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  #1  
Old Thu 01 December 2011, 18:46
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Gotter Rolling - Toowoomba Australia

Hi All,
Just found this forum the other day. Wish I had have found it while the plans were free . Been considering a building a CNC tool for a while and the idea is back at me again. Like the look of this machine in that I am looking for something that will do routing and plasma (up to 6mm) on sheet material so sonsidering an 8x4 design but will probably start off with a 4*4.

I found else where in the forum that build cost will be around the $4000 mark which seems OK too but have a few questions about the software that people are running.

I am currently using AutoCAD and Inventor for design work and was figuing on using Mach3 as the CNC control but what are people recomending as the CAM software. I have seen mention of Vectric Aspire in this forum but it seems fairly expensive what are my other choices?

I am considering the motors, drivers power supply BOB kit from China or Hong Kong such as found on ebay like this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...m=280707066456
the complete box and dice for about $500.

I know this may start the whole China vs US/UK build thing but I have found that Asian products are well worth the money these days especially in my market as a hobyist. Perhaps if I was using this thing to support my livelyhood it would be another matter and I can see that. But I have a Taiwan Lathe and Mill an Italian MIG and other assorted asian tools which work just fine for the duty I use them for.

Cheers to all
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  #2  
Old Thu 01 December 2011, 19:09
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
Mal,
Your CAM choices are many.
I personally have (and do use) Vetric Cut 3d and Cut 2d. Both are very good and fairly affordable.
I still have a purchased copy of Lazy Cam that I use often for simple, one off cutting of parts.

For economic BOB and driver I highly recommend the Gecko G540 all in one solution. With the right motor combination, it's a great quick, reliable solution....and well supported.

You have many choices in this CNC arena....read a lot, ask questions. The forum will do their part to assist.
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  #3  
Old Thu 01 December 2011, 21:27
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
You wont get that China UK/US thing here. It is your build - do what works for you. We use a lot of source parts from all over the world to build this platform. So have fun and enjoy your build.
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  #4  
Old Fri 02 December 2011, 04:05
Surfcnc
Just call me: Ross #74
 
Queensland
Australia
Hi Mal

I would budget a little more than 4K to get a machine up and running here in Australia.
The extras add up if you use the best quality cables, connectors, enclosures, buttons, bolts, electrical boxes, PC controllers, pumps, spindle etc.
Mine cost waaaay more than 4K

My recommendation is, if you think you need an 8x4 machine and have the space, then build that up front.
The cost of the 4x4 and 8x4 machine are not much different as the cost of the extra steel is spread over the whole build cost.
If you only want a 4x4 machine (they look great by the way) then of course build that.

The Mechmate forum is full of very relevant information, everything you need to complete the project is here but it will require some reading.
Buy the plans before anything else and know them backwards before spending any further money on parts.

With respect to estimating how long it takes to make the machine, take a look at the Builders Log at http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2575.
This gives a real world look at how the build fits in with all those other things life throws up.

Regards
Ross
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  #5  
Old Fri 02 December 2011, 04:51
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Wow what great feed back everyone. Also from people who I have learnt to quickly respect in this forum.
Ross coinciedntally I have just been reading your build log great work you have done.
Cheers
mal
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  #6  
Old Fri 02 December 2011, 08:13
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Mal,

I am using Aspire but you can not go wrong with any of the Vectric software. Lots of capability at a resonable price compared to other CAM software

Good luck with your build.
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  #7  
Old Mon 05 December 2011, 17:44
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
BOM post or keep private?

Have been reading heaps in the forum. What a great plce for information. Downloaded the drawings and as suggested printed out two copies and sorted one by process and have started making up my Bill of Material.

I have seen lots of discussion on this topic especially relating to making available a BOM on the forum. I can see I think I will make mine available but am going to go about it a little differently. I am thinking a spread sheet which will calculate where necessary the individual component sizes according to table size. I wil make up the list directly from the drawings only and then add a second sheet to my spreadsheet which will have a modified copy of the first sheet using what I intend to use. eg square tube instead of pipe, spindle instead of router etc. This way there will be a standard BOM that can then be modified.

I have started by using and modifying an existing BOM I found here (How do I add a hyperlink in this forum) http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showt...Bill+Materials. Plus another one that I cant find again but will try to dig up to give credit to the author.

Am I reinventing the wheel or perhaps even breaking rules if I was to do this.

Cheers
Mal
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  #8  
Old Mon 05 December 2011, 17:57
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Changes to my design already.

After reading tips on the forum I have decided to make some changes to my design.
I will make the table 3M x 1.2 M (extra space at end for an indexer). Normall board size is 2.4x 1.2
Will use a spindle and VFD. ( like the idea of quiter use)
Still havent decided on drives but the motion king motors look prety good. Will go for Direct drive at first and a add belt drive latter.
One of my concerns about the GekoG540 is that it is 4 drives in one but that means I still need another driver for the indexer. I am thinking I may be better off with 5 drives all the same type so that should one fail I can pinch one off the indexer to get me out of trouble.
Still cant bring myself to shell out $2000 for Aspire but the Cut2D and 3D look pretty good. Do I need both?
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  #9  
Old Mon 05 December 2011, 18:08
tumutbound
Just call me: Geoff
 
Hobart, Tasmania
Australia
I'd certainly be interested in a BOM for an Oz build, especially if it included prices!

I already have a certain amount of bits, e.g. spindle, VFD, Gecko drives, etc. but haven't looked at pricing for motors or steel.
I also have to budget for the necessary tools e.g welder, not that I really need an excuse to buy new tools

Regards
Geoff
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  #10  
Old Mon 05 December 2011, 19:50
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
As far as the BOM - it has been done. It is in here ... somewhere .... I even know where. search on

shopping lists

But that's all I'm givin

I just don't want you spendin time hackin on a spread sheet when you can be building the MechMate.
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  #11  
Old Mon 05 December 2011, 21:01
KenC
Just call me: Ken
 
Klang
Malaysia
There are too many bonuses to list if you make your BOM as you go through the drawing. At least you will know what goes where when you are done with your BOM...
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  #12  
Old Tue 30 June 2015, 06:05
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Hi from Toowoomba Australia

Hi everyone,
I was going to start this build about 5 years ago but went back to work full time but I have now retired (again) and am ready to start. I have searched many different types of CNC tables but this seems most suited to me although I will be making some modifications to suit material I have available. I am from near Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia and have a background in electronics and computing but have a hobby interest in working with steel and wood. I have a disabled brother-in-law who lives with us and I would like to give him something to do assembling and finishing small projects that he can sell off at the local flea markets.

I will build my table in stages the first stage will be a router platform for wood and aluminum using Mach 3 and possibly Vectric all though as I use Autocad I have found out that Autodesk produces a free CAM plug in for Inventor which I will play with first. I believe it was available for Solidworks first before Autodesk bought it and the name is HSM express. Anyone any experience with it?

During the following stages I intend to add an LED laser engraver and then an Indexer hence the longer length of the table so I can leave it set up I would also like to latter on possibly experiment with a plasma torch.

I am going to build a table at least 2440 x 1220 but may go longer. I am going to modify the build slightly. Let me explain, I was able to get some fully supported 20mm linear rail 2 lengths at 3.6 meters at a vey good price so I may build a table that will handle a 3 meter long board haven't decided yet).Now I am aware that fully supported shafts are going to foul up the CNC cut and bent parts so will do my own thing there as well. I have also decided that direct drive on the Pinions will be a bit too coarse I am going to use a 3 to 1 reduction on the X drive courtesy of Surfcnc thanks for that.

Now I know the first thing some people will say is read .. read .. read (KenC ) and I fully understand this argument 5 years ago but this machine has been so successful I don't think that is a valid argument any more and while I understand you old timers may get sick of answering the same old questions perhaps a FAQ would assist in this. As this forum approaches its 10th anniversary and the search function is a bit like googles You either get a flood or a drought I am hoping for a bit more help than that. For example I see that GeraldD has made mention of putting a ** in front of posts he believes are well worth reading. Well I am sorry Gerald when I search on ** I get an error indicating insufficient characters. I really don't want to troll through 10 years of posts across the board to find them' Gerald could you add some more characters so that a search will be more fruitful.

Cheers to all and hope I have not offended any one as I assure everyone no offence is intended just trying to add some helpful criticism.

Cheers to All
Mal.
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  #13  
Old Tue 30 June 2015, 06:38
lonestaral
Just call me: Al #114
 
Isarn
Thailand
Send a message via Skype™ to lonestaral
Welcome Mal.
I was in Marrochydore when Toowomba got hit with that flash flood.
Glad you are here.
Looking forward to following your progress.
Al
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  #14  
Old Tue 30 June 2015, 16:46
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Thanks Al,
Yes that was a very 'interesting' day. I could not get to work that day because of earlier rain had flooded a local creek. I actually live down the bottom of the range in Withcott and the roar of the water coming down off the range was phenomenal. Thankfully we were OK with only loss of power and water and isolated for about a week. All good now.

Cheers Mal
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  #15  
Old Fri 03 July 2015, 22:58
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Welcome aboard...... and read read read !! Had to do it.

You can sort the threads by views, that is a good hint of content others found interesting.
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  #16  
Old Sat 04 July 2015, 07:52
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Smile First Changes in my plan and progress report

Thanks Mike Yeah didn't think I would get way with it but worth a try .
Well almost a week in and have made some changes to my ideas already.
I have decided that I will go with the Profile cut kit especially for the gantry car. I realize I will have to make some modifications to this to fit the fully supported rail. Yep that stays.
I am thinking I have two options for the X Rack I can either fit the Beams with the flanges pointing out ( My flanges are not tapered) or I could install some flat bar on top of the beam and overhang it to mount the rack on the underside of that. Either way I have to modify the profile cut kits to fit the supported rail.
My preference would be to with the rack secured to the under side of the flange with double sided VHB tape. Speaking of which does anyone have the part number for it. I know I have read it somewhere but I cant find it.
I have most of my steel (still need the table support channel but have got a lead on someone who has some 50x100 which I can have for about quarter new price. Bigger is better right?
With my X beam being 3.6m long and the extra weight of the larger channel I should go to a 6 leg design?
I have ordered my rack and pinions, My 2.2KW water cooled spindle, and cable carrier and have asked Rick to go ahead and produce the kit (He is out of stock and said it should take about two weeks) I think I will have plenty to do in the meantime.

I also think I will go with a bolted design like surfcnc I like the idea of being able to move this beast at some time.

Bye to all and thanks for your suggestions.
Mal

Last edited by Slipery; Sat 04 July 2015 at 08:01.. Reason: Forgot to mention
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  #17  
Old Mon 13 July 2015, 23:14
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Toowoomba Build commenced

Not much activity on this board anymore is there. Or is everybody lurking?
I have taken delivery of all my steel and fasteners and many of my other components. Got held up waiting for the special deal on the support and leg channel so have paid full price for it and got it home today.
Have made my first cuts the other day on the channel and you can see the picture on how I intend to mount the linear rails and the rack under the lip of the channel as shown bellow.
First time I have seen what it would look like from the northern hemisphere. .
Really why does the system invert the photos?
Cheers Mal
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg image1.jpeg (77.1 KB, 467 views)
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  #18  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 00:12
Alan_c
Just call me: Alan (#11)
 
Cape Town (Western Cape)
South Africa
Send a message via Skype™ to Alan_c
I have always heard you guys are "down under" now I see photographic proof
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  #19  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 05:25
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Mal,

Your picture does give us a different view of things. But in anticipation of many more pictures of your build, I thought I'd offer a solution. I'm anxious to see your linear rail MechMate as you develop it, and it's difficult to turn my computer monitor upside down.

I have not had the problem of my pictures being posted on the forum upside down. I have no idea why your pictures are being posted upside down. Maybe someone else does.

If you don't find the actual cause, you could flip the photos before you post them using the free photo editing software recommended by Gerald many years ago. It's called Irfanview. It's free, really free, not just a trial. In Irfanview there is a command under IMAGE dropdown called FLIP Vertical.

Good luck finishing your build. And, I really am looking forward to your linear rail MechMate.
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  #20  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 05:35
lonestaral
Just call me: Al #114
 
Isarn
Thailand
Send a message via Skype™ to lonestaral
Should it look like this ?

Not much happening on my MechMate.
Just been boring everybody with my lathe.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg image1.jpeg (91.4 KB, 461 views)
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  #21  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 05:44
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
Yes that looks better. Thanks All. Will try IrfanView just downoloaded it and trying to work out how to save the flipped picture.
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  #22  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 06:41
racedirector
Just call me: Bruce #122
 
New South Wales
Australia
While it may not seem anyone is watching, we are I too am interested in your linear rails. My angle isn't the best and am looking at replacing it one day with either vrail or linears.
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  #23  
Old Tue 14 July 2015, 16:41
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
For information problem seemed to stem from using an Apple I phone. Funny thing was when I inverted the picture in Ifranview and uploaded it was still inverted. Found all I had to do was load into Ifranview and then save it to correct the problem.
Thanks good to know people are watching. Better go and cut some more metal.
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  #24  
Old Wed 15 July 2015, 11:19
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Okay, Mal. Sounds like you have a functioning work-around.

So, you have no excuse for not sharing your build with us. I'm sure there are many who want to see how you utilize those linear rails. How you mount them? How you make sure they're straight? How well do they work? Etc.

Again, all the best to you. We're WATCHING!
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  #25  
Old Sun 06 September 2015, 04:07
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
The easy works done now for the hard stuff.

Glad I don't pay myself by the hour. It has taken me two months to get the table built but happy with the results so far. Reasonably square but haven't leveled it yet but have the feet on so that shouldn't be too hard. Made it a bolt together design which took a lot more work than I expected but I think it is the only way to build it if you are on your own.
Next job is to bolt down the fully supported linear rails for both the X and Y axis.
Seems to be a bit of twist in the gantry but probably less than 20 thou.
Any ideas on aligning the linear rails will be greatly appreciated but I understand they aren't as hard to align as the rectangular ones.
Intend to feel my self along as I get to mounting the rack and motors. Will be using a Z movement running on twin 16 mm supported rails and driven by a ball screw.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0107.JPG (94.4 KB, 377 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0103.JPG (96.4 KB, 375 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0104.JPG (83.3 KB, 374 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0105.JPG (89.4 KB, 378 views)
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  #26  
Old Sun 06 September 2015, 04:37
MetalHead
Just call me: Mike
 
Columbiana AL
United States of America
Looking good !!!
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  #27  
Old Tue 13 October 2015, 23:13
Sinbad
Just call me: Sunbad
 
Adelaide
Australia
Awesome work.
I was contemplating using HIWIN linear rails and this has inspired me.
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  #28  
Old Tue 13 October 2015, 23:26
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
I have never used any type of linear shafting before but what I have read the round shaft rails are easier to set up than the rectangular type. I certainly had no problem getting them straight and running smooth.
A couple of things I would do differently however. Don't bother turning the Main C channel the same as mine while I have secured my linear shaft rails directly to the channel I should have done the same as I have done on the gantry and secured them to some 75x5 flat bar and the secured that to the channel in case I ever pull the table apart I might have some difficulty getting the rails parallel but will worry about that when the time comes. Will have to post some more pictures of the mods I made to the gantry to allow motors to mesh with pinions because of increased height of the car but was pretty straight forward however.

Good luck with your build Sinbad
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  #29  
Old Mon 25 January 2016, 18:31
Slipery
Just call me: mal
 
Toowomba
Australia
NikolayUa24 I am sorry this is taking me longer than I expected but life keeps getting in the way. Cheers Mal
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