1. #1
    I've been spending many hours reading build logs and getting a few insights into designs for moving gantry routers.

    Couple of questions for the DIY CNC Hive Mind:

    I have seen that people arrange the x axis carriages such that the point of the tool will be between them. Z axis depth means that the y axis beam ends up set back towards the rear x carriages. (One or two designs I've seen don't bother with this, they just have a more massive gantry with more depth...)

    Is there an optimal spacing for the x axis carriages - assuming that loss of x travel is acceptable to get a more rigid gantry?

    Does having the carriages further apart add much benefit?

    I guess this apples to all axis?

    So for hiwin 20mm carriages, set with a gap between the seals of say 40mm, the total width of both carriages comes out at something like 200mm, so to have a working x of 1500mm, you need another 200mm of rail and bed.

    This dimension really sets a lot of the overall dimensions of the machine...

    When sketching up a layout, I found that starting with the carriages and rails makes getting the overall dimensions easier, so I want to be sure I get the carriage spacing in the right ballpark first!

    Assuming the machine is for milling aluminium and wants to have a working area of around 1500,750,250 ish!


    Second question is about the z axis. I read that rails on the spindle plate is better, but many don't build like this. I assuming that by mounting the rails on the spindle plate, you get a lot more z travel, but the spindle can overhang (or rather over drop?) the carriages. doesn't that lead to possible vibration and flex in the z axis?

    I suppose large z axis travel means that a vertical mill configuration is the best approach, seeing as gantry designs are more about 2d cutting...

    So is there a rule of thumb for z travel given a pair of 20mm rails with a 2.2kw spindle?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Is there an optimal spacing for the x axis carriages - assuming that loss of x travel is acceptable to get a more rigid gantry?

    Does having the carriages further apart add much benefit?

    I guess this apples to all axis?

    So for hiwin 20mm carriages, set with a gap between the seals of say 40mm, the total width of both carriages comes out at something like 200mm, so to have a working x of 1500mm, you need another 200mm of rail and bed.

    This dimension really sets a lot of the overall dimensions of the machine...
    Don't think there is an optimal, like you note, you want them as far apart as possible with the least amount of compromise on axis travel, if you get down into the science, it's just not possible to mount the bearings at distances apart that the numbers suggest.

    I think an absolute minimum distance the bearings should be spaced apart, is whatever the distance is between the rails, lets say 250mm.

    Designing this type of cnc machine is a constant search for equilibrium, great fun though a!
    .Me

  3. #3
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 1,128. Received thanks 201 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    As Lee says, engineering is the art of compromise. FWIW, my own thinking was along the lines of...

    I want quarter-sheet travel plus a bit of spare. Say, 1400mm. Next bigger off-the-shelf ballscrew available in UK was 1700mm. Use hiwin rails, 1750mm, then 250mm carriage length gives 1500mm travel. 1800mm box section lets me overhang rails off end of machine for end cutting while still keeping adequate bed length for panel work. Just about fits workshop floor area available. And that was more-or-less the design process. Took a few months of cogitating to get there, mind you, but in the grand scheme of things, 50mm extra bearing spacing costs almost nothing, adds little to size, and gives that slight feeling of doing the right thing. Y carriage width looks about right at 200mm for 750mm travel on 950mm gantry (inside dimensions).

    In the end, the decision often comes down to some simple key facts and you just have to work out what the real decision factors are. Like stepper motor sizing - for this size machine, you can analyse and calculate as much as you like, but the answer will be 3 or 4Nm Nema 23 motors with a 68V psu. You don't use bigger motors because they are heavier and slower, and smaller motors aren't that much cheaper.

    Sometimes the engineer in me overcomes the need to analyse to death and at least you can then start building!
    Last edited by Neale; 19-11-2017 at 09:17 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. NEW MEMBER: Hi and a couple of questions.
    By TheBoltonian in forum New Member Introductions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-01-2017, 04:58 PM
  2. hi all, new to cnc building,couple of questions if anyone can help. TIA
    By universally in forum Gantry/Router Machines & Building
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 18-01-2015, 03:12 PM
  3. RFQ: Z axis and y axis carriage
    By D-man in forum Projects, Jobs & Requests
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-04-2013, 09:06 AM
  4. Reinforced plastic beams for x-axis rails ?
    By flanagaj in forum Gantry/Router Machines & Building
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19-10-2011, 04:28 PM
  5. x-axis rails and lead screw
    By adambrum in forum Gantry/Router Machines & Building
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-08-2011, 12:56 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •