CNC question

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Deal
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CNC question

Post by Deal » Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:53 pm

Artist seeks advice on moving XY plane carrying aluminum (maybe 1/8" 12 by 12 inch) on XY plane under plasma cutter. Is there any option to paying seven figures for software and table to drive resolution of ten mills? Has anyone hacked a flat bed scanner to do XY work? Anyone know of cheapest way? Starting from scratch, suppose you have a 6"X6" drawing of shilouette of an eagle and you want end result of cutting it into aluminum? What are 'starving artist' software/hardware/mechanical options? Thanks

toejam
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Re: CNC question

Post by toejam » Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:54 am

I wuold consider looking at a used flame cutter. these things were designed to follow a drawing using a rotating mirror and are quite accurate.I remember a surplus outlet that advertises x-y tables in nuts and volts at good prices.
Good luck.
tj

myszka_us2000
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Re: CNC question

Post by myszka_us2000 » Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:18 pm

You should be able to get a small plsma cutter for under $1000 (3 figures).<p>A couple of large steppers ($200 for both)<p>the controller (~$200)<p>The frame would need to be done by you or purchased. The usual hobby setup is a "gantry" system. For cutting metal with a gas welder or a plasma cutter you would need the appropriate table surface.<p>Some links:<p>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CAD_CAM_EDM_DRO/<p>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mach1mach2cnc/<p>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Master5/<p>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mini_cnc_mill/<p>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Xylotex/<p>
You may want to check e-Bay for "plasma cutter" related items, etc.<p>A "Google" search on the same subjects may net you some hits...<p>
John M...
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Deal
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Re: CNC question

Post by Deal » Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:06 pm

Thanks Toe and JohnM. I have a plasma cutter that under constraints of 20 amp 120v can 'just' cut 1/8" aluminum. I built a pantograph (one of those scissor-like arms to copy drawings) to guide the plasma cutter head with result that it worked well but left too many jagged edges (that needed to be hand filed). I'll look into those yahoo discussion sites. Also sending samples to laser companies for price quotes and will be glad to share results with anyone who has similar projects.

myszka_us2000
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Re: CNC question

Post by myszka_us2000 » Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:04 pm

you can relate any findings right here. I would be happy to learn anything new.<p>Thanks,
John M...
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CeaSaR
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Re: CNC question

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Apr 03, 2004 9:42 pm

Did you ever think of hacking an old pin printer? You could carve up the old mechanics to put the "roller" onto a flat plane to move the stock in a nice linear fashion, while the head would be on a stationary bar over the workpiece to slide back and forth as normal. Then you could hack the head to turn the cutter on and off at the appropriate time(s). The wonder of doing this is there are old 9 pin printers that have 11" carriages!
Another option is to look at an old pen plotter from an engineering/surveying firm. If they have one around, you might be able to get it for free. You would then have a minimum 24" carriage. The plus to this is that the pen moves in a 3 axis mode: left/right, up/down and pen up/down. CAD programs that use pen plotters for output draw continuous lines from beginning to end, one at a time, then lift up the pen to draw the next line so that the paper is moving up/down and the pen is moving left/right while drawing. I am assuming that this is the type of action you are looking for.
Popular Electronics published an article several years ago that dealt with building your own CAD cutter for the same type of purpose you are looking for. My copy is buried upstairs somewhere, but when I find it I'll let you know.
Hope this helps your quest for a low cost solution. Happy cutting!<p>CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

Deal
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Re: CNC question

Post by Deal » Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:25 pm

Thanks CeaSar, I have considered printers. Its a good idea. I wish I had skills to hack driver motor printer eproms but do not. Another problem is necessary stepup/increase in torque in step motors necessary to drive a plane of aluminum under a cutting head, or the parallel of motor requirements needed to drive a moving cutting head. It is a suprise to me that in year 2004 that given robotics interests and demand, that no manufacturer of medical or printing equipment has not adapted shelf hardware and software to be sold to robotics hobby market. I am making progress with laser cutting firms and will post if pricing holds promise.

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CeaSaR
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Re: CNC question

Post by CeaSaR » Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:27 am

The thing is, you don't move the aluminum. You move the cutting head in xyz planes. For a better idea of what this means, go to page 92 of the April 2004 issue of Nuts & Volts. Look at the ad in the middle of the page for www.nextwaveautomation.com. Perhaps they can explain it better than I. When I find that issue of Popular Electronics I told you about, I'll transcribe the article so you can have a better understanding via the author.<p>CeaSaR<p>[ April 06, 2004: Message edited by: CeaSaR. ]</p>
Hey, what do I know?

mediaprefect
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Re: CNC question

Post by mediaprefect » Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:22 pm

Take a look at http://www.shopbottools.com/ They make CNC routers for woodworking which have been adapted for use with plasma cutters. They run close to $6k as a kit of parts. Also you may find much useful info on G-code programming and translation from CAD files on their forum. BTW, they operate over an area of 48" x 96" x 6" (yes 3D work)and can have a 4th axis for running a indexing head for work on long round or other stock. Quite a good bang for the buck unless you roll your own from scratch.

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jwax
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Re: CNC question

Post by jwax » Sat May 01, 2004 4:11 pm

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jwax:
Deal- I have access to a CNC laser cutter, so if you end up wanting another quote, let me know! There's nothing like "rolling your own", but if you need a cutting, you need a cutting! :)
John
<hr></blockquote>

techno
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Re: CNC question

Post by techno » Tue May 04, 2004 4:35 pm

http://pub42.bravenet.com/forum/show.ph ... 6086&cpv=1<p>Had a short thread on this (quite a while ago) and it was very cheap. Most of them were doing soft stuff foam and plastic but just beefing it up should work. Aluminum isn't too hard.
The thread and links had both kinds. The table moved X-Y with the cutting head moving Z and also the cutting head moving in all three axis.
I've forgotten the particulars but the machinery was simple. Drives, slides, bearings. And there was at least 2 links to cheap software. I believe the "high end" one was like $200 or so.
the need for closed loop feed back isn't needed. <p>You could probably post a question there about it and get an answer faster than searching the archive. There were plans, kits and commercial models linked. And the software needed to run it.
Like I said some of them are using it for machining foam name plates and using that for lost foam casting.<p>Alternativley you might want to check out casting. :p

LucidGuppy
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Re: CNC question

Post by LucidGuppy » Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:03 am

Does anyone have info on making the cheapest possible cnc machine for pcb milling? One site http://www.lce.org/cnc/ mentions adding steppers to a sherline machine. It would be awesome to set one up for personal projects or for robotics societies to have a one for the group.
Why don't you give yourself a nice big round of applause!

LucidGuppy
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Re: CNC question

Post by LucidGuppy » Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:11 am

Does anyone have info on making the cheapest possible cnc machine for pcb milling? One site http://www.lce.org/cnc/ mentions adding steppers to a sherline machine. It would be awesome to set one up for personal projects or for robotics societies to have a one for the group.
Why don't you give yourself a nice big round of applause!

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