Thanks for looking in! “New Build in PA” was already taken so I should come up with a name… For now it’ “Black and Red in PA”. Beware, this is a bit lengthy. I couldn’t find any of my local friends to get interested in this so I figure this would be a good outlet to show what I’ve done and ask questions.
I’m going to detail as much of my new build as possible. I’ve printed all parts and I’m starting to assemble. I hope to put the machine together mostly this weekend, but I’m really enjoying it so I’m going to try and take my time. I find when I get excited I like to just get to the end of a project and I start to take shortcuts to get there. Not this time… I hope.
I’m using my Monoprice Maker Select V2 with home-built enclosure to print all the parts. I have Octoprint installed on a Pi3 with a camera and remote power relay. (Side note - OctoPi with Telegram plugin is awesome!) It took me awhile to dial it in but the parts I’ve made seem to be up to par and they’re very strong.
I used the infill and shell recommendations and printed the red parts in Robo3d strawberry “smellament” PLA that I got on sale. I know it’s a novelty but it smells like strawberry while printing and seems to be just as strong once printed. Sadly, no smell after printing. The black parts are printed in eSun ABS+ which printed really easy as it has less warp than normal ABS. I really like it.
I’ve gathered the other parts, some from the shop here (Steppers, LCD, wiring), some from Amazon (pulleys, belts, drivers, Dewalt), and the bearings came from Aliexpress ($17.51 for 60 bearings - long lead time but they seem good). All the hardware was sourced from the local hardware store except for a few bolts and EMT tubing picked up at the local Home Depot.
I started assembly with the middle section and was stymied when I thought I didn’t have the right long bolt. The one I had was fully threaded and wouldn’t fit. I got a partially threaded bolt and it turns out that either would probably work but I needed to run a 5/16" drill bit through the assembly as it was a little undersized. It’s interesting because all the other holes are just right.
I had a brief panic when I thought I had printed 4x Roller and not 2x Roller and 2x RollerM, but then I looked closer and finally figured out that I had two of them upside down on my desk. I did have the right parts after all. Another help was the Octoprint history plugin so I could look at what I printed.
Late last night I got all the EMT cut to the right lengths. Initially, I had a major problem getting it cut straight and also in the right spot. I used sawhorses and 3 clamps but I couldn’t get it held down with the vibration. I imagine it’d be much easier with a metal chop saw, but I don’t have one. First, I tried to use a sawzall. That didn’t work AT ALL and ended up creating a mess. Next, I tried a hacksaw, and that gave me a cleaner cut but it was still crooked no matter what I tried. It may have been easier if I had made a mitre box, but I moved on. I finally found the finest blade that I could put on my circular saw and that got me the precision I needed to get a flat, straight cut. I know it’s not the best way but it worked.
After that I was able to get the Z axis finished, the legs assembled and I started with the frame. I have to build a table in order to proceed.
Here’s where I have some questions and need to do some more searching for info. Listing these here if anyone wants to comment. Please realize that some of these questions I haven’t needed to tackle yet so I haven’t done full research:
Is there any place that has good plans for a table? The table instructions in the assembly area are very basic. I’ve seen a few in the forums that I could reproduce but nothing I’ve found that is well documented. I think I’d like to start with a basic table and over time build a nice drop table. I realize that making a square table isn’t too complicated but if anyone has tips please do share.
Also looking for guidance on a control box. I really like this design - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1716182. I think I’m going that route or something similar. Is there any downside to using ethernet cables? Can they handle the current? Could you terminate the wiring kit into a cat 5 plug or is the wiring too thick?
What’s the recommended software? I’ve looked at ESTL Cam. I will be doing more on this but if you’d like to share your software please do.
Along those lines, is there a good repository of pre-made projects anywhere online? I use Thingiverse (and others) in the FDM world, but if there are other websites in the CNC world feel free to let me know. Again, I’m going to look into this more and I think some of this stuff is on Thingiverse, but interested in other places, even if the plans/files need to be purchased.
Another for the “not quite there yet” but I’d like to get more info on what bits/mills are “must have”? Which bits do I need more than 1 of? Will I be breaking them? Also, what tools are complementary that I should make sure I have on hand? Should I start with dust collection from the beginning or add that later?
Is there a good source for materials that I can use to make that wouldn’t be found at Home Depot? I’m thinking of sheets of foam or plastic that might be fun to use.
I’m very impressed (very) with the design and assembly of every part of this so far. The parts have printed great, fit great and assembled pretty easy. Everything seems to have a purpose and was really well designed. I’m excited to continue and get to making some stuff.