Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:52 pm

Dave,

Jeremy at Probotix emailed me to tell me they were shipping my Meteor end of this week, and also answered a few question I'd sent their support folks. Among the info was this:

"The foot print of the Meteor is 69" x 41" including motors. Minimum table size would be 62" x 34"."

I'm in the process of building a table for it, and it looks like I'll shoot for the footprint rather than the minimum size. I bought a stainless steel 24x48 table that I'll add a beefy plywood box top to, to extend out to the Meteor's dimensions.

Just curious... what do you do for holding down projects?
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:47 pm

At this point I still don't have my CNC. Their web site begged for two weeks of lead time to build it, but it didn't leave their shop until three had passed. Now it is 2 hours away, but with YRC Freight and they won't deliver it until Wednesday. Can't recommend YRC Freight as Probotix is 7.5 hours from me, but YRC is taking an entire week for an outrageous fee to deliver it.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby ohiococonut » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:14 pm

I've been following this thread since I was also in the market for a larger stiffer machine. I chose to have one built by a guy that lives about 3hrs south of me. I went yesterday to pick it up even though we were in blizzard conditions. It saved me well over $300 in shipping. Mine is 48"x48"x4" with a 56"sq. footprint and built like a tank.
My main reason was shipping cost and I have no way of unloading a heavy machine. It was assembled when I got there and we simply took it apart as little as possible to get it into the back of my Jeep.
Hope yours arrives soon.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:08 pm

I'd go pick mine up from the shipping terminal it is now sitting at, except that it is in a crate that won't fit in my current vehicle. Probotix is 7.5 hours away (15 hour round trip in good weather). They are in the middle of a blizzard as well. Not something I can do now that my job has resumed for the semester. If they had finished it within 2 weeks from when I bought it the weather was still good and I'd have drive that 15 hours to pick it up uncrated.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby deepguy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:29 am

I got the extended version Meteor a couple months back. I took a trailer to yrc to load it from there yard.. At home I had a mini tractor to unload it.
The bed is roughly 4ft by 5ft. Got the dewalt 611 router mounted. The cnc seem to be good as I did do a couple designs just to get it running.
My problem is trying to figure out emct2 and changing the xy start position. vectric using 0,0 but want to move it to something like 19,8
Should I do it in vectric or can I make the change in emc2?
Also I do not like the mdf bed on the machine.
I'm very new to vectric and cnc machines so Im on a learning.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:51 pm

Deepguy:

You can change where EMC2 thinks X and Y are 0. I haven't cut much with my Meteor yet but find it is easiest to set VCarve so the XY Datum (0,0 point) is in the center. I Home the Meteor, then set that (center of the cutting area) position to be X=0 and Y=0. I center my board under the bit and then bring the bit down to the top of it before setting Z=0. From there you just play (run) the file.

For clamping down on the MDF I've inserted t-track. I let my meteor cut slots for inserting it into.

Attached is the file and pattern for t-track slots. Home your machine, set X and Y to 0. Move the bit down to the MDF top and zero Z. Load my file and run it with a 1/4" end mill. Best results with a downcut spiral. Follow with a shop vac. Expect lots of horrible MDF dust. For t-track that is 3/4" wide and 7/16" deep. Cut it a little deeper than the file is set if you want the track slightly below the MDF surface. Cut lengths of t-track to fit the slots stopping at the hole on the outer ends.
Tslots.jpg
Attachments
NewSlotPattern.crv
(274.5 KiB) Downloaded 185 times
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:36 pm

I've had my Meteor running since my last post, and now have a second one at work for students to use. On the University's I had Probotix send a spare short cross bar, and split the top into two sections flush to the rails but with t-track and MDF strips on top in parallel rows. One half of the top can be lifted out so work can be clamped to the center bar for cutting on the ends. We cut finger joints, tapered french dovetails, tenons, dovetails, as well and can carve on the face of boxes taller than can sit on the bed for cutting. The base I built is essentially just four posts connected to the four corners of the CNC. Open in the center, and tall enough for cutting on the ends of boards up to 40" long. I connected the posts with some cross bracing around the perimeter, and made a shelf for the controller and keyboard/mouse/PC on one end. The monitor is on a swing arm mounted to one corner post.

The ability to cut on the ends of boards is so useful that I'm reworking my home Meteor so I can do the same with it. The dual-Y motors with no carriage bar under the table allow very creative configurations for what can be clamped within the frame.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:40 pm

I also was able to edit the Meteor.ini file for linuxCNC to allow the Meteor to access the maximum area of the table. I have 26.4 inches for X and 52.5 inches for Y now. Anyone with a Meteor/Comet/Asteroid should be able to find a few more inches in both direction doing the same thing.

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:39 pm

Since I've had my Meteor I convinced my University Department Head to buy one for our furniture design classes. We use it so much we are getting a second Meteor. This one will come with an extended frame and we'll mount their 4th Axis kit on one side so we still have 24x48 of free cut space. Their open frame design of t-slot extrusions have allowed opening up the table for vertical and angled cuts inside the frame. I made an angle jig we bolt into the frame that has permitted everything from compound angled tenons on the end of rocking chair stretchers to what look like hand cut half-blind mitered dovetails for the corners of a coffee table box top.
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:35 am

It looks like a 37" x 50" Meteor, officially called a Nebula, is now a standard item from Probotix for 2015:

http://www.probotix.com/Nebula_CNC_Router/

I've got one, and that extra foot of width is a real tease of potential.
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Bit rack for their 60mmx30mm frame members.

Postby 4DThinker » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:49 am

Probotix posted a photo on their facebook page of a simple bit rack they made that could be bolted to the frame of their Comet/Asteroid/Meteor/\Nebula CNC models: https://www.facebook.com/probotix/photo ... =1&theater
I liked the idea so I made one up for my own Meteor. The front frame member bottom slot of their CNCs has a cable from the left Y motor running through it, so I also cut a 3/16" x 3/16" slot in the back edge of this piece to route that cable through. I bought some 1/4-20 insert slot nuts and use them with 1" long 1/4-20 round head bolts to mount it. Cut mine from 3/4 baltic birch plywood. Feel free to edit and use as you want.

4D

Bit Rack.crv
VCarve 7.5
(519 KiB) Downloaded 147 times
Attachments
BitRack4D.jpg
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:27 pm

Thought I'd add some photos of how versatile the design of Probotix' CNCs are. I bought a section of the 8020 extrusion they used for the frame and made a new top so a section could be lifted out for vertical cuts clamped to the new cross bar.

Their frame design sits on end plates that are exactly 60" plus two thickness of 3/4" plywood from each other front to back. Made it simple to measure and make the base in these photos. No top under the frame allows clamping boards up to the length from frame to the floor.
Attachments
MyMeteor1.JPG
SimpleBaseDesign.JPG
MDF_T-trackBed.JPG
BitHolder.JPG
Vertical Clamping.JPG
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby solardude » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:14 am

I like your table top setup and I think I like the tool holder add on also.

I'm the guy who got Probotix to make the first extended Meteor machine a few years ago. I simply asked and they said no problem, it's only a few inches of bar.

The only down side to the larger work area is that you really need cross supports to keep the .75 inch MDF spoil board from sagging in the center of the table. The sag is significant in the center if your doing any detailed cutting because the heights will be different depending on which point of the table its cutting at. You need at least 1 cross support in the center but I'm guessing 2 of them spaced equally from the front and back bars would best.

So 4DThinker where exactly did you buy the extra bars from that I see in the pictures? I want to buy some also to add the cross supports so the center of the table does not sag anymore. Do you have a link for exactly what I need to purchase? That would be helpful. Also what parts did you by to attach the new bars to the current table? Like 90 degree corner joints?

I've been sing my machine pretty steady since I purchased it mainly for cutting parts for products I build, and most of those parts are wood & .187 inch G10 Fiberglass sheets. The machine has always worked without issues.

I did have some trouble with Dewalt 611 routers burning up while cutting .75 inch birch sheets with a 1/4 inch end mill. I think I killed 3 routers on that project. Good thing Lowes had a good return policy :)

Speaking of that extra space the new Nebula will give you.... Here is a sign I cut for my wife's friend. Its 36" round and it's the flower of life sign.

We just painted the front of .75 inch MDF and then cut it out. It came out fine, I cut it slow

1-DSC05836.JPG


3-DSC05840.JPG


4-DSC05842.JPG


5-DSC05846.JPG
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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby 4DThinker » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:28 pm

Great looking work Solardude. I bought the 60mm x 30mm extrusion at amazon.com, although you can get it other places. They have it in various lengths. I got one that was 3' long and cut the extra length off using my wood band saw. On my home meteor I simply used the two front corner brackets to mount the bar as they weren't really needed to hold the front bar to the side bars.

The Nebula we have at work has had two internal bars added. One runs from to back to cordon or an area for our 4th axis. The other runs from that bar to the side. We don't have noticeable problems of sag thanks to these bars, but I am seeing flex in the gantry of our Nebula when the router is near the middle doing aggressive cuts.

http://www.amazon.com/80-20-30-3060-T-S ... 7XW7XDPDX2

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Re: Fireball Meteor, anyone?

Postby solardude » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:49 pm

Thanks for the link! That stuff is pretty cheap!

What type of material are you cutting when your seeing the flex in the gantry?

I noticed that the servos never really had trouble when cutting .75 inch sheet of birch, it was the router that seemed to need more horse power to keep from bogging down and burning up.

I see they are now selling these higher power routers, not sure if that would solve the problem or not. :

80mm[1].jpg
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