August 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm #40202
My name’s Axel, and I’m super happy to finally join the community. About a year ago, I started printing parts for the MPCNC, and near the end of the printing, I realized that I had gone with the 1″ stainless size. I had trouble sourcing cheap tubing, so I gave up, until now! I ended up building it to accept 4’x8′ sheet-goods, and added enough z-rail to max out the lead screws, which means it can raise up at least 5″ (I haven’t measured).
Here’s a a link to the very sparse album of the build, including the first (really boring) cut!
I’ve got some tips, and some questions too:
- Don’t be dumb and buy 3/4″ pipe like I did. We took a tape measure and said “yep, that’s an inch”, and it actually measures 1.05″, which is beyond the tolerance of the parts.
- Buy all your accessories while building, so it gets in when you’re ready! I only have a 1/4″ v-bit available right now and I’m waiting for Amazon to get me a new collet and bits.
- I ran the Y and Z motors on the far side using an old Cat-5 cable. It has eight wires, which is sufficient for the two 4-pin motors.
- How are y’all keeping things square? I have a bit of play between the side rollers because the tubing is just so long. And the lead screws get a little out of line now and then (I can even those up pretty easily). And I don’t even know how to square up the long-side.
- G-code: how are you guys generating yours? I tried Instructables’ Easel, which doesn’t seem to do anything on the lowrider. I’m trying Fusion360 now, but the post-processor scripts are raising the Z up above the material. Anyone got a post-process config for the Lowrider?
- How are you guys Zeroing the machine? I’m just putting the bit up against the material to cut, and taking that as 0,0,0.
This is my first experience with a CNC machine, though I have good 3D printing and modeling. It’s also my first mechanical build! So I’m very excited to join you guys. I hope to learn a lot 🙂
-Axel.August 7, 2017 at 3:59 am #40221
I used 4 conductor in wall speaker wire to extend my stepper wires on the lowrider. Cat-6 for the mpcnc. To square mine I just run it all the way to the belt holders on the end. Depending on how you build your table this works, or it doesn’t… You can also just attach some physical stops on the rails that are square to the table. Squaring the Z is a little funky. If I can, I just make sure the two sides are touching the rails, usually that’s good enough. If I can’t do that, I have a couple blocks that are cut the same size that I sit the sides on before powering up. I use estlcam to create all my gcode.August 7, 2017 at 7:15 am #40241
No first cuts are boring!
I agree with Barry, I drag mine to the ens where I have stop blocks and that squares it, as for the Z my rails touch the side of the table and so far so good, I have no idea how square it actually is but for the thin material I do it seems to be good enough.
Software and post processors are the same as the MPCNC and are all over the site. There are a few links here, they all apply for both machines, https://www.v1engineering.com/software/August 7, 2017 at 8:07 am #40263
What a beast! Looking good.
I like your hardboard/plywood spoil board. That looks like it will be a good surface.
If your spoilboard is parallel with the rails, then the front face of that would be a good reference edge for squaring XY. I have boards that I clamp to the front of my table, and I pull the carts into those boards before I power up the motors, and then I remove them. If your belt mounts are sqaure then that’s a good place to do it as well (as Barry and Ryan mentioned).
If you are new to CAD or at least CAM, I would start with EstlCAM. I also think a very simple beginner tool is librecad, which is very good at making a 100mm square, with 20mm holes at certain spots or something. Fusion or OnShape are good too. They will take a little longer to get going, but will serve you more in the long run. There are two good starting guides here on vicious1 (the basics and 2.5D ones) and EstlCAM.de has a good set of videos for things like carving. And SomeOldGuyCoding on youtube has made some good videos for doing some combination cuts and demonstrating tool changes and such.
Some unsolicited advice, start with some of the purple foam, and start by making projects with straight endmills. V cutting takes a bit more skill and patience, and you’ll get frustrated when you fuck up some nice wood, or the bit breaks because you were cutting too hard in wood. Foam is cheap, and forgiving.
I am looking forward to seeing your cuts!August 7, 2017 at 9:56 am #40274
Hey, thanks for all the responses! Point by point:
- All your methods for squaring the Y makes good sense, and I like the idea of using clamps or stop-blocks.
- I’ve been squaring Z with my calipers, sounds like that’s sufficient :).
- Of course there’s already a post on Z fixes in Fusion! I had found a forum post about it, but it kept leading me in circles. I’ll try the post-processor.
- I have a decent amount of experience in F360, and the CAM tooling seems super great, so I’ll try sticking with that for a while.
- Estlcam seems simple, but a little cryptic. I’m going to watch some tutorials soon.
- I plan on using foam and flat-mills, but until I get my 1/8″ collet, it’s just the V-bit.
Thanks to all of you! I’ll be on-call this week, so I’ll have plenty of time to sit with the machine and tune it up. I’ll let you know how it goes!April 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm #58125
I am getting rdy to build my lowrider and i also live in Seattle area. i was wondering if you would like to meetup, i would like to see your setup and maybe learn a few things before i build mine.
AdamOctober 29, 2018 at 7:01 pm #73769
I just register and bought all the parts need to build the LRv2..I in in Lynnwood WA..I would love to have any support build this great machine! Anyway I can see how your machine was done too?
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