I finally got around to refurbishing my CNC machine and set it to work for real! This is not the place to discuss the project I am working on, but let me say it is what the CNC machine was created for originally… and the machine seems to behave even better than expected.
The modifications were mainly in order to increase speed. So first thing was to support the leadscrews as shown in this photo:
This allowed me to improve the speed by a small amount by reducing the leadscrew whipping, but it was not enough to make the machine useful for the big tasks ahead! So I asked at the official Rockcliff Forum and got the right answer: just power the motors with higher voltage, and so I did! This has taught me two lessons:
– I traded speed for precission: I got motors with too small a step and leadscrews with too small a pitch for my needs – I should have been more serious about my needs, I just jumped looking for precission while I did not need that much, and gave speed for granted! A coarser set-up (less steps per turn in the motor and a longer pitch in the screw) would have served my needs regarding accuracy and would have granted me much higher speed. At the moment, I have to stick to this set-up, since changing any of those elements would be too expensive. Too bad. Lesson 1: Think about REAL needs first!
– Now, the solution provided in the forum was great, but I should have been able to get there myself… Lesson 2: Try, and keep trying new things!
Now, a short video summarizing in less than 3 minutes the work of two days… still in testing phase but using the real model (driven by Mach 3 demo on Windows XP)…