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Plates Help for New Build!

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by PaulJones, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    Hi guys,

    I am planning on building a machine which is a bit of a cross between a C-Beam and an OX. I guess it could be called the C-OX!

    Basically the machine is mostly an OX although will be threaded rod driven on X,Y,Z. The difference is I am planning on using a C-Beam for the X-Axis to get away from the 2- 2060's and the 2040 for extra strength.

    I haven't done any 3D design before and I am hoping someone in this great community may be able to help me with the design for the plates for this machine.

    There will be 2 steppers on the ends of the Y-axis, 1 on the top of the Z and on the side of X.

    Let me know if you need any more information.
     
  2. Grantman

    Grantman Veteran
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  3. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    Thanks Grantman......not quite what I was looking for, but thanks for your reply.

    I think I am quickly realising I may have just blown $500 on materials as this is looking more and more too difficult a task. I spent another nearly $200 today on the steppers, power supply and driver only to find they didn't have them in stock and wouldn't be available in Australia for another 40-60 days. So I asked for a refund and they tell me it's going to be 15-25 days to get my money back. Thanks steppersonline for doing that to me.

    I am now considering that this is way outside my skill set as I just can't get my head around 3D design. Maybe I will put a list together of all the things that turn up and see if I can get half my money back from someone just starting a build that knows what they are doing.
     
  4. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    I had to make it more difficult for myself by not spending enough time to fully understand that my idea of using a c-beam for the x axis from the c-beam machine and using the flat v-rail from the OX maybe wasn't such a smart idea. A costly learning experience I suppose.
     
  5. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    Crash and burn exercise for me. Seems like a nice community of people here though.
     
  6. Kevon Ritter

    Kevon Ritter Veteran
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    If you really are unsure about (what appears to be) everything, you should be going for a build that has been done a million times. The C-Beam is the simplest as it does not require particularly unique parts. The Ox has been built a million times. The Sphinx or screw driven Ox variant is the best of both worlds.

    You should be going for one of those four machines. You also mentioned that you haven't done much CAD work. Because of that, you can't check your design in advance. Designing is free. Buying parts and finding they don't work is costly.

    One last thing. Starting a million threads actually hurts you waaaaay more than it helps.

    The best thing you can do is wait. Give these good people some time to respond and get you going in the right direction before dropping any more money.
     
  7. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    Second that.
     
  8. Jonathon Duerig

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    pauljones, my advice at this point is to not panic. You've got a bunch of parts on order and you will very likely be able to figure out how to get them to work together. It will be a bit more tricky than if you had a standard design but it will work out fine. The great thing about these V-Slot constructions is that aside from possibly cutting them to length, nothing you do is permanent. So it is really productive to sit down and just start tinkering. And even if it doesn't quite work out, you can take them all apart and try again in a different way.

    You also don't have to worry too much about CAD or 3D CAD. This would be a great project to try out in order to hone those CAD skills. But that is by no means necessary. And you can do quick prototyping on your plates with just any kind of power drill, a printer, and a copy of Inkscape or other simple drawing program. So here is what I recommend.

    (1) Do some planning before-hand, but mostly when you get your parts, just start tinkering with them. Put together the C-Beam linear motion set and see how it works. It doesn't matter if you have a stepper for it or not at this point. Just turning the screw with your hands lets you see how it goes and you can see what kind of clearances you will need.

    (2) Get some plywood and have it cut down to roughly the size of the plates you will need. It doesn't need to be exact. The important thing on plates is the relationship of the holes to one another. The outer shape just doesn't matter that much except for trying to save material or increase travel later on. You can cut it yourself or you can get pre-cut pieces at any crafting store.

    (3) Start playing in Inkscape or other drawing program. Measure what holes you will need to attach the C-Beams and wheels. You want to measure the size of the holes and distances between them. Then use the manual position and sizing of your drawing program to lay out holes by typing in numbers. CAD programs make this kind of thing easier if you learn to use them by letting you say things like 'These holes are the same size' instead of specifying a size for each hole. But any drawing program works. No 3D required. You are just laying out holes on a 2-dimensional pattern.

    (4) Use your printer to print out your hole layout on a piece of paper. Cut out and tape the paper to a piece of plywood. Then drill out the holes using the paper as a guide. Now you have a plate that you can use for test fitting. And if one of the holes is placed wrong, just go back and adjust it in your program. Reprint out the paper. Then redrill just the holes you need. If there end up being too many holes and they interfere with each other, redrill an entirely new prototype plate.

    (5) You can now use this plate to figure out how all the mechanics go. You can even assemble your mechanical system and move it around by hand. Do you need extra clearance? Different spacing? You will find it out. On my current build, I did all this with plastic plates before spending any money on metal ones. Even when you 3D design things, this is an important step before getting the final version.

    (6) Once you have things that fit, start thinking about steppers and electronics to control this thing. Add some extra holes or slots to run wires. Make sure that your steppers will be attached and have the right clearances.

    (7) Now you havea final set of plate designs that you can cut out of steel or aluminum or whatever material you want.

    All of this is easier if you have seen and assembled somebody else's design first. But this is all doable. You haven't wasted your money. You will learn a ton along the way. And it will be a better machine than the OX because I think that your original thought that a C-Beam axis is better than the two 20x80 beams is exactly correct.

    Remember that you don't have to be an expert to start down the path. Becoming an expert is what happens along the journey.

    Also, speaking personally, I've ended up spending a lot of money on things that I never used. Whether it is a 1.8m makerslide beam or a bag of connectors that I was not skilled enough to solder properly. I hope to come up with a use for all this stuff some day. But in the mean time, it was valuable as a learning experience and it was part of the journey that let me get a CNC router I am happy with today.

    -Jonathon Duerig
     
    Kevon Ritter and Rick 2.0 like this.
  9. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    Thank you John for your reply. Let me explain further what has happened.

    When I ordered my parts from Makerstore in Australia their website shopping cart wasn't working correctly. It kept telling me my long order list in the shopping card had an Internal Server Error. I tried sending the order 4 times before I gave up. There was no indication that my order was being accepted. I was charged 4 times for the order. I rang and spoke to Heidi at the store and she said they would organise a refund for 3 of the orders. I got one refund notice come back to me that afternoon on the email. My wife checked the credit card statement yet no refunds were showing up. So this started the panic. A $464 order turned into $1856 off my credit card. The next morning I then received the other 2 refund emails, but still no refund showing back to my credit card.

    Anyhow I am sure Heidi was on the ball and I am looking forward to receiving my money back on those extra transactions. I will wait another couple days before I let any more panic overcome me.

    Then yesterday I receive an email from omc-stepperonline.com They tell me my paid for order of $163 was not in stock, but their online order system told me stock was good for Australia. So I asked them to refund the order so I could buy from Ebay. No problem was the reply. I get an email from their payment processor DHPay telling me the refund will take 10-15 days to process. So another $163 gone. So now over $2000 on this project gone for I have no idea, how long!

    Then after searching this site for so many hours trying to find the right plates, I realised that I might be on my own with this one and I have no experience or ability to create the 3D drawings from the plates I need and I would have loved to get printed on a 3D machine to start with. That was when I really started to feel sick realising that I may have lost the lot and now be stuck with an order of parts that will just sit there to collect dust.

    I am trying to remain positive with this, but this sickly feeling that I have just gotten in over my head on this one is a strong one to ignore. Sorry for the longwinded response, but I think it's made me feel a little better being able to talk about it.

    The couplers I bought and the threaded rod are on their way from China so I should see those in about 3 weeks. I have never had one bad experience from buying from EBay and I have bought quite a few things from China. So that's a plus.
     
  10. Jonathon Duerig

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    If it helps, I've been on both ends of things like refunds with payment providers. The bad news is that it almost always takes a few days for a refund to go through. There is typically nothing a merchant can do to speed this up. The good news is that even on the off chance that the initial refund doesn't work, you can call your bank and issue a chargeback which not only gets your money back but charges the bad acting merchant a fee. It might give you some peace of mind to ask a teller at the bank what their policy is exactly. So wait a few days for everything to settle down on the money front and make sure that is in order.

    After that, and after you start getting actual parts that you can tinker with, you'll be able to come back to the forum and dive into more of the technical details and fun stuff.

    Best of luck with your project. I think it will turn out great.

    -D
     
  11. PaulJones

    PaulJones Well-Known
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    Fingers crossed, thanks Jonathon.
     

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