The Great Alaskan Lowrider

New Home Forum LowRider Your Builds – LowRider The Great Alaskan Lowrider

This topic contains 38 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 1 day, 13 hours ago.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 39 total)
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  • #61983

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Hey Everyone, Starting my build thread finally. Making some good progress now that I have my M3 up and running. I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s builds and this is one of the better supported machines out there. Great community here, so I’m excited to finally post my progress.

    As I’m getting parts together finally, it seems like the tubes seem to be just slightly too small. The printed pieces all seem to fit together really well with my cnc’d parts but its slightly larger than the 1 in tube. My tubes are for sure the 1 in OD and 25.4 mm, so not sure what I might be missing.

    Has anyone else run into this? Will I maybe need to reprint these scaled down a little, or maybe use something to build up the tube like electrical tape? I haven’t fully assembled the x/y section yet but it seems like its not going to get any tighter.

    Going for a slightly smaller table, its 4ft x 6 ft and so it should be able to cut at least a 3 x 5 sheet. Plenty big for just dorking around for now, but I love that this machine can easily be scaled for another table. Going to have suction and all that once its up and running. I have another little cnc that I might turn into a full time laser, but well see.

    Oh the Thrill of the Build!

    #61991

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Awesome. Looks like a solid build. Can’t wait to see what you make.

    IIRC, the pipes are loose until the spacers and the other pipes are pressed up against them. It’s been a while though…

    #61992

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Oh geeze, of course that’s it, lol, there’s a spacer. I’ll probably answer all of my questions if I just keep going.

    *smacks forehead*

    Well that answers that. Cut the y plate tonight and came out good. A little tight though when trying to fit the z roller arm into the slot. I could sand that up a bit although its nice that its snug.

    Does anyone poly their parts before assembly? I’ve been considering that before I get too far. I definitely need to glue up my y plate. The plywood separated a little bit in the narrower areas. Maybe I should have used a different type, but it looks good at least.

     

    #61997

    Barry
    Participant

    Depending on where you are in AK, it’s probably dry enough to not worry too much about giving it a clear coat.  One of my projects this summer is to pull mine apart and spray it.  Forgot how humid OH gets.  So far I’ve not had any warping due to humidity.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #62009

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    *smacks forehead*

    Yup you fit right in here. We have all made that same statement fairly often, when I forget a part I look around to see if anyone noticed (I usually work alone, but still check).

     

    Build looks good. My next build is going to be a bit smaller than yours I think. I really just need to be able to cut 2’x4′ sheets….but I want to build my little table saw and a router into the table. I have a tiny 9′ wide shop so every inch counts.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #62010

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I want to build my little table saw and a router into the table.

    Whoa! What could you do with a CNC machine sitting on top of a table saw? There is some awesome project there just waiting to happen.

    #62011

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I am going to try and hopefully unbolt the table top the little saw came with, bolt it to the underside of the CNC table and raise the blade through. Zero clearance and I can get it out of the way when I don’t need it. I figure one of the long HF table (edge) clamps will work as a fence for both saw and router.

    #62012

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Don’t forget you’ll have to change the blade, and you’ll have to keep it in the same squareness, and will you cut miter slots in the table with the CNC? Great for crosscut sleds…

    I am still using this saw fence on my table saw and I really like it:

    Wooden Table Saw Fence

    #62021

    Barry
    Participant

    John makes good stuff!

    #62022

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Eventually all of that for sure, I have to be patient though. I’m waiting until I can justify having a dedicated router table. I don’t even have a table saw yet, one piece at a time until… I RULE THE WORLD… I mean… have a complete shop. I don’t know how long I’ll be living here so don’t want to build so much I have to get rid of a bunch of stuff. I already have so much junk… its awesome… 🙂

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    #62024

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I RULE THE WORLD… I mean… have a complete shop.

    When I actually complete a project in the shop I feel like I rule the world sometimes.

     

    My other advice is, add wheels if you can.

    #62025

    Barry
    Participant

    Eventually all of that for sure, I have to be patient though. I’m waiting until I can justify having a dedicated router table. I don’t even have a table saw yet, one piece at a time until… I RULE THE WORLD… I mean… have a complete shop. I don’t know how long I’ll be living here so don’t want to build so much I have to get rid of a bunch of stuff. I already have so much junk… its awesome… 🙂

    The real question though.  Do you have at least one airplane part in the yard?

     

    I RULE THE WORLD… I mean… have a complete shop.

    When I actually complete a project in the shop I feel like I rule the world sometimes.

    My other advice is, add wheels if you can.

    Locking wheels.  Don’t want it walking around the shop.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  Barry.
    #62029

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    The real question though.  Do you have at least one airplane part in the yard?

    Not in the yard, but I have far too many RC nitro planes and parts around. My latest hasn’t even seen the sky yet. Just a lot of dust since its been sitting in my shop waiting for an engine. I really need to get her flying

    I got distracted and started working on a nitro drone instead. Got pretty far but I needed a cnc to cut the body parts. So no excuses now… Using four rc heli rotors and a belt/flex shaft drive system. Not sure if it will ever fly, weight is a huge concern.

     

    Attachments:
    #62058

    Barry
    Participant

    I guess that counts.  That was the running joke at work, “You’re not a true Alaskan unless you have airplane parts in your yard!”  It probably helped that half the guys in the shop had at least experimental/sport licenses.

    #62468

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Progress Pic. Not much yet, but its coming together. I went ahead and put a couple coats of poly on all of the wood parts. That should make it last as long as I need and then some, I figure.

    So far so good. I forgot to buy some of the necessary screws for a couple parts, and I’m going to have to take this back apart, turns out, to install the rest of the stuff. Getting ahead of myself again.

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    #62513

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    I flipped the bolts holding the bearings on, will that affect anything or should I remove them and put them the other way around?

    Didn’t notice until I had done them all like that.

    #62516

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Nah, you’ll be fine. The picture seems to be fine at least. Most can go either way.

    #62807

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    “Its the job never started as takes longest to finish.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

    Making some good progress now. Got the unit assembled mostly, just need to install the belts and hook up the wiring. That’s going to take me a little bit. Not quite sure about a couple things on the RAMPS board. Hopefully I can answer my questions by pouring through posts.


    #62812

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Get it as close as you can and put some pictures of anything you are unsure about here and we will get you sorted out.

    #62837

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    My first little conundrum is power to the RAMPS. I see some people doing something like this instead of a using the dc input on the mega board. Is it an either/or kind of thing or is one better?

    Attachments:
    #62840

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    You can not use the mega power port. The green plug has to be powered. I have more details at the bottom of the assembly page.

    #62842

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Ah ha! So I’ll snip and clip to adapter into there then. What does the cross over do?

    #62843

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    It powers the mosfet for the heated bed. You don’t need it, but it’s easy enough to connect it.

    I think the history is that you could get use a power supply with two 12V supplies so you could balance the load.

    #62849

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Really appreciate the help.

    Looking at the different ways to wire the board. I wont be using end stops, so is is better overall to wire the steppers in series or individually? It makes a little sense to wire them in series so that you get consistent travel on the axis, but I don’t know the pros/cons. If they were individual, would they each need to be calibrated separately? I read a little but I’m sure there’s more.

    Does series just use the three drivers then, and I wont use all 5? I guess that would free me up to add a 4th axis someday…

    #62850

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    There are pros and cons to each. What is the firware you have set up for (or are you planning on flashing yourself)?

    Either way will work, so don’t stress too much about it.

    The steppers will move in lock step in either configuration.

    I would say if you like wiring, do the series. If you like flashing software, choose separate drivers. You can also switch later. I’ll probably answer a lot of your questions that way. 🙂

    #63814

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Getting the wiring cleaned up but hit a snag… *grrr*

    Last night I plugged the ramps USB into my laptop and looked like I fried it all. The laptop and the ramps power supply were both plugged into the same outlet, and maybe the USB completed a circuit or something? I was really worried I broke my laptop, wouldn’t turn on, or charge, or make any sign of life. After opening it up, I unplugged all the internal batteries and ram and everything I could grab, and after putting it all back together it fired right up. I think its probably the power supply to the Ramps, but could also be the mega. After work today I’ll take another look and see what I did wrong.

     

    Has anyone else ever experience this? Seems like I shorted the USB port, but I didn’t think that would be possible on my new thinkpad T570. Thankfully its working now, but really stressed out to know you can lose it all so quick.

     

    Ill try to get it all fixed up and hooked up right tonight. I really want to carve up some sweet files I’ve found.

    #63825

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Making a ground loop can sometimes cause noise, but it wouldn’t take down your computer. The other sides (120VAC, 12VDC, Laptop DC, USB 5VDC) Are all isolated enough to not make any difference. So I dont think it’s any loop issue, but you can try it again with just the battery. If it works though, it could have been something else and then you’d have this suoerstition for the rest of the time 🙂

    I would just look everything over again carefully and make sure all your power is going in the right place. If you have a multimeter, then check the voltage at a few key places. Like 5V on the USB and 12V on the green jack. And the two grounds should be the same.

    #63856

    Cliffhanger
    Participant

    Well looks like it was the Mega that fried. Replaced that with a spare I had and reloaded Marlin. Got the whole thing running just fine now. cut a calibration cube and now going to plan on my first real cut with it.

    I’m always going to be suspicious now of that usb. Everything seems to be set right, and all the voltages seem to be where they should be. I guess ill keep everything as insulated from each other as possible and keep an eye out.

     

    On a technical note, a couple questions:

    The only way I found to zero the machine in Repetier Host was to use

    G92 X0 Y0 Z0

    @isathome

    Otherwise turning it off and on does that. Is there better way that you can think of?

     

    Also, my steppers don’t engage when the machine is first turned on, they don’t lockup until they are used the first time. Is this normal? Trying to keep this thing calibrated is going to be tough. One side drops under its own weight when not locked down. Is there a way to lock upon startup, a command or setting?

    #63860

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Otherwise turning it off and on does that. Is there better way that you can think of?

    That Is how I do it.

     

    Also, my steppers don’t engage when the machine is first turned on, they don’t lockup until they are used the first time. Is this normal? Trying to keep this thing calibrated is going to be tough. One side drops under its own weight when not locked down. Is there a way to lock upon startup, a command or setting?

    Yes, that is normal. What is the difference of locking on boot and just locking when you hit start on your Gcode? I believe I have my use in the instructions. Start it against the Y blocks (this is square), all The way down (this is level Z), power it on, use the controls to lift it above the material, drive to the start spot in Y, move X by hand to the start spot, drive Z to the surface and hit go. The first line of G code is G92 x0 y0 z0. Faster than the dual endstop offsetting on the Mpcnc.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 20 hours ago by  Ryan.
    #63863

    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    G92 is a good way to do it. The @isathome isn’t for Marlin, it’s consumed by repetier host.

    I thought Ryan’s low rider Marlin configuration included the magic config for keeping the motors on all the time.

    I don’t use Marlin (I have been meaning to switch, but just haven’t found time). I always pull the machine up against some brackets I have to square it up as I power it on. I also twist the Z axis screws a little, just so the couplers don’t have any tension on them when I start it up. Then I always move it using controls, and I do the equivalent of the G92 to reset zero (again, I’m not using Marlin, so it’s a different command on my firmware). Out of an excess of paranoia, I also always start it with the carriage all the way to the same side. I’ve been able to recover from a job by powering off, pushing everything back to start, and then navigating exactly the same amount before doing another G92. It’s not really part of the “prescribed” method, but it did save a little plywood.

    Another alternative is just to use a tape measure to make sure each side is close. Since the gantry is 5′ long, a few fractions of a mm is plenty square enough. Just make sure whatever you’re measuring from is also square to the direction of the wheels. For me, the table is the reference, so I always measure from the front edge of the table, and the wheels are forced to travel along it’s edge.

    Both Z sides should fall when you disconnect power (and that’s why it’s so important to have Marlin configured to leave them on). If they aren’t then there might be something sticking that shouldn’t.

    Well looks like it was the Mega that fried. Replaced that with a spare I had and reloaded Marlin. Got the whole thing running just fine now. cut a calibration cube and now going to plan on my first real cut with it.

    I’m always going to be suspicious now of that usb. Everything seems to be set right, and all the voltages seem to be where they should be. I guess ill keep everything as insulated from each other as possible and keep an eye out.

    That sucks. Trust is pretty valuable, really. For some reason, I thought you had a rambo. The import megas have a crappy 5V regulator, and if that gets toasted, it can do funny things. I’m guessing your laptop was (successfully) protecting itself, so that’s good.

    There are probably USB isolation cables that don’t connect the 5V. Might be worth looking into.

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