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View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Bloke in uncoverted loft with 3 dot matrix printers says hi



HankMcSpank
29-08-2008, 09:29 PM
Ok, yes, I know I'm going to get frustrated using stepper motors & rods out of 3 DEC dot matrix printers but hey...we've all got to start somewhere!

I live in North London...don't have the luxury of a shed, garage, spare room etc...so I've been consigned to an unconverted loft - basic to say the least - not even any boards down & I have to balance across the joists...ok., I jest (actually, it's not so bad at the moment but I'm sure it'll wear thin in November!).

Got my motors, my driver board, my PSU.... some steel rods (out of the printer!)...just got to figure out a way of 'gluing' them all together.

Anyway, it's good to find this place.....I felt alienated on forums where everyone can source "aluminium storefront watchacallit" (I've checked & whatever it is, it's not listed in the Argos catalogue).

Expect some naive line of questioning to commence imminently!

Cheers,
Hank

Gary
29-08-2008, 11:45 PM
Yep, we all have to start some where.
What are you looking at making?
You may want to look at the rockliff plans for some ideas.

Dont forget to post some progress pictures?

irving2008
30-08-2008, 12:45 AM
Welcome, was just looking at your 'Poor man's XY table' post on CNCZone.

Whereabouts in North London?

HankMcSpank
30-08-2008, 01:22 AM
Gary - small pcbs.

Eventually, something than can route recesses neatly in guitar bodies (to fit electronics inside).

Re Rockcliff plans - Funny you should say that...I've looking at Rockcliff builds all night. A couple of things trouble me....

1. Being American...I'm figuring the plans are all imperial.....eugggh!

2. A few people have said they've 'modified' their builds ....so much for the blurb about being an evolution & are currently most excellent (or words to that effect)

Irving - I live in Fortis Green (between Muswell Hill & East Finchley...about 100m from the childhood home of the Kink's Ray Davies - but I think he has a better pad now). Re poor mans XY rails - I've now aborted that idea ...the one comment I got on the CNC-Zone back made sense ....ie 'bind-sville' (all it was, that being unfeasibly tight...Tesco's clearing them out at £7 a pop seemed a) cheap & b) lazy! )

Gary
30-08-2008, 01:31 AM
It is imperial and metric,
I got the plands just to have a look, and am thinking of doing a larger machine, but not got round to it yet


Gary - small pcbs.

Eventually, something than can route recesses neatly in guitar bodies (to fit electronics inside).

Re Rockcliff plans - Funny you should say that...I've looking at Rockcliff builds all night. A couple of things trouble me....

1. Being American...I'm figuring the plans are all imperial.....eugggh!

2. A few people have said they've 'modified' their builds ....so much for the blurb about being an evolution & are currently most excellent (or words to that effect)

Irving - I live in Fortis Green (between Muswell Hill & East Finchley...about 100m from the childhood home of the Kink's Ray Davies - but I think he has a better pad now). Re poor mans XY rails - I've now aborted that idea ...the one comment I got back made on the CNC-Zone sense ....ie 'bind-sville' (all it was, that being unfeasibly tight...Tesco's clearing them out at 7 a pop seemed a) cheap & b) lazy! )

HankMcSpank
30-08-2008, 01:38 AM
Thanks Gary...that's one issue-ette addressed (I really couldn't stomach getting involved with measurements such as eleven thirtytwo'ths)

Here's the Rockcliff blurb....

" with our refined plans I have gotten Homemade CNC down to an art, , the plans and instructions we sell today did not appear overnight and have been refined and tweaked over a ten year period, so purchasing our plans today you will feel confident building your DIY CNC router that your finished machine will perform as advertised"

Yet, time & time again...I read of users changing the plans! That would bug me...ie shelling out for the "10 year honed plans"...only to find I have to change/enhance them!

This guy seems to know what he's doing (3 pdf files of his erhmm 'modified' Rockcliff build)...

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=49175&d=1198415032

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52109&d=1201795716

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54965&d=1204908004

(not sure if you need to be a CNC-Zone member & logged in to download the above or not)

Gary
30-08-2008, 02:08 AM
People change them not because they are not that well thought out, but because every machine is different.
Also people decide that they are going to use different materials like ballscrew instead of leadscrew, and this needs different mountings, they may prefer to use profiled rail rather than bar and so on, also the rockcliff plans are for people on a budget, so most of the time, people upgrade it to be more ridged.







Thanks Gary...that's one issue-ette addressed (I really couldn't stomach getting involved with measurements such as eleven thirtytwo'ths)

Here's the Rockcliff blurb....

" with our refined plans I have gotten Homemade CNC down to an art, , the plans and instructions we sell today did not appear overnight and have been refined and tweaked over a ten year period, so purchasing our plans today you will feel confident building your DIY CNC router that your finished machine will perform as advertised"

Yet, time & time again...I read of users changing the plans! That would bug me...ie shelling out for the "10 year honed plans"...only to find I have to change/enhance them!

This guy seems to know what he's doing (3 pdf files of his erhmm 'modified' Rockcliff build)...

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=49175&d=1198415032

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=52109&d=1201795716

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54965&d=1204908004

(not sure if you need to be a CNC-Zone member & logged in to download the above or not)

Lee Roberts
31-08-2008, 02:05 AM
The rockcliff is a good starting point and i would go with it if i was you, welcome to the forums !

HankMcSpank
31-08-2008, 01:09 PM
Thanks.

It will be a Rockcliff based variant.

I've baulked at the prices folks want for steel rod & bushings to build it...so I'm going back to the skip!

The old 3 dot matrix printers I've stripped have provided me with steppers, limit switches & one rod each (with two bushings). The steel rod is only 320mm long (& 12mm diameter)...so I'll likely make a CNC that's 300mm-ish in the X & Y axis.

I've convinced myself that the shorter axis, will help with rigidity & therefore accuracy.

My problem is that I'm probably not going to be able to lay my hands on another 3 dot matrix printers for a few months yet...so, there's not a whole lot I can do right now.

Since, I'll be altering the dimension in all 3 axis, I won't be buying the plans, but I can get the gist just by looking at the many photos that abound on the web.

Smiler
31-08-2008, 04:15 PM
Hi Hank,

Welcome to the forum!

I too bought plans from the US (Solsylva 4x2) and other than the basic idea of a short gantry running on raised rails and rack&pinion drive on one axis, I've changed just about everything else:D. I've changed from all wood/ steel pipe and allthread to Steel/PVC, precision round rail and ballscrew and I'm so glad I did. The Plans however contain so much infromation it was worth the purchse for that alone. This is a very friendly site and some really helpful guys, I'm sure you are going to enjoy visiting, I certainly do.

HankMcSpank
03-04-2009, 04:19 PM
(originally posted on CNC Zone, but replicated here with a little editing since I'm UK based & maybe not everyone here reads that forum)

I've finally got around to building my my CNC

Because I'm such a cheapskate I wanted to spend as little as possible on this.

Ingredients..

6 x Dot Matrix printers - kindly donated from work (they were about to be thrown out - intially I only had three, but the extra three have made a significant difference to how I've rolled out the design) ....excellent for hardened steel rail & the bearings that ride on them...also stepper motors (albeit weak ones) & switches.

Steel pipe (was formerly used as stair handrail at work)...this is for the frame

4mm Aluminium plate (used to be blanking plates to fill in the gaps on the front of computer cabinters). This has proved to be excellent for keeping everything fairly level.

Bought items...

Stepper driver card (I couldn't be bothered to make my own)

Linear rail mounts (a godsend ...the linear rails out the dot matrix printer were 11.94mm...a bit of ebaying found a product called 'sk12' mounts (for 12mm rails) ....these held my rail perfectly! All 12 for about 20 delivered (I'm a Brit)

M8 threaded rod - remember ...I'm cheap.

Roller Skate bearings.

Delrin (to make my own anti backlash nuts)

Some screws/bolts.

I'll be powering from a fairly powerful bench PSU I already have.


Ok, I've only just started the build (two days in), but here you can see the dot matrix printer transport after I'd stripped it out of it's casing (you can make the photos larger by clicking on the main photo within the page that opens).....

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/6434/printercomments.th.jpg (http://img16.imageshack.us/my.php?image=printercomments.jpg)

These are the linear rail mounts (money well spent)....

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9287/mountscommentsn.th.jpg (http://img12.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mountscommentsn.jpg)

Here's an early shot which outlines the basics of the steel frame (lossely based on the easy CNC mill design - the steel frame will be all welded once everything is finally built & 'lined up').

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/1238/cncframe.th.jpg (http://img12.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cncframe.jpg)


& here's where I'm up to as of today...

http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/365/cnch.th.jpg (http://img12.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cnch.jpg)

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/511/57487199.th.jpg (http://img16.imageshack.us/my.php?image=57487199.jpg)

(note, the little bit of wood you see at the end of the threaded rod , was just an experiment to try & get the threaded rod level. Also the bright green thing with a red top isn't a sex toy...it's a carton from one of my kids ice lollies, I've got some enamelled copper wrapped around it for a home pickup project - another day!).

yes, I know the stepper is going to be too weak...initially, I'll only be cutting thin acrylic & we'll see where this takes me (I'm using a dremel as a spindle but have my eye on a nice wolfgang spindle!)

Still to do...

mount the motors (I'm still trying to figure out the way to do this cheaply!)

Align the threaded rods with the motors. (M8 threaded rod to 6.35mm shaft - any ideas...remember, proice is a motivating factor here!)


I'll update soon - bear in mind this is my first build (& no plans to follow...making it up as I go along) , I'm not really the mechanical engineering type (more the electronics sort)

Gary
03-04-2009, 04:29 PM
Flexible coupling would be ideal.


Align the threaded rods with the motors. (M8 threaded rod to 6.35mm shaft - any ideas...remember, proice is a motivating factor here!)

HankMcSpank
03-04-2009, 04:43 PM
Flexible coupling would be ideal.

Do you mean like PVC tubing?

If so, the problem is the 'differing' diameters of the two end I want to connect ....ie M8 rod is erhm, 8mm(!) & the stepper shaft is 6.35mm ....???

Gary
03-04-2009, 04:56 PM
PVC tubing is very crude and will not be accurate.
I am reffering to an actual coupling.
Have a look on our website, there are quite a few options, on the bore sizes, and 6.35 and 8mm are standard.

Do you mean like PVC tubing?

If so, the problem is the 'differing' diameters of the two end I want to connect ....ie M8 rod is erhm, 8mm(!) & the stepper shaft is 6.35mm ....???

audioandy
03-04-2009, 09:12 PM
Hank

Just do a search on CNCZONE for the Wolfgang Spindle before parting with your money, there have been issues with the bearings allegadley!!!!

Andy

Robin Hewitt
03-04-2009, 10:37 PM
mount the motors (I'm still trying to figure out the way to do this cheaply!)

Align the threaded rods with the motors. (M8 threaded rod to 6.35mm shaft - any ideas...remember, proice is a motivating factor here!


1: Mount the motors rigidly to the shaft so the shaft supports the motor.

2: Run an arm from the motor and tie it to something solid with a rubber band. This means the shaft has to turn, not the motor.

The motor may wobble about a bit but it's cheap and it's a good solid connection :beer:

Lee Roberts
04-04-2009, 05:28 AM
You can get couplers from the same place you got the SK mounts from as well Hank ;)

8mm x 6.35mm is not a problem.

HankMcSpank
07-06-2009, 11:02 PM
Just got round to making a short video of my 'heath robinson' (cheapskate's) CNC making parts for itself (a toolholder)...

YouTube - DIY Hobby CNC mill made from Dot Matrix Printers (check out the elastic bands holding the dremel to the Z plane ....which is why it's cutting a new proper toolholder in the video!)

It's not exactly rock 'n roll but it tickles me!

Also got to sort out a better way of clamping the material!

I'll get a few photos taken of this machine once this toolholder is finished being cut & mounted (the final part of the five pieces designed in CAD will hopefully be cut tomorrow night), I just need to tidy my workbench a little afterwards!

Total cost about 140...

Stepper motors - free (dot matrix printers)
Stepper motor mounts - free (made from some 4" x 2" that I had lying around!)
Linear rod - free (from the dot matrix printers - about 33cm long)
PSU - not exactly free but I already had a 30V bench PSU capable of 5A.
85 driver board (couldn't be @rsed to make that myself!)
8 M8 threaded rod
5 - drive nuts (I made from a block of delrin I bought off Ebay)
16 - twelve SK12 mounts (for the linear rod)
5 roller skate bearings (to thread the M8 threaded rod through)
10 for 6 x SK16 mounts (for the roller skate bearing turning the M8 rod)
10 various nut, bolts & screws!

Software - various CAD/CAM/CNC demos (need to shell out for some of this I guess!)

John S
08-06-2009, 12:01 AM
It's alive! and working OK......I liked the "Pimp your bubble bath" video better :beer: Didn't have those when I was a kid!

Wot bath's ? yer did, it's were ya da kept 't coal.

.