In reference to the Crawlbot " It is dead, unfortunately, and it also used belts.
- It might be the one, but I thought the one I was thinking of had an LCD Display. Hmmmm It was in an issue of Wood Magazine... a... several years back, (maybe 5 or 6 years if not more). I also thought I remembered it not having a belt, or chain for the Y-axis. But I could be wrong.
- As far as storage goes I've decided that the best thing to do is find a nice large room for the Lowrider... So that means that I will be kicking my two grandsons (ages 10 & 13) out of the large upstairs bedroom; into a tent in the backyard. Then if they survive the harsh, freezing northwest Ohio winter, come spring I'll build on to the garage making much needed room for all of my woodworking toys. However since I live with my Daughter and her two sons, if anyone moves out to the tent it would be me. - Damn brat!
Actually I was thinking of using my table saw outfeed table as well, it's 5' x 7', but since I also use it as an assembly table, sanding table, and everything else table, I would not be able to leave the belts attached.
My plans are…
1 - Get it up and running and mounting it to a remake of my other assembly table which will be cut down, given a face lift and sized to support 3ft x 5ft CNC work. Yes 4ft x 8ft would be nice, but only in two real situations, cutting a lot of parts out of a full sheet of plywood, or making some big ass signs. At 69, handling 3x4x3/4 sheets of cabinet grade plywood doesn’t happen without some major help. And the only big sign I want to make is the “FOR SALE” sign to go on this house when we get ready to move into something more larger… meaning with larger shop area.
2 - After it is up and running, then I am sure I will be looking at the Lowrider under a microscope, and from every angle for ways to modify it and maybe even make it better too.
I must confess that this is my second entry into small CNC, the first time was in 1983, when I was part of a team at the college I was teaching at… yeah, there was nothing to work with them… except and idea and six Apple IIe computers. 3 years from start and we did have a table size unit operational, complete with robotic arms to load and blanks from a hopper, robotically lock the blank in place, then take the “name” (up to 12 characters) from the list typed into the Apple IIe send the commands (since there wasn’t any usable code) to the CNC spindle (Dremel) and watch it carve a name into the wood blank. Then robotically vacuum the sign, robotically release the clamps, and then the final robotic arm would remove the sign and hand it to you. Once you grasped the sign and tugged the robotic arm released the sign, triggering the computer to play something that resembled music, and in a robotic voice say “Thank you.”
While that sounds ridiculous in this day and age, with “Plug and Play” components, gcode, and everything else; back then it was leading edge research and development. Also while it sounds like and engraving machine, it wasn’t. We could carve with it, as the machine featured X, Y, & Z axis, it also featured a robotic knuckle as the spindle mount, this giving us a 4th axis that was custom programed as needed. The other thing was it was true 3d carving, not 2.5d.
Here’s what it took to make something…
It had to be drafted in 2d (since no 3d CAD hadn’t been invented yet), with all views and all dimensions. Curves, arcs, etc. had to all be plotted. Then we took all of that and started calculating each point on an X, Y, Z matrix. We actually called them pixels, like in printing… since the robotics (stepper motors) were addressable through control cards designed and built by the school, we told each motor how many steps to take and in what direction. So moving from X5, Y10, Z10, to X8, Y15, Z12, and then to X5, Y15, Z11 was done without having to wait for the next layer. With that said, I’m not saying it was a smooth move or even a pretty move, but it could be done. There wasn’t any “models” to work from. OK… the old man is ranting…
Needless to say that today’s digital electronics and the world of Makers have made it a hell of a lot easier to turn ideas into reality. And I’m not even going into the fact that my first computer a “Micro” (since the word “Personal Computer” hadn’t been invented yet) was built from scratch.
I’ve been a woodworker off and on most of my life, helping, learning, then on my own as a hobby, and at the age of 69 pushing 70 I decided that add a 3d printer to my shop. Not to print all the crap, but as a tool, printing brackets, and various things to use and help in the shop, now I’ve decided to add cnc back into my life, this time I hope without all of the headaches, again as a tool and not a toy. I see using the Lowrider to do a lot that I find it hard to do myself, like cutting various joints, and doing things better than I can, like the repeatability of cutting out all the parts to a build.
I’ll be sure to keep you (Jeffed3) and forum members using a different subject and not piggybacking on Joshua’s thoughts and ideas.
In the meantime, I’ll also go looking through my old Wood Magazines (I never toss them out) and see if that CNC unit I was thinking about was the Crawlbot or not. And if Crawlbot is out of business, I’m sorry to see them go, and wonder why (other than price) that it happened.
Enjoy… ok… a… now which darn part do I print next?