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twforeman's build

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:31 pm
by twforeman
I'm new to the forum, so this is also an introductory post... I used to be a mechanical designer in a plastic injection mold shop - which means that I drew the tooling to make plastic parts.

It was a medium sized shop but they had some nice CNC mills, among other equipment. The biggest perk of the job was being able to go use the shop to make things. Unfortunately I quit that job and changed careers about 14 years ago. I'm now in IT, so no fun tools to play with (other than the ones that push bits around.)

I have a wood shop in my basement, but have lusted after small CNC mills for a long time. I recently ran across the ShapeOko mill site and was very impressed. Impressed enough that I bought the basic kit and some longer rails.

I've been blogging about my build on my personal blog: http://timf.anansi-web.com/wp/category/shapeoko-mill/

I hope to have some photos up tonight of the build process.

I already have a list of upgrades planned - some from the Wiki and some from browsing on this forum.

I'm hoping my GRBL board and Arduino arrive today or tomorrow so I can wire it up and produce my "hello world" plot!

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:09 pm
by Improbable Construct
I popped over and took a look at your blog and noticed that you may have the x and y swapped in your descriptions.
other than that nice work and good luck!

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:22 pm
by twforeman
Improbable Construct wrote:I popped over and took a look at your blog and noticed that you may have the x and y swapped in your descriptions.
other than that nice work and good luck!
I'm going to be standing on the long side, so I'm calling that X. We'll see how confused it ends up making me.

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:56 pm
by Improbable Construct
Ah I see.
When I had my machine extended as yours will be I also swapped the X and Y axis but I continued to refer to them in their stock orientation when talking to others to avoid that confusion.

Carry on.

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:04 am
by twforeman
Here is a photo of my messy basement and my machine at about 99% mechanical. Still needs wiring.
09-full_assy.jpg
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My GRBL shield and Seeeduino showed up today so I should have everything I need to make it go tomorrow or Sunday!

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:04 am
by twforeman
Got the machine all wired up and running tonight. Got to generate my "hello world" plot. It's a cool thing.

Here is a shot of the machine.
002-gantry.jpg
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Here is the belt tensioning system I came up with.
03-belt_tension.jpg
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Of course now that I'm all done wiring I saw someone else who ran the wires to the second Y axis motor through the X axis Maker Slide. Now I have to do that too. It will clean up the front of the machine and some of the wiring anyway. :)

I'm pretty excited to have it running!

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:33 am
by PAPPP
Are you having any problems with the belts near the ends of travel with those eye bolts?

One of the several belt anchor rigs I've tried with my belts on the outside configuration is very similar to your eye-bolt setup, with longer, stiffer, diagonal lever arms made from aluminum channel to deal with the outside position. I'm dissatisfied with that one because it eats up not only the length of the eye and doubled belt, but seems to cause interference (uneven step distance) even before the carriage gets that close no matter how much I fiddle with the alignment.

I've done the 2nd-motor-wires-through-the-makerslide routine. It works great for getting it so there is only wiring coming off one side of the machine. I like your underhand drag chain across X for the Z wires, mine are still dangling - I don't see in your parts list which sort of drag chain that is?

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:07 pm
by twforeman
The drag chain is Igus Energy Chain. I managed to pick some up for free.

As far as the eye bolt and belt issues I haven't run it enough yet to see a problem. I'm already trying to figure out how to make Z shaped anchors to move the eye bolts out. The eye bolts do run into the V wheels, but I don't lose enough travel on the Y axis to care. The X is a little more annoying.

I'm also still trying to figure out whether I want to move the belts to the outside. Ah well, one upgrade at a time.

Today's upgrade will be moving the second Y axis motor to the inside of the Maker Slide and then to do some test cuts to see if all is working well. I still need to set the current limits on the GRBL Shield too.

All in all I'm happy with my ShapeOko so far.

Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:27 am
by twforeman
I made some new belt tensioner mounts tonight and wrote it up on my blog.

Here's a teaser photo:
08-x-axis.jpg
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Re: twforeman's build

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:47 am
by WillAdams
I was able to use a 3/16" x 1-1/2" eye bolt (and a wing nut, and two washers, and a lock washer plus the original nut on the eye bolt) and it's short / small enough the (stock) idler wheels can't hit it --- need to get two more.