Posts Tagged ‘CNC’

CNC Plasma Upgrades

by on Monday, September 16th, 2013

After using the table for quite some time, I have discovered a few issues. First off with my design for the guide rails using the v-groove wheels is flawed. The current design only uses these bearings on the top of the rail. With this type of setup it tends to not want to stay on the rails. Also when you cut thin material it tends to lift one side of the other when you change directions rapidly.

So I have been working on a new design. seen below.

The z axis will remain unchanged as will the table itself. The main changes are with the gantry itself. (more…)

CNC Plasma | Laser crosshairs update

by on Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Since I have completed this project and not updated the outcome I figured an update was in order.

Since I finished this I have used it quite a bit, but it has a few flaws.

  • it proved to be very hard to get the lines to meet exactly where they needed to be, I should have designed in a was to adjust them
  • The laser of choice did not last as long as I had hoped. Although they worked great for the first couple of days, they have since become very dim. Almost to the point of not being able to see them any more.
  • needed to incorporate a better way to plug them in. I only used a drop cord for the first few days as a power source and never finished the wiring (well they were to dim to use anyway)

What i would change (read on)


CNC Plasma | Laser Crosshairs

by on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Been a while since I did a write up for this blog. I guess it is overdue.


A couple of weeks ago I was trying to line up a sheet on the Plasma table and struggling to locate a part within a piece of material very close to the same size as I was planning to cut. I told myself, “Self you need to make something to help with this little issue”. I only talk to myself on very rare occasions. Stop being so judgmental.


I decided to take a trip to the hardware store to see what I could use to make a device to locate my sheet. First thought was a device that went off of the edge of the table but seams too simple. So then I though about using a laser to help locate the sheet. Sounded like a nice little project. So I went in search of some sort of laser line generator. Off to the laser level isle. I found a cheap little level that had a laser line that could be rotated for around 15 bucks. Was hoping for something a little cheaper because I would need two of these.

I started off with just purchasing one (tight budgets suck) to make sure it would work as I expected.


First Cuts

by on Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I got my New Hypertherm Powermax 65 torch this weekend and finally got it hooked up. After a minor voltage divider issue I have it working satisfactory for now. I do have some intermittent issues with vibrations in the z axis that sometimes leaves a serated edge. I believe these to be from the excessive weight of the z axis. I am in the process of figuring what can be done to resolve these issues, but I need to cut myself a tray to hold the keyboard and mouse. Here is the design I came up with.


CNC Plasma | Calculation Tools

by on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

I needed some tools to make some calculation for certain areas of the build of my plasma table. I have decided that these tools may be of use to others also as they begin their journey building a CNC Plasma.


CNC Plasma Testing

by on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I have been running the machine through its paces the last few days. Today I testing the positioning accuracy of it today. I wrote a program to have the machine rapid out 84 inches then rapid back to with in 1 inch of zero then feed into zero. I did this 20 times and the machine stopped at zero plus or minus .0003 every time.

Enjoy the video.

Plasma Build | Machine Testing

by on Friday, March 25th, 2011

Since I recently got this machine actually moving I have been putting it through some tests. The other day I create a G-code program to move the table throughout its travel in various directions to make sure it worked as expected and returned to its previous position.

Since the table is driven by stepper motors instead of servos loosing steps is always a concern. This is generally contributed with pushing the machine to fast resulting is the stepper motors loosing there count. Not sure why, but is does happen.

After tuning the motors in Mach 3 to suitable settings I proceeded with the testing. I started with the table at around a travel speed of 600 in/min but was not happy with the sound the table was making. It sounded like it was struggling to make the moves this fast. So I slowed it down to 450 in/min. Still a respectable speed for a rapid move. This sounded a lot better and leaves some room for improvement.

This video shows the path I programmed in and the speed in which it travels.


Plasma Build | Testing Movement

by on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

As the title states I am testing the movement before I start using he torch(saves money until I make sure it is working properly.

It is kind of boring to watch, but in a later test it made a perfect circle very close to the diameter I programmed it to do. Not to bed for the first trial after setting it up.

Plasma Build | Other Pictures

by on Monday, March 21st, 2011

I just took some additional pictures of some of the aspects that are not really clear in other pictures.

this first one shows the z-axis lead screw and placement of the stepper motor.

This one show the gear box from a overhead shot.


Plasma Build | Testing the z-axis

by on Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Since I only have the hardware for the z-axis at the moment I can only test this out for now. Here is a video of this testing until I get the timing belts for the other axis’.

the Test Video

the speed of the movement is slowed down for control and should rapid at a maximum of 135 in/min

The other axis will rapid a bit faster. I should have some more video later this week of the other axis’ moving.

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