I had a bit of a profound idea and I hope I don't get flamed for this.
I was thinking that on my CNC 3040, the biggest weak point is flex in the gantry and lower rails when plunging/drilling, causes the entire gantry to 'lean' backwards and flexes.
My proposed idea was to literally mirror image the entire gantry, Effectively the spindle is being held from front & back by 2 individual gantry's
No 'push-back' leading to the gantry flexing/leaning backwards
increased rigidity in the entire machine
Straighter drilling and plunging operations
4 pillow blocks, spreading out the load again increasing rigidity
increased lifespan of pillow blocks, bearings and rails
Extra weight will require a larger stepper(possibly)
reduction of ease of access
Weighing up the good and the Bad, if I can justify the negatives then would this work the way I hope it should?
i dont exactly know what a 3040 is, but if something is allowing that much movement i'd rather replace the thing causing the issue.. instead of losing all the travel would it not be better to start the gantry all over again and design it right so it doesnt flex? from a quick google it looks like its on rails.. would the next point of upgrade here be to replace them rails for supported ones? i'd imagine its the rail that bends and even if you double up it may still do it
It probably won't work the way you hope.
If the unsupported rails are flexing because they can't take the loading then no amount of strengthening on the gantry will solve the problem. Think about a a one ton load on a tightrope causing the rope to flex downwards. It doesn't matter if the load is jelly, cast iron or a baby elephant, the tight rope will still flex because of the load on it.
I don't think I have explained myself very well.
when the machine flexes, its making the gantry 'lean' backwards Some of the flex is in the Y rails and some is in the X rails.
Doubling up the gantry would give me 4 X rails and the load would be spread out more evenly on the Y rails, and also the load wouldn't be in one direction but opposing so in theory will reduce flex.
Think of a balerena on her tip toes dancing on polysteyrene, she would likley just sink into it, but then think of a tank with huge tracks, it would likely glide over due to te increased surface area and balance over a larger area.
Hope I am making some sense?
On a side note, IF I decide to do this mod, I will be adding supported rails too in order to eliminate that possibility.
There are quite a few different designs of 'cnc 3040' out there, would it be possible for you to post a few pics of your specific machine and tells which way X and Y is on your machine?
If you are adding supported rail anyway it would be better to get longer rails for the gantry to ride on and double the distance between the bearing blocks by reinforcing the legs of the gantry. That will help a lot with gantry tipping backwards problem.
Is that 1mm sheet metal all that is forming the back of the gantry?
I don't think you will get that much of an improvement using supported rail attached to that stuff, you will need to beef up the back of the gantry so that the supported rails can transfer force into gantry otherwise the supported rails will flex almost as much as the unsupported ones do at the moment.
Going to supported rail on the gantry will also mean that you will need a Z-axis mount (I think) as from the pics it looks like the bearings for your current rails are all in one block.
If you make a double gantry aren't you going to need a new Z-block anyway, otherwise how is the z-axis assembly going to be attached to the second axis?
Think DC is right & you would be far better beefing up the almost non existent gantry. You can't change the Y axis to supported rail without affecting the Z axis as the bearings at present are in the same block as a major part of the z axis. Not sure a double gantry is the way to go & probably at least as much work as sorting this gantry properly. Don't have the experience to comment on the double gantry but guessing the idea came from the machine that was discussed on here not so long ago.
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