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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 03:55 AM
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Default Duplicator conversion to cnc?

Hey guy's I'm looking to convert this duplicator that I built in May of 01 to cnc. I am wondering if it is worth the effort. Current measurements 20"h (raised position), 32" wide by 48" long. The router is a Mikita(sp) variable speed 2.5 horse industral model. This duplicator was in service until the wife got me the CarveWright machine. To carve one plate is taking 6+ hrs. The duplicator took about 15 min to rough out the plate. Accuracy was about .0.016 when I stopped using it.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 04:59 AM in reply to cfiddlemls's post "Duplicator conversion to cnc?"
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Can you use the duplicator to rough out the plate and the CarveWright to smooth it up? I'd expect there would still be handwork, but there might be a lot less.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 05:11 AM in reply to Harry's post starting "Can you use the duplicator to rough out..."
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Hey Harry

The duplicator outperforms the CW hands down. The same amount of hand finishing ir required for both. The accurcy of the CW is just not there. It is good for what it was designed for. I have been working with it for over a year. The last plate that I carved was the birdseye maple plate that gave me so much trouble. That was complety by hand. I did that while a plate was being carved on the CW. I finished first. The other factors are the cost of the software and up grades to get the machine running better. Close to 600 total. A 3axis cnc kit is 800.

I'm trying to decide what to do.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 02:12 PM in reply to cfiddlemls's post "Duplicator conversion to cnc?"
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Just to clarify, you are looking to turn this into a full blown 3-axis cnc machine, not a "cnc duplicator" right?

Also, a 3-axis cnc kit with controllers, motor, and power supply should be MUCH less than $800. Where are you finding that price? Is it with servos and geckos or something???
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 03:48 PM in reply to boboreilly's post starting "Just to clarify, you are looking to..."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boboreilly View Post
Just to clarify, you are looking to turn this into a full blown 3-axis cnc machine, not a "cnc duplicator" right?

Also, a 3-axis cnc kit with controllers, motor, and power supply should be MUCH less than $800. Where are you finding that price? Is it with servos and geckos or something???
I'm sure they could be found less expensive, this was a package deal for a full blown 3 axis cnc. That price included all the electronics and stepper mtr's. and the lead screws and bearings. I know if I get them one piece at a time and make my own kit it will be less. That was a hobby cnc kit. The only thing that I don't have is a AutoCad to gcode writing program.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 03:54 PM in reply to cfiddlemls's post starting "I'm sure they could be found less..."
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I haven't been to hobbycnc.com in awhile but I don't remember a kit that has the screws and bearings. I'll have to check it out. The other one that everybody seems to use is the one by xylotex. I'm sure you've heard of Mach3??? That's the g-code and controller software that everybody's using.

It looks like you're all set with bearings for the x and y and only need to fabricate a z-axis?

I would think that toughest part for you will be getting good wireframe models of your violins. There aren't any really elegant scanner solutions that I have found for homebuilt cnc machines. Perhaps there is a way to export 3D scans from the compucarve software into autocad??? Then you would have the best of both worlds.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 04:16 PM in reply to boboreilly's post starting "I haven't been to hobbycnc.com in..."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boboreilly View Post
I haven't been to hobbycnc.com in awhile but I don't remember a kit that has the screws and bearings. I'll have to check it out. The other one that everybody seems to use is the one by xylotex. I'm sure you've heard of Mach3??? That's the g-code and controller software that everybody's using.

It looks like you're all set with bearings for the x and y and only need to fabricate a z-axis?

I would think that toughest part for you will be getting good wireframe models of your violins. There aren't any really elegant scanner solutions that I have found for homebuilt cnc machines. Perhaps there is a way to export 3D scans from the compucarve software into autocad??? Then you would have the best of both worlds.

The CC probe and software is 300.00 so far the limitations of the 8bit 256 grayscale is rough at 6+ hr carve. I don't have the soft ware for the CC and the choice is just that, keep developing the CC for limited use and accuracy or go with the cnc. I think in the long run the cnc will be of more use with out the 14.5" width limit. The cnc will have 30" width capacity and not limited to wood. I could also do engraving on ablone and MOP. That Mach3 is what I was looking into. Thanks for the link.

I was thinking about raising the z axis for a 8" z travel. I have 1100.00 in the dupicator and the movement is smooth and easy to control by hand. The tie plate on the carriage can be removed as it was intended to steady during assembly. This is one of the areas that I learned about shaft deflection.
But every thing worked out fine. ( I forgot to calculate the weight of the router).
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 04:23 PM in reply to cfiddlemls's post starting "The CC probe and software is 300.00 so..."
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Sounds pretty doable. I didn't get a real clear look at your z-axis, but it looks like it's a pivot??? I don't think that would work out for you. You'll probably have to convert that with a couple of short linear bearings.

The biggest challenge will be how and where to incoroprate the screws. From the looks of your machine, in order to do minimal surgery to it, you're probably going to have 2 screws for the long x-axis with either a belt or 2 seperate steppers tied together in mach3. A 1 screw setup would require some serious reworking of the whole thing so you could fit it under the work table.

It should be pretty easy to add a single screw/stepper to the y-axis.

What type of bearings did you use and where did you get them? I probably would have had a cnc built a year ago if they weren't so damned expensive.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 04:49 PM in reply to boboreilly's post starting "Sounds pretty doable. I didn't get a..."
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I think 2 more bearings and a 1" cromed shaft will do the trick. I will have to make upright supports. The screws will fit ontop of the x rails the shaft supports for the x will have to be changed. I was thinking of tieing the X screws togather with a chain.

The parts I got from McMaster Carr, I bought them while I was working at a Fab shop and they got a 75% discount due to the volume of parts they bought from them. We built recycling equipment. Fab and machined the parts needed and installed the hyd. sys.
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Old Posted 10-27-2008, 05:39 PM in reply to cfiddlemls's post starting "I think 2 more bearings and a 1" cromed..."
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75%? I think that qualifies as a gloat.

I'm sure you know that ridgidity and lack of any deflection are the keys to accuracy. That whole x-y gantry assembly will have to be pretty stout for that big horse router you're using.

Do you have any idea of the speeds you're going for???
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