CNC Development… TONS of progress!

So unfortunately I have been a bit behind on keeping up with the process documentation of my CNC project so this post is going to cover quite a lot that I have worked on lately.  Long story short, the machine is very nearly finished.  Only a couple more things to iron out from a software configuration standpoint and I should be running parts in no time.  It is unbelievable to actually see the thing working and running g-code after all the work and time and planning that has gone into making it.  NOTE: A couple of the early images are out of order.

Getting the electronics set up for the first time.  This part was awkward because I wasn't totally sure how the enclosure for the electronics was going to work, or what that would be like.  Note the nearly completed wiring harness.... all the wiring was assembled with quick connectors so the harness is a complete unit that can be removed from or re-installed on the machine in a matter of minutes without any disassembly.

Getting the electronics set up for the first time. This part was awkward because I wasn’t totally sure how the enclosure for the electronics was going to work, or what that would be like. Note the nearly completed wiring harness…. all the wiring was assembled with quick connectors so the harness is a complete unit that can be removed from or re-installed on the machine in a matter of minutes without any disassembly.

Lots and lots of soldering to do.  These four motor pigtails took a couple hours by themselves.  It is all the little things like this that you never really foresee or remember when it's all done.  Massive amounts of labor is the moral of the story here.  massive amounts of labor.

Lots and lots of soldering to do. These four motor pigtails took a couple hours by themselves. It is all the little things like this that you never really foresee or remember when it’s all done. Massive amounts of labor is the moral of the story here. massive amounts of labor.

Working in the shop to get the gantry beam screwed together and squared up.  The shop has NOTHING that is square and flush to any level of reliable accuracy, it was very frustrating and even still I am not totally confident my beam is square on it's ends.  It drives me crazy.

Working in the shop to get the gantry beam screwed together and squared up. The shop has NOTHING that is square and flush to any level of reliable accuracy, it was very frustrating and even still I am not totally confident my beam is square on it’s ends. It drives me crazy.

Assembling the Mechanicals.  This is the first time.  I wound up putting it all together and taking it apart several times along the way.  This is one way that the design really shined.  it went together and came apart without much complaint overall.  Having modeled everything I really drew my mind around all the angles and aspects so I had a really good idea of how all this was working by the time it came screwing and bolting time.

Assembling the Mechanicals. This is the first time. I wound up putting it all together and taking it apart several times along the way. This is one way that the design really shined. it went together and came apart without much complaint overall. Having modeled everything I really drew my mind around all the angles and aspects so I had a really good idea of how all this was working by the time it came screwing and bolting time.

I wound up going for a PC chassis that I stripped out and installed my components in.  I fixed the key pieces to a piece of acrylic and then screwed the acrylic into the chassis where the motherboard would have gone.  Worked like a charm.

I wound up going for a PC chassis that I stripped out and installed my components in. I fixed the key pieces to a piece of acrylic and then screwed the acrylic into the chassis where the motherboard would have gone. Worked like a charm.

Everything installed.  The wiring is so clean, this was before I added everything that made it a total mess!

Everything installed. The wiring is so clean, this was before I added everything that made it a total mess!

Connectors, always more connectors.  I can't even count the hours I spent on connectors.

Connectors, always more connectors. I can’t even count the hours I spent on connectors.

Electronics enclosure shaping up, and nearly done.  you can see the closed loop router/spindle speed controller on the front.

Electronics enclosure shaping up, and nearly done. you can see the closed loop router/spindle speed controller on the front.

Router modification to accept the sensor for the closed loop PID controller.  I had one installed but had to troubleshoot a bit.  As it turned out I had messed up the wiring/connectors which was causing the issues.  Connectors...always the connectors.

Router modification to accept the sensor for the closed loop PID controller. I had one installed but had to troubleshoot a bit. As it turned out I had messed up the wiring/connectors which was causing the issues. Connectors…always the connectors.

With the machine and electronics all finished up and together, I had a chance to clean up the workspace which had looked like a hoarder lived there for the last month.  It feels so great to get it all together like this and see it sitting there all pretty on the desk!

With the machine and electronics all finished up and together, I had a chance to clean up the workspace which had looked like a hoarder lived there for the last month. It feels so great to get it all together like this and see it sitting there all pretty on the desk!

The first gcode I ran on my machine!!!  These are the iso curves from my CNC surface milling project from earlier in the summer, I flattened them and threw a pen in my CNC and it drew them out. ... Lots more to work on with dialing in the CAM part of it, but the hardware is working!

The first gcode I ran on my machine!!! These are the iso curves from my CNC surface milling project from earlier in the summer, I flattened them and threw a pen in my CNC and it drew them out. … Lots more to work on with dialing in the CAM part of it, but the hardware is working!

This has been a very quick recap of the assembly process.  As I said I have not been as diligent as I should have been with the process documentation.  At any rate, exciting things coming up.  Next posts should have videos of running programs!

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