First output of the CNC table (videos!)

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Over the last week or so, Rob and I have been working frantically on a CNC table for PCB drilling and general experimentation. I've been doing the mechanics, Rob's been doing the software and we've been working together on the electronics. See the flickr set for details of the build so far.

I'll be posting in detail about the construction later on. I've got stacks of blogging to do, but have absolutely no time at the moment!

Very early yesterday morning we got the first output.

Videos follow, in ascending order of awesome...

Testing motion/speed of both axes - controlled by the function generator only


Producing the first plotted output (sorry about the blurry video):


Then faster output after tweaking the software


I am completely blown away with the results of this build. The whole approach was to just make progress as quickly as possible - no extensive design process, just prototyping something as quick as possible, whilst maintaining at least some regard for build quality. EMC appears to completely rock too - like Justyn said "I can't believe you've just knocked up a bit of hardware, connected it to a PC and it works. It shouldn't be that easy". We measured the resolution of the system at around 0.2mm per step. Videos of the measurement and early tests of the Y-axis are up on Rob's blog.

Last night we doubled the resolution of the machine by half-stepping the stepper motors. Rob did some initial measurements and it looks like it's definitely working, with a new resolution of 0.1mm! I started work on the Z-axis, and hopefully will get it moving tonight.

 

 

 

Submitted by jeff on Wed, 08/15/2007 - 11:49. categories [ ]

Woah

You are truly gods amongst men. http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/generic/8f52/

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your experiences with all. It would be nice if you could elaborate on your design. It seems nice and simple. What software did you use?

Late reply...

We used EMC, an open source CNC tool. It bitbangs some breadboarded H-bridge motor controllers with the PC parallel port. The basic philosophy was to hack something together as quickly as possible, so there is very little design work to talk about! Have a look at the flickr set. It's basically lead screws and stepper motors from old printers, driving pieces of scrap 18mm birch plywood around on ex-kitchen drawer slides from freecycle! Nothing too advanced.

Sorry for the ludicrously late reply, I was just reminiscing about some past projects when I discovered this unanswered question.

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