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PP build - the second wave

Discussion in 'Phlatprinter BUILD LOGS' started by matt_o_70, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    I wanted to post my Build to get some new posts out here since the re-release of the Phlatprinter DIY kit. My hope is to include many of the best bang for the buck MODs (thanks to all the efforts of others who went before me) into my build.

    Having come across 3 nema 23 size motors that needed to be put to good use... ($7 each from Ebay)

    I headed down this path as a result of listening to Crash from AllthingsCrash say so many good things about the Phlatprinter while I was spending nights taping and cutting paper templates for foamboard planes. Gaining CNC skills sure seemed like a better way to spend time rather than printing, taping, cutting... I also plan to get my kids involved in creating in CAD and exposed to these tools as young as practical. I know that the Man I am today is partly because of the time I spent tinkering in the garage with my father.

    To get my build moving.. I started off painting the MDF parts after masking off the interlocking tabs or glue lines. I Figured glue would hold best on bare MDF and had a small can of primer sealer in the basement that needed to get used up.

    This kept me busy a couple nights while I was waiting for the 1/2" precision rod and bronze bushing parts from McMaster-carr. The cost of the rods was comparable so I figured It made most sense to put the $30 into the better rods from the beginning. Ordered the parts listed to do a Y axis Belt mod and #8-32 screws and propeller nuts to assemble the case where I wanted something less than permanent. I got the parts list from a thread over in the MK1 Modifications forum.

    I used the parts listed in this posting.. thanks Klondar http://phlatforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1 ... ster#p6014

    Upon arrival I found that the rods arrive with turning marks from the lathe. I gave them a quick polish with 500 and then 1000 sandpaper and this brings out a much smoother surface. I am going to model my MOD after the work of rjarois in his Mod thread. It is a must read.

    I was delighted to find that the bronze bushings fit perfectly into the holes cut into the gantry for the PEX pipe that is used normally. So absolutly no modification required to fit the bushings. locating the 1/2" rod does require minor modifications to the MDF kit. I have photos of this that I can share..


    As I built up parts of the Z gantry I did not like the fact that the Ubolts holding the dremel on to the gantry looked difficult to access once fully assembled. Having seen the roto zip flex shaft MOD that was done by rcav8r - My plan is to try the Harbor freight flex shaft spindle used on the MK3 onto my MK1 in some fashion. I had the 20% coupon and it was on sale so I was able to pick it up for a very good price. I was also hoping that this part would run quiter than a dremel. When I got it home and plugged it in to hear it run I was greeted with a wobbly and noisey flex shaft. A few shots of graphite into the flex shaft and now it runs very nicely. It was very bad right out of the box.
    [​IMG]

    I have ordered the MK3 spindle attachment to see if there is any way to modify it for use on this build. pictures and more coming. Attached files [​IMG] class="gc-images" title="IPhone 529.jpg" style="max-width:300px" /> [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  2. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    There was one item on the parts list - The hinge set as lowes item #22416 - that I could not locate. I did buy a stanley 4" hinge however it is not the one that fits the pre-drilled holes. On a second trip I did find that there is a Heavy duty hinge that looks a little bigger. If anyone knows more about the correct hinge I am all ears. Lowe's web site currently can't find a matching part when I enter #22416.

    One build note - Mark did update the MDF cut outs for the steppers to accomodate larger steppers. The square openings for motor mounting are nice. I did not have to cut any MDF to fit my steppers - My Lin Engineeing 5718M-05E-05 motors fit perfectly. I assume that this was done to accomodate the vexta parts that are very popular. There was one missing cut-out (on my DIY kit) to accept the tab from part #23 of the Y Axis stepper mount brace.

    photo of where I added the cutout that was missing from the side panel. A simple fix with the jigsaw.

    I decided to assemble the Y axis with the threaded rod first to get operational. I will perform the Belt drive conversion later. Attached files [​IMG]
     
  3. toadsix

    toadsix New Member

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    Nice!
    I too am going to get the DIY kit. Looking forward to the rest of your build.

    Thanks!
     
  4. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Toadsix - I will look forward to the added company.. I here that there are 6+ of us building the DIY kit since they started offering it again..

    I spent the better part of last week trying to sort out my electronics. And finally managed to solve my problem.

    I did not want to have a PC sitting in my workshop if possible.. and I wanted to make use of my laptop. So I had done some web searches and had come across the Planet CNC-USB web site. The impression I got was that it was based outside the USA and would likely take some time to arrive if it had to come from overseas. When I saw that the CNC-USB board was available in the Phlatstore I was thrilled and added that to my inital DIY kit order.

    At the time I ordered it (DIY kit and CNC-USB Board) I did not yet have stepper motor driver board selected. My search for driver boards later lead me to the Probotix web site. I had Uni-polar motors and Probotix offers economical driver boards in either unipolar or Bipolar variety. I now understand that I could have simply wired my unipolar motors as bipolar (more torque at low rpm but lower torque at higher rpm) and used the standard Easy-CNC offering. In any event I still see it as a win since the Probotix drivers for 3 axis runs ~$100 which is saving me $70 over the Easy-CNC driver board. Money used to pick up a power supply, 24v fan and IDC cables with my driver board order.

    If you are considering building the MK1 DIY kit I can recommend you take a look at the 3 axis kit from probotix. They have a complete package that includes 180 OZ-in stepper motors for $249. If you shop for used steppers to save some money they also have everything else as a core kit for $140. This is a savings over the Easy CNC package and it comes from the USA with great support.

    So back to my troubles... I had watched the you tube videos of how to connect the Planet CNC-USB board to motors and test. So I had wired up my parts and installed the Planet-CNC software to test my Z axis gantry before I glued down the top plates and locked things in place permanetly.

    I wanted to test the operation of my 1/2" rod and bushing in case any tuning was needed before I glued the very last parts onto the gantry for good. Trouble was I was only able to get my motors to turn one direction and with rather low speeds ~ 20 IPM. They would not change direction at all. So I checked my stepper motor wiring many, many times thinking I had something wrong. Changes settings in the software to no avail... It turns out that the problem was powering the CNC-USB board over the USB cable. This is how the board was demo'ed on Youtube with USB cable power only. While it functioned - it did not have enough power to completely power my stepper drivers like this. As soon as I connected an external 5V supply and moved the power jumper to 5V EXT. Viola everything is working both directions and IPM speeds in excess of 100 (keep in mind I have not calibrated anything so speed number is relative).


    So what have I learned so far... The guys at Probotix have their own version of the CNC-USB board that is slightly modified (in a good way). 3 key differences - The 10 position IDC cable is directly compatible with their own driver boards with out any modification to the cable required. They have added screw terminals to the board for most all connections. They have added a wide range power input directly to the PBX-USB board. This allows you to power it from any 12-40V power source. If I were to do it all over again I would suggest the probotix drivers and the PBX-USB version of the CNC-USB interface board. It is just less fussing since it is designed to all work togather. The guys at Probotix were very responsive to my questions and I was surprised to be getting emails back on Saturday and Sunday.

    making my CNC USB board work was simple enough.. I was able to easily adapt the IDC ribbon cable as required. Andrej already has this covered at his web site. http://www.planet-cnc.com/extra/probotix_cable/

    A simple power regulator from mouser solved my 24 to 5v regulated issue. To provide regulated 5V to the original version of the Planet CNC-USB board I have ordered a 24V > 5V output part from mouser for $4. http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDet ... o08dQqJQ==


    I will report back once I have the power converter part connected and tested. Was working with a 7805 so I don't expect any problems. It will replace the breadboard shown in the photo for testing. Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. toadsix

    toadsix New Member

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    Looking good!

    I appreciate the fact the your posting your trail and errors. That really helps us noobs out.
    Thanks again.
     
  6. TigerPilot

    TigerPilot Well-Known Member

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    matt_o_70, mind keeping a more or less tab of your expenses? I'm curious how much the total cost will be for the bones kit in comparison to a complete kit. And if you don't mind than post the tally later! :D
     
  7. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    I will tally it up... (but I will have to turn away and try not to look at the total :shock: )
    $30 3 steppers from ebay
    $225 DIY KIT (-$25 crashcast coupon)
    $195 USB-CNC board and Software license (OPTIONAL/UPGRADE)
    $217 Probotix order (3 driver boards, 24V Power supply, IDC cables, heatsink fan)
    $81 McMaster Carr Hardware, 1/2" precision rods, 1/2" Bronze bushings, belt mod pulleys and belt is $27 of this (OPTIONAL/UPGRADE).
    $ 41 Harbor Freight flex shaft tool
    $ 90 Lowes from the parts list (add $34 for the standard 7/16" rod if not getting 1/2" from mcmaster-carr)
    $15 for electronic power parts and connectors.

    ~$900 all in - (You could save your self $195 by connecting to a parallel port) $700 if you stay with stock parts

    Update (Jan 2014) - Now with RepRap driver boards plentiful and cheap you could save $$. The Probotix parts and the USB-CNC can be replaced with 1 single board that you can get for $100. that would reduce my build costs by $300! Mark has Made the DIY KIT freely available as a CAD file. So if you find someone local to cut it you could knock another $225. You could have a complete build for around $300-400 Total.

    Of course the cheapest way to get in is to find someone selling their's to upgrade. Before I ordered the kit I sent inquires to the for sale posts in the classified section... and all came back sold. Then the a couple days after I ordered a new for sale posting came along for a steal... Should have waited.. :)
     
  8. TigerPilot

    TigerPilot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, my man. Almost what I've suspected.

    The steppers are a very good deal. I've bought four of them on ebay at $33 shipped each. It was $130 shipped. :oops:
     
  9. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    Great looking build so far Matt! :doubleup:
    Thank you for sharing, this will be very helpful to others on their builds
    Keep up the good work, looking forward to the first steps
    Mark and Trish
     
  10. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Build Note. skid guard safety tape. I applied mine in the spiral wrap (candy cane) method and only needed 2 rolls (was $7 a roll) so one is going back. so saved a little more money there.

    I read on a build log that ToxicToast chose skateboard grip tape when redoing his rollers. said that it was much nicer product. So it may be worthwhile to check out the "Jessup" grip, cost 16$ for 90" or similar options.


    propeller nuts in action. These work fine with the holes and the slots already on the kit and perfectly with my stepper motors. The same hardware also can be used to keep the outer side panels removeable. This also has been a wise move - I have used the removable outer side panel to remove and rework the Z gantry several times in my dry fit and testing phases.

    My MK3 spindle attachment arrived today.. So now I am off to see if I can make that interface and attach with existing Z gantry without too much fuss. I think the height may be a bit of a problem as it sits right now. Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    got to spend some more time in the shop... and really getting close. I had to finish my alu angle mounting and tapping for countersunk screws, build the adjustable blocks to align my Y axis 1/2 rod and glue in place the bronze bushings. These ideas were all originally detailed by rjarois viewtopic.php?f=107&t=145

    I started off by opening up the 7/16 holes to 1/2" and then testing the fit of everything. under close inspection you can see that the original hole location needed a tweek to fit the new center to center dimension when using the 1/2" rod. My bottom rod mic'd out good so I opted to leave the bottom mounted in the 1/2" holes and just modify the location of the top rod as needed for best fit with the stock gantry. I little work with the dremel to turn these into slots.

    I started off trying to use MDF as block material for my rod adjusters, but the first attempt to tap the MDF with 1/4-20 for the set screws resulted in a split piece. I did have a scrap of UHMW plastic and it seemed like a good choice for this application.

    The UHMW works perfect. It takes a tap nice and also acts like a nyloc stop nut - holds the set screws from turning loose.


    after spending time to cut down the rod and mount my adjuster blocks.. finally glueing in the bronze bushings and let them dry aligned to the rod.

    I am still working on how I want to adapt the flex shaft to the gantry. The Mk3 attachment is too tall to fit so I am going to try something else for now. I have the parts glued and clamped and hope to attach them tomorrow if all goes well. Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow Matt you are really moving along!
    Thank you for the tip on the part missing the tab I have updated the cut files. :good:
    I am glad to see that did not stop you from moving forward and making this machine work for you.
    Keep up the good work
    Mark and Trish
     
  13. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    My $3 wide range input DC-DC regulator (Murata oki-78sr-5 1.5-w36-c) to provide 5V to the CNC USB board arrived and is working just fine. Got the electronics mounted up on the side panel and the heat sink and cooling fan as required mounted to the Probostep unipolar driver boards (the bipolar versions do not need the heat sink). I will be looking to make a cover for the electronics as soon as I can start cutting foam with the PP.

    For my spindle -I built up a temporary mount plate that is removeable from the Z gantry to get started.. It is basically a set of V blocks with a clamp. Mounts the flex shaft tool holder nicely and It is fully adjustable to allow me to figure out where things will work best. can't wait to see if this works.

    So just in time for christmas.. I have the PP built to the point where Now I need to figure out the basics to set up my settings in the CNC USb software to make 1" = 1" so that I can cut something!!! Right now its nowhere near correct..

    I would really love to hear from someone who has a MK1 setup with the CNC USB board to get operational quickly... In the settings panel I assume that the steps/Unit box is where I need to get this dial in? Now I guess I need to know the number of steps that I have for 1 rotation of the motor shaft and then do some calculations.. And define software travel limits for each axis??
    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Update... found the calibration routine built into the CNC USB software and have done a first attempt and have good calibrations with solid repeatable accuracy.

    File>Settings then on the General tab select the Calibration box and follow the prompts. Super easy and automatically calculates the results.


    I set up the dial indicator to zero. then sent each axis to the other end of its available travel and back and adjusted until each axis returned to the original start position. Attached files [​IMG]
     
  15. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Matt,
    You can take the number of steps/turn and multiply that with the turns per inch
    So it should be 200 fullstepsx20thread=4000spi, For 1/8(micro) stepping 1600x20=32000spi and 20ipm will be a good starting speed. Add some grease to the threaded rod to help.
    This should give you a good starting point but you will want to go into the cncusb calibration to tun it in as you measure the amount of real world movement for each axis(remember the z is negative). You also have the ability to fine-tune the backlash of each axis under the axis tab.
    Mark and Trish
    EDIT: I see you got it going :) Good job Matt! Its Alive!!! :doubleup: Attached files [​IMG]
     
  16. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    At the moment my driver boards are setup for half steps. Do most move to finer resolution step? I have full - 1/16 as options.

    Is there a CNC USB setup tutorial someplace? I have the inital speed and acceleration set @ 2.5 but no idea where these should be set at?

    UPDATE: for new builders with the USB CNC here is a simple how to calibrate thread. viewtopic.php?f=264&t=2445&p=25229&hilit=calibration#p25229

    I am also trying to figure out how to turn on soft limits but the check box is greyed out?

    I am dying to cut something.. what is a good test file?
     
  17. TigerPilot

    TigerPilot Well-Known Member

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    1/8 is a good setting for the step resolution. At one point Mark recommended to go full step or 1/2 but it's back to 1/8.
     
  18. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    As for test files you may want to cut out the Phlatprinter tables to get started and go through some of the other examples on the disk from there.
    Note that a lot of the 3D files were from older attempts and experiments at tool pathing and you will want to pay close attention to the feed-rates in these files. You may see very high feed-rates in the gcode (F500 for example). Your machine will want to try to reach that speed (of course it wont be able to) but the reason I mention it is so you can slow it down to a speed you would like to cut it at. You can do this in the cncusb software by entering a number in the F: feed-rate box (bottom one) and hitting enter to set it. Other then that they should cut fine for you.
    Have fun Matt :doubleup:
    Mark and Trish
     
  19. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Mark thanks for the Tips. I have been having a ball trying to cut some of the test files and have been learning quite a bit through trial and error. I am quite pleased with the CNC USb software so far.. I have been using the 'scale XY' feature to take sample Gcode and make it fit to the piece of foam I want to test cut. I also imagine the 'scale Z' will allow me to account for thinckness differences. I also discovered that I can flip X and Y axis assignment to get a sample file to fit to the dimensions of my layout if the provided file was alternate orientation.

    i will try to share a CNC USB quick start tutorial after I have a better understanding of how it all works.

    I was surprised when I cut the spiral.ngc file in the USB samples folder. It came out perfect and I have no where near set things up correctly.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZo9aydcIS0

    On the other hand I had bad results when I tried the non_circular gears.cnc file - this one came out poorly.. UPDATE: it seems something is odd with than file or my settings .. since all my other testing and multiple planes have come out perfectly..


    I hope to cut something that looks like an airplane soon. :D Attached files [​IMG]
     
  20. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Back to the build notes... I was unable to find the hinge lowes#22416 in my neck of the woods.
    I picked up both versions of the 4" stanley hinge that my Lowes stores did carry. neither one aligned to the MDF pilot holes. one is standard one is heavy duty.

    standard hinge


    I decided to go with the heavy duty version, and had to use the dremel to extend the hinge space.

    new pilot hole drilled and hinges attached!

    I also have kept the top cover a removeable component and added a stiffener (AKA the yardstick mod)to prevent the sagging in the middle of the slot. I have been in there adjusting and reworking the gantry multiple times. I would advise that leaving the top free for (ever!) quite some time is a good idea.
    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  21. kram242

    kram242 Administrator Staff Member

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    This would be fantastic! a big plus would be bookmarking ;)
    Thank you Matt
    Mark and Trish
     
  22. matt_o_70

    matt_o_70 Member

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    Victory! 3DMON'S F22!!


    AND Angry Birds for the kids!


    I can see where the roller mod - will help keep foam flat to the table...

    I am really quite happy with Andrej's CNC USB Software - Tip to new users. Program > Scale XY to adapt existing file to your workpiece. I have used this to make gcode files from larger machine fit to the slightly narrower dimensions of the MK1 - or just test the piece of foam you have to work with, So easy. Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  23. 3DMON

    3DMON Moderator Staff Member

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    :doubleup: Congrats on your first cuts. Excellent choices too. :D
     
  24. toadsix

    toadsix New Member

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    Matt,

    Thank for sharing all of your build progress. Can't wait to get going on one..

    I have a question.
    Where do you guys get your fan fold foam with no writing on it? I noticed a lot of people have here on the forums. The only thing I have is the Dow stuff.
     
  25. rcav8r

    rcav8r Moderator Staff Member

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    My guess is they are taking the plastic off... That's what I do.

    Someone posted a video on here a whiles back on how to easily take the plastic off in one giant sheet. Works GREAT.
     

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