My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine and now Video

Jeff Nading

My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine and now Video
« on December 12th, 2012, 09:26 AM »Last edited on December 6th, 2014, 06:51 PM
Here are some photos and a video. Questions?:D


firepinto

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #1, on December 12th, 2012, 10:12 AM »
Great pics Jeff.:cool:  

The clamp on nuts with the thrust bearings, did you have to tap those acme threads or cast them?

What kind of files are used for designs to be cut out?


Nate

Jeff Nading

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #2, on December 12th, 2012, 11:13 AM »Last edited on December 12th, 2012, 11:20 AM by Jeff Nading
Quote from firepinto on December 12th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Great pics Jeff.:cool:  

The clamp on nuts with the thrust bearings, did you have to tap those acme threads or cast them?

What kind of files are used for designs to be cut out?


Nate
Thanks Nate, the Z axis lead-screw you see in the photo is what they call a two start thread, means it has two independent threads following the length of the shaft.
 You can buy a tap or die to cut this type of thread but they are very expensive.
 So, I cast them, very good observation. I took about 3" from the 15" lead-screw shaft I bought, made a mold put the 3" shaft inside, then poured molten aluminum in the void, the aluminum took the shape of the threads and shaft with an overall diameter of 1 1/4", took it out of the mold, unscrewed the shaft out of the aluminum, then machined two pieces as you see in the photos. The threads came out almost prefect  and are used to take out all the backlash in the movement, worked oh so well. :cool::D:P

The file used is a dxf, software to run the machine is Sheetcam  and Mach 3 for g-code

~Russ

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #3, on December 12th, 2012, 11:23 AM »
fantastic Jeff. i have seen some of those photos but its good to see all of them ! :)

do you have any videos posted of that cutting???

and could you not mount a mill end on that with a motor to CNC some stuff?? (simple stuff)

good stuff Jeff!! ~Russ


woody0068

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #4, on December 12th, 2012, 11:32 AM »
Nice work Jeff.
I will study the pics and maybe borrow some design ideas.
It looks very sturdy, could maybe even be used as a mill?
Maybe i have to re-think my design, it would be nice if it could be used with a mill head as well.
I dont think my stepper motors and controller will handle the load from a mill head thoo, i think the controller is rated at 3.5 amps per motor.
I think im gonna use the "Mach3" software that was included with the controller.
Do you have any experience of that program?
regards /Janne Ström

Jeff Nading

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #5, on December 12th, 2012, 11:38 AM »Last edited on December 12th, 2012, 11:39 AM by Jeff Nading
Quote from ~Russ/Rwg42985 on December 12th, 2012, 11:23 AM
fantastic Jeff. i have seen some of those photos but its good to see all of them ! :)

do you have any videos posted of that cutting???

and could you not mount a mill end on that with a motor to CNC some stuff?? (simple stuff)

good stuff Jeff!! ~Russ
I as of yet don't have a video of the machine running, I need to wire my shop with a 50 amp breaker to run the plasma cutter, also the plasma cutter creates enormous amount of ozone. Yes, these are good reasons to convert the machine to routing, which I think I'm going to do soon. I will have to buy a small router then cast a mount for it. This way I will have the best of both worlds. :D Thanks Russ.

woody0068

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #6, on December 12th, 2012, 11:48 AM »
i think i see that you use ( dont know the term for it in English, but im guessing "toothed rod")
for both x and y axis?
/Janne

Jeff Nading

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #7, on December 12th, 2012, 11:59 AM »
Quote from woody0068 on December 12th, 2012, 11:32 AM
Nice work Jeff.
I will study the pics and maybe borrow some design ideas.
It looks very sturdy, could maybe even be used as a mill?
Maybe i have to re-think my design, it would be nice if it could be used with a mill head as well.
I dont think my stepper motors and controller will handle the load from a mill head thoo, i think the controller is rated at 3.5 amps per motor.
I think im gonna use the "Mach3" software that was included with the controller.
Do you have any experience of that program?
regards /Janne Ström
Hi Janne, yes, I designed my machine to preform both operations, plasma and routing or mill work, I can even install a 5th stepper motor to do round stock, but would need to upgrade some of the electronics. The steppers are very strong along with belt reduction and rack & pinion, it made it almost bullet proof. I have seen steppers like yours do routing, all you would need to do is control speed, the depth of cut and make multiple passes. Mach 3 is what I have used along with Sheetcam.  Mach 3 has been modified to work with the electronics I have and for the THC [torch height control} so I would say it's not the same as yours.:D  
RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #8, on December 12th, 2012, 12:05 PM »Last edited on December 12th, 2012, 03:56 PM by Jeff Nading
Quote from woody0068 on December 12th, 2012, 11:48 AM
i think i see that you use ( dont know the term for it in English, but im guessing "toothed rod")
for both x and y axis?
/Janne
Yes, rack and pinion. The rack or teeth of rack facing downward so as to keep the rack from catching debris in the teeth. :D
This is by far the best way of controlling the X and Y axes , along with the belt reduction boxes it gains the strength needed for the movement in the mechanism.
RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #9, on December 12th, 2012, 05:06 PM »
You guys might want to check out this link
http://www.candcnc.com/
I have met the owner, been to his facility, bought the complete electronics package including stepper motors, Mach 3 software, remote control and package for changing over to routing from plasma cutting. This was back in 2007.
The product this guy has, has only gotten better, of course the cost has increased as well. but still worth a look, shows you whats out there. He also gives support  at his forum.:D

Matt Watts

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #10, on December 12th, 2012, 08:19 PM »
That is a nice unit Jeff.  When you get ready to run a router, I would recommend MasterCAM or something equivalent to drive your tool paths.  My Probotix unit came with MeshCAM and for simple engraving it is fine; for anything serious with pockets or if you want to fully control operations and their execution order you'll need to step up to something a bit more versatile.  Unlike plasma or a 3D printer, you really have to think your tool paths out carefully or you'll for sure run into collisions with anything other than flat stock and even that sometimes the bit can't reach all the way in, which requires some thought and tool help.

The router I use with my Probotix unit is a Dewalt DWP-611.  It has variable speed and LEDs to illuminate your work.  I've only cut wood and plastic so far and for those the router is plenty powerful.  My gantry isn't quite as sturdy as I would have hoped for so I have to slow my plunge rates way down to avoid cocking back the router upon entry.  I'm told there are high speed bits available to machine aluminum with my setup but I'm a bit hesitant to try those yet unless it's really thin sheet.

Jeff Nading

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #11, on December 13th, 2012, 05:43 AM »Last edited on December 13th, 2012, 05:44 AM by Jeff Nading
Quote from Dog-One on December 12th, 2012, 08:19 PM
That is a nice unit Jeff.  When you get ready to run a router, I would recommend MasterCAM or something equivalent to drive your tool paths.  My Probotix unit came with MeshCAM and for simple engraving it is fine; for anything serious with pockets or if you want to fully control operations and their execution order you'll need to step up to something a bit more versatile.  Unlike plasma or a 3D printer, you really have to think your tool paths out carefully or you'll for sure run into collisions with anything other than flat stock and even that sometimes the bit can't reach all the way in, which requires some thought and tool help.

The router I use with my Probotix unit is a Dewalt DWP-611.  It has variable speed and LEDs to illuminate your work.  I've only cut wood and plastic so far and for those the router is plenty powerful.  My gantry isn't quite as sturdy as I would have hoped for so I have to slow my plunge rates way down to avoid cocking back the router upon entry.  I'm told there are high speed bits available to machine aluminum with my setup but I'm a bit hesitant to try those yet unless it's really thin sheet.
Thanks Dog-one. One of the photos I have shown of the belt reduction box, has a 3" circle cut into it about half way through the aluminum plate, you can see the tool cuts.
  This was done with a cnc router table using Mach 3 and sheetcam. I would imagine the two programs you are using are top notch and work wonderfully.
 The two I have, I did pay for, are supported by many users and developers through forums, you can get answers to questions in most cases in an hour, and is very good software.
[attachment=2793]
Sheetcam is wonderful, It does most of the guess work for you, the guy that developed it supports it.
 I do have to admit, as you can tell, I do like this software.
The nice thing about your software is that it's free, I think?
 I will check into the router you mentioned,  Dewalt DWP-611, thanks for the tip, I like the idea of the built in LED'S.
   Yes you can buy high speed bits for routing aluminum, the trick is, to lubricate the bit while cutting.
 Soapy water can be used, applied with a squirt bottle.
So, have you done anything to your machine to mod it for printing?:cool::D:P

Allgood-Energy

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #12, on November 21st, 2013, 08:28 AM »Last edited on November 21st, 2013, 08:53 AM by Allgood-Energy
Quote from Jeff Nading on December 12th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Here are some photos. Questions?:D
WOW ! :D
What a great Build. How long did this take you?

What worries me is the software integration.

What Software do you recommend ? From what I have looked at Mach 3 Seems to be a good Well documented choice for the Stepper control. But I don't Know about Slicing and Mesh and tool path stuff.  I want to cut simple wood and Aluminum parts Mostly Outline stuff.
Maybe some relief profile stuff for making coining dies and general 3D printing for prototyping. What processing Cam Software am I going to need??? I Have a starting budget of about $350 for software.  If there is different software for the CNC Routing and 3D Printing. Could you kind of explain the difference.

Also What Break out Board do you think Will be the best?

I have ordered a motor and driver to test.

Leadshine 86HS85 2-Phase NEMA 34 Stepper Motor with 1,204 OZ-IN Torque
Leadshine DM870 2-phase DSP Digital Stepper Drive with Max 80 VDC / 7.0A  
 motors and drivers for the Z Axis.

I haven't selected the drivers for the X & Y yet.
will probably use the same ones for X&Y if the Z checks out.

Thanks

Jeff Nading

RE: My CNC Plasma Cutting Machine
« Reply #13, on November 21st, 2013, 03:24 PM »Last edited on March 2nd, 2014, 07:28 AM
Quote from Allgood-Energy on November 21st, 2013, 08:28 AM
Quote from Jeff Nading on December 12th, 2012, 09:26 AM
Here are some photos. Questions?:D
WOW ! :D
What a great Build. How long did this take you?

What worries me is the software integration.

What Software do you recommend ? From what I have looked at Mach 3 Seems to be a good Well documented choice for the Stepper control. But I don't Know about Slicing and Mesh and tool path stuff.  I want to cut simple wood and Aluminum parts Mostly Outline stuff.
Maybe some relief profile stuff for making coining dies and general 3D printing for prototyping. What processing Cam Software am I going to need??? I Have a starting budget of about $350 for software.  If there is different software for the CNC Routing and 3D Printing. Could you kind of explain the difference.

Also What Break out Board do you think Will be the best?

I have ordered a motor and driver to test.

Leadshine 86HS85 2-Phase NEMA 34 Stepper Motor with 1,204 OZ-IN Torque
Leadshine DM870 2-phase DSP Digital Stepper Drive with Max 80 VDC / 7.0A 
 motors and drivers for the Z Axis.

I haven't selected the drivers for the X & Y yet.
will probably use the same ones for X&Y if the Z checks out.

Thanks
I used Gecko drives, bought a complete kit for all the electronics included with wired steppers motors from here
http://www.candcnc.com/
Built the computer with an additional parallel port to run the machine. Mach 3 and sheetcam are the software's I use, both supported very well through Yahoo forums. That's to run the router, to run the printer you can use Mach 3 also, but I have not done that myself. There is a guy on YT Hass Machine here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLJjujV75xE#ws
that did run his 3 d printer on Mach 3, don't know how he did it though. The video where he did it, I can't find, it's there some where.
 Matt is working with his CNC router to print with it as well, don't know where he is at with it though, maybe he can shed some light on this for you.:D