Shop Stuff: December 2010 Archives

CNC - Y-Axis progress update

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Mechano is such a great prototyping tool!

Back up a step. I am working on building the Y-Axis for the CNC machine. My first attempt was to drill holes through the Z-Axis assembly, insert brass bushings and slide the Z-Axis assembly along hardened steel rods (from a printer).

CNC - Y-Axis fail

Great in theory, however, both rods must be perfectly parallel. Unfortunately, they weren't. The binding was too much.

Plan B

I've been thinking about how to create rails and run bearings along the rails as most CNC machines do. Looking at my junk, I started to think about the suspended ceiling tile track I have left over. Wondering how to build the trucks that would run along this rail, I spotted my Mechano set, and the lights came on!

CNC Top rail

A bit more scrounging around the shop, and I found some old curtain railings. Basically an I beam with mounting clamps. Again, Mechano to the rescue to create a lower truck that squeezes the rail and keeps the unit stable.

CNC Under rail

The assembly is a bit stiff. The next steps are to mount the threaded rod with the stepper and see how well it all works.