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CNC

KR33CNCv2 diy cnc machine

How do you connect a brake to a ClearPath DC servo – Neo7CNC

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I’ve been asked this question many times since I started using the ClearPath DC servo motors from Teknic. First, lets review the WHY you’d need to use one. Unlike standard stepper motors, most servos do not present any resistance to rotation when the aren’t powered or enabled. Meaning that if the servo motor encounters a fault condition or loses power, it can freely spin. On the X and Y axis of most vertical CNC machines this may not be an issue.  However, on the Z axis, you have all the weight of the spindle motor and brackets pulling down on it.  Gravity will take over if there is a fault or lose of power.  This could be catastrophic for the spindle, endmill, work piece or even the CNC machine itself.

To safeguard against the Z accidentally dropping, we can use an electro-mechanical brake between the shaft of the servo and the shaft of the ballscrew that moves the Z axis up and down. For this example, I’m using a brake from Inertia dynamics that I found on eBay.  It operates on 24vdc and when at rest (unpowered), it’s locked.  If you supply it with 24vdc it unlocks and it can rotate.

The overall setup is straightforward. The ClearPath servo has all the control we need already built in.  There is an output from the servo that is “ON” when the servo is powered AND enabled.  We’ll use this logic combined with a Crydon solid state relay to control the brake.  Wiring is also pretty simple.  We’ll also need power supplies to power the relay, brake and servo (servo power supply not pictured).  The Allen-Bradley 24vdc power supply is for the Inertia Dynamics brake and the 5vdc Mean-Well power supply is for the solid state relay. The relay will control power to the brake and the relay will be controlled by the output from the ClearPath servo. Pay close attention to the polarity on the solid state relay as it is polarity sensitive on the input and output unlike standard mechanical relays.

ClearPath DC servo motor: CPM-SDSK-2311S-EQN

Inertia Dynamics brake: 8923-2331 – purchased from eBay.

Solid state relay: Crydom DC60S3

Gene Haas Center

The Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation in Greenville SC.

By | 3D Printing, CNC, Software | No Comments

I had an opportunity to visit the Gene Haas Center for Manufacturing Innovation last week.  I loved it! I was like a kid in a candy store. This brand new center has areas for CNC (subtractive manufacturing), manual milling, lathe work and grinding, 3d printing (additive manufacturing), pneumatics, hydraulics, robots, mechatronics and more! I was there for a lunch and learn that featured 3d printing technology from HP and MarkForged and also 3D design software from Solidworks. This facility is used by Greenville Technical college, Clemson University and also by local industry.  They are also starting an business incubator very soon.  Watch the video below for more information.

X-Carve CNC Machine Inventables

X-Carve DIY CNC Machine from Inventables

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Here’s a recent video series where I talk about the X-Carve CNC machine from Inventables. I also have some pictures of the assembled unit as well as a few shots of their newly released X-Controller.

I think the X-Carve is good for beginners and people looking to make crafts.  With the spindle upgraded to the DeWalt 611 you can cut much faster and use larger bits.  This comes at the price of increased noise from the router.  I’ve seen others build an enclosure to keep the dust and sound at bay.

For the price, it’s a decent introduction to CNC. Especially when considering the larger of the two with around a 40″ x 40″ work envelope.  With the drive mechanisms being belt oriented, be prepared to tighten them occasionally.

I found the control software very easy to use.  Its a very pleasurable experience in fact.  The first job on the Shapeoko 2 (version prior to the X-Carve) used the same Easel software and it was so straightforward that my 9 year old son ran it.

I beta tested the X-Controller and was also very pleased with the ease of setup and use.  As I said in the video, the last thing I want to do after I finish building the X-Carve is building the electronics.  The X-Controller solves that.  It’s very plug and play and well thought out though I’d like to see some dust control and an external e-stop option on it.

Click HERE for the picture gallery.

Neo7CNC DIY Parts Tumbler

DIY Parts Tumbler

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When I was researching how to finish the LoopAliens, I decided to build a tumbler.  It turned out well after I converted it to a larger, more capable motor.  It’s ended up being more of a ball mill than a tumbler, but it did work.  Creating it gave me a good excuse to turn out some really nice parts on the larger CNC machine I built some years ago.  Click HERE to see the CNC machine I used.

After the proof of concept, I ended up buying a very large vibratory tumbler to run production parts with.  It allowed me to finish hundreds of parts at a time rather than 50.  Creating the “ball mill” was a good educational experience.

Here are some decent pictures from the DIY parts tumbler build I did some time ago

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Neo7CNC LED CNC Machine Can Light – Start to Finish

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LED Can Light – Start to Finish

In this start to finish project we go through the entire process from Ideal to finished part.  First we do the 3d design on the computer using Onshape.  We then CAM (create the tool paths that tell the CNC machine how to actually cut the part) using BobCAD/CAM.  Next we use a 5C collet fixture to hold the stock and test cut the part in plastic.  Finally we cut the design from 1 inch (25mm) 6061-T6 aluminum bar stock.  The lens is made from 1/8 frosted acrylic. You can tell in the pictures that this process made a big mess! The tolerances on the lens were “spot on”.  The KR33 CNC is a beast of a little machine

I polished the aluminum version and that made it pop.  It’s a nice, compact unit.  I still need to finish them and mount them to the machines.  One issue I have is finding good wire to use.