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  1. #1
    Hi All,

    I have a cheapo 3020 router which I bought for making PCB's. It has performed really well other than the z axis coupling coming undone 3 times, and one dodgey connection. I have already made a few mods to the machine, including making and addon PCB for the control box which adds...

    Limit switches with LED indication.
    Home switches with LED indication.
    Probe with LED indication.
    EStop LED indicator.
    Spindle control with 5 seconds warning buzzer.

    The control box itself has 3 x Tonsen drivers and a Tonsen BOB and I am not sure if these are any better than the normal Yoocnc ones. So far I have not had any problems with the control box, but wondered if it was worth upgrading while I was doing the planned enclosure.

    Here is a pic of what I had in mind...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have already made something similar out of MDF, but it obviously makes it dark inside. The plan is to use some 20mm x 20mm aluminum extrusions to make the frame. Then I would like to use clear perspex for the top half and aluminum panels for the bottom. In the bottom part I would like to house the electronics, new or old, and add a joystick and or buttons to control the axis. The rough dimensions would be 450mm wide, 550mm deep and 500mm high. The bottom part would be around 100mm in height which is comparable to my current control box, should I wish to just simply move everything.

    So I am looking for any advise on making the enclosure (I planned to get the parts from Valuframe and have been quoted 160ish for just the frame and fittings), still need to source some perspex and aluminum sheet, which I could probably get locally. Anyone used Valuframe with the no drill connectors? Any better or cheaper alternatives?

    I am obviously look for some advise for the electronics as well, I have seen other people use 542H stepper drivers are these the best idea? I don't want to spend a fortune if I don't have to and also don't want to upgrade if I don't have to. As it's working ok should I keep it as it is?

    Any thoughts or suggestions welcome.

    Regards,

    Les
    Last edited by Pointy; 11-12-2013 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Tweaked thread title

  2. #2
    Les,
    As you say yourself why upgrade if it works ? it would probably make more sense to put the money into making a better machine from scratch but if you don't plan on any more demanding work why bother ?.
    Regarding the enclosure, gravity makes everything go down including lubricant and swarf so I'd say it was a bad idea putting the electronics underneath. It looks like a nice tidy solution but vibration would also transfer through the components, I would suggest a separate box something like a PC tower shape.

    Instead of messing about with joysticks and buttons I got one of these and it works great, assuming you use Mach3 software.
    New Wireless MPG Pendant Handwheel Mach3 For CNC Mac.Mach 3, 4 axis Controller | eBay

    links to other aluminium suppliers

    http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/items-...-supplies.html
    http://www.mycncuk.com/forums/market...html#post50642
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 10-12-2013 at 09:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for taking the time to reply Ed,

    Some good points.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    As you say yourself why upgrade if it works ? it would probably make more sense to put the money into making a better machine from scratch but if you don't plan on any more demanding work why bother ?.
    It does what I want it to at the moment. mechanically so no plans to replace it or do a scratch build.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    Regarding the enclosure, gravity makes everything go down including lubricant and swarf so I'd say it was a bad idea putting the electronics underneath. It looks like a nice tidy solution but vibration would also transfer through the components, I would suggest a separate box something like a PC tower shape.
    Good point about gravity, although I have never used any lubricant. Gave me an idea to turn it upside down! The controls would be more at my eye level, and I could fit some LED lights underneath the top part to light up the working area. Also as the enclosure would only be sitting over the CNC, and not physically attached, it would cut down on the vibration.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    Instead of messing about with joysticks and buttons I got one of these and it works great, assuming you use Mach3 software.
    New Wireless MPG Pendant Handwheel Mach3 For CNC Mac.Mach 3, 4 axis Controller | eBay
    Sorry but I would rather make something, which is all part of the fun of it for me. Joysticks, keyboards are pretty easy and cheap to make. I like the idea of everything being built in to one unit.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    I did find those links already, but I don't think any of them did everything that I wanted. My main concern is whether the 20mm x 20mm aluminum would be strong enough. Now it's not so much of an issue, as it's not going to take the weight of the CNC.

    Regards,

    Les

  4. #4
    Sounds like you have it sorted, I like the idea of the down lighters.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 11-12-2013 at 09:45 AM.

  5. #5
    While sat on the riverbank fishing today I had plenty of time to think about this, especially seeing as I wasn't catching much.

    I thought I could dismantle the Toshiba laptop that is running Mach3 and mount it inside the top enclosure. Perhaps ripping out the Motherboard so save space if needed. This would keep some of the cables/connections inside, keeping things neat. I have a 17" Iiayma touch screen monitor that I could use in place of the laptop screen. The only potential problem I see, is the metal enclosure might inhibit the wireless signal, (I use the network to send the Eagle gcode output direct to the CNC laptop) although I am sure I could get over this.

    I also decided that I should probably go for 30mm x 30mm profile and make the whole enclosure slightly bigger too.

    Regards,

    Les

  6. #6
    Use some decent runners and make a drawer in the top section to house the laptop.

  7. #7
    Slightly tweaked the design, added top bar and supports. Now made out of 30mm profile.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    I really like the idea of having the laptop built in to the top housing, but I have concerns about vibration and the hard drive. As luck would have it I remember pulling 2 of these 64Gb SSD's from a dead Sony laptop.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    All I need now is a msata to 2.5" IDE connector, which I have found on Ebay for 10. 64Gb will be plenty as currently it has a 40Gb IDE drive, of which I am only using 7Gb.

    Regards,

    Les

  9. #9
    Not suggesting you put a bed in there but thinking about this arrangement for a top lid.
    StudyBed €“ Desk and Bed combination €“ Deskbed - Studybed

    Play the video.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 18-12-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    Not suggesting you put a bed in there but thinking about this arrangement for a top lid.
    StudyBed – Desk and Bed combination – Deskbed - Studybed

    Play the video.
    Thats clever.!! . . . Would be very easy to Duplicate, esp with a CNC router.!

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