Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:03 pm

Hello all,
I have been thinking over and sketching some ideas for a 5th axis B/C head that I wanted to make for my CNC router build and for a larger CNC build I am planning and thought maybe some of the content or ideas might be of value to other members of this forum. I have not completed the tuning and testing of my 4th axis build yet so I feel hesitant to start a thread on this new project without finishing the other, but if I don't do it now it may not get done. If there are any other members interested in a 5th axis build (even though we do not currently have Vectric software to implement the 5th axis) it would really be great if we could network our ideas and share that information so all members could possibly benefit from the information exchange.
I have already made several revisions to my design ideas for the 5th axis and I am sure there are other and perhaps better ways to build it, so please post your ideas or suggestions here. I would like to see first of all if there is any interest here for this so please do let me know. I will post a snip of a preliminary set of sketches in this post and wait to see any responses before posting updated information. Thanks for contributing!
Attachments
5thAxisIdeas.JPG
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:50 pm

Hello,
I see there have been some views of this thread but no posts of interest etc. I guess there might not be much interest especially without having the software to go with it, but the CNC Toolkit does support up to 6 axis and I had hoped to possibly use it for the program generation as it is free.
Here is another shot of the 5th axis parts with more of the parts drawn to possibly give a better idea of the design:
Attachments
5thAxisIdeas3.JPG
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Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:44 pm

Hello,
Perhaps some video showing DIY 5th axis machines in action might stir some interest??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGCZUO_E0AU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3d0fueN ... re=related
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby Gc3 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:34 am

Well I have lots of interest in 3, 4, 5 axis machines. I only wish my budget could stay ahead of the interest!

There are several threads on cnczone showing some amazing 5 axis builds from small shop Guys.

I am amazed at the "home brew" machines shown on various forums and the products those machines can produce!

Thanks for posting your ideas.

Never stop thinking/dreaming.

Gene
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby moto633 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:47 am

Wes,
I will gladly watch you put a fifth on your router and I aint talkin whiskey!! :lol:

I know you can do it so lets see it!!

Best,
Nick
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:33 am

Hello guys,

Thanks for replying Gene and Nick, and for the encouragement to proceed with the thread.
I would most likely have proceeded with my build anyway but with this thread the information might be available to help another member if and when they are ready to move in this same direction. Even if the build is not a complete success there is bound to be some drawings, ideas and other information that will benefit someone that reads or follows it.
I have a newer set of drawings that include my latest changes to the design. I have gone through several revisions for the parts and mainly the method of connecting the the two rotating axis. This drawing does not have all of the parts detailed yet but it is getting real close to the final I believe. I have not included any dimensions except for some of the diameters and I will need to add the dimensions in later when I have what I feel is the finished prototype ready for cutting. I plan to cut these parts from aluminum(probably 5052 and maybe some parts from 6061 T6) and originally was going to get the parts lasered, but will most likely just cut them in my shop instead. This way if I can make the parts all on my machines most anyone else on the forums will be able to do the same.
Also Gene mentioned something about the budget not staying ahead of the interest in these projects, and I myself am in the same boat. I never seem to have the $$ to buy the things I would like to have, so I have found ways to make them myself as a sort of 'work-around'. I made each of the Gingery machines from scratch because I wanted to be able to machine parts, and it also taught me how to make wood patterns, green sand molding and do metal casting. It is definitely not the easy way to the end, but in the long run you may be better off when you reach your end goal.
This build is no different and I don't have the cash to spend on harmonic drives to make an awesome compact 5th axis head, but I do believe that I can build something that will function very well for the things I would like to make with it so I will make do with what I can fabricate and hope to someday be able to upgrade to something better.
Everyone's input is valuable, so please feel free to ask your questions and offer suggestions or criticisms.
Here is a shot of my latest revision for the 5th axis parts:
Attachments
5thAxisIdeas3.JPG
5thhead.JPG
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby Gc3 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:24 pm

metalworkz wrote:Hello,
Perhaps some video showing DIY 5th axis machines in action might stir some interest??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGCZUO_E0AU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3d0fueN ... re=related



http://www.doughtydrive.com/machine%20demo1.html here is another...man could you make nice carvings with this or what!
Gc3
 

Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:38 pm

Hello,
I think I will try to do the swiveling head that is parallel to the Y axis first as this may be a handy item to have even if only used for setting the spindle to a specific angle and machining at an angle. I want to figure a way to mount it temporarily so that there is not much work to add the head that swivels parallel to the work table. This way it may serve well as an accessory and then when the rest of the build is done it can be part of the 5th axis assembly. For the people with 4th axis already, this accessory will actually serve as a 5th axis when used along with the 4th axis rotary and they may not need to complete the B/C build to have 5th axis capability.
I've been working with the drawings to get all the details included before starting to cut the parts. I have to decide on the bearings I will use for the arbor so I can finalize the hole sizes and then I should be ready to start cutting some parts. I will try to get some parts cut soon so there is more than just text and drawings to see.
Oh, I started to see if I can get the parts modeled in sketchup and have a shot of the backing plate and original end piece.
Attachments
5thBackplate2.JPG
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:40 am

Hello guys,

I have not posted any updates for this thread in a while but I have been working with the idea on a regular basis. I am doing also contributing to a 5th axis build thread on the CNCZone in case anyone would be interested in the evolving thought process to find a viable drive mechanism that has minimal and hopefully no backlash. The easy solution for the person with money to burn is to find a harmonic drive(possibly used from a satellite installation etc.) and one can find these on eBay sometimes at used prices. Collin Doughty also makes a very good 5th axis drive at possibly a reasonable price, but it is still a bit steep for my wallet and this is brings me to the idea of making my own mechanism for a B/C drive. I have gone through many ideas to get where I am today, and they include :
1)timing belt drives with compound drive pulleys arranged to counter the affects of backlash
2)thin flat stainless steel belts with a series of holes on the center-line that mate with flat rollers with mating pins
protruding from them
3)a servo-belt type mechanism that wraps the belt over several wheels to take up all belt slack(& backlash)
4)a roller pin pinion and a sprocket designed to work like gears and adjusted so that 3 pins are always in contact with
the sprocket teeth.
The timing belt idea was the first I thought to use but I was told they might not withstand the torque and would not be backlash free. I searched for alternatives and as each one was mentioned there either seemed to be a difficulty making the mechanism or there were reasons it would not work well. I have pursued the design of the roll pin and sprocket due to claims of no backlash and the fact that the machining looks to be something that us hobbyists might be able to accomplish with some degree of accuracy. I have the parts drawn and ready to start fabrication so it should not be much longer to see if my design and assembly will work. I am attaching a snip of the pin-drive/sprocket parts as I have them currently drawn.
Attachments
PinSprocketDrive2.jpg
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:00 am

Hello guys,
I finally got the parts for the pin wheel mechanism laser cut and I have a couple of pictures to show. They are made from .187" HRS and .25" HRS and I need to do some 2nd operations to them and then assemble them. I also have to cut the aluminum backplate, sides and ends and finish drawing the rest of the parts so I can machine them. I will probably have to revise my original design a little due to the size of the sprocket. I may see if I can use a smaller diameter dowel for the drive wheel and that should allow the sprocket to be scaled down a little. There is one picture showing each of the parts and the 2nd shows them sitting somewhat the same as they will be assembled. As always I really value any comments, suggestions etc. you may have to add.
Attachments
P1010390.JPG
P1010391.JPG
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby moto633 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:29 pm

Wes that is great!!

You are amazing with your talents!!!

Keep posting I am following when I can!!

Best,
Nick
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby johnnydoughey » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:19 am

Wes...
Have you investigated the possibility of using the normal three axis machine and put the 4th and fifth on the table itself?
It seems it might be easier to just put the 4th on a turntable with the 5th turning the table, making it an addition rather than a new build...

I am not sure if the software would work with it this way, though.

I've tried to visualize it, but my brain seems to always turn ideas into little puzzle pieces :mrgreen:
Good luck with your project!
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:40 am

Hi Nick,
I'm glad to have you following this new build. Did you ever get your 4th axis set up for your machine?

Hi johnny,
Yes, I have thought the alternative through of using a rotating axis on the 4th axis to get my 5 axis, but the main disadvantage to that is that the size of parts I would be able to do will be very restricted with that type. That is the main reason I opted to try the 5th axis B/C head as it should give me a lot more size capability. I have decided to make the swiveling Z axis to use with my 4th axis first while I am working on the B/C head. I thought this might enable me to do some extra things until I get the B/C head done, and it might be a good attachment for others also.
There is a lot of work to do so I better cut it short and get busy on the design or cutting some parts. Thanks for replying with the idea of an alternative, and it is a good option than may work even better than a B/C head for small heavy type items.
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:09 am

Hello again,
I got off my rear and got the pin wheel assembled today. I need to replace the screws with some socket head or button heads a little longer and drill and tap the set screw retainers for the shank, but it all went together much as planned. I also got another sprocket cut with better results on the teeth but have not picked it up yet. I need to cut the other parts to begin the assembly of the drive to see if and how well the pin wheel and sprocket will work. Here are some pictures. Slow progress but at least it is still moving in the right direction.
Attachments
PinWheel1.jpg
PinWheel2.jpg
PinWheel3.jpg
Best regards,
Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:00 am

Hello,
I just picked up the newly cut sprocket for the B/C head mechanism, and the edges of the teeth look much better than the 1st cut sprocket. There are still some rough edges along the outside circumference of the teeth, but those edges do not make contact with the pins so I feel this 2nd sprocket will work OK for the trial assembly. I got a picture of the tooth edges for reference, and you can probably see the very rough edges on the picture of the 1st sprocket in the previous post. Now to get busy cutting the aluminum framework of the head and proceed with the assembly.
Attachments
2ndSprocket.jpg
Best regards,
Wes
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