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  #31  
Old Mon 05 April 2010, 12:23
liaoh75
Just call me: David
 
Taibao
Taiwan
Great Job Bill!!! Can you show us some of your EMC screens?
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  #32  
Old Mon 04 March 2013, 16:43
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Build Update

It’s time to update this thread.

Mike:

Logos are applied in four places and it looks great with them on.
Number Please, Is #111 taken?

I’ve installed a SmoothStepper to the controller, and what a tremendous difference this little circuit board makes. But it was not easy. The SmoothStepper I chose is the USB model. It was chosen over the Ethernet version because I have the network port in us.

It was difficult to get Mach to move any axis with the SmoothStepper. The USB model is very sensitive to ‘Line Noise’. But once I resolved the line noise problem the SmoothStepper began working well. And now I know what smooth motors should sound and run like.

Go with the Ethernet SmoothStepper if possible. It connects easier without all the line noise issues.

And I added 2 LED work lights that I found in the office supply store. I just took off the bases and attached them to the bottom of the 'Y' car. The two fixtures provide plenty of shadow free light.
Attached Images
File Type: gif IMG_7598.gif (170.5 KB, 1342 views)
File Type: gif IMG_7600.gif (173.3 KB, 1342 views)
File Type: gif IMG_7601.gif (175.1 KB, 1348 views)
File Type: gif IMG_7603.gif (167.3 KB, 1344 views)

Last edited by WilliamT; Mon 04 March 2013 at 16:59..
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  #33  
Old Mon 25 March 2013, 15:26
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Leveling the MechMate

This MechMate, is 7-1/2 ft wide and 14 ft long. After it was built it was leveled for final adjustments.

I built a simple ‘Red Oil Liquid Level’ apparatus with four legs constructed of, Garden Pump Sprayer, Tygon Tubing, Plastic Tee’s and 90’s, and a Clear Plastic Scale. The sprayer, tubing and tees were found in the local home improvement store. The plastic scale came from the local hobby store.

To the Pump Sprayer I attached a small length of Tygon Tubing, and to that I attached the small manifold that was built from the Plastic Tee’s and 90’s. From the four legs of the manifold the Tygon tubing was extended to each corner of the MechMate frame. I used WD40 and a small amount of red transmission fluid for the Red Oil in the Pump Sprayer. Honestly, good clean water will work just fine for this.

To the ends of each track/c-channel I attached by ‘C-clamp’ a small L-brace approximately 2-1/4” X 2-1/4”, and to the L-brace I attached a piece of the plastic scale with 2-sided tape. I attached the plastic scale so that one of the large hash marks was aligned to the very top of the scale. All four L-brace scales were constructed alike.

The Pump Sprayer bottle was set on a table next to the MM where the height of the liquid level in the spray bottle would be in the range of the scales once attached to the corners of the MM.

I used the pump in the sprayer to move the fluid out of the container. Once the legs were primed with fluid, I released the pressure from the sprayer bottle and left it open to atmosphere. I purged all the air bubbles from each leg and then attached the tubing to each scale with tape.

At this point I had a working ‘Liquid Level Gauge’ with four legs.

The rest is obvious. I simply adjusted the leg height of any leg up or down to raise of lower the liquid level. I compared the liquid level height of all corners after adjustments were made. And I adjust as necessary to bring all four corners to the same height.

This liquid level system is inexpensive to build and very, very accurate. To get more accurate would require very sensitive leveling instruments costing hundreds of dollars. There is no other inexpensive way to provide four points leveling simultaneously.

PHOTOS:

The first photo shows the #3 corner configuration. The left side of the photo shows the button head screw attaching the ‘V-Track’ to the aluminum extrusion. The L-brace is attached to the extrusion and the C-channel. You can see the scale taped to the back side of the L-brace, with the tubing taped to the scale. The red oil is also visible.

The second photo is of the photos of all four corners, cropped, and laid next to each other. You can clearly see the fluid level of each leg. It’s hard to see here because of the photo limitations of the site, but the #2 leg needed a little tweaking. This procedure was used to bring them all level to each another.
Attached Images
File Type: gif Level2-cropped.gif (193.1 KB, 1252 views)
File Type: gif Cropped-1.gif (187.1 KB, 1251 views)
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  #34  
Old Tue 26 March 2013, 02:12
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Grabouw (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
Nice idea
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  #35  
Old Tue 26 March 2013, 03:56
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
The water level is equally at home leveling Mechmates or building the Pyramids. One of my favourite tools too.

Ross
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  #36  
Old Wed 27 March 2013, 03:01
David Bryant
Just call me: David #99
 
Western Australia
Australia
Ah Ross were you my supervisor when we built the pyramids?
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  #37  
Old Wed 27 March 2013, 03:04
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Seems like only yesterday David.
Oh and sorry about all those whippings

Ross
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  #38  
Old Fri 05 April 2013, 12:01
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Heath, you are the serial number inspector . . . . . doesn't Bill qualify for #106 at least? Or, is he waiting for #111? (see post 2 April 2010 and 4 March 2013)
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  #39  
Old Fri 05 April 2013, 12:49
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
If he wants the next number (106 I think) we'll give it to him. But I was thinking he wanted to wait on 111.
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  #40  
Old Fri 05 April 2013, 13:09
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
I thought he wanted #111 as well.
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  #41  
Old Fri 05 April 2013, 17:13
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Serial Number

If possible, I'd like to wait for 111.
Thanks guys,

BillT
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  #42  
Old Fri 12 April 2013, 09:07
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Build Notes and Technical Information

Technical information, this build.

Cutting Surface: 6’ x 12’ /w 8” Z (7-1/2’ x 14’ footprint)

Lower Frame: C3x4.1 weight ~ 325 lbs, welded tight

Upper Frame w/ cross bearers: C8x13.75 weight ~ 775 lbs, bolted

Frame Y axis: 4” x 2” x .125” and MM kit components weight ~ 180 lbs

Z axis: 3.375” x 22.5” x .25” steel plate, 1” x 3” x.375" x 21.5” rectangular steel tube, MM kit components, Porter Cable 7518 motor, K2CNC Porter Cable Motor Mount, BansBach Easylift Gas Strut 20 lb lift, similar to their HS-SH-005 model, Z axis weight ~ 20 lbs

Drive Motors: 4 each, NEMA 34 - 640oz motors, 4 Each CNCPartsKit reducers, CNC PartsKit claim the reducers are 4.8:1, but the numbers work out to 4.5:1

Drive Controller: Bob Campbell Designs, Sound Logic controller w/SmoothStepper. Bob provided the controller, motors and cabling. Bob provided the Z-Axis Touch-Off module and the MP2 Pendant

Frame Note:
The lower frame is welded. The upper frame with the C-channel and cross bearers is bolted.

V-Track, X and Y: The support rail for the V-track is 2.5” x .875” x .25” aluminum extrusion. One edge of stock angle extrusion (2.5” x 2.5” x .25”) was trimmed to a height of .875”. The cut pieces were used later in the build. The V-track is mounted by ¼"-20 button head screws on three inch centers. The V-Track and extrusion are bolted tight to the upper flange of the C-channel, and/or the upper face of the Y-axis rectangular tube. The rollers are standard call out per plan.

Y axis: The Y axis was constructed using the standard method described on the site. The recycled aluminum from the V-track cuts was used as a backer nut plate inside the rectangular tube. The remainder of the cutoff aluminum was used as a bed for the energy chain track. The Y axis was squared to the table using methods described on the website. Shims were placed between the Y-frame and the wheels to square the assembly.

Y car: The Y car was built per methods described on the website.

Rack and Pinion: The Rack and Pinion are standard callout per plan. The rack is mounted as described in the plan with VHB tape. Mated edges of the rack were ground precisely and butted together at assembly. No welding of the rack pieces was required. The VHB tape is sufficient to hold the mated rack tightly together.

Controller: The controller was provided by Bob Campbell of Bob Campbell Designs. Bob built and tested per spec, the matched components before delivery.

Smooth Stepper: The USB Smooth Stepper was added to improve movement control. It works well, but the Ethernet Smooth Stepper is a better choice. The USB version is greatly affected by electronic noise.

Z-slide: The Z-slide was made from steel plate and rectangular tube found in the shop. The build had to be altered from the plans to accommodate the use of these materials.

Shims: Shims used for alignment were found at Harbor Freight. Much thanks to John Higgins for the shims. Other precise shims are simple cuts pieces from automotive feeler gauges.

I will add more photos soon.

BT
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  #43  
Old Sun 14 April 2013, 17:40
HomeMadeCnc
Just call me: Tim
 
Calgary, Alberta
Canada
Congratz!
Now the real journey begins

Cheers
Tim
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  #44  
Old Sun 15 September 2013, 13:09
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Pulling this thread up since he wanted 111.
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  #45  
Old Sun 15 September 2013, 21:15
zumergido
Just call me: Fernando
 
BS AS
Argentina
wow love the flexible light con the car.. i will do it,,,,
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  #46  
Old Wed 18 September 2013, 19:05
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Updated Builder's Log

Bill,

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate you on earning Serial # 111.

Way to go!

Here is the Updated Builder's Log with your entry added.

Regards,
John Higgins
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  #47  
Old Mon 23 September 2013, 16:54
Andrew_standen
Just call me: Andrew #109
 
Dorset
United Kingdom
Congratulations on 111 easy to remember number
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  #48  
Old Sun 28 June 2015, 18:07
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Now has SERVOs #111 - Georgetown, TX

While updating another thread that actually began life here, I said that my MechMate is being refitted with new servo drives and controls. Mike and a couple of others asked for more details, so I thought it best to have the retrofit discussion here. After all, the retrofit is part of the project.

Control and Motor drive replacement

Vital Systems HiCON Integra 6 axis Ethernet controller gets my attention:

The HiCON Integra 6 axis controller has 24V IO signal circuits for better noise rejection. And because it's communication is Ethernet, I can do away with the desktop printer port machine and work with a smaller lighter laptop.

My choice was between the HiCON Integra and the CS-Labs CSMIO/IP-S - 6 axis Ethernet Motion Controller. Both are excellent controllers. The price of each is nearly identical, but expensive. They both have good tech support and they both have good Mach support. The HiCON Integra won out because I can purchase it directly from the manufacturer in Phoenix AZ, whereby the CS-Labs controller would have to be purchased through a US distributor from the UK.

Teknic ClearPath 3-phase AC servo motors, the mighty NEMA 23:

In my search for a servo solution I was really disappointed with what I was finding. For each servo motor I needed a servo controller. And for each servo controller and motor, a pair of cables was required; one for the power and the other for the signal. And of course the cables had special plugs, meaning elevated pricing per cable unit. In the end, each motor, controller, and cable set was costing nearly one thousand dollars. So in my case, now we're looking at $3,500 to $4,000 for the motors, controller and cables. And yes, plus six hundred dollars for the HiCON controller.

Last year about this time, I ran across a demonstration of a NEMA 23 servo motor doing some amazing stuff. I found the little servo would interface directly with the HiCON controller. Great!! I now have access to affordable servos.

The little NEMA 23 servo motor I selected is a true 3-phase AC motor. It has its own controller built into the body of the motor, so all that is required is the Step and Direction stream from the HiCON. It requires a much lighter cable with easily sourced and inexpensive connectors. It is powered by a 75V DC buss with an internal DC to AC 3-phase converter. Motor braking is standard. So as for example, as the controller moves the X axis and the code asks for the Y axis to remain in position, the motor is locked in position. A mini USB communication port is onboard for setup, testing and tuning. And finally, like the HiCON controller, these servo motors can be purchased direct form the manufacturer in NY. And did I say these motors are about $254 each, 90 day money back return policy with 3 year warranty. What a deal!

This is what my build looks like today:
Laptop computer with Mach3 that talks to the HiCON controller.

A small 5V power supply and 24V power supply powers the HiCON and signal circuits.

A 75 V DC power supply powers the DC buss for the servos.

The HiCON controller sends Step and Direction signals to the Servos.

simple wiring

NEMA 23 AC servo drivers


Here is my cost breakdown for a system requiring 4 drivers:
175.00 Mach3 license
300.00 repurposed 32 bit laptop with Windows 7, valued at about 300 dollars
600.00 HiCON Integra 7766 controller
1012.00 4 Teknic Clearpath NEMa 23 motors, $254 each
199.00 Teknic 75V power supply (build your own if you like)
60.00 2 generic power supplies, one 5Vdc and one 24VDC
57.00 cabling, 150ft @ .38 per foot
75.00 control boxes, misc wire fittings, etc
2,478.00 TOTAL

So it comes in at less than $2,500 dollars, Mach3 to motors turning!!


More to follow soon!
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  #49  
Old Sun 28 June 2015, 18:27
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
motor information and videos

I have taken photos of my build and I am preparing them for the forum page. The build page will be updated soon.

As you wait for me to update my page, please check out the links regarding the motors. You will find some interesting stuff in them.

This video is from the manufacturer. Interesting to watch and is an introduction to their servo motor system. Please watch the entire video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz9mZ5fBwUM

This video is from Neo7CNC regarding the motors. This guy produces pretty good quality video, good description, dialogue, etc . He incorrectly calls the servos DC motors, but they are truly AC 3phase motors. Otherwise, this guy is really good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2kAcz-rG5s

And from the boys that like the 6-degree-freedom stuff... The video is not so good because it's looks to be done by cell phone, however, the information he provides is quite good. This guy, regardless the quality of the cell phone video, is very generous with his knowledge and his time to assist others.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CMIPu3t7d0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WUqyzt8tEY
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  #50  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 02:53
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
Hello Bill, last time I used servo motors on the cnc router I used it with 3:1 belt reduction, those were low inertia panasonics, the problem I have faced is with inertia tuning - i had to finally live with a little noise on the motors especially on the Y axis where we use 2 motors - but performance was definitely a plus with the servos.

R / IRfan
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  #51  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 10:44
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
IRfan,

Thanks for the comments.

I really like these servos so far. However, I have not put them through true performance testing, as in cutting actual parts. I will do so today or tomorrow.

The servos are tuned using the manufactures software. You plug the computer running the tuning software into the USB port on the back of the motor; with the motor mounted on the machine and ready to drive on the rack. You begin the software. The software recognizes the motor. You tab over to the Setup tab and begin the 'AutoTune' routine. You answer a few questions; then AutoTune drives the motor in position to test for load and resonance. Just sit back and enjoy your favorite beverage while AutoTune does the work. It takes 5 to 20 minutes. The software is very easy to use, even a novice as myself can understand it.
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  #52  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 12:04
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
The Mighty NEMA 23, Teknic Clearpath servo motor, 198 oz/in

Last year when I began looking for suitable servos I came across the Teknic ClearPath demonstration as I've said above. I was really taken by the demonstration and bought into all the hype of their video. And I began to consider the ClearPath servo motors as my replacements.

My first thought was to replace my existing stepper motors (490 N*cm/ 690 oz*in) with a comparable NEMA 32 model.

And then I thought, if the ClearPath servos are really more efficient, more powerful than steppers, then I will give a smaller servo a try. But to understand fully their capability I would have to use the manufacturers power supply as well. So I ordered the servos and the power supply and began the retrofit.

So there you have it. My case for smaller motors.

The last task for the steppers:

(1 cut NEMA 23 mount plates for the existing 4.5:1 reduction drives.
photo 1 - Delrin plate installed in the drive reduction

(2 cut the ventilation holes for the case fans on the controller box
photo 2 - ventilation holes being cut in the controller box

If the NEMA 23s work well, I will build newer, more pleasing reduction boxes for them.
Attached Images
File Type: gif Y axis Delrin plate.gif (172.8 KB, 531 views)
File Type: gif Control Box2.gif (152.3 KB, 531 views)
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  #53  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 12:51
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
More servo motor photos

photo 1
Y axis motor sitting on Y-car next to Z axis motor

photo 2
Y axis motor installed
Attached Images
File Type: gif NEMA 23 reduced.gif (189.5 KB, 531 views)
File Type: gif IMG_1493.gif (153.9 KB, 531 views)
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  #54  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 16:03
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Motor power supply

The motors need good clean unregulated 75VDC to perform at their maximum capacity. This power supply can easily handle three to five servos at much greater capacity than the servos on the MechMate.

photo 1
In this inexpensive $33 (12x12x6) junction box from the nearest home supply store is placed the power supply, a 120vdc case fan $14 that really should not be needed, a power switch $4, and a small junction strip $3 for the wires. That's all we need to power the servos.

photo2
What I like about this system, is that I was able to take power from the transformer down the main cable track on one single 2 conductor cable to a junction box, and then route power to each individual motor.
The junction box, $6 and the terminal strip $1.50
Attached Images
File Type: gif Power Supply control box.gif (166.3 KB, 529 views)
File Type: gif 75 volt DC buss.gif (149.3 KB, 530 views)

Last edited by WilliamT; Mon 29 June 2015 at 16:21.. Reason: photo and text added
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  #55  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 16:50
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
HiCON Controller

This controller is considered commercial grade. It has all the bells and whistles you can expect for a commercial device.

In this inexpensive $33 (12x12x6) junction box from the nearest home supply store is placed, two power supplies, one 5VDC to power the controller $30, and one 24VDC for the I/O $30, etc., and a CAT6 shielded cable $10, for communication with Mach3.

Installed is a 120vdc case fan $14, a power switch $4, and two small junction strip $5 for the wires. That's all we need for the HiCON to operate.
Attached Images
File Type: gif IMG_1318.gif (135.4 KB, 530 views)
File Type: gif IMG_1476.gif (145.0 KB, 530 views)
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  #56  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 17:43
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Running Mach3 with the HiCON

photos 1 and 2

When Setting up Mach3, put the HiCON XML file in the Mach3 folder, just like you've done for SmoothStepper or anything else. Start Mach3 and select the HiCON profile. The software will find and begin communicating with the controller. You will know this by a neat little pop up box filled full of text telling you everything the HiCON controller is doing. It simply works.

photo 3

Here I direct rapid by single line command telling the machine to move to X92 Y58.5. As you can see the rapid speed is 474 ipm. It is set on the motor setup page at 400 ipm, so I don't know why it runs at 474. Likewise, in photo 4 when I give the command, 'Go To Zero' it returns at 474 as well. However, when I Rapid the machine with the pendant, it runs directly at 400ipm. Regardless, whether the machine rapids at 400 or 474, it moves smooth as glass and is very quiet.
Attached Images
File Type: gif HiCON install 1.gif (164.9 KB, 525 views)
File Type: gif Hicon install 2.gif (141.3 KB, 525 views)
File Type: gif gantry moves 474 ipm.gif (167.8 KB, 525 views)
File Type: gif gantry returns 474 ipm.gif (170.2 KB, 525 views)
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  #57  
Old Mon 29 June 2015, 18:18
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Cabling Stuff

I forgot to mention this above in thread #53.

For this build I used exclusively 18AWG shielded. Because the controller is built into the motor, there is no power loss between the motor and controller, or data loss or distortion between the HiCON and the motor. All the motor sees is Step and Direction signals, and the motor takes care of the rest. So, no expensive cabling is required.

In photo 1 you will see there is a green cable bundle. This is because 6 conductors are needed to control the motor. Two conductors for enable+ and enable-, two conductors for Step + and -, and two conductors for Direction + and -. But, 6 conductor 18AWG shielded is very expensive, about $1.45 per ft. With 4 conductor 18AWG at $0.38, I used two 4 conductor cables for the control signals, and have an unused pair in one of the cables.
As for the power cable, I used one 4 conductor shielded. Again, it was about the price of wire. Two conductor is simply more expensive than four conductor.
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  #58  
Old Tue 30 June 2015, 01:49
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
Hello Bill, thanks for sharing the servo upgrade, I have auto-tuned Panasonic servos and based of my difficulty in tuning the servos - is what I mentioned in my earlier post. do post the method you use to tune the two Y motors.
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  #59  
Old Wed 01 July 2015, 05:28
javeria
Just call me: Irfan #33
 
Bangalore
India
Hope you got this working Bill.
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  #60  
Old Wed 01 July 2015, 13:26
WilliamT
Just call me: BillT #111
 
Georgetown, TX
United States of America
Before attempting to tune motors:

Check track alignment. Are the tracks parallel to each other?

Check axis alignment. Is the gantry perpendicular to the track? Check the 'Y-car' and 'Z-axis' for the same.

(I checked my gantry to see if it was still perpendicular to the track and found that it 'was not' perpendicular to the track. I made the necessary shim adjustments and the gantry is now perpendicular, well, it is as good as I can make it. And all of the wheels appear to sit in the track squarely.)

Check wheel alignment. Do the wheels sit on the track properly?

Check rolling resistance of all axis. Are there smooth and then tight spots?

Yes, the gantry will feel quite heavy. It is loaded with the 'Y-car', the complete 'Z-axis' assembly, cabling, paint, etc. So even though it has a heavy feel, it should still roll smoothly.

It is now possible to tune the motors.

I'll share with you what I know of tuning next post. And it will be a short post because I don't know much.

BillT
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