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Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:08 am
by Mudshark
Sorry, the red was too hard to refuse. Went with the dual Y axis. For electronics I went with the Gecko 540 which gives me a little more flexibility. I used Bart's Hadron example for the cable management but will use larger springs when I get around lengthening the Y axis.
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With the Gecko drive, a parallel port is required, although the Dell D600 laptop I rebuilt for this has one, to get the correct operation from the port was hit and miss so I went with a smooth stepper. I built a case for the 24 and 5 volt power supplies and mounted the smooth stepper in there. I can run it off the ethernet port and has been bug free. I'll try to add a picture of the case soon.

I really like the Proxxon tool but I'm not applying a lot of load with the plastics etc that I am learning on.
As far as the Proxxon mount, I used a 20mm linear rail mount which makes it very quick to change bits by removing the tool.
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My biggest obstacle has been working with software, Google Sketchup and Phlatboyz post processor but it is easy for me to work with the Gcode directly (old school from a PDP 4K) but I 'll keep at it. Originally I got some bits that excelled at melting plastic so it's been a learning curve there also. I did a lot of lurking when I first started building and am really indebted to those who have posted their successes and failures.
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Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:45 am
by dointhangs
I had to choose a color for some of edwards end mounts and totally stayed with red. It just screams lust, gotta have it lol. Hey I am really intrigued by the receptacles or whatever it is you have going for plugging the cables into. I used some "polarized connectors" from sparkfun but am only kinda happy with them. Where did you buy these and ditto for the wraps. Solid job man.

Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:11 am
by edwardrford
That build looks amazing. I'm in love with the spring wire management technique. Where did you get it and what is the part number :-)

I really like the clean back panel mounted electronics as well. I had started down that path but wondered from it and never got back. I'll have to start heading that way again soon.

Tell us a little bit about your pen mount. I'm totally intrigued.


Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:50 pm
by Mudshark
Thanks for the feedback!

Hi doingthangs,
For the connectors, I bought a Molex kit (, P/N 76650-0159). It's great for the control portions like stop switch or limits but I am not really sold on them for the steppers. I removed the one for the Z axis and have had some trouble on one of the Y axis steppers. I use a magnifier for putting the crimps on, (crimper Pololu #1928) but still have some break off. I thought they would be great if I had to change a stepper but, like others, not sure if they are a best idea. If you drives are sensitive to open circuits, I would solder and heat shrink instead, the 540 has been very tolerant but I don't know about a Pololu. --Red is sooo sexy!

Hey Edward,
Like I said, I totally ripped off they idea for cable management from Bart Dring on the Ordbots he developed. Check out forums etc. I used McMaster Carr for the source P/N 9664K17 but getting the wires through was like shoving a marshmellow into a piggy bank. I used 4 conductor RGB LED wire off Ebay, probably 26ga. I will go with a larger ID spring when I scale up the Y axis (9664K19 or K22). I heat shrinked the ends to build the OD of the springs to fit snugly into cable clamps and used two clamps to prevent swiveling.
The Gecko 540 fit perfectly against the rear plate and heat sinks it some. It has some nice I/O which I am going to mess with next.
The coil over pen can be found at: ... -Plotting/. Finding the right diameter sharpie is the hard part. I still have some slop but for start up it was great to use. Got the tubing at Le Homme Depot' and spring at the local Ace. I used cable clamps to lock it down to Z axis.
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Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:36 pm
by Tom Smith
The spring cable management looks brilliant! Are the springs pretty firm, or could you get away with using screen door springs which are a little bit floppy?

Such a great idea! :)


Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:41 am
by Mudshark
Hi Tom, thanks for your comments.
The springs I have are made with .035 wire and have a bend diameter of less than 70mm. They are pretty flexibIe. I tried to find some door springs locally but the smallest wire springs I could find were .041 and were a bit large in diameter for my tastes (too short for my use also). The smaller wire seems to keep gaps smaller. Bear in mind that the wire may make the spring stiffer (mine is full and feels like a Gumby toy). I really like your idea, I just wish I had a better selection available locally because of shipping charges vs. local taxes and I prefer instant gratification. My advice is, if you have something that looks good available, give it a shot. If you don't use crimp connectors then you can easily slide the wire back out and try a different spring. BTW: I drilled and tapped the screw holes for the cable clamps. I have been thinking about cutting the plug off of my rotary tool and sliding a spring on there, too. Don't forget to make sure the spring end does not gouge into the wire.

Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:20 pm
by Mudshark
Here is a photo of my power supply case. It has the 24vdc and 5vdc power supplies mounted with a smooth stepper under the plate. I can fit all my cables and E-Stop button in there. I built this so I can move the entire setup with relative ease. I don't have much room to work in so I have to break it down after use. I takes about three trips from the basement to the garage to begin making chips.
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Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:26 pm
by Mudshark
I added a X-axis limit and cut out a couple of rings to mount the pen holder to my rotary tool mount. It's nice because I can now go from pen to tool with one screw to loosen and tighten.
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Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:51 am
by DevinTX
The entire setup looks great. I realy like the pen setup. Clean!


Re: Another Red Shapeoko

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:43 pm
by Mudshark
This is my latest addition. I have been trying to find a better method to cut foam that I use for building fishing rod handles. I started lurking on the non-powered spindle forum to see what anyone has done and came up with this. I took a lot from jhilt67 for what direction to head.

Just learning on how to use it so nothing miraculous yet although I am pretty excited about the M3/M5 commands.
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My best advice is to get a decent pair of laser safety glasses before using, it is easy to sunburn your retina even when being cautious.