Harvey got a new power supply for the CNC Mogul from Automation Technology Inc and asked me if I could help him document the replacement process. It was pretty simple and went very smooth. We’re lucky to have Harvey around as a member, and I’m glad he takes care of the CNC Mogul.
Check out the video below to see Harvey replacing the dead power supply with the new 36 volt 9.7 amp model he got from Automation Technology Inc.
Julie and Carl of Scoops Ice Cream & Candies of Kenosha, approached new Makerspace member, Brandon Minga, with their project. They were given recommendations from other projects he’s done in the are including Mike’s Chicken & Donuts and the Modern Apothecary. Scoops was looking to enhance and draw more attention to their new location with a large exterior sign. Going through the concept and design process Minga quickly decided that the sign design was also going to become their new logo. Once the final design was rendered he quickly learned how to CNC a template to hand plasma trace the design out of sheet metal. The middle of the sign was also hand cut, roll bent and broke to match the bubbly ice cream cone shape. With a little help from friends a the Makerspace, he ground down welds and drilled 44 holes for the light bulbs. After all the holes were drilled Minga fit the sign with sockets, wired up the sockets and tested the electrical. Working with Prodigy Sign in Kenosha he also coordinated the hanging of the sign.
Milwaukee Makerspace has a lot of equipment, and sometimes we get things that don’t quite work, and we try hard to get them working. We often succeed, but sometimes we decide it’s better to move on…
With that said, we’re looking to sell our Matsuura RA1F Vertical Machining Center, which is known as the “Red Dragon”.
It’s not currently running, but it was working months ago. Ultimately we decided that it would take too much work to get it into good shape for a makerspace, so selling it off as a whole, or in parts, will help fund a new CNC milling machine which is smaller and more suited to our needs.
If you’ve never used a VMC this probably isn’t for you, but if you really want a challenge, or want it for parts (and there are some very expensive parts in it) you might get a nice deal. Maybe you’ve already got one and need spare components? Perfect!
Before #2: My front door, in need of paint, some aesthetic happiness, a fixed doorhandle, and summer. My desire to add a little decoration to the door is, in part, what led me to the Makerspace. I had an idea for panels to go on either side of the door, but no equipment for making what was in my head. When I saw that the Makerspace had cnc routers…
IN THE MIDDLE
I took photos of leaves from the oak tree in our yard:
I traced the leaves in Illustrator, and — by looking at the structure of the tree — made my initial design. I exported the file into svg (with hints from Shane), and Ed helped me use Cambam to convert the svg file into the gcode that the Mogul desires.
After generating the gcode, we cut the first panel. For me, watching the cutting was like Christmas: exciting — while for Ed, stepping me through the process, this must have been like a long slooooooooow Christmas, watching the design appear through the three passes the router bit made to cut each (complicated) path. (In truth, Ed’s patience and help were the real Christmas present for me.)
This panel was an experiment for me, to learn about how thin and delicate the connecting pieces could be in such cutting. And I learned: what you cannot see in the picture above is how two of the leaves broke off quickly.
In the next Illustrator file I made (which I then cut on the Mogul with Steve Pilon’s also very generous and patient help), the leaves overlap and made their stems thicker. You might be able to see this in the final picture below, which shows the panels painted and mounted. Merry Christmas!
32V Power supply for Y axis motor. No regulation necessary!
Smoothieboard is supposed to read the config.txt file from its uSD card (conveniently accessible via USB) every time it boots. That makes changing configuration very easy and fast – all you do is edit the config.txt file, save it , and reboot the board. Firmware is updated the same way. With the ATMega2560 you have to find the configuration variables by searching through multiple configuration files, make the necessary changes, recompile the firmware, then flash the controller. I said the SmoothieBoard is supposed to read the file every time it boots, but it wasn’t doing it. I’d make changes and they would not appear in the behavior of the printer. Hmmmm.
Layers kept shifting in the X-axis- I expected Y-axis problems, but not X!
I attempted some prints and managed to get two decent ones in about a week of screwing around with it. I tried dozens of combinations of speed, acceleration, junction deviation (smoothie-speak for jerk) and even tried different slicers. The machine went completely nuts on two occasions and ignored the Z-axis limit switch and slammed the extruder into the print bed, gouging through the Kapton tape and into the aluminum! I decided I needed some professional help so I got on the #smoothieware IRC channel and discovered that the developers of the board/firmware hang out there quite a lot. After a lot of back and forth Q and A and testing someone suggested it might be the uSD card causing the problem. I picked up a new card at Walmart, put the firmware and config files on it , booted the machine, and attempted a print. PERFECT!
The new uSD card worked! The small round post is 4mm diameter.
I have made several prints since last night and they have all come out fine. I still have a little tweaking to do and to test the limits of the machine’s performance, but I think the problems are behind me.
Next up: X-axis redesign/build. I’m replacing the two guide rails with a single linear guide. I have also ordered and received a BullDog XL extruder to replace the hacked up QUBD unit I’ve been using. I’ll be adding a DSP driver and 32V power supply for the X-axis motor, too.
After that, I have some ideas for a filament respooling machine and ways to fix the retraction problem in the SnakeBite extruder.