Drop Table Plywood Construction

New Home Forum Mostly Printed CNC – MPCNC Your Builds – MPCNC Drop Table Plywood Construction

This topic contains 24 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #67108

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Well, it certainly isn’t the cheapest material to build with but it should be good an durable for me if I take it out and about with me during the winter months. I goofed on the build already – was hoping for a 22″ X 42″ working area but that won’t fit on my 30″ X 48″ table. I do believe I can get away with shrinking it down to a 38″ work area and just fit the feet on the table top corners. I’m okay with that. Most of my work will be well within the 20″ X 40″ opening anyway.

     

    So here’s the details: 30″ X 48″ tabletop, 36″ final height all in – casters, double thick table top etc. (so my bad back won’t be bending too much). The top table top will be cut once the machine is running after new inserts are made by the machine (I figure I can do a cut and carve of the same parts to achieve the hole and the insert – then I’ll adjust for clearance as required. The plan is a stepped insert composed of a double thickness of ply – 1.5″ total thickness. The bottom part will be 22 X 42 to match the already cut opening, the top will be 24″ X 44″ so that a step is created that will hold the insert in place by gravity. For table top work I’ll use a 1/4″ or 1/2″ spoil board.

    The leg opening on the end is cut wide enough and tall enough for the ice block, riding on the hydraulic lift to be rolled under the table and lifted up into place. I have yet to fashion a clamping system that will clamp in on one side and one end of the block, holding it in place. Have the parts – next post perhaps. The other end of the table has not been cut wide open just in case in the near future i need to fabricate some sort of cabinet to store bits, 3d print head, lasers etc. The sides have been cut wide open just for aesthetics/design. Once the paint is on this bad boy you’ll see the reasoning behind that. Lots to sand first though.

    Thanks to Ryan for the SUPER fast shipping to Canada I have a box full of goodies to tear into now too! I’ll pick up the stainless tube tomorrow or Friday. Now let’s see if I can put these pictures in here…..Please, any red flags or anything let me know.

    #67117

    Kelly D
    Participant
    #67124

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Is it weird that I remember packing almost ever single box…

     

    I am pretty excited to hear/see how this ice thing works.I am sure most 2D stuff will be easy and I am pretty sure you will be able to use larger diameter bits, I think but I have never even dreamed of milling ice.

    If Canada had a solid Maker faire…..I would love to come out for a quick trip.

    #67892

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Wasn’t sure if I should keep a thread going or start a new one so I figured I’d pile it all in here in case this becomes a resource for someone, somewhere, some other day.

    I’m all done! Other than the pretty it all up part I guess. The wires are all plugged in, the power supply is connected and I have started diving into Fusion 360 which is so amazing and so easy (for me) compared to the other 3d applications I use for work. I guess the next question is what next? I am going to be using an old clunker PC laptop from the neighbour to get rolling so I need to get that from him and get it loaded up but I’m sure at some point it’ll be time for the pen mount and the crown! So excited…..

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #70570

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Well, the PC is out for diagnosis (OpenGL is misbehaving and won’t allow PixelCNC to run). Since the machine was going to be dormant for a few days and the shop is in no-carving mode while some BIG carvings get their urethane sealer I figured it was high time  to break out the team colours and paint the chassis. The top with the MPCNC attached slid off onto my table saw with ease.

    Once this paint dries I can put the second top back and permanently attach it (I think I’ll paint out just the edges of that ply). I found a great solution for the Mini Rambo so I’ll attach that as well.

    Next couple of projects are to use the machine to cut the second layer drop hole, create the insert plug and then mill out a grid of dog holes for that clever eccentric clamping system from another recent thread. 0E5C930C-F8C1-4C77-BE71-22B73DADF1F8
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    #70576

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    Looks great!

    #70598

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Slick, not just a square, I really like to see that.

    #72634

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Waiting for some parts to arrive so I’m back at the MPCNC tonight. Just attempting my first 3d carve and quite impressed and shocked at how easy Estlcam makes it. The interface isn’t the most intuitive but I trusted it, went with it and am watching in awe as the roughout is cleaned up revealing incredible detail. One or two more tests and it’ll be time for some real world work that’s waiting in the wings. Man I love this thing! I’m so glad I just jumped in without over thinking things too much. I have a feeling the same awe will fill my world once the MP3DP is running……

     

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    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #81799

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Well, ice carving season is full on now so I had to commit and open up the drop table. I swapped the Y rails from the laser build into the drop table MPCNC so I could get the full width of a carving block in travel (I missed by an inch on the initial build). I added a full four inches so I’ve got room to spare. The Y travel stops right at the edge of the opening, allowing for up to a 1/2″ bit without hitting the table. But I also took this opportunity to slip in the dual end stop bits so once those are wired up and the board is changed I won’t have to worry about hitting the table.

    Partial test tomorrow with the hydraulic lift cart on a full thickness partial chunk of ice block. Then starting this weekend we should be loading in full blocks. Loads of photos to come!

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    #81811

    Kelly D
    Participant

    All closed up again – but convertible this time! Happy to have this done. Now I better run it to make sure I didn’t muck up the wiring for tomorrow….

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    #81860

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I can’t wait to see what you do next!

    #81933

    Kelly D
    Participant

    It’s running! Half hour and all should be revealed. (And no, it’s not Minion goggles 😉

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    #81937

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Best beer coozie ever?!

    #81965

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Free beer for you! Actually it’ll be an Old Fashioned. Hold the rocks.

    I had to jet to the festival meeting with the two prototypes and didn’t even get a chance to take a photo but there are 20 on order for Tuesday and 100 for next Saturday! I’ll be sure to get a good group shot of the Tuesday 20 for you – they turned out fantastic. They are 5 oz tumblers being used as a partial fundraiser for the festival. You’ll love what you see when you see it – they sure did. The MPCNC let me take it up to a whole other level.

    Now for some assistance? I’ll start a new thread to keep this one focused on the build.

    #82229

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Holy moly. Did I ever complicate that drop table / hydraulic cart plan. I ultimately decided that I’d like to be able to “pin” the tray that holds the ice slab/block into the opening thereby ‘attaching’ it to the main machine cabinet. Well, as soon as I did that I realized I’ll either ONLY ever be slipping 4-5″ slabs into the tray at a fixed height OR I’ll be lifting a full block that will not require flipping at all up into the machine for single surface working. So when I set the pins on all four corners I moved the gantry around, made sure I was parallel between the tool and the work surface and bolted the tray in place. Ugh….the hours (and hours) I could have saved……I was devising an over engineered method of leveling screws with threaded inserts, metal plates etc when all I need to do was level the tray and bolt it in place. The bolt holes will always be there for the next time I need to slide a slab in.

    Oh well…..time in the shop is never bad time.

    Next time I drop the tray out I’ll take pics of the whole setup. It is still pretty slick – but more than it needed to be.

    #82377

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Now THIS is a hard working machine if I’ve ever seen one (check out the bit!). Six hours was a little much though. Need to up the tool speeds. What’s the maximum Z drop I can get away with? And can anyone explain to me why, when boring out the middle of the cups (set to parallel pocketing) the z axis drops as the x and y spiral slowly, then, once the z axis drop is done it speeds up and cuts normal? Can I get rid of that slow part? It’s fine one by one but when it takes 45 seconds for the bit to reach it’s new height it adds up over a hundred cuts.

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    #82391

    Barry
    Participant

    It’s spiraling into a cut, and runs with your Z feed speed.  End mills usually don’t make good drill bits, so you get the slow spiral.

    #82401

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Plunge speed.

    Best slide the lower z bracket up to support that coupler.

    It is surreal to see it covered in ice shavings, does this count as getting it dirty?

    #82430

    Kelly D
    Participant

    I THINK it qualifies as getting it dirty however it came out pretty clean once all thawed…..

    How much could I take the plunge speed up to?

    #82438

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    What..you can’t ask anyone that. You are the only ice carver we know!

    Machine wise no faster than 10mm/s to be safe, it will let you go up top 30 but you run a real risk of skipping steps.

    #82453

    Kelly D
    Participant

    Oh no, that’s what I meant. What can the machine handle. Not what the ice should be set to. I’ll try 10 and see how it goes. I’m certain it’ll be fine. It took six hours to make 19 cups. Need to speed things up everywhere I can.

    #82455

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Shoot I would be doing one at a time and slowing tweaking the settings on each cut until something doesn’t sound good.

    #83894

    Kelly D
    Participant

    The festival is over and I can barely hold the phone to type but it’s a good kinda hurt (always is). We adapted the plans for the cups to speed things up and it worked out pretty good. First off, I decided not to get the machine to bore out the ‘cup’ part. That alone was taking four minutes per cup (significant when there are 100 to make). Here’s what I did.

    For that 3.5″ long 3/8″ endmill I set the plunge to 20mm and the speed to 40mm/s. After a 5mm surfacing pass with my 1″ bit at 45% stepover (12 min for a 20″x20″ slab of ice) the logos were cut in at a depth of 2.5mm (50 min). Switching to that 3.5″ long 3/8″ endmill I cut the outer circumference of the cups to a depth of 40mm and a registration hole for the flip to a depth of 20mm (10 min). I then flipped, surfaced (12 min) and cut the inside and outside of the cups’ top sides to a depth of 40mm (so it was just two passes). 16 min

    Now, using a handheld die grinder with the 3/8″ bit we were able to set the slab up on its side so the snow was mostly ejected from the cut. The bit follows the channel created by the MPCNC quite nicely so it’s just a matter of tracing along those guides, deepening the cuts until you’re through to the other side. Enough snow remains in the cuts to support the cup when it finally breaks free.

    The boring out of the middles was done with a different bit – a big cone burr. By hand as well. It takes about 15 seconds to bore out the cups by hand with the burr. When I get enough energy to unpack the truck I’ll snap a pic of that bit. It’s a fun one. Makes ice disappear like a mother. Cutting the cups free took about 30 secs each.

    The reason for the two pass maximum is that on each pass the snow gathers in the channel behind the bit and if it isn’t blown out will pack in behind the bit between each pass. So, when it comes time for pass #3 to the 60mm depth the bit has to not only deal with the 20mm of ice at the bottom of the cut but also a wall of hard snow for a total cut depth of 60mm. Once in a while it’d manage its way without skipping steps but then the fourth pass would definitely fail (we had been trying for a max of 80mm previously by blowing out the cuts as they were made). By limiting ourselves to two passes and a total of 40mm on top and 40mm on the bottom I only had 30-35mm to hand cut my way through. More importantly though was that I didn’t need to stand by the machine with a compressor hose so I was able to keep carving for the festival while the machine – working on-site in my trailer – was doing its thing. I stayed close but never had any issue or incident. Just lots of fascinated onlookers watching the machine do it’s thing.

    Incidentally, one onlooker was a CNC enthusiast (he makes functioning miniature steam engines and stuff) and I got to chatting. He mentioned using the m codes for fluid on/off to control a solenoid for a compressed air nozzle on a laser. I’ll need to look into that it could be the key component to making this work a bit more hands-off.

    Photos forthcoming. The couch just feels really really great right now……9BCCFFB8-7844-44E3-94B5-3A5E40ECF151
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    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #83904

    Dui, ni shuo de dui
    Participant

    This thread is way too awesome.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #83931

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I second his nozzle suggestion. A few around these parts do it for lasers, and cutting. You don;t even really need to get fancy with a solenoid, you can start with just a ball valve.

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