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  #1  
Old Tue 08 August 2017, 15:37
iclazion
Just call me: Leonard
 
Pretoria
South Africa
Old member and shocked to see

It's been awhile and I am totally shocked to see what has transpired with the forum. It "WAS" an open source forum and turned into a hell hole. Thank the Father from above I still have the DXF files.

I have one word for the forum and I do see a imitate ban on my username. I hope you sleep with your conscious, we all contributed to the build of our CNC's and that was BEFORE 2010.

Those who wanted to know about my motors - bought Nema 36 motors x 4 with driver boards, and communication box from Ebay "china" DHL all for R9500

I don't know what to say to the new members and for the old members like myself who came looking for advice . . . I feel your pain. Time to move to the dark web
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  #2  
Old Tue 08 August 2017, 15:42
iclazion
Just call me: Leonard
 
Pretoria
South Africa
Cutting needs of parts

I recommend RDI Projects & steel works
Rian: 082 968 5892
Email : rian@rdlprojects.org.za
These guys are cheap and they know what they are doing.
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  #3  
Old Wed 09 August 2017, 04:31
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
So you sit out for 7 years and this is how you return?

Thanks as well for your support?

Have you completed a MechMate, because what we do here is support those who wish to build a machine.

If you would have paid attention, you would know I provide the cut files to those in countries other than the US and have people around the globe selling parts.

So support , or move on please.
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  #4  
Old Wed 09 August 2017, 08:46
iclazion
Just call me: Leonard
 
Pretoria
South Africa
Done

Finished back then. Building a newer model.

I support freedom of knowledge and people who was the founders and contributors of projects ex: Mechmate and riprap 3D printer etc to still feel at home.

From the beginning through to the end. I can only use Riprap as an example because it started as a very bad 3D printers and even a few clever engineers joined. It has continuous improvement from where it was back in the heyday and it still gets better each and every time.

What could have been for MechMate . . . but who knows. It's sad "that is what I feel"

I even thought "Maybe I should buy the plans" but there is no indication of what to find inside, how user friendly it would be, as I had a few bugs I had to sort out myself, with the first build.
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  #5  
Old Thu 10 August 2017, 04:42
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Plans were updated in 2008 along with the cut files. So as long as your plans are from 08 your good.
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  #6  
Old Thu 10 August 2017, 11:10
iclazion
Just call me: Leonard
 
Pretoria
South Africa
Package

thank you

So what do people get in the $100 package, is there a thread that lists all the things?
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  #7  
Old Thu 10 August 2017, 16:42
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
You get 137 sheets of drawings. Very detailed.

http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showt...ht=Mamba+Plans
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  #8  
Old Tue 22 August 2017, 10:12
gixi
Just call me: Marius (AVO) #32
 
Bucharest
Romania
Send a message via Yahoo to gixi
A personal opinion

Mike you must accept the fact that since this site has become commercial, it has no life. Gerald's absence probably contributes to this... The first thing I learned here was that I have to share my knowledge. Maybe I'm a sentimental but Leonard is pretty much right....
Please note how many posts were on average per day 7 years ago and how many are now ...
Try to understand this and maybe you can manage to give life again to this site.
I hope you do not mind this observation because it is said with good intention .
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  #9  
Old Tue 22 August 2017, 14:21
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Marius, interesting viewpoint. I must say, without active dialog on this site, I don't visit but once or twice a week (if that).

I think the cost for plans has fire walled the barrier for entry for most and the plans, while worth the commercial cost being charged, at one time free cause a limited engagement now by new community members.
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  #10  
Old Wed 23 August 2017, 01:04
iclazion
Just call me: Leonard
 
Pretoria
South Africa
I don't mind paying for the detailed instructions but I have questions to things like:
Will I be able to run Nema34 with a step of 1,8 Deg.
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  #11  
Old Wed 23 August 2017, 05:49
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
We do still have a large number of people entering the forum.

I agree that the forum would benefit from these new users announcing themselves as they join.

72 people have joined the forum this month
49 members were active on the forum in the last 24 hours
370 new members since January 1st 2017

So the users are there, just not posting. But the forum data is being used to build machines and educate people if they are willing to read its contents.

If one would read and research, you will easily see the NEMA 34 motor is supported by this platform. A better question is can a NEMA 23 motor do the same? and an even better question is, has anyone used the newer control technologies to run the platform?

Marius - no offense taken. This site would have died years ago if I had not made the commitment to keep it running.

I will make no apologies for charging for the plans. This site cost money to support and I feel the data is still valuable to those deciding on a direction.

I feel the bigger challenge is that social media platforms and methods of communication are putting a huge hole in forum based communications. This is sad because doing historical searches and study like these forums support is very difficult on newer platforms , Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, Anchor, Pinterest Medium, Musical.ly where no real thread history is possible is going to leave huge gaps in recorded activity like we see on this forum.

Also the foray into the CNC router space is now huge with MANY entry level machines well under $2500.00 and basically snap together. That and the footprint of the MechMate make it a stretch for many to justify the leap. I am sitting here looking at sketches I have been working on for months for a desktop MechMate , code name Coral, but have not had time to finish the design.

So the forum is active even if people are not posting. I would love to see everyone start build threads when they join. Just because you see all the old threads have the data needed, it does good to see the new people announce them selves and present new platform ideas.
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  #12  
Old Wed 23 August 2017, 07:21
gixi
Just call me: Marius (AVO) #32
 
Bucharest
Romania
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DXF files

It is clear that for the support of a site you need money and we have to pay for the information we received. It is a pity that those who are new members do not share their work ... What I do not understand is how a paying member does if he needs the dxf files to cut the necessary pieces. I am referring specifically to those who are from a country other than the USA. Maybe I did not notice well but I see that only PDF files can be downloaded. Maybe I did not see it well?
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  #13  
Old Thu 24 August 2017, 05:13
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
They can just PM me directly and I will explain how that works. I make sure they get to the cut parts if available or get them the cut files if needed.
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  #14  
Old Thu 24 August 2017, 05:17
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
I have considered offering the cut files for sell as well. I could reduce the plans price some and create a price point for the cut files. Open to discuss that one.
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  #15  
Old Thu 24 August 2017, 11:49
Fox
Just call me: Fox
 
Amsterdam
Netherlands
To add to this discussion ( because it got more interesting then one could suspect by it's opening post );

I also find it a tad sad and a pity that the forum is what it is at the moment. No offense at Mike intended.

But here's my 2ct's why it's only active for his eyes and not ours:

When one enters the site it feels dated. This could easily be fixed with a quick make over with some good pictures and a new template.

Then when one has entered... it's a wealth of information, but it can be - and most likely is to many - ahum... overwhelming !
It's Geralds legacy that one must learn to be able to build, and that has pro's and cons to newcomers, many are frigthened ( I have forwarded many, none have started a build).

Then the plans are paid. That effectively adds another barrier; cause many want to see, maybe even try before they buy/invest money and time. It also hinders development and an active communty a bit.

Then it becomes a downwards spiral....When less build threads are started, people start thinking maybe it's not such a good machine ( after all most follow the big herd in life - a reason why mcdonalds is always busy, when the local restaurant is much better, but most often empty)

If you ask 10 people on a street if they would be the first to enter and dine at a empty restaurant 8 will say no.... now ask again when it's full and it's the last table left.... 8 will probably say yes ! Funny thing ... but true. If the way it's heading now is continuing I think the site will die in the end.

I understand Mike want's some return on his investment made, and want's some return to look forward to be able to invest more time/money but if it was mine I would:

Update site
Make plans free again, and keep updating them when improvements are made found.
Make a sticky with a general direction for what to find where for newcomers, so it eases the start.
Make a pro webshop ( read buy template and fill ) for parts everyone will need or parts which will save time. Cutting files, gearbox, lasercut parts, e-box basic kit, upgraded kit etc. ( you could even allow some powerusers to become your affiliates and sell trough your shop, for example a guy in Europe a guy in Asia etc, so shipping stays interesting and you offer local suport/sales. In this shop you sell a basic recipe ; kits for electronics, kits for gearbox lasercut files etc. ahrd to get to parts. That's how you make money if you make it convenient for people to start. If you are honest with the fact you are making momey from this, from my experience people actually will see it as a good way to support the community.

I know you are doing some of this more or less, but it's such an old school way, it's not effective. You/MM forum needs a fresh coat of paint if I keep the restaurant comparison going. Cause the food is still good

Allow for advertisment in the forum of related vendors you actually think are good people/related (this adds to your income to keep site going).

Allow for donations to become poweruser, for example these people get to look ( and maybe even help you ) with BETA plans for table sized MM, or a special discount with your advertisers is released to them.

Many more ideas....I base most on succesfull projects I see from other DIY tools/concepts, or my own business endavours.

All by the best intentions and no offense meant.

To point at myself: I will see if I can add some content to my build thread in the near future, the machine has received paint and some upgrades (besides working late hours ;-)). Usually when I add stuff in the months that follow I get contacted by fellow Dutchies on PM how to build an MM.

Last edited by Fox; Thu 24 August 2017 at 12:00..
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  #16  
Old Fri 25 August 2017, 07:37
almaz
Just call me: almaz
 
osh
Kyrgyzstan
Привет всем )

Здраствуйте, я полностью с вами согласен, не все могут себе позволить оплатить 100$ долларов за чертежи! Мечтаю собрать такой станок но зарплата у меня малая чтобы приобрести чертежи
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  #17  
Old Fri 25 August 2017, 08:50
gixi
Just call me: Marius (AVO) #32
 
Bucharest
Romania
Send a message via Yahoo to gixi
Translation

Almaz says: Zdrastvujte, I completely agree with you, not everyone can afford to pay $ 100 for drawings! I dream of assembling such a machine but my salary is small to buy drawings (google translation).
He is right...
And most of the peoples after they have paid for those plans start to think something like "what a f...k I dont share because now they have to pay me in order to show them anything".
Mike you should think twice why NONE of the old members doesn't upload on a torrent site MM plans. Why ? I give a hint: because most of us respect what we have learned here and generally the spirit of this site.
Here I meet people located on the other side of the world who helped me with no interest.
Maybe it's time to reconsider even the frame of the machine for example and this could be a good boost for the forum.
Nobody want's a second "cnczone" but this machine needs for example an upgrade. With plans of course !
I have started the 3rd machine and plans for the frame are ready to be shared here. Only the frame because the rest of MM can be instaled on this frame. I speak with my friend Fane and we both agree with an upgrade. Nobody can push you by force in any direction Mike but from time to time you must consider what other's said. Have a nice weeked to all !
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  #18  
Old Fri 25 August 2017, 09:38
almaz
Just call me: almaz
 
osh
Kyrgyzstan
gixi спасибо за понимание )
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  #19  
Old Sat 26 August 2017, 14:58
islaww
Just call me: Gary C
 
UP of Michigan
United States of America
A view from the cheap seats....

Back in the day, I thought I was a "do it yourselfer", I considered Gerald and the initial bunch on the forum the same. I do mean the "MechMate, the ShopBot Roots" forum. And yes, it did seem open source.

However, and I assume that a different crowd and social media has changed the definition of DIY. They don't want to practice, experiment or learn. It seems they just want to do, and feel that those who can OWE them the knowledge or information they seek and right now!

There are very few left who can cut the channel, weld the frame and complete a MechMate by the plans. There is little need to, as it is much easier to order some precut extrusions, some pre assembled control items and bolt a machine together with the included instructions from dozens of DIY sites.

No one wants to look thru dozens if not hundreds of forum pages to find the assembly methods or specs for ordering components anymore. If there are more than one opinion or method they are confused. With todays groupthink mentality, all they wish is for a smart guy to give them a link. Enough of the rant.

To Leonard:
You complain about the quality and cost of the forum after you have benefited from it for free? And then go seven years without contributing a nickel or even a sentence and make a post about the quality?

Shame on you sir!

In this world there are givers and takers. There used to be more givers. Unfortunately the takers have driven the givers into silence.

Last edited by islaww; Sat 26 August 2017 at 15:00..
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  #20  
Old Sun 31 December 2017, 11:59
jeep534
Just call me: archie
 
prichard, wv
United States of America
comment for mike

Mike,
I would like to see you update and put more materials content on your website. I too have been away for a while and have recently acquired the equipment to complete the build (welder, mill ect) i have the plans (2008) and cut files. I am requesting quotes from my steel supplier.. I AM having a time with sourcing the small parts. the steel and fabrication is not much of an issue at this point.

just my ideas and desperately trying to put a source and price on the non structural and laser cut steel parts.

I do appreciate all of your efforts to keep this site alive and providing services to the members
Thank You
archie
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  #21  
Old Mon 01 January 2018, 05:43
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
I have laser cut parts kits and can source anything you need for the build. PM me and lets talk. Everything you need to build a machine is in the Forum.
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  #22  
Old Mon 08 January 2018, 14:12
TheDave
Just call me: dave
 
Toledo (Ohio)
United States of America
Well just my 2 cents here since this is a pretty interesting subject.

I got the free plans back in 2007 or 2008 and partnered with a local builder. My business plan was to make custom woodworking projects for contractors, just like Art (#2) was doing. Then the US housing market crashed and my building partner went out of business. I couldn't afford the MechMate as a hobby so I dropped the idea after building only the table.

I have been kind of lurking for years, but about a year ago my situation changed so that I now have a nice shop and the means to build a hobby MechMate. I started reading new build threads and was surprised to see how few MechMates have been given serial numbers in the last 3 years. Does that mean almost nobody is building them? One problem kept coming back to me - the computer and interface are woefully out of date.

In my opinion the design of the gantry and power supply is pretty much finalized - I don't see any way to improve those, but the control system desperately needs to be updated. Honestly, if you could control the MechMate from a smart phone I think you'd get a huge number of people interested immediately (I know, that would be a very difficult custom app because you’d need to include multiple programs from different vendors and would only gain “eye candy” and not much practical advantage, but still…)

I know the software itself is something we all choose, as well as as the computer, but it all comes back to the breakout board and parallel interface. This is where the research and development could pay off huge for bringing the MechMate into its next generation. Silverdog has pointed me to some amazing technologies I didn’t know about, so exciting that I’m considering an additional proof of concept project to run my MechMate with a Raspberry PI and Ardurino board. It seems a bit underpowered and unreliable at present but if you could solve this problem I think that would generate an interest among those communities as well and bring more people to the forum.

I think the MechMate itself needs the interface update to keep it relevant. There are other do-it-yourself tabletop cnc machine plans available that use newer control technology that attract newer crowds. I bet that an updated Mechmate will easily hold its own against them.

Mike, as far as the cost for the plans…
This is your site, you own it now and can do as you please. I am grateful that it’s still around but the only reason I ever stuck with MechMate in the beginning is because it was the ONLY fully capable machine that had free plans. Just sayin’.
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  #23  
Old Mon 08 January 2018, 16:16
ger21
Just call me: Ger
 
Detroit, MI
United States of America
Quote:
but it all comes back to the breakout board and parallel interface.
Things have changed a great deal in the 10 years since you got your plans.
Today, there are several competitors that are equal to or better than Mach3, that run on modern PC's and operating systems via USB or ethernet connections.

Do some research, and pick the control that you like best. There's nothing forcing you to use 10 year old technology to control your machine.

As for the Rasberry Pi and Arduino Stuff. Imo, all of these open source options are limited in features and flexibility when compared to the better PC based controls, and are better suited to smaller machines. But I'm sure that there are people using them on large machines.
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  #24  
Old Mon 08 January 2018, 17:12
jeep534
Just call me: archie
 
prichard, wv
United States of America
here is the new standard in motion control. solid and proven.
just my opinion as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rctk...ature=youtu.be

Happy Hunting
archie
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  #25  
Old Thu 11 January 2018, 01:34
racedirector
Just call me: Bruce #122
 
New South Wales
Australia
There are a multitude of ways to control the machines these days. I started with Mach3 using a parallel port, then added a Smoothstepper. Threw that out and went with stock Linuxcnc with parallel port and then moved to Tormach's Pathpilot software (Linuxcnc with a pretty face) again with parallel port. Last year I changed over the Mesa cards, a 5i25 and a 7i76 and the machine has never performed better. I am about to attempt an upgrade to Pathpilot 2.0 which upgrades the operating system and adds a few extra things. I also have a touchscreen on it's way from the US to make things easier.
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  #26  
Old Mon 12 March 2018, 08:11
ricdu34
Just call me: eric
 
gabian
France
"the criticism is easy but the art is difficult" we say in french
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