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  1. #1
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 1 Day Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Hi all,

    Yep, I know the right answer is zero, but with home-built machines I guess we need to be a little realistic.

    I mounted my z-axis yesterday, here it is:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    No doubt it'll be on and off a few times more for shimming etc, but while I was at it, I torqued it all up and out of interest measured the deflection at the nose of the spindle with the z near it's downward limit. Pulling hard on the plate that the spindle is mounted to, my dial gauge read 0.05mm. Is that any good?

    Vid here:



    It's on TBR20 supported rails, how big an improvement would I see with profile rails?

    Cheers!

    Wal.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Wal View Post
    Pulling hard on the plate that the spindle is mounted to, my dial gauge read 0.05mm. Is that any good?
    Nobody can answer that question Wal to many variables mate.!! . . . . . And Anygood for what.?

    Edit: Thou I will say it's an order of magnitude better than others will be getting from machines they paid several G's for.!!
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 12-01-2014 at 03:59 PM.

  3. #3
    It's a reasonably good starting point, but bear in mind this is only half the story as you need to add to this value the deflection between the bed and frame, for the same force.
    If you want a less subjective answer, then measure the force you're applying and divide by the deflection. As a rough guide, if you get at least 1000N/mm stiffness you'll probably be fine for most things, but clearly it depends on what the cutting force and accuracy requirements are.
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  4. #4
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 1 Day Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    >And Anygood for what.?

    Ah, sorry Jazz, was being a bit vague there - just ballpark any good for cutting alu plate. I'm not too bothered about crazy feed-rates and am happy with smaller step-overs. Reassuring to hear that it's a good starting point!

    One more question, the pillow blocks which house the bearings that ride on the rails - they have grub-screws that you can tighten to get a snug fit between the bearings and the rails - how tight do you go with these? Just a nip front and side?

    Wal.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Wal View Post
    One more question, the pillow blocks which house the bearings that ride on the rails - they have grub-screws that you can tighten to get a snug fit between the bearings and the rails - how tight do you go with these? Just a nip front and side?
    It's a feel thing but basically until they have a slight resistance with no play.!!. . . Thou if your planning on cutting Ali then you'd be better cutting your losses now at this stage before going further and buy some profiled linear rails. These rails are not really upto it and will need constant adjustment if you want any thing like decent accuracy.

  6. #6
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 1 Day Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Thou if your planning on cutting Ali then you'd be better cutting your losses now at this stage before going further and buy some profiled linear rails.
    I hear ya Jazz, it's a well known fact that the profile rails are the way to go for superior rigidity, but I think to swap out at this stage would mean too much heartache, ball-ache and expense on what was always going to be a learner build. I may as well build another machine, which I have every intention of doing..!

    While I'd like to 'precisely' cut ali on this, think more ornamental than super high precision...

    Wal.

  7. #7
    You'll be fine with those rails to start with. I'm not saying the rails aren't important, but it's the whole picture not just the rails that affects the overall stiffness and the rest of your design looks pretty strong (as it's a fixed gantry) so you'll get away with it. For example, I cut plenty of aluminium on my machine before changing the Z-axis rails to profile rails and didn't notice much difference from the profile rails as the weakest point lies elsewhere.
    Old router build log here. New router build log here. Lathe build log here.
    Electric motorbike project here.

  8. #8
    You can look at it another way which is if the machine stiffness is 1000N/mm, and you are cutting aluminium (guide figure 50N load), then you would see 0.05mm deflection at the tool (50/1000). This assumes a rigid tool (as your data was from the collet), and ignores resonances which would add slightly to the deflection in a difficult to calculate way.

    If you can't be bothered with the maths - I just checked our kitchen scales (the flat digital type) and they go up to 5kg (50N). So if you have something similar handy use them to push against the collet until they read 5kg. If the DTI reads less than 0.05mm you are in business (>1000N/mm).
    Last edited by routercnc; 13-01-2014 at 11:06 PM. Reason: additional info . . .
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  9. #9
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 1 Day Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Thanks routercnc, helpful info. I guess I could also hang 5kg's worth of weights off it..?

    Anyway, today's progress:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All coming together reasonably well. I must say that I'm blown away by the minute measuring capabilities of some of these gauges. My dad's a retired engineer whose specialism was in measurement, he hasn't seen the machine and is pretty much bemused by what I'm building, heh - I guess you would be if you're used to measuring hydraulic gear to MOD tolerances... He's retired now and has given me a load of his old gauges, one of which is a Mahr with increments of .002mm - it's mad to see those otherwise imperceptible forces at work!

    Anyway, one thing I will say at this stage is that the gantries move fairly smoothly without much effort when turning the screws by hand, although pushing the gantries around (back-feeding the screw) takes a fair bit of effort with a bit of binding towards the ends of the screw. I'm not entirely convinced on the quality/consistency of the screws from China. Pretty sure that the z-screw is slightly bent and I've noticed that the x ball-nut is a bit 'clicky'... Not going to get too anxious about it just yet, I'm keen to see how it all runs under power...

    I think I overdid it on the thickness of the rubber aprons I'm hoping to fit to shield the running gear. 4mm is WAY too thick. I think 2mm should do it, even then it might run under the gantry, I'll have to experiment. If anyone has a spare bit of 2mm rubber sheet lying about...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More updates as the week progresses...

    Wal.

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  11. #10
    Wal. that really is looking like a nice sturdy little machine, "super job". G

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