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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by eci22 View Post
    Yes I'm quite familiar with the bird poo welding technique : ). When you were welding, did you let the weld cool before removing the clamps and turn the piece around to clamp the other side or did you weld one side un-clamped, turn it over clamp it down and then weld the other side ? It you clamped down the first side then welded and turned over to weld the second side the clamps wouldn't have much effect on the first side at least ?- I'd be really interested to hear your workflow as I've alredy welded my Y axis and I am trying to improve my amount of warp in the rest of the build ( I'm using gaseless MIG, a very very basic machine), I've seen a bunch of you tube videos but haven't dialled in my sequencing yet.
    You are overestimating my skill and ability! I used a cheap stick welder I bought online which is the only welder I have ever actually used. The pieces were clamped together with C-clamps and vice-grips and if I remember correctly I used a couple of pieces of wood as braces to keep the pieces as flat as possible. I don't have a welding table so worked on the gravel path outside my shed. I clamped everything as tightly as I could before I began and didn't undo any of the clamps until it was finished. Having spent the last couple of days properly aligning this machine for the first time I can say how pleasantly surprised I am with the result of my first attempt at welding. It's needed some shims to get everything level and parallel but has turned out very well I think. The important thing is to think about how you will make your design adjustable, where you will need to have joints that can take shims for alignment and how you will access those joints when the machine is complete without taking half of it to bits again.
    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by eci22 View Post
    Do you mean like this ?
    Attachment 28048
    Not really, I'm pretty sure it would be best to have the Hiwin rails fix directly onto the plate (which will add some rigidity already, especially with the extra stiffness of steel, so would be worth adding into you simulation) I was meaning maybe either side of the ballscrew (assuming there's enough clearance) or even on the front either side of the spindle mount if there's space. Just trying to help you add some cheap rigidity :-)
    The FEA software is Fusion 360, it is really nice once you get used to it. What kind of ballpark figures should I be looking at for in the deflection analysis ? At the moment I'm not actually taking figures as real world numbers, but more to compare the deltas between different designs.
    I'm no expert on dynamic loads whilst cutting, but as it's not exactly a smooth process (hence the noise!) I would expect peak loads to be may 1.5...2x the static???

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    You are overestimating my skill and ability! I used a cheap stick welder I bought online which is the only welder I have ever actually used. The pieces were clamped together with C-clamps and vice-grips and if I remember correctly I used a couple of pieces of wood as braces to keep the pieces as flat as possible. I don't have a welding table so worked on the gravel path outside my shed. I clamped everything as tightly as I could before I began and didn't undo any of the clamps until it was finished. Having spent the last couple of days properly aligning this machine for the first time I can say how pleasantly surprised I am with the result of my first attempt at welding. It's needed some shims to get everything level and parallel but has turned out very well I think. The important thing is to think about how you will make your design adjustable, where you will need to have joints that can take shims for alignment and how you will access those joints when the machine is complete without taking half of it to bits again.
    Thanks for the advice, yes I think the joints and adjustability becomes really important- so many choices!

    Quote Originally Posted by Voicecoil
    Not really, I'm pretty sure it would be best to have the Hiwin rails fix directly onto the plate (which will add some rigidity already, especially with the extra stiffness of steel, so would be worth adding into you simulation) I was meaning maybe either side of the ballscrew (assuming there's enough clearance) or even on the front either side of the spindle mount if there's space. Just trying to help you add some cheap rigidity :-)
    Like this ?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	z_design2.jpg 
Views:	101 
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ID:	28052

    That does seem like a great idea to add rigidity

    I think I've read a few times that it's better to have the guide blocks fixed and the linear rails moving down on the Z axis- I've also seen this quite a few times on builds, apologies if this is not what you mean by saying ('best to have the Hiwin rails fix directly onto the plate')

  4. #14
    Well sort of.... The direct fixing of the rails thing was more aimed at how you're spacing the front and back Z plates apart. Currently you have the carriages fixed hard onto the back plate, and then some bits of square bar lifting the rails off the front plate presumably to clear the ballscrew bits. This will make the front plate wonderfully stiff front to back, but it would be worth doing your FEA to see what lateral/twisting rigidity is like. The other option would be to have the rails direct onto the front plate, and lift the carriages on a couple of bits of rectangular plate, if this leaves the front plate assy. too bendy, stick the stiffening bars onto the front plate instead of the back. My gut feeling tells me that getting the front plate stiff is more important as it's that that will be dangling down at maximum Z extension. It will be interesting to see what the FEA predicts for the different options.

    PS do think about the locations of the fixings for both X and Z carriages - get them overlapping and you might end up with a wonderfully rigid assembly that it's impossible to assemble And also think about making sure there's a way of tramming the Z-axis (adjusting it so it's perpendicular to the bed)

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  6. #15
    Your concentrating too much on deflection and not thinking about resonant vibrations which are the real killers of tools and finish. That Z-axis shown will resonate because the plate is too thin with a large gap between the rails acting like a trampoline.

    Going back to the 50mm box section then I can tell you from experience building machines that it's not the best choice unless you use at least 6mm wall thickness and good bracing. The rectangular tube is much better when used in the correct direction and braced correctly, however you still need a thick wall to help with vibrations.

    The simple FEA you are doing won't tell you anything about how the machine will perform in real life. You would be better advised to drop the FEA and put the time into reading builds and asking questions about any designs you like. By that, I mean directly asking the builder and not posting a thread asking the questions about a particular design as you'll get lots of conflicting advice and often from people with little experience or worse armchair experience.

    Can't beat experience and to get the experience you need to get on with it so put the PC down and get the welder out.!!

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  8. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by eci22 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, yes I think the joints and adjustability becomes really important- so many choices!
    You then have to choose what measurements you need to make and instruments to buy in order to set those adjustments correctly. There are a lot of worms in the can but you learn a lot too.
    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

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  10. #17
    You don't like to hear it and i would not say it again, but one last time for the benefit of all people who will read that in the future:

    -50x50 is not right for a machine that will mill aluminum, 80x80 or 100x100 3mm is the right profile to form the gantry and the sides or the whole frame

    -saving on box section size=5 times more cutting and welding diagonal braces, where if 80x80 or 100x100 there is no need for diagonals and simpler construction

    -there is no such thing as 0.1- 0.3mm accuracy, especially cutting aluminum. If the machine is made right it will be repeatable 0.05mm and accuracy will be ~0.01- 0.02mm
    0.3mm accuracy is for MDF machines or crappy cheap machines, in other words trash that will not cut aluminum at all.

    -Modeling wil get you to nowhere, only wasting your time. Check what people build on forum, choose a build, see the results and imitate it. Then you will be successful. Make a build log, ask questions and listen to them answers..

    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that. Go to a local welder and find a 2m piece of that 50x50 profile, 80x80, 100x100, touch it , try to bend it then for 1 min everything will become clear to you. 3m 100x100 is flexible and 50x50 is like a macaroni

    -every crappy machine can cut aluminum, scratching or slow, but the better the machine the most perfect the finish will be.

    -if on a build of 60x90x20 for example machine you think that 10cm more or less is a great thing, better not start it. 10cm of rail and steel more or less in abuild are no more than 100-150e, and if you dont have 3k for parts and 500-800 for tooling at least, you are in the wrong place.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  11. #18
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 7 Hours Ago Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 1,674. Received thanks 292 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    Personal view here, but based on using my own machine for the last 2-3 years. It's described somewhere on this forum - search for "AVOR" and my username if you want to look it up. It's built mainly of 50x50x3 with some 100x50x3. Steel, all welded, various bits and pieces from 20mm Ecocast aluminium. I suspect that if you did a static FEA job on it, it would come out as being pretty stiff (for some definition of "stiff", anyway). It's not "Boyan bullet-proof" but it isn't bad. That 3mm box is strong enough - if well-braced. If I were doing it again, would I go the same route? No - it's strong enough but resonance is always a problem, and that's not something you can easily fix after the event. I should have gone for 5mm, I reckon, although there's not much else I would change. That would have meant that I could drill and tap directly into it for fixings instead of needing reinforcing strips or other workarounds.

    So, what can t cut? Can it cut aluminium? Well, yes, probably, but it's horrible stuff to cut and with a plywood bed, I don't want to do "wet" cutting so I try to avoid it. Of course, it cuts wood/ply/mdf etc with no problem. But it also cuts - regularly - brass and steel. I use small (typically 2-4mm) carbide cutters which are happy to run at high speed and cut dry with no problem. No, I'm not carving engine blocks from large lumps of steel but I cut lots of fiddly little bits which would be difficult to do on the manual mill because of the detail needed - like a brass lost wax master for a lapel badge. One limiting factor is not machine strength or spindle capability but just work-holding - one area that I would revisit another time around is how to build a bed with clamping capability for the kinds of things I now do, as opposed to what I thought I would do when I first built it. Difficulty in just holding things firmly limits cutting forces you can apply.

    I'm also in the "just put something plausible together, listen to comments based on experience, then fire up the angle grinder/welder" camp. The time you spend analysing you could cut and weld a couple more braces...

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  13. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Voicecoil View Post
    Well sort of.... The direct fixing of the rails thing was more aimed at how you're spacing the front and back Z plates apart. Currently you have the carriages fixed hard onto the back plate, and then some bits of square bar lifting the rails off the front plate presumably to clear the ballscrew bits. This will make the front plate wonderfully stiff front to back, but it would be worth doing your FEA to see what lateral/twisting rigidity is like. The other option would be to have the rails direct onto the front plate, and lift the carriages on a couple of bits of rectangular plate, if this leaves the front plate assy. too bendy, stick the stiffening bars onto the front plate instead of the back. My gut feeling tells me that getting the front plate stiff is more important as it's that that will be dangling down at maximum Z extension. It will be interesting to see what the FEA predicts for the different options.

    PS do think about the locations of the fixings for both X and Z carriages - get them overlapping and you might end up with a wonderfully rigid assembly that it's impossible to assemble And also think about making sure there's a way of tramming the Z-axis (adjusting it so it's perpendicular to the bed)
    Yes thank you for pointing the overlapping XZ carriages, this is something I tend to forget, I will try the FEA on your suggestion and post an update- thank you very much Voicecoil !

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn
    You then have to choose what measurements you need to make and instruments to buy in order to set those adjustments correctly. There are a lot of worms in the can but you learn a lot too.
    Yes, just waiting for some of those instruments to arrive, got a surface plate, square, dial indicator/ test indicator and some 123 blocks I think that should have me covered


    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC
    Can't beat experience and to get the experience you need to get on with it so put the PC down and get the welder out.!!
    I completely understand where you are coming from, I just like doing it- it adds to the enjoyment of the build process to me personally. I'm not trying to get others to do it or recommend it as a technique to anyone else, it's just my personal preference.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC
    Your concentrating too much on deflection and not thinking about resonant vibrations which are the real killers of tools and finish. That Z-axis shown will resonate because the plate is too thin with a large gap between the rails acting like a trampoline.

    Going back to the 50mm box section then I can tell you from experience building machines that it's not the best choice unless you use at least 6mm wall thickness and good bracing. The rectangular tube is much better when used in the correct direction and braced correctly, however you still need a thick wall to help with vibrations.

    The simple FEA you are doing won't tell you anything about how the machine will perform in real life. You would be better advised to drop the FEA and put the time into reading builds and asking questions about any designs you like. By that, I mean directly asking the builder and not posting a thread asking the questions about a particular design as you'll get lots of conflicting advice and often from people with little experience or worse armchair experience.
    It's not a one stop solution to everything and I'm not going to treat it as such, but I do think comparing the deltas between different design choices is useful and interesting to do. It is also useful in pointing out the best candidates for bracing, this may be something that is second nature to someone like yourself and many others but for me, seeing this visualised is very helpful.

    I know vibrations will something that needs to be compensated for, I appreciate 6mm would be better than 3mm and 8 mm would be than 6mm etc- but I have what I have and need to make the best use of it. I enjoy the flexibiity that CAD gives you in terms of experimentation and will try to combine it with the vast array of insight in the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC
    when used in the correct direction
    Would you mind expanding on this please ? Thank you


    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    Personal view here, but based on using my own machine for the last 2-3 years. It's described somewhere on this forum - search for "AVOR" and my username if you want to look it up. It's built mainly of 50x50x3 with some 100x50x3. Steel, all welded, various bits and pieces from 20mm Ecocast aluminium. I suspect that if you did a static FEA job on it, it would come out as being pretty stiff (for some definition of "stiff", anyway). It's not "Boyan bullet-proof" but it isn't bad. That 3mm box is strong enough - if well-braced. If I were doing it again, would I go the same route? No - it's strong enough but resonance is always a problem, and that's not something you can easily fix after the event. I should have gone for 5mm, I reckon, although there's not much else I would change. That would have meant that I could drill and tap directly into it for fixings instead of needing reinforcing strips or other workarounds.

    So, what can t cut? Can it cut aluminium? Well, yes, probably, but it's horrible stuff to cut and with a plywood bed, I don't want to do "wet" cutting so I try to avoid it. Of course, it cuts wood/ply/mdf etc with no problem. But it also cuts - regularly - brass and steel. I use small (typically 2-4mm) carbide cutters which are happy to run at high speed and cut dry with no problem. No, I'm not carving engine blocks from large lumps of steel but I cut lots of fiddly little bits which would be difficult to do on the manual mill because of the detail needed - like a brass lost wax master for a lapel badge. One limiting factor is not machine strength or spindle capability but just work-holding - one area that I would revisit another time around is how to build a bed with clamping capability for the kinds of things I now do, as opposed to what I thought I would do when I first built it. Difficulty in just holding things firmly limits cutting forces you can apply.
    Thank you Neal, I also believe your CNC machine is larger than mine ? my cutting area is 3040 with a 600x600 frame, so I'm thinking the relatively smaller size works in my favour. I believe the thicker material gives you a bigger operating window and the thinner stuff means your pocket is smaller and probably slower and I am OK with that.
    Last edited by eci22; 04-05-2020 at 06:25 PM.

  14. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.
    Boyan that's a Class statement and 100% spot on.!! . . . . . That's going to be on my Tag line..

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