Sleepless boys make all the toys

Not finishing projects is sort of my thing.  Finishing them and taking them apart when I’m done is also my thing.  But against all odds work as recommenced on the CNC mill.  Primarily because I really actually need it to get done so I can put it to work manufacturing parts for other projects.

Now all three axis are running on balanced threaded rod, powered by three 1.8°/step stepper motors:

Back side with cat in background offering look of approval.

The z-axis has a ridiculous gear ratio to ensure that lifting the mechanism is pretty strain-free.

Each motor was tested, everything runs, and holy shit the thing is loud.  Some dampening will be needed but for a prototype, no complaints.  The motor is being readied for mounting.  It is a 6.2v motor that will be cranked up to 12-14v for a little extra rage.  Unfortunately, the actual area it has to work with is 7″x5″x1″, which isn’t huge.  But this is a proof of concept and if it works I’ll make one that’s much (much) larger.  A greater z-axis is  going to prove critical I suspect.

To actually run this, I have a few stepper motor drivers from Texas Instruments.  Or I might just make it run directly from a dozen or so transistors and some serious power switching that will be coupled with a computer’s USB port and special drivers (that I’ll have to make) to stream bits of data directly to shift registers.

Bedtime now though.

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