Cable Tray

This is still a work in progress. I got two pieces cut over the weekend only to find out that the box joints I tried cutting are too small. It almost looks like the gcode isn’t going all the way to where it should. I’m also fighting the z-stepper acting up again.

Note: I noticed this morning that two of the scenes are out of order :confused: Yeah for not fully proofing…

In this photo, you can see that the single-flute bit isn’t quite tall enough for 1x material:

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Here you can see that the z-stepper stopped raising all the way on me towards the end of drilling the holes. The last two teeth on the left are cut because the bit didn’t rise up before jogging to the next hole.

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And finally… you can see the box joints aren’t the right size :frowning: Luckily this was only about and hours of cutting.

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Something looks pretty wrong with those cuts. Was the design sharp corners? It should have been able to make the outside corners of those tails a crisp right angle. It looks like they are rounded and not the same rounded on each tail. What does the design look like, and what are you using for CAM?

Looks like a fun project though. We just need to figure out what’s wrong with either the machine or the cam.

Just watched the video. On a piece like this, one thing you can do is make another gcode file that just drills 2mm deep holes in the middle of those waste pieces. You can run that first, with you clamps, and then drill and put screws in thise holes to hold the whole thing down. That will hold it tight to the spoil board.

In the pics, it looks like the Z isnt perpendicular, but maybe that’s just the board lifting?

There is a lot of burning in the thinner piece, or is that just the light?

There was burning on the smaller piece. This was my first time with the single fluted bit and I started off not running it fast enough. I was running at 7ipm and bumped it up to 120% and it cut a lot better.

The corners are supposed to be crisp. I’m thinking I’m getting play in my Z axis allowing the bit to drag some. The board sliding back and forth probably hurt some too.

I noticed some of the bearings on the Z axis weren’t turning when it was going up and down. I think I need to go through the machine and tighten everything. I haven’t done that since before last summer and I wonder if being in the garage allowed the PLA to loosen up a bit.

You have the other thread with fusion pp issues. It gets really hard to diagnose so many issues at once. You have to get the gcode correct first. Then look into the hardware. They both need to work though.

The good news is, it can be improved :).

This gets said a lot, so I’m sure you know. When you’re going through looking for loose bolts, don’t over tighten. It would also benefit you to check that the Z is perpendicular when looking through that.

I would:

  • Start with something very simple and easy to measure. Something you can cut in one pass, has 100x100mm size or something. Maybe not even cut all the way through to start.
  • use a known good CAM technique. I would use EstlCAM, but I dont like fusion.
  • clamp the s**t out of it.
  • watch it cut very close. Manually track it with the vac.
  • measure what you can about the machine, xy squareness, z axis perpendicularity, etc.
  • change one thing at a time until its looking great.
  • add in one complexity at a time: new CAM, new bit, mutiple passes, fitting joints, fewer clamps, tighten bolts, etc. It really helps if your first test is quick (5mins or so). Strive for high quality in each step.

In an afternoon, you’ll learn more about your machine and be ready to finish any of these projects and know what is wrong.

Don’t get me wrong… I’ve gotten a lot of good stuff off of this machine. It’s just sat since probably last fall.

I had Z-axis problems shortly after I built the machine and thought I burned up a stepper driver. Those problems could easily be linked to the wrong speeds as Ryan mentioned already. We’ll know tonight when I can pull up the software and see what those are set to.

Spent some time with the machine today… Man was it out of shape. Looks like all the issues were hardware related.

Pineapple was loose

X-axis bearing block was loose

Y-axis bearing block was loose

Tool holder was loose

Big bolt in the back locking it all together was loose…

Let’s just say… Everything needed a good tightening.

As far as the teeth not lining up… that looks like it’s design related. I’m getting pretty square teeth now, they’re just not loose enough to snap in together.

Cool. In addition to the design, you can check the bit diameter in your cam, and try a finishing pass if you’re not already.