couldn't resist buying it. I'll be a few weeks before it gets here though, so for now I'm just sticking with the cord.

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:43 am
by madmanmoe
As I'm sure it is with many people my first project after 'Hello World' was to mill myself an enclosure.

I collected a few connectors then grabbed my calipers, cracked open Vectorworks and began drawing.

This is what I eventually made


The letters actually took the longest, I had to redraw everything as single line. Also for some reason MakerCam doesn't like 'L' shapes, refused to create toolpaths for them. I had to edit the files so that the two lines in the L's aren't connected. But forgot to do the N's and had to fill in the missing bits jogging by hand.


I went with molex connectors, everything else I looked at was just overkill*.
There's also a cut out with a fan mounted inside.


The reason for the low profile is so that it fits on the drawer under my desk.
Main power runs through an illuminated switch on the front, then to the 24V supply.
5V logic is handled by a small regulator on my little parallel interface shield.
Also my fan needed 12V so I put together a regulator for that (the thing glued to the wall, right)

I've left myself plenty of room for spindle controls and other upgrades. My e-stop has actually arrived and I got as far as mounting the limit switches and routing the cable.
I'm in no hurry to implement either.
I'm using LinuxCNC and the soft limits work perfectly, also F1 triggers the emergency stop (however this doesn't stop the spindle or account for hardware malfunction)
So I can't see me getting around to that anytime soon.

Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I forgot to measure my material though, my 3mm MDF turned out to be 3.2mm so my box joints aren't flush. I should have remembered, but it's been a while since I designed anything for machine.

There's more close up pics in this blog post if anyone is interested.

*It was also horribly expensive, if it had been cheaper I totally would have gone with some flashy XLR Connectors.

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:21 am
by Tom Smith
Now that's a nice looking enclosure! Makes me start thinking about improving my own.

A question - your illuminated power switch looks a lot like one I am using - how do you wire it so it lights up when on? I haven't been able to figure that one out.


Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:31 am
by madmanmoe
I struggled to find a simple answer to that question when I was hooking mine up. It only has 3 wires how hard can it be? But a loud pop and a busted multi-meter proved me wrong. I'm still blaming that one on a faulty switch.

Anyway here's how mine is wired.

There are 3 contacts two silver, one gold. Connect the gold one to ground. Then connect your mains voltage to the outside silver pin and you power supply to the inside silver pin.
If your pins aren't coloured the same as mine then you'll have to use a multimeter to figure out which two pins are connected when you throw the switch (these are your two 'silver' pins).

This diagram looks about right. Except that your source is 240V (or110V) not 12V and you 'accessory' is your 24V power supply.

It's also worth noting that companies often produce both 12V and 240V products in exactly the same packaging so check that it has 240V printed somewhere on your switch.

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:03 am
by cvoinescu
That is a very nice enclosure! I've had my machine for much longer and I still have the electronics on a piece of corrugated cardboard. Shame on me. :)

About the connectors: I've had very good success with this type of connector. They come in any number of pins from 2 to 10, which is handy for things like extruders and limit switches. They're cheaper than XLR, and they look pretty neat. You'll find them listed as "panel connector", "chassis connector", "aviation plug", "C146".

Re: eShapeoko #23 or MadManMoe's Marvellous Milling Machine

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:33 pm
by DanMc
Madman... Don't know if you tried to use this or not, but Vectorworks has a text to line tool. Under the Text menu it's called TrueType to Polyline. Each letter becomes a separate polyline. Letters with two lines, an "O" for example come out as one polyline, not sure how that would work in your CAM but it's easily corrected by decomposing and recomposing the correct pieces.