Author Topic: 4 Axis stepper controller  (Read 2587 times)

Offline Joules

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4 Axis stepper controller
« on: March 11, 2016, 03:29:59 PM »
Been a little while since I posted some 3D printed parts and new work.   I have a cnc router that has been out of action for many months due to the controller blowing up.   I finally got round to starting a new controller.   Bought some really cheap 3A stepper drivers, we shall see how they turn out soon enough.   I needed to mount them in something and was trying to figure out how best to install them, keep them cool and as free from dust as possible.  After some doodling I came up with a design I liked.



The plan is to use x4 40mm fans.  The final case will resemble an up turned L with the fans behind the main body of the controller carrying the breakout board and power supply.  Air flow is directed forward at the top to try and stop dust recirculating.



All ducting printed in PLA, it would have been really handy to have had a cnc router at this point to make the mounting plate.  Instead I had to measure each cutout and drill holes before using a jigsaw to cut between holes and complete the plate work.



I also printed the PCB mounting rails, a couple of small screws hold the ducting together and the whole thing is now pretty rigid.



Still lots of work to do, my current thinking is to use 3M double sided tape to mount the fans, they aren't going to get swapped regularly, I hope...



Too many jobs and not enough time   :dremel:
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: 4 Axis stepper controller
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 01:14:11 AM »
Wow. That looks nice! What did you print the fan ducts on?
Science is fun.

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Offline RobWilson

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Re: 4 Axis stepper controller
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 07:44:35 AM »
Thats some serious ducting Joules  :clap: :clap: :clap: very smart  :thumbup:



Rob

Offline Joules

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Re: 4 Axis stepper controller
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2016, 08:40:31 AM »
The printer used is an older version CreateBot Mini.  It has been somewhat modified, but was a great starting point.  Unfortunately, Createbot discovered how to make them more cheaply and ruined the accuracy you could tweak out of them.  The initial electronics were a nightmare, second board has just started glitching recently, so its done just over a years work.  I will gut the electronics and replace with a Duet controller as they are a whole hive of Bee's Knees.  The printhead was very close to the E3D series, so I modded it to use the E3D block and nozzles and that standardised all my printers.  This machine had the filament within the case and a bowden running through the powerchain. It was a flawed arrangement as the filament would tighten in the bowden and wear the top of the extruder moulding.  I opted to feed filament directly in from the top.  Another job in the waiting is to make the filament hood for the top of the printer, but that needs the router in operation.



Work now starting on the power and breakout board panel.  I really want a daughter board below the breakout board for power and signal distribution to the various locations in the controller.  The power side needs to be encased with always on forced air cooling.   The stepper drivers cooling will only power up when the drivers are enabled.




The CAD model is still very much work in progress, I want the power switch to be recessed on the front panel or side so you need to be determined to switch it on or off.  The whole thing will be wall mounted, or at least thats the thinking for now  :coffee:

Whilst it may seem alot of work to go to for this controller, I don't think this will be the only one I build.  I am keeping my eye on the new Taigturn CNC lathe.   :drool:
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline John Stevenson

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Re: 4 Axis stepper controller
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2016, 08:57:38 AM »
Joules,

Not heard of the taig turn so went looking as lathes are of interest to me at the moment, or rather lathe controllers.

Found this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH9FWU48A6Y

Interesting in that they make a big fuss of the threading but it's using Mach 3 with cannot do long accurate threads by virtue of the single pulse.

Watch the video at 3:00 when he checks the thread. The chuck goes on easily the first bit but then tightens up because he says it's not at the correct depth but if it wasn't at correct depth it wouldn't start. In fact the fist bit has a wobble.

He then goes on the cut the thread deeper and when he tries it, the first bit is like a prick in a shirt sleeve.

Real reason is that it's out of pitch.
John Stevenson

Offline Joules

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Re: 4 Axis stepper controller
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2016, 09:27:23 AM »
LOL cheers John.  I would really like one of these.

http://www.tormach.com/product_lathe.html

But not in my wildest dreams could I raise that sort of finance.  I recently missed a Denford Novaturn that I kicked myself over as it had the tool turret and appeared in good condition.  If the taig can pretty much make a good start to the thread, running a die down it wouldn't be the end of the world, but yeah Mach 3 does have some limitations !!!  Not hearing great things about Mach 4   :(
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup: