I’ve just completed the first real milestone in my MPCNC-based printer array and I figured I’d show it off here in case anyone was considering doing something similar.
Essentially it’s 4 MPCNCs all sharing a common frame made of aluminum extrusion. I drew up some clamps which hold the rails to the uprights. This eliminates the corner pieces and feet, though the rail spacing is still set by the spacers. Each gantry will have a print surface held by 20mmx20mm extrusions also mounted to the uprights.
I clamped the rails on the inside of the extrusions so that the outside is free for enclosing side panels and access doors. Because I used 40mm x 40mm extrusion the roller assemblies have plenty of clearance between the rails and outer panels.
Next step is my modified Z axis. In order to reduce the Z height I’m flipping the motor upside down and belting it to the lead screw. This should save at least 3 inches per machine, which ends up being substantial in this configuration. First prototype of this flipped Z has been printed and seems like it will work, now I just need to settle on a belt length. I can tell you 122mm isn’t enough for the motor to clear the Z bearings with 20t sprockets. 140mm should do it.
I’m only shooting for 3 inches of travel per machine with a build envelope of around 20" x 20". This is plenty to make the parts I need with some margin for changes in the future.