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  1. #1
    Hi, this is my first stab at the design after having a good look at some of the great builds here. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated! Requirements for the machine as following
    Exclusively for machining aluminium
    Cutting area: 600mm x 450mm x 150mm.
    Speed is not a great issue
    I got hiwin HGR15 rails and blocks and Chinese 1605 ballskrews and ballnuts so I'll use those.
    Since aluminium is not cheap here I'm going for a welded steel design and then alu on Z because there's a bit of machining required there.


    Some basic dimensions for reference.
    Distance between gantry side rails: 800mm
    Distance between top and bottom rails on gantry: 300mm
    Z plate with 250mm
    Box section used is 160x80x3mm and 120x80x3mm
    10mm 10mm sheet for flat parts to be laser cut
    Y carrage and Z assembly is 25mm alu with a 10mm plate at the back


    A few questions:
    Will the long belts (+-650mm on Z and 550mm on Y) cause any issues? HTD 5mm pitch x 15mm width with 20tooth pulleys
    The gantry is very rigid and HEAVY but I'm worried about ressonance. Can one fill it with something that's not going to add a lot more weight that will help with resonance.
    Does the 3 rails on the gantry make sense? I've got 1 on top and two at the bottom.


    Please comment if you spot anything that's not going to work or things I can improve without adding major cost


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    Last edited by mitchejc; 17-12-2014 at 08:27 AM. Reason: build started

  2. #2
    You could shorten the z belt by moving the motor and turning it the other way up so that the pulley if facing down. ..Clive

  3. #3
    Thanks Clive, I'll give that a go then I can also move my Y stepper up a little bit to shorten that belt.

  4. #4
    ja ja wat se jy :P

    why even go with belts ? are you going to have a step down ratio ?

    i wouldnt bother with the 3rd rail, i think it will just make it harder to clock up ...

    what or how are the two bottom rectangle tubes fastened ?

    looking good :D

  5. #5
    Looks pretty good but to make life easier later I would draw in your energy chain, drag chain, whatever you call it because it could affect some aspects of the design such as , mounting brackets, length of travel in X direction. Also consider limit switches and homing switches locations.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  6. #6
    :-)

    No, its just 1:1 ratio. My understanding is that belt drive will make the machine a little smoother. X and Y would be possible to do direct drive but Z will be difficult as I'm trying to keep it as flat as possible.

    Not sure but I'm thinking of welding on tabs or a piece of flat bar on both sides that will allow me to bolt it to the table.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackrat View Post
    ja ja wat se jy :P

    why even go with belts ? are you going to have a step down ratio ?

    i wouldnt bother with the 3rd rail, i think it will just make it harder to clock up ...

    what or how are the two bottom rectangle tubes fastened ?

    looking good :D

  7. #7
    Thanks for the advice EddyCurrent. I will start adding those as I can see it might be an issue with the design as it is now, especially the drag chain running on or behind the gantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by EddyCurrent View Post
    Looks pretty good but to make life easier later I would draw in your energy chain, drag chain, whatever you call it because it could affect some aspects of the design such as , mounting brackets, length of travel in X direction. Also consider limit switches and homing switches locations.

  8. #8
    belts aint gonna make it any smoother .... id run a coupler on the two axis' , so much easier and cheaper

    im not quite with you on bolting it to a table ? you HAVE to join either sides , no ways you going to cut ally decently if they are seperate from each other, not to mention the nightmare of trying to get them parallel by clamping to a table

  9. #9
    I am no expert but if you follow this forum and take notice of the Master's on here, coupling with belts helps to eliminate resonance which can stop a motor dead in its tracks. Try running a stepper with a loose mounting to see the effect. ..Clive

  10. #10
    Thanks for the feedback Blackrat. I also like the simplicity of direct drive but quite a few people here believe belt-drive is the better route. I don't know how much better?

    The table/base will be a very sturdy steel frame so the two sides are build separately but when bolted down they are connected via the base or am I maybe misunderstanding your question. I guess I can also weld them to the table but that won't be much stronger than having several bolts on each side of both or will it? I thought bolting them would make the alignment easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackrat View Post
    belts aint gonna make it any smoother .... id run a coupler on the two axis' , so much easier and cheaper

    im not quite with you on bolting it to a table ? you HAVE to join either sides , no ways you going to cut ally decently if they are seperate from each other, not to mention the nightmare of trying to get them parallel by clamping to a table

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