Friday, February 22, 2013

Shameless promotion

Thought I'd just drop a few lines about my other passion in life - my band.

We're called Chugger.
What we play could be called locomotive metal due to its unstoppable, undeniable and raw nature.
Check us out at our official homepage or on facebook!

Here's our latest video for our demo version of "Bleed".
Viewer discretion is advised. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Preliminary sketches

So this is the current state of the CNC-machine:

1) Front view. I won't go into a lot of details yet, but it will be chain driven X/Y-wise and a lead screw for the Z-axis.
I hope to reduce the carriage width by around 5-10 cm in the final version.

2) Side view. Hopefully I've gotten most of the weight centered to avoid wobbling. The expected cut length is around 117.5 cm, which is slightly larger than a regular pinball playfield. Larger pieces can be cut with a little manual repositioning of the carriage and resetting of the zero-position in software, but I do believe this should be sufficient to start with. 
Not too impressive, but I'd rather have it as good as possible before actually making it.
Note that the rails for this design is based on 30mm width/height, but hopefully I'll find L-profiles of a smaller size so the overall design will be slimmer and the cut area slightly larger.


Monday, February 11, 2013

It moves like Jagger!

Got the motors running just now!

I had quite a struggle getting them to run due to a) pretty crappy chinese documentation and b) I missed the fact that each motor had it's own enable line that must be held high during operation.
But they seem to be working fine and are actually a lot less noisy than I expected them to be.
Hopefully they'll have enough juice to drive my rig...

1) Driverboard, power supply and X,Y,Z-stepper motors. In case you're wondering why there are unplugged cables everywhere - the motors are bi-polar 6-cable versions and only 4 are required. They will be cut appropriately during assembling... 
Now I'll just need to get my hands on the rest of the parts and start building!

Virtual movement!

Received most of my parts for the CNC machine now - all that's missing is a few bearings, an aluminum rod and the wood for the frame itself.

I was originally planing on connecting the CNC-router driver to my Mac, but as it turns out CNC-driver boards are only using the parallel port. This is due to the unreliability of the USB protocol/port and the fact that there's a very low number of I/O pins compared to LPT-ports.

Luckily, my father had an old laptop that I could use instead. Really ancient hardware, but since the Mach3 software is designed for very low end computers it works just fine!


1) CNC-software Mach3. Currently "dry-running" the example "roadrunner.tap" file.
The vast amount of configurable things in this software is staggering. Hopefully I won't have to trim each one of them since I'm going for sub-millimeter accuracy - not sub-nanometer...

Now I'll just need to get the power supply and motors connected!