I wish I could say it is complete but there is still a lot of work to do. I am running the Arduino shield, but not using an Arduino. I connected the pins on the shield to a parallel port, then fired up the LinuxCNC that I am comfortable with. I run LinuxCNC on all my CNC equipment from the Bridgeport Series 1 to the routers. I pushed the velocity as high as it would run on X and Y and got over 300 IPM (inches per minute) before I started missing steps. It runs strong at 250 IPM. I am really impressed with the DRV8825 stepper Motor Driver Modules. I have a fan directly over them to keep them cool. They deliver enough current to keep the 270 oz-in stepper motors warm. The machine movement is quick and has high acceleration/deceleration rates.
I have updated the router page. I did put a couple of videos on YouTube showing the router in action. I made an aluminum wrench to show Matt, my nephew, the router cutting aluminum. Not really a big deal, just keep the feed rate up and the cutting depth on the light side. If the aluminum tries to weld itself to the cutter, then try to cool it with air or a light mist. I use Kool-Mist on my mill and it works quite nicely.
The plan for the next several weeks, if not months, is testing. I want to see how the spindle with voltage booster, anti-backlash ACME nuts, and stepper drivers will hold up.
My observations so far are:
- Spindle – Inexpensive, quiet, runout less than 0.002". 24 VDC ok for light cutting
- Voltage booster – ( 600W 10–60V to 12–80V Boost Converter Step-up Module ) Seems to work fine, running the spindle at around 48 VDC
- DRV8825 drivers – Again, I am really impressed so far, it will be interesting to see how they hold up.
- Anti-backlash nut – I have a design where there are 2 nuts on the ACME rod pushing against each other
- Grbl Software – I really want to use this, I like the simple design. I would love to have an Android tablet controlling a CNC via Bluetooth.
- Linear rails – They seem to move nicely, but the adjusting set screws on the bearing blocks seem to get loose.
- Overall function – I have built several routers. It is always interesting to see how each of them respond.
Overall, I am happy with the design.