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

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

Postby fretsman68 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:15 pm

I think it looks great, Wes, very "pro" job-

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

Postby metalworkz » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:53 am

Thanks Dave!
I certainly hope all of my 'bumped head ideas' don't turn out to be a waste of time, but I am not an engineer and I have no professional education or training to validate these ideas. Much of the time I am doing trial and error to see if there is any merit to them. I do have over 30 years precision sheet metal and rapid prototype work experience along with my self taught hobby casting and machine building for my own things so I find that most of the time my ideas are not too far off.
I am getting older though(we all seem to have no control over this!) and there may come a time when 'lost my marbles' is a better description for my ideas, but I hope I can put that off until I have come to the end of my road. I keep my fingers crossed!
This build is moving along so slowly that I haven't even been able to test the rotation head made of my designed sprocket and pinion wheel under power, so I really would like to get a motor and do some testing with this part of the build to make sure it will work and perhaps work well.
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:41 am

Hello all,
Wow, it looks like this guy got this far and gave up on his ideas right? Well I did not give up on them but I kind of let them fall by the way side for a long time.
I had begun the build of my large format CNC router/mill and that build had enough of its own build difficulties and crazy ideas that I just had to try so it took a long time to get it to the workable state it is currently in. I had tried to include options into that build that would accommodate the addition of a 5th axis should I ever get it done so it seems now might be a more feasible time to get back to this 5th axis build. I have everything I made sitting around here waiting on this old dude to find the ambition and time to pursued it so I will see if I can get anywhere with the remainder of the build now(long as the motivation is there!) I find it hard to stay motivated any more so bear with me if I get side tracked or do not make leaps and bounds of progress here. I have to go back through my drawings and gather all the parts together and see if I can figure out exactly where I left off and what the next steps will be so this post may seem kind of shallow and I will try to rectify it soon. Hope you all had a good holiday season!! Now its time for me to get to work.
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Wes
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:29 am

Hello,
I did some searching through my files and I believe this is the most current drawing for the parts to make the 5th axis assembly. My file organization can use some improvement and some of the parts have individual part files that were used to create the toolpaths from, so I would not be surprised to find I need to do some more drawing and design work as well as make some modifications before I have a workable assembly.
Attachments
5thaxisplans.JPG
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:06 am

Hello,
I have done some work with these drawings to modify the Z axis carriage parts and the B-C head parts to reflect the sizes and fit for the actual drive mechanism I ended up assembling as posted here in this thread. The original drawings were basically a starting point and I will get them all updated eventually if and as this build evolves. I needed to take some measurements and apply them here so I can try and work out the dimensions for the remaining parts which I can get started with now. With the current gantry height I am using the use will be limited to very small items unless I can position them to the far end of my X and off of the worktable and I left enough overhang at that end to facilitate 4th axis work so perhaps I will be able to do larger parts at this end as well. As a secondary thought I am wanting to make this 5th axis head easily removable and if possible I will try and fit it to my Syil X3 CNC mill for work at that machine too. I know I am possibly getting ahead of myself since this is not even functional for my CNC router yet but if I can build that capability into the design it will be much more useful if it even works. Since I have not seen any other heads utilizing the Nexen type drive pin wheel and sprocket it is basically an unproven design, so very possibly a gamble but I have it this far so I would like to see if I lose or win.
As always I value anyone's opinion or suggestions and it very often provides the ideas, insight, or motivation to work towards a solution when I come upon a stumbling block.
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ZaxisHead5thaxis.JPG
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:06 pm

Hello again,
I have not posted to this thread in some time but have been working on the drawings and making the Z axis carriage main sides. I have an updated view of the Z axis details along with a picture of the Z axis carriage that I finished assembling today. Ii is just the 4 sides of the carriage that will mount to the Z axis and provide the mount for the 5th axis rotation motor and the rotation spindle, but I believe this was the logical next step in getting the head ready to position and figure out the mounting strategy for my largest CNC router. Once I get the head mounted to the machine I can begin to position the gantry and plan the auxiliary table for mounting items since it will be off of the front end of the normal work table. I still need to acquire and mount a motor for the actual B-C head, test and adjust the fit and check that all of the parts for the head mechanism function as planned. Also I have not drilled the spindle bore hole in the carriage and plan on working with that later today.
Attachments
5thAxisDetails.JPG
5thAxisCarriage.jpg
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby ChrisInEstes » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:36 pm

Cool, project... Keep on posting, I'm reading and want to see this thing make chips!

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

Postby metalworkz » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:54 am

Hello,
Thanks Chris, I am not sure if or when it might cut chips but at least I am picking up where I left off and trying to at least test the mechanism and try and evaluate my original idea. I am proceeding to make the remaining parts with what is on hand and although some of the parts are from the scrap pile rather than new materials I always try to utilize workable materials and try not to sacrifice strength or workable details.
I worked most of the day with the carriage parts and their assembly and it takes a bit more time to fab parts when you use all manual methods compared to shears and CNC punch or laser machines but it can be done with surprising accuracy with a little effort.(or maybe a lot of effort depending on your perspective) I just laid the parts out and cut with a jig saw and a metal blade, cutting a slight bit larger to allow for grinding and squaring. At least I have a drill press so drilling was a bit easier than with a hand drill and of course the threaded holes were done with a hand tap. I got the carriage fully assembled and ready to be bored for the spindle mounting hole of the B-C head main rotation center, and I took the head apart to assemble the motor and pinion wheel. The motor I used was a size smaller than the planned mounting holes so I had to modify the hole patterns a bit and make threaded nut brackets for the mounting screws. I did not re-assemble it since I have some more fitting to do to the mechanism parts. I posted the picture of the carriage earlier and updated drawings of the head details so just attaching the pic of the drive mechanism trial assembly.
Attachments
5thaxisdrive.jpg
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:20 am

Hello again,
I did some more work with the 5th axis build today and got the motor/pinionwheel assembled to the B-C head and meshing with the larger sprocket. It is adjusted to a fairly good fit but I am not close to getting power to the motor yet to test the mechanism under power. I have just spun it by hand through more than 360 degrees of rotation so far. I need to drill and bore the hole for the vertical rotation axis as well as to design the motor mount for that axis and fabricate it. I also need to fabricate the mounting plate for the trim router and get it assembled to the horizontal axis shaft. Once I get the B-C head assembly almost finished I can work on a mounting plate to attach it to my CNC router and work on the fabrication of the needed parts for that. I guess it it hindsight but I am seeing a big advantage to a large through hole shaft for the vertical rotation segment for the wires to the router and B-C head motors but will just attempt to test the unit with enough slack in the wiring as well as some form of a wiring harness retainer idea. The critical aspect of this build is the performance for the roller pin wheels and how well they work as far as backlash is concerned so that is my focus for now. Improvements can be made all along the way from the start to the finish but there is no great need for improvements if the main mechanism fails to perform well from my point of view. Thanks for following this thread and I appreciate any feedback so feel free to comment, question or make suggestions.
The pictures are of the carriage with the B-C head sitting positioned similar to the final mounting but they are not attached at this time.
Attachments
5thaxisB-Cmotor-carriage.jpg
5thaxisB-Cmotor-carriage2.jpg
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:40 am

Hello,
I did some more work with this build today and it amounts to selecting some available materials and drawing some of the parts needing to be fabricated in the next steps.
I like to work with aluminum for most of my parts but for the router mounting plate base I wanted something around .25" - .375" thick and only have some dark grey plastic in a .375" thick piece large enough to use for this part. The trim router motor will be clamped to this plate for mounting with some .312" thick aluminum clamps and there are 3 of them spread across the mounting plate. I will attach an aluminum boss to the plastic plate to use for mounting to the horizontal rotation shaft. The motor for the vertical rotation axis will be mounted with an adapter I need to machine and the bracket will just be cut drilled and formed to enable mounting onto the Z axis carriage in a vertical position. The view of the vertical motor depicts a bracket different than what I decided to fab but I did not want to redraw as it would require a cut away view to see the mounting of the motor to the shaft. I still need to fabricate the parts so this is just a post to show the parts I will work on next.
Attachments
5thAxisParts1-22-2017.JPG
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:55 am

Hello,
I did some more work with the parts for this build today, and I got the trim router mounting plate cut and the mtg. clamps assembled along with the trim router motor.
I need to adjust my drawing locations for the 2nd clamp from the bottom because it interferes with the pin that locks the spindle at the drawn location. It is all assembled and seems to be good but I need to make the mounting boss for the axis shaft still and get it mounted to the mounting plate so I can assemble it to the B-C head. Here are a couple pics of the trim router assembled to the mtg. plate.
Attachments
MotorMtgB-Chead.jpg
MotorMtgB-Chead2.jpg
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:46 am

Hello,
It's been a while since my last addition to this build and today I got around to finishing the mounting boss for the router motor plate and got it assembled to the horizontal rotation shaft. It basically just amounted to cutting a .375" thick piece of aluminum and drilling the .500" through hole as well as 4 mounting holes in the corners so it could be fastened to the router motor base plate. Also it has a 1/4-28 set screw tapped in it to lock it on the shaft.
Next I need to add an arbor to use as a mount from the .25" stepper motor shaft to the vertical rotation shaft of the head. I had drawn a mounting bracket to be made of say .063" Alum to mount the motor to the Z axis carriage but I have since decided to use standoffs to mount the stepper to the carriage and that should save the work of fabricating the metal bracket and work just as well with perhaps a little less weight added to the assembly. I just plan to locate the holes for the shaft and 4 mounting standoffs on the base of the Z carriage and drill as well as to tap the standoff holes. So far I am feeling good about the feel of the assembled head when rotated but still a bit more work to get it mounted to the CNC router and to a testing state. I also have to find a stepper motor to use for the vertical axis and may have to buy one if I don't have one suitable in my shop. Take a look!(sorry just 3 pics from different angles as I have not powered it up yet)
Attachments
5thAxisAseembly1.jpg
5thAxisAseembly4.jpg
5thAxisAssembly3.jpg
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:17 am

Hello,
I got some more work done with this build this weekend and today. I found an error in the drawing that amounted to the base plate of the head being rotated/flipped 180 degrees from the way the actual part was fabricated. I believe I had sketched it that way but then changed the design when I fabricated the parts but I overlooked bringing the drawing up to date with the actual parts. This is something I have to always keep in mind when doing these prototype parts since often the sketch is roughed in and the actual fabrication becomes easier or better when the parts are actually made. Starting the build back in around 2010 and now getting back to it in 2017 I am sure there can be a lot of things that are easily overlooked so it is a good idea to always keep the drawings up to date. I spent some time today trying to get the head assembly to a more accurate state and I have a snip of the redrawn assembly showing the router motor positioned towards the gantry side of the machine. I also have a couple pics of the head which I completely disassembled yesterday to mount a smaller stepper onto the back of it.
Attachments
5thaxisSmallStepper.jpg
5thaxisSmallStepper2.jpg
RedrawnBChead.JPG
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Re: Building a DIY 5th axis ...ideas, plans etc.

Postby metalworkz » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:10 am

Hello,
I made some more progress with the B-C head assembly today and I came in feeling pretty good about the way it all went together so far. I got the head assembled to the carriage and the stepper motor mounted so the complete assembly is getting very close to a testing state in that all the mechanical aspects have come together very well.
The rotation is smooth both vertically and horizontally although there is a little work to be done routing the wiring and providing enough support and slack for the wires when in operation. That is something that will be more obvious and easier to plan for when the head is mounted to the gantry Y axis of the machine. The location of the mounting holes and positioning on the Z axis is the next probable step but I have taken some pictures of the head bolted to my surface plate in order to get some shots at different angles with the axis positioned to different angles. I have not powered the motors up yet and that will take a little work in itself as my current machine is using all 4 Gecko motor controllers just to operate the X, Y, and Z axis so I will need to add a couple more controllers and do some configuring and wiring as well as perhaps another break out board as I am not sure if my C10 will control 6 axis.
Here are the pictures of the assembled B-C head to show the state of the build at this point in time. In one of the pics my larger machine is in the background and that is the machine I plan on trying to test the head on.
Attachments
5thAxisAssenbled1.jpg
5thAxisAssenbled2.jpg
5thAxisAssenbled3.jpg
5thAxisAssenbled4.jpg
5thAxisAssenbled5.jpg
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