Thread: where to start?
Edit: double posted in error
Last edited by trounce; 07-09-2011 at 07:07 PM.
I am using ViaCAD 2D/3Dv8 and bought it during the pre release ($69). You can get it now for $99 on their site and might be able to get a discount of 15% (I don't know if it is still running). It is a really useful program based on the ACIS modelling core (Same core as SolidWorks). No it is not at that level as it is also not at that price, but for a good MCAD/ACAD program that will get a lot done with excellent forum and support via that forum it is very hard to beat. Comes with videos and pdf user manual (that needs updating in places and they do know and are working on it). The drawings you see my putting up in the forums now on my build are done by ViaCAD. That plus a good CAM and your set on that side of things (CamBam, Aspire, and a few others come to mind). Trust me you don't want to cut corners on software or you end up editing a lot (don't ask how I know).
As to the OP good luck and keep going it takes time and doing it right is worth the time taken. Trust me I know that one the hard way.
Those tools are more than enough in the right hands.
Regards the box 50x50 3mm wall is Ideal and cost affective.
The size of machine you want I started to design for a guy a year or so ago and to do pritty much the same panel work. The budget was tight on this as well but didn't want to build weak.
It was decided steel frame and R&P was the best way to go. Often most designs requires driving the X (or long) axis from both sides and this means extra expense, 2 motors, 2 drives,larger power supply etc.
So I started designing so I could build it with just 1 larger motor on the long Axis 3:1 ratio giving roughly a 25mm pitch thou can be changed with differant sized pulleys and/or pinion.! . . . The pics below are as far as I got. (As folks are probably gathering by now I like my pics.!!. . . They tell a thousand words. :tup:)
It's just a rough layout design and still needs plenty more work but the frame etc are all to scale thou a little extra strengthening to the bed and some bracing are still required. The dimensions are 3mtr x 1.5 which is more than enough for 8x4 sheets.
It never got built due to the guy being made redundent and it's currently on hold untill another day, hence I stopped designing.
If you want to know more drop me a PM and I'll give ya my number.
Also digging this out got me thinking how much the steel would be for this frame and If it could be built for £1000.???
So I rung my supplier and got a price for 50x50x3 7.5mtr lengths of £25+Vat . . . I've worked out 6 lengths lengths of box section should be more than enough. . . so £150 will build you the base frame and gantry.
Commercial Rack is roughly £30 for 2mtr lengths so £120 for X&Y axis, pinions £8 x 3 shaft say roughly £20, Bearings and pulleys approx £50 so R&P for X&Y Axis approx £220-50.
Throw in roughly another £300 for linear rails and you still havent got Z axis or motors, drives, PSU etc . . . so what I'm saying is on reflection then £1500 is more than likely your finished price. thou for £1500 you'll have a cracking machine.
if your using 25 mm supported rails you will need 60mm to mount them on don't buy the bearings for this size as I will give YES give you 4 as I have extra
I got my steel box section from Adey Steel. Good prices but not sure what postage would be if available...
Edit: Looks like Jazz beat me to it...
Last edited by Jonathan; 07-09-2011 at 09:02 PM.
Awesome, thanks very much
Sorry didn't notice this bit, read that meny posts I tend to skim things and miss bits. . .Lol
Post the link and lets have a look.!. . . but NO you shouldn't need 2 motors just one decent size connected to a shaft linking the 2 sides.
With Belts you tend to have quit high reduction to get the resolution down to something usable (for your needs something in the 20mm pitch range) and this reduction ups the torque which helps the motor. The trick is getting the reduction right so the meat of the motors torque is delivered at the optimum feed rate (for nema 34 this usually around 600rpm) and still give good resolution.
Problem with belts at the lengths you need for the long axis is keeping them tight enough they don't flap around but not so tight the stretch. . . . . So Something to consider could be switching from the conventional narrow gantry layout moving along the long axis and instead have a long gantry moving across the short axis.? This way you could use short twin motor driven belts on the narrow axis and R&P on the other long axis. . . . OR even ballscrews on the short axis.? Chinese ballscrews won't cost much more than belts,pulleys,bearing blocks etc so something I'd consider and ballscrews are very much easier to impliment.!
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 07-09-2011 at 11:49 PM.
JAZZCNC you have given some excellent advice in this and other threads and I am sure that myself and others will benefit for your experience.
A question, how does rack and pinion compare to ball screws in repeatibilty and accuracy, and does the pinion ever jump teeth under load?
Sorry if this sound dim, but curious.
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