Pontiac Chief

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My Dad is a Pontiac nut. He lives and breathes Pontiac stuff. So for his birthday I wanted to see if I could make some sort of “Pontiac Chief” thing out of wood. I searched online until I found a good version of the logo to use and then I hand-drew it into the CAD program. I added the circle behind it and the lettering below it using regular CAD tools. I tweaked it just a little in the CAM program just before I cut it, so you can perhaps see a little bit of revision between the original CAD and the final result that was cut.

My Dad liked it.

Click here to see the Build Log with more photos.

Rebuilding the Z-Axis on the Old CNC Router

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I built the old CNC router using parts and designs patterned after the OpenBuilds “OX” machine. In general it was a pretty good machine for cutting wood but turned out to be not so good for cutting metal, particularly aluminum which is the type of metal that I generally want to cut. So I gave it a shot at rebuilding the Z-axis using a C-shaped OpenBuilds extrusion and that helped quite a bit, but ultimately it just wasn’t as solid as I wanted. Even with the wrap-around aspect of the C-beam there was still too much play to do a good job at cutting aluminum. Then my wife gave me a nice spiffy new ready-built Z-axis for Christmas and that was the genesis for the whole new “Bigger & Stronger” CNC router. But still, someone might find what I did to rebuild this one interested.

Click here to see the Build Log with more photos.

Adding Limit Switches to the Old CNC Router

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I ran the old CNC router for well over a year before getting around to putting limit switches on it. Since I rarely cut anything which approached the sides of the envelope it really wasn’t a big problem. But I really wanted to get it set up so that I could have Mach3 home it to a known location and have a little more consistency. So I bought a handful of inductive proximity switches and started bolting them on. You can click on the build log link below to see how it went.

Click here to see the Build Log with more photos.

3D-Printed Motor Mount for Wild Thumper

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My wife gave me a six-wheel Wild Thumper Robot / RC chassis a couple of years ago for my birthday. I wanted  it to use as a platform for a robot project. Sharp-eyed readers may recognize it as the underlying platform for my “ARDI” robot. After I got the batteries and cpu board and whatnot figured out, I decided that I wanted to add shaft encoders to the two center wheel motors and that’s where my troubles began…

Continue reading “3D-Printed Motor Mount for Wild Thumper”

The New CNC Router – Bigger & Stronger

20171228_174223.jpgThe time has come to build a new CNC router. The old one is okay and works well enough for wood, but my attempts to use it to cut metal (aluminum, light-gauge steel) have been a bit disappointing. The other issue it has is that seems perpetually either “too big” or else “not big enough” for whatever project I’m doing. It’s cutting envelope just doesn’t lend itself well for the range of projects that I want to work on.

So I spent some time back in January working on the old router, including rebuilding the Z-axis, and while it’s now better than it was, it still doesn’t really solve the whole problem to my satisfaction. So after some deliberation, I’ve decided to build a new one to tackle these issues. Plus, let’s just be honest, I was kind of looking for an excuse to have a new machine project to work on anyway… 😉

Here’s a link to the Build Log with lots more photos and a descriptive write-up.