Advice on robotized Dremel table project.

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Hello freaks!

Ok i have had a little woodworking project in mind for a while now, however, due to lack of tools, time, and money, have been putting it aside for awhile now...

To simplify that project, and possibly also make a pretty useful tool for the future, I am thinking about building myself a robotized Dremel drilling/routing table... The idea is to have a Dremel mounted on a crossbar (itself mounted on two sidebars with ball bearings) and have robotized control on all three axis, X, Y, and Z (Dremel plunge). The base materials this will be intended for will vary, from FR4 board to 2 inches thick curly maple.

Now this project will obviously require some sort of motor or actuator to move the router around on its crossbar, and also to move the crossbar around on the two sidebars. Rack and pinion along with a motor is probably the easiest thing I can think of for X and Y axis. I am thinking of using a small hydraulic for the Z axis (plunging action), along with a spring for automatic lifting.

I can handle the mechanical drawings and parts machining, but i would like to hear your opinions about the motor drives, and hydraulic pump setup.. Is this anything like any project you guys have done before? Any pitfalls or common errors I should be aware of?

The setup will resemble a big plasma cutting table I saw once, but much smaller. I would make the table maybe 48"x48", which should accomodate pretty much anything I intend to route or drill. Follow the link for a picture... ;)

http://www.samsoncnc.com/

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Here is an example of what can be done with MDF. I think his kits are overpriced for a wooden router, but it does show what is possible with the stuff.
This thread should be moved to the off topic forum.

http://www.fireballcnc.com/

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I hate to drive traffic away from this forum, but check out www.cnczone.com many projects with varying levels of sophistication.

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Our own Carl Livingston (microcarl) is working on "X-Y drilling tables" IIRC.

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Quote:
Our own Carl Livingston (microcarl) is working on "X-Y drilling tables" IIRC.
He almost IS a X-Y drilling table :D

Nard

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JohanEkdahl wrote:
Our own Carl Livingston (microcarl) is working on "X-Y drilling tables" IIRC.

Yes! I looked at the video that the OP linked us to. Quite a nice machine, and what mischief could I conjure up with that machine.

I haven't actually been working on the mechanical side of things, per se'. I have made a crude test bed axis for proofing my motion control.

In fact, those experiments consisted of a 3 axis stepper motor control using the Mega8535, a single axis stepper motor control using the Mega32 with TTL serial control, and a full servo controller using a Mega644 with fill PID tuning.

In the end, I'll probably use the PID based servo as my final design, because with encoder feedback, there will be no loss of position like there can be with stepper motors. The PID based servos have higher torque and higher velocity - 150IPM, as opposed to 50IPM with stepper motors. But the PID system is about $200.00 per axis; whereas, using stepper motors is about $70.00 per axis.

But there are no plans to refine the mechanics of the axis test-bed, because I plan on building the final design for my Sherline table-top mill. And, as I sold my MAX-NC 5 mill to zbaird, I might build a second motion control for him, as well - money permitting.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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Plons wrote:
Quote:
Our own Carl Livingston (microcarl) is working on "X-Y drilling tables" IIRC.
He almost IS a X-Y drilling table :D

Nard

Nard, I take that as a high complement! In fact, I paid a guy to have his wife embroider "Technoid " on several of my shirts. That is what I am called at work.

And just remember the difference between a Nerd and a Geek! A Nerd only thinks about doing something, but its the Geek that gets it done.

And Technoid Extraordinaire, well that's yet another story, but Technoid supersedes a Geek.

Technoid Extraordinaire... "Someone who makes the difficult happen immediately. And the impossible takes only a few minutes longer !"
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Thanks for the complement...

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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check out youtube.com and search xy tables.

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PC software to control CNC
http://www.artsoftcontrols.com/a...

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Lennart wrote:
PC software to control CNC
http://www.artsoftcontrols.com/a...

Oh yes... I've have a licensed copy of Mach3 and have been using it for a couple of years. It sure beat the software that came with my MAX-NC 5.

As I ordered the Sherline without stepper motors and a control, Mach3 was the CNC control software of choice when I built the motion controller of it.

My wish for Mach3 is that they would provide facilities to communicate with the motion controller over USB (or RS232) rather then use the parallel printer port. There is an RS232 option, but that is only for reading axis encoder position - not sending G-Code to the control.

In fact, with all of the current day Lap-Top computers no longer sporting a parallel printer port or an RS232 serial port, the makers of Mach3 are going to have to do something, else we'll all be forced to use desk top machines. The PC that I currently use is a generic desk-top PC with a second LPT port card added for protection of the PCs mother board.

I had thought about building up 3 of my TTL serial stepper motor controllers, adding an FTDI USB-->TTL converter to each, and connecting each to a separate USB port on say, a 4 port USB hub. But then I'd have to write My own CNC control software. If ArtSoft would make this minor addition to their Mach3 software, that would be very cool - even if I had to putchase another license.

But still, Mach3 is about the best CNC controller software out there for the small machine industry.

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston