Jeffeb3's build

Since I currently have a shelf full of parts, I’m not sure if this belongs in builds or assembly, so I decided I’d put all my successes here, and all my problems in assembly :).

Has anyone else been hearing “Final Countdown” in their head all day?

Da Parts

I have printed all the core parts. Just missing the feet, the tool holder, the end stop mounts, and any fancy upgrades. Those can all wait. I see I have more than a few screws to install first. Enough posting. I have to start making some larger pieces out of smaller ones.

sad trombone My image of the original parts didn’t show up. I can’t see how to edit the original post, so just pretend this image is up there where it says, “Da Parts”:

And, after one night’s work:

I accidentally printed the short tower, but I’ll have the tall one by tomorrow night. I’m running out of pink though, and it’s not really mine anyway, so I need to save the rest in case my friend wants more pink game pieces. So the tower will be yellow.

I still haven’t printed the feet, the tool mount, or even decided what size to make this… I thought this part would have taken longer.

Those colors look great together. I wish I had a better sense of style…I sell black and silver, pretty plain.

They are both hatchbox PLA. “SLV” and “PNK”. I originally chose pink because a friend of mine bought me some to print some catan pieces (they don’t have pink pieces) and I had a bunch of the spool left. But I like the look. Very miami vice. And it’s original, which I like too.

Well, I decided to not decide on the size. I am really hoping to be able to cut some actual 3/4" plywood at some large sizes (I would love so much to make a tool cabinet completely out of ply and mdf), so I’m having a hard time giving up on a 24x36 size build area. I could probably get by with 24x30, or realistically, even a lot smaller. I decided I can always cut smaller later, and more importantly, I don’t know how bad large is until I actually try it, so I’m going big. The only problem is that I don’t have a table that large for it, so I’ll have to build one, at least temporarily. I’m actually going to try to get it moving a bit before attaching it to a table (without using the spindle). I might just cut a 3’x4’ sheet of ply to attach it to so it’s square, although it’s really close to square on it’s own.

After I was laying out the parts for this picture, I realized I didn’t put the end stop brackets on, oops.

i very much like the “breast cancer awareness” color scheme… its funny, as a man I dont typically like pink but pink and grey look pretty dang good here

Much easier to start big and cut it down later…Z axis is the critical one shorter the better. A few extra inches on the X and Y won’t change much, but on the z it drastically reduces rigidity.

If those are my endstop mounts in PLA you can snap them over the rails no problem!

Good. I have no interest in making this a 3D printer ATM. So I don’t see why I need a large Z. I can use large feet if I’m using large stock, but I think there’s a <0.1% chance I’ll want to cut deeper into stock than 1.5". 90% will be less than 3/4", I’m guessing.

It’s alive!

I wired everything with removable connections, but I ran out of small heat shrink, so I couldn’t make the extensions that I needed to go the full size of the machine. So I’m working in a small corner, for now. I’ve got a friend coming over with heat shrink this afternoon, so I should probably start making the table for it…

It’s not moving as smooth as I’d like, but I think it might be the texture on the conduit. Hopefully it will get better.

The Z axis is really cool. I couldn’t grab the coupler with pliers, so I did this when I threaded the screw into it, I just used a flathead screwdriver to hold the coupler.

I’m moving things around with the LCD screen, and I’ve had the z axis quit working twice now. It didn’t sound like it was struggling or anything. It just stopped moving. The position on the screen was still changing, so I think the arduino thought it was still stepping, but the axis wasn’t moving at all. I reset the arduino, and that didn’t fix it, but unplugging the whole thing and plugging it back in got it working again. As far as I can tell, it’s moving very smoothly, I can easily rotate it with the Z adjust screw by hand when the steppers are off.

My progress is probably going to slow down a bit, because I need to focus on the stand, and print the feet, etc. I might reprint the X, Y motor holders in PETG too, because I just got some PETG.

I got it working with pronterface, and repetier. This is just with an unlevel surface, and a marker rubber banded to the tool holder.

Now I’m waiting on the feet, and I need to make a stand…

I saw that Z axis freeze again. Not sure what’s causing that.

Are you using estlcam to generate the gcode? Some tighter z axis machines need a bit slower z acceleration. I think we have a way to do it in estlcam but just flashing an updated firmware is pretty easy. Just take the z accel down 5 and see if it goes away.

It only failed when I was moving it around with the LCD or repetier. What is the part that’s quitting? Is it the driver? I’d it over heating?

I just generated the gcode with this webpage:

Which is why it looks distorted. And the retraction was set to 2mm, which isn’t enough to lift the pen, etc.

That is common with the screen, the z speed needs to be adjusted. on my list of things to do. In repetier just slow down you z max speed to under 8.5mm/s.

I have made a stand.

I used this video as a guide. (I really like this guy’s videos. He has a great series on this homemade table saw, which seems awesome, and crazy dangerous. He’s always doing something smart with very little equipment.)

I drew it up in sketchup first, which I ended up sharing in thingiverse:

I haven’t attached the front (well, I have it attached with clamps but not in the picture). I hope to use the MPCNC to carve something out of it, so that people will immediately understand what it’s for when they see it (and why not, when you’ve got a CNC?).

Joint close up:

I have two 3/4" pieces of ply that are 3’x4’ for the top.

Really close now, I just have to glue the feet down, and I can at least cut something with me standing there.

I glued the feet down. I 3D printed a little pattern that helped me mark out the locations of the holes under the feet, and I’m going to just keep them all the way down for a while.

Here’s what I did to layout and install the feet.

  1. I made a really square piece of plywood be the base. This thing is very square because it’s the original 4’x8’ sheet on three sides, and a carefully cut fourth side.
  2. I made sure the parallel sides were the same length.
  3. I made a little block of wood which is as wide as the extra size of the table top. So in the X direction, the sheet is 48" and the printer is 47.07" The gap is 0.93", so that’s the size of the X block. The Y block was 0.838". I’m using these blocks to make the feet be able to be referenced from the edge of the plywood.
  • I want all my extra space on one side, instead of centering the machine. I want that because I want to run cables, and mount stuff on the front and left and I want as much room as possible.
  1. I use the blocks and the foot pattern to make the screw holes for the feet. So on one corner, the pattern was right up against the corner, and on the far corner it had one x block and one y block, the other corners had either an x or a y block. I hope this is making sense.
  2. I screwed down the pattern
  3. I penciled in the hole
  4. I used a 7/8" forstner bit to cut a hole so the edge of the hole farthest from the screw holes was aligned with the pencil mark. Making it off center like that made the feet more snug.
  5. I installed the feet.

After that, I was trusting that my feet were going to be square, and I finally glued my feet onto the MPCNC, aligning them with the holes for the pipe and screws. This is an image of me measuring square. It’s not perfect but 1/8" over 5 feet is pretty good, I hope. I also glued the feet a little bit off to try to make a small difference towards square.

Overall, the feet gave me the most heartburn. They feel solid now that they are completely sunk into holes in 1/5" of plywood though. I was feeling confident, and I will be ready to make some dust as soon as I figure out this Z Nut Lock problem.

Well, I fixed the nut lock. I printed it waaay overkill, with 100% infill and 0.1mm layers. They layer thing was a mistake, but it looks really great now.

So I actually got to the point where I could cut something, and I started with the vicious logo, and some foam. I posted more details about it on the Troubleshooting thread, but basically, the Z axis stopped working, and I think it’s probably the driver. The end result was that all the travel moves made cuts, but I still hit a milestone today, and I’m really excited about this thing working.

That was actually all yesterday. Today, I dug deeper into my Z axis problem(s).

Some things I’ve found out:

  • When it fails, it doesn’t come back even after a power cycle.
    • It has come back eventually, several times.
  • If I swap the X and Z cables, at the RAMPS board (with the power disconnect, obviously), then the Z motors will still move, but the X axis won’t.
  • I swapped out the Mega with one I had on hand, and it does the same thing.
  • I swapped the Y and Z drv8825 boards, adjusted both voltages again, and it does the same thing.
  • I installed bleeding edge Marlin and repetier software, and both of them do the same thing.
  • I’ve seen the failure with the above pattern, which should be 3mm/s z rate. I’ve seen the failure with the Vzmax set to 5mm/s. The Vzmaz has never been above 8.5mm/s

The only part I haven’t swapped is the RAMPS board…

Just for giggles, test your cable to the z motor with a multimeter.

The cable checks out with my meter. I also did swap the X and Z at the ramps board, and the Z moved. So that tested the cable and the motor and any connectors.

Now, if there was an intermittent problem, then maybe the drv8825 shut itself down, and that’s why it’s not working…

I might spend some time thinking about it while re-terminating those cables. I want to do that anyway.