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CNC table coming along.



Gadget
03-02-2008, 06:23 AM
I don't have any photos yet but the CNC table for plasma cutting is coming along. I have nearly completed the stepper driver setup. I have to finish wiring the AC power to the unit before it will be ready to test. The Y and Z axis on the table is about 70% completed. Nothing but parts at this time so a photo would be a waste but when it starts looking like a table I will post some photos. The table will be 27X35" and will be convertible from plasma to wood routing.

Gadget

Gadget
03-03-2008, 08:55 PM
It's alive. I finished the power supply for the controller and built the Linux computer with EMC2 CAM software. The stepper motors for all axis's work as planned, no lost steps or unplanned direction reversals. That was a big relief since this is my first attempt at CNC. Now I can concentrate on the actual table.
Gadget

EdKing
03-14-2008, 01:13 PM
So whats the latest on the CNC table Gadget ? Inquiring minds want to know. I just got my package from PlasmaCam, they want almost $10,000 for thier unit, not including shipping. I figure it is definitly better to build my own. Should have my Plasma cutter up in about a week, just waiting for the replacement board to ship.

Ed

Gadget
03-14-2008, 04:33 PM
So whats the latest on the CNC table Gadget ? Inquiring minds want to know.
Ed

Hi Ed,
I have only been able to work on it on the weekends. I have the Z portion nearly completed and some of the Y axis. The software and controller are working well and I have motors turning (on the bench) through a sumulated cut. Hopefully I will have more to report by the end of the weekend.
Gadget

Gadget
03-17-2008, 04:15 PM
Hi all,
I only had a bit of time this weekend to work on the plasma table. I got the motor hooked up to the Z axis and am trying to determine the best location for the home and limit switches. I had hoped to be able to test the Z and set it up with the proper axis travel and home switch location but didn't get that far. Oh well, there is always next weekend.
Gadget

EdKing
03-18-2008, 08:14 AM
Thanks for the update Gadget. I am really interested in this project. Hopefully the new board for my machine gets here soon, can't wait to try out the plasma cutter.

Ed

Gadget
03-19-2008, 10:46 AM
Ed,
I hope to have a moving Z axis this weekend. I will get a movie of it posted if I am successful. It won't look like much yet though. I plan on building the complete unit and using it to make another one out of better materials and more accurate in the parts cutting and layout.
I am finding the EMC2 control software to be quite weak in support and setup information. I am sure it is a powerful program but it might just be easier to use Mach3 with all the support they have. I haven't given up on EMC2 just yet though.
Gadget

EdKing
03-19-2008, 03:50 PM
I'll probably go with Mach 3, as I don't have an extra machine to setup Linux on, I figure I can try it out and the price didn't seem bad (the company I got the info from wants $2500 just for the software). Looks like my card will get here this coming Monday, so I hope to have the cutter and TIG up by then.

Ed

Gadget
03-22-2008, 03:06 PM
I am starting to understand the EMC2 program now and have all three axis moving correctly. I have the Z axis built and have the home and limit switches installed and configured. I have done some simulated cuts and from all appearances it looks like it is working properly. I will try to get a video posted this weekend.
Now that I have the software and electronics figured out it is back to the actual table construction again.
Gadget

Gadget
03-22-2008, 08:18 PM
Here is a short video of the Z axis moving up and down for the cut in a simulated cut. You can also see the X and Y axis moves. Not much to see but not much to show yet either.

Gadget


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcUEBQv4MeI

EdKing
03-23-2008, 05:16 AM
Looking good. I worked as a technician in the electronics industry for 15 years, part of that in the prototyping department, so I realize that is a good start on a project like this. I will probably be ordering the plans here in the near future. Parts should get here for my 160 tomorrow, feel like a kid on the day before Christmas.

Ed

Gadget
03-23-2008, 06:37 AM
I will probably be ordering the plans here in the near future. Parts should get here for my 160 tomorrow, feel like a kid on the day before Christmas.

Ed

Ed,
The 160 is so much fun it is the reason for the CNC table. I just wanted to have a reason to use it more.
The CNC plans have 5 different table combinations in one booklet. I chose the 25X37 table with the two outside leadscrews on the X so there wouldn't be a lead screw under the cutting area. In reviewing the plans I should be able to complete this in a few more weekends. The toughest part was the Z axis, the Y gantry is already done so the frame is next. Of course I will have to modify the table bed to allow switching between router and plasma. As luck would have it my neighbor threw out a porch swing set that had just the perfect angle iron frame so the material won't cost me anything.
As for EMC2, you can download it from the site in the form of a live CD. You can play with it booting from the CD on a windows machine to see if it might work for you. You should be able to access G code files from a network or thumb drive (also save config files to thumb). I am far from an expert at EMC2 but am now at the point where I know I can make it do what I want and can assist if needed.
Dan

EdKing
03-23-2008, 01:01 PM
I'll probably download it and check it out, just I already have a windows computer out here in my garage I use for looking stuff up on the internet. I will also check out Mach3 as its free to download and try, just can't do anything complicated on it without registering it. I'd just as soon stick with windows, as I have autocad already loaded on my garage computer, would make transfering the files a little quicker. Kind of a moot point until I start acquiring the parts for the drive system for the table, I have used up my new tool/toy budget for a while. I am thinking of setting up a mechanical copier (I am sure there is a name for them) in the mean time, something I can trace with a stylus and will copy the movements with the torch.

Ed

Gadget
03-23-2008, 04:27 PM
I am thinking of setting up a mechanical copier (I am sure there is a name for them)
Ed

Check out the Torchmate blueprints for a pantograph. The plans are about $100 and they say you can build the unit for under $250. It uses a magnetic tracer on a pattern to track the cut. It is somewhat limited for size though.

http://www.torchmate.com/pantograph.htm ... xgodOUEUQQ (http://www.torchmate.com/pantograph.htm?gclid=CMrL_qajpJICFQIGxgodOUEUQQ)

Gadget

EdKing
03-23-2008, 04:34 PM
Pantograph, thats the word I was looking for. Thanks for the info Gadget

Ed

Gadget
03-23-2008, 08:00 PM
I found a video on youtube of the same table I am making in operation. This is setup for routing, mine will be able to switch from routing to plasma.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NItyCvXmmmk&NR=1

Gadget

Gadget
04-12-2008, 04:23 PM
Hi all,
I should be at a point where I can submit some photos of the CNC plasma soon. Either late tomorrow or next weekend. It won't be in running condition but should at least start to look like something. Most of the work to this point has been small parts like lead screw nuts and bearings. I only manage about 4 or 5 hours a week to work on the unit so the progress is slow.
Gadget

EdKing
04-12-2008, 09:04 PM
Thanks again for the update Gadget, curious to see how it works out.

Ed