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Forum topic by difalkner posted 07-15-2016 01:16 AM 1883 views 1 time favorited 110 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


07-15-2016 01:16 AM

Building my 2nd CNC first, I hope. I have been researching for over a year, read a thousand threads and articles, and am hopefully building my ‘second machine’ for my first. There is still a ton to learn and that process will probably never stop. Of this I am certain, I will be in new territory for a while. For over 40 years I have been building things, doing hydraulics, pneumatics, and electronics builds and troubleshooting along with a lot of woodworking but have never used or built a CNC machine. This is going to be fun!!

The machine is a new model by Nate at Fine Line Automation. It’s a ‘pro’ series he calls Saturn and it is very heavy. Shipping weight was 525 lbs. for this 2’x4’ model. Take away the OxBox and pallet and it’s probably still 475 lbs. The frame is welded and stress relieved steel, powder coated Pantone 305. It has THK style linear bearings, rack and pinion drive, and the components are anodized black 6061 aluminum. I have a 3 Kw water cooled spindle and NEMA 34 stepper motors ready to mount. I’ll be using the Hitachi WJ200-022SF VFD to drive the spindle. The actual cutting area is 28”x52” with 10” Z travel.

The first order of business, now that it’s here, was clearing out enough space in our shop for two CNC machines (our shop is the attached two-car garage). It has to set in one place while I build the stand where it will actually reside, so space for two in an already crowded shop. I’ll be building a frame with 2×4’s and maybe a couple of 2×6’s. Then I need about 5 large friends to help me carry the CNC over to the stand.

Picked up from FedEx last Friday and barely fit on a friend’s trailer –

OxBox container removed and setting on the pallet until I get the stand built -

A few close-ups –

Next step was a trip to Lowe’s for 2×4’s and then making some sawdust.

Hope you enjoy the ride with me!
David

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A


110 replies so far

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#1 posted 07-15-2016 01:24 AM

Here’s the gantry clearance -

Monday I started on the stand and after about 8 hours got it about half finished (yes, it’s upside down) –

Finished the stand Tuesday. I know I’m thorough but this took me about 20 hours total to build and I have no idea if that’s slow or fast or about average. It’s actually fast for me and I managed to do it in two sessions – 8 hours Monday and 12 Tuesday.

All the pieces that will contact the CNC frame were run across the jointer to ensure they’re flat and straight and each hole was drilled with 1/8” for threads, 3/16” for the barrel, countersunk for the head, and securely tightened, so about 4 operations for each of the hundred or so fasteners. Each joint is square and tight and then the entire stand was sanded. I may come back later and put some Shellac on it but not today.

David

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#2 posted 07-15-2016 01:33 AM

Yesterday we managed to get the CNC frame lifted over the table saw extension and on to the stand. The stand worked perfectly, so that’s a good feeling. Nothing creaked or moved and it is dead level with the additional nearly 500 lbs. of weight just as it was without the frame weighing it down.

My friend Adam, also a good woodworker, brought his engine hoist over and we managed to maneuver the CNC over the obstacles and set onto the stand and only had to move my air compressor to make room. That’s not a bad feat given how tight this was.

CNC frame on the stand -

Today I broke the pallet down and managed to keep all of the wood (they didn’t use nails with adhesive). Here’s a good shot of the CNC in our shop. There’s still some clutter from moving things around to make room for this but I’ll get that organized and cleaned up soon. You can see the spindle, steppers, and other components on the bench so hopefully I’ll get a chance to start mounting those over the next few days.

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#3 posted 07-15-2016 01:35 AM

I just realized the photos from PhotoBucket are cropped. Ugh!

Edit: Fixed the images so now they show entirely – whew!

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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MadMark

977 posts in 915 days


#4 posted 07-15-2016 01:42 AM

Looks great – how are your AutoCAD skills?

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#5 posted 07-15-2016 02:00 AM



Looks great – how are your AutoCAD skills?

M

- MadMark

Thanks, Mark! My CorelDRAW skills are very good but my Fusion 360 skills are at beginner level. I’ll have to get better or this is going to be a pricey boat anchor! LOL!

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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MadMark

977 posts in 915 days


#6 posted 07-15-2016 02:23 AM

Don’t forget the .DXF to Gcode converter! But if you do it right you can draw it in AutoCAD and then cut exactly what you needed in one go. The first thing you do is drill a 1/4”-20 grid of holes for hold downs. Excellent Gcode practice.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#7 posted 07-15-2016 03:03 AM



Don t forget the .DXF to Gcode converter! But if you do it right you can draw it in AutoCAD and then cut exactly what you needed in one go. The first thing you do is drill a 1/4”-20 grid of holes for hold downs. Excellent Gcode practice.

M

- MadMark

This is all new to me though I’ve been in the Technology Sales world for over 20 years and Engineering world since the late 60’s. So is there a preferred convertor? The thing I like about Fusion 360 is that it is CAD/CAM all in one package and it’s free.

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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MadMark

977 posts in 915 days


#8 posted 07-15-2016 04:15 AM

CNC units drive by Gcode. Some can directly import AutoCAD .DXF files and create their own gcode – much easier. Either way you gotta draw it to cut it.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2529 days


#9 posted 07-15-2016 03:19 PM

You have a nice setup going there!

What are you using for control Mach3? Thats a wornderful program and worth the small cost.

I don’t know if you use sketchup , but there is a plugg in to generate G-code that does work I tried it and seems to work.

I use vcarve pro that does cost some money but well worth it. I built a cnc rourterparts 4×8 with nema 34 motors.

As long as your gcode generator has a post processor for your control program you should be good to go.

Mach 3 is pretty well represented in most cad/cam packages.

I’m a sketchup user and tried the fusion and its a bit of a learning curve. It has dxf support. I do not like however the inability to print.

I do most of my drawing in sketchup and directly import the vectors into vcarve pro for cam piece.

I will make another reccomendation that was made to me and it is worth it. I am a newbie to cnc and the biggest challenge I’ve found is what is the proper feed and speed for my spindle and its a HUGE piece of the puzzle.

Get gcode-wizzard. you put in your tool material and other parameters and it will calculate your feed and speed. Takes the guess work out of it. I think its on sale right now.

Good luck and continue to post your results. Cheers.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#10 posted 07-15-2016 07:45 PM



You have a nice setup going there!

What are you using for control Mach3? Thats a wornderful program and worth the small cost.

I don t know if you use sketchup , but there is a plugg in to generate G-code that does work I tried it and seems to work.

I use vcarve pro that does cost some money but well worth it. I built a cnc rourterparts 4×8 with nema 34 motors.

As long as your gcode generator has a post processor for your control program you should be good to go.

Mach 3 is pretty well represented in most cad/cam packages.

I m a sketchup user and tried the fusion and its a bit of a learning curve. It has dxf support. I do not like however the inability to print.

I do most of my drawing in sketchup and directly import the vectors into vcarve pro for cam piece.

I will make another reccomendation that was made to me and it is worth it. I am a newbie to cnc and the biggest challenge I ve found is what is the proper feed and speed for my spindle and its a HUGE piece of the puzzle.

Get gcode-wizzard. you put in your tool material and other parameters and it will calculate your feed and speed. Takes the guess work out of it. I think its on sale right now.

Good luck and continue to post your results. Cheers.

- bonesbr549

Thanks, Bones!

I truly hope it’s going to be as my title suggests – our 2nd build first, and we get to use it a long time. Right now I’m planning on using Mach 4 with ESS (already have the ESS). A couple of years ago I gained a fair proficiency level with SketchUp but haven’t used it in a while. I’ll probably refresh that skillset. I can do a lot in CorelDRAW and can export svg to bring into Fusion 360 to do my extrusions and other CAD things. But I can draw in 360, as well. I’ve thought about the G-code Wizard and may get that just to keep from wasting time and breaking so many bits – but that’s probably inevitable. And I’ll probably ask a LOT of questions hoping to get help from knowledgeable folks like you.

David

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#11 posted 07-15-2016 07:46 PM

Added some locator blocks to keep the frame on the stand. I figure gravity will do its part to hold the machine down onto the stand but inertia and momentum may persuade the unit to slide on the stand. Hopefully this will suffice. There are 4 of these blocks in opposing directions, two on each end.

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

977 posts in 915 days


#12 posted 07-15-2016 10:11 PM

Strap an air line & nozzle to the gantry for chip clearence. Over head will put least tension on the cutter head.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2529 days


#13 posted 07-16-2016 01:26 AM


You have a nice setup going there!

What are you using for control Mach3? Thats a wornderful program and worth the small cost.

I don t know if you use sketchup , but there is a plugg in to generate G-code that does work I tried it and seems to work.

I use vcarve pro that does cost some money but well worth it. I built a cnc rourterparts 4×8 with nema 34 motors.

As long as your gcode generator has a post processor for your control program you should be good to go.

Mach 3 is pretty well represented in most cad/cam packages.

I m a sketchup user and tried the fusion and its a bit of a learning curve. It has dxf support. I do not like however the inability to print.

I do most of my drawing in sketchup and directly import the vectors into vcarve pro for cam piece.

I will make another reccomendation that was made to me and it is worth it. I am a newbie to cnc and the biggest challenge I ve found is what is the proper feed and speed for my spindle and its a HUGE piece of the puzzle.

Get gcode-wizzard. you put in your tool material and other parameters and it will calculate your feed and speed. Takes the guess work out of it. I think its on sale right now.

Good luck and continue to post your results. Cheers.

- bonesbr549

Thanks, Bones!

I truly hope it s going to be as my title suggests – our 2nd build first, and we get to use it a long time. Right now I m planning on using Mach 4 with ESS (already have the ESS). A couple of years ago I gained a fair proficiency level with SketchUp but haven t used it in a while. I ll probably refresh that skillset. I can do a lot in CorelDRAW and can export svg to bring into Fusion 360 to do my extrusions and other CAD things. But I can draw in 360, as well. I ve thought about the G-code Wizard and may get that just to keep from wasting time and breaking so many bits – but that s probably inevitable. And I ll probably ask a LOT of questions hoping to get help from knowledgeable folks like you.

David

- difalkner

First things first! Please (if you don’t have an account) go to cnczone.com and register. Great wealth of information. Second, if you are going to use ESS and i do as well, go read up. Mach 4 has had some stability issues big time with ESS. They reccommend Mach3 with ESS I’ll get the build and tell you. I built in March, and it was still an issue. Check with your build folks as well depending on your stepper motors.

Every thing you want to know about mach is there.

What you using for your motor/spindle?

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#14 posted 07-16-2016 04:00 AM


First things first! Please (if you don t have an account) go to cnczone.com and register. Great wealth of information. Second, if you are going to use ESS and i do as well, go read up. Mach 4 has had some stability issues big time with ESS. They reccommend Mach3 with ESS I ll get the build and tell you. I built in March, and it was still an issue. Check with your build folks as well depending on your stepper motors.

Every thing you want to know about mach is there.

What you using for your motor/spindle?

- bonesbr549

Yes, I have been lurking at CNCZone for a few years but joined not long ago. I’m also posting the same photos and info there. I’m using a water cooled 3 Kw spindle and Hitachi VFD to drive it.

I’ve read a fair amount on Mach 3 vs Mach 4 but have yet to buy either. I like that 3 has been proven but 4 is newer and different. Since I don’t have to wait on it to ship I’ll probably decide at the last minute (instant download). I’ve been playing with both in demo mode for 4 or 5 months. Did you try 4 in demo mode? Just curious what your take is/was.

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

View difalkner's profile

difalkner

106 posts in 1364 days


#15 posted 07-16-2016 04:01 AM



Strap an air line & nozzle to the gantry for chip clearence. Over head will put least tension on the cutter head.

M

- MadMark

Good tip, thanks!

-- Nothing to do with woodworking at all, just our music at church (I'm the guy with the Koa Takamine) - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpLecPAn4AJEp6qHC7C44A

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