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Jolt & friends - Team Overkill - NSW
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Nick
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TIG cooler:

Almost all the parts have arrived for the water cooler, just need many hose clamps and some PVC storm water pipe & fittings to make a reservoir tank. The plan is to laser cut a shroud around the parts so that the pump's fan blows air through the radiator. I had to get a cheap radiator off eBay as the large car radiator just wouldn't fit Sad. With some fan forced cooling this smaller unit should be more than adequate - its still twice the size of the radiators in professional TIG coolers.


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Post Wed May 31, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Nick
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I done broke the laser! Shocked

Something strange happened while cutting out parts for the TIG cooler. The beam alignment suddenly went WAY out of alignment and started producing a cut like this:



The multiple lines are all being made at the same time and are caused by the beam reflecting off the side of the output tube. Everything is tight so its not a part just coming loose & moving - the whole assembly must have smacked into something and bent out of alignment. I didn't see it happen but there are some clues on the MDF - a wobble on a straight line just before the multiple cuts start.

I hope that isn't a difficult repair, the TIG cooler project was really starting to come together.
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Post Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:30 pm 
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Nick
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Laser:

The cause of the fault is just gob-smacking! When the laser head is moving to within 1cm of it's maximum Y axis travel, it can collide with the metalwork of the top cover. The large stepper motors give the laser head a real beating against the cover and its no wonder that the head is out of alignment. I spent some time aligning the mirrors and cleaning the lens and now the laser cuts a little better than before. I also changed a fitting on the air assist and that improved air flow and reduced smoke marking on the MDF parts.

There are a new set of mirrors and longer focal length lenses on the way and that should allow 12mm MDF to be cut.

TIG cooler:

With the laser back in action, I cut out the remaining cooler parts. This is a quick dry fit of the MDF:



Note the lazy stack of MDF spacers under the pump Laughing





The MDF is basically just a large fan shroud so it doesn't need to be strong.
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Post Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:34 pm 
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Nick
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The TIG cooler is almost finished; just a quick trip to Bunnings for more hose and a power plug:



The water tank will hold at least 5 litres but its best to leave some air in it for thermal expansion. In hindsight, it would have been far easier to attach the tanks with some large hose clamps but these MFD hangers used up all my off-cuts and look pretty cool IMHO.



That should all be running tomorrow and then its time to start work on the CNC mill.
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Post Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:10 pm 
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miles&Jules
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Looking pretty sci-fi Nick👍
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Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:48 am 
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Valen
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damn, that laser cutter has gone to your head lol
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Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:30 am 
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Nick
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Its making me lazy, no doubt about it! All the saws, files and drills are rusting away on the shelf Smile. Once the CNC mill is finished, I won't have to do anything apart from push buttons,
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Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:35 am 
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Nick
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TIG cooler - FAIL!!!

Here is what the cooler looks like mounted under the welding table:



Its a neat and space saving design that you hardly notice. First, some of the good features: the fan blows plenty of sir through the radiator and the pump is fairly quiet. The main bad point is that the tank leaks like a sieve and somehow the pump is pressurising the tank to make it even worse Evil or Very Mad. Since the radiator and tank are on the inlet side of the pump, I'm not sure how that could happen and even if air or water flowed in the wrong direction, it can flow through the tank and out it's other outlet. It could be that there is an air lock somewhere or that I used the wrong solvent glue on the PVC pipes. After all the water is mopped up, I will take everything apart and start over Rolling Eyes
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Post Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:29 pm 
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Nick
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Everything just changed!

Today the local championships were announced and minutes later, the UK RoboChallenge was also announced - just 6 days later Shocked. I really want to go to both events but its going to be difficult with timing and preparation; time to re-organise and re-prioritise all the projects.

CNC mill:

I need an opinion from the hive mind on this one. Have a look at this short video about mill column deflection:



It looks rather than just measuring the column deflection VS the bed, he is measuring the deflection of the entire mill and the sheet metal base relative to the wall. Then at the end during actual milling tests, the deflection does seem to be reduced with the bracing.

I don't have a brick wall to brace my mill against but some steel reinforcement might be just as good - here is what I came up with:



The cheap eBay electric winch makes assembling heavy parts a breeze!



Front view of the steel plate prototype. The main part is 10mm plate while the spacers at the bottom and top are 20mm. The mounting holes at the tops are oval to give plenty of adjustment. The spacers are necessary because the Z axis ball screw connects to the mill head via plates that wrap around the side & back of the column.



At the back there are two 75mm angle sections for extra stiffness. They are attached to the main plate with M10 screws and to the base of the mill with M12 all-thread. The extra steel adds almost 40Kg to the mill and makes the column effectively twice as thick - that should mean only 1/4 as much deflection in theory.



At least the first servo motor fits neatly - one less thing to worry about Smile.
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Post Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Nick
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CNC mill:

The test assembly of the X axis confirms a problem: the back of the servo motor can hit either the column or the Y axis. The servo is wider than a stepper motor and unless the overhang is facing up, its going to crash before the table reaches the home position.



Facing up means the back of the servo and wiring is above the table, where it could be in the way so the best compromise is to move the home switch and lose 15 to 20mm of X axis travel. Apart from that, the X axis is almost done.

The Z axis is also looking good and I'm working on the Y axis with no problems apart from missing the timing belt. The column support got some improvements to make it stiffer & heavier and a quote for waterjetting it should arrive later this week.

The very first upgrade that has to be finished before all the others is the epoxy concrete filler in the base. Its a horrible, messy & boring job that I might just forget about - I will do a test batch in a small mould and see how it goes. If its not as hard as it looks, then the whole base of the mill might get done. Between the filler and the column support, the frame will be over twice as heavy and flexing and vibration should be way down.

Robots:

I figure on taking Mr Mangle to the Aussie Nationals and either Shiny or Mr Mangle 2 the the UK RoboChallenge event. Mr mangle is ready to go with just a battery charge but I want to fit the new wheels and a micro-V belt - the two areas that let me down in the past.

Shiny needs a bit more work but can be ready fairly soon, while Mr Mangle 2 is still a pile of parts until the frame is welded up. So much to do...
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Post Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:48 pm 
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Nick
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CNC mill:

The mill is on a roll today Very Happy

* Ordered the steel support plates, they should be ready late next week.

* Drilled the attachment holes in the mill base:



* cleaned all the loose rust out of the base - enough iron oxide for a batch of thermite Wink

* Picked up most of the ingredients for the epoxy concrete; getting all the sizes is a PITA! The largest size quartz is from a landscaping supplier, the finest silica comes from a pottery supplier and the middle size is aluminium oxide and comes from an abrasives supplier (via a slow courier)



I can't do any more until the last aggregate arrives so its on to the TIG cooler and Mr Mangle 2.

I had a quick-fix idea for the cooler; unless there is a large crack in the water tank, I can pour in some of the epoxy to make a 10mm or more plug over the leaky end cap. If the tanks in then pressurised the epoxy should be forced into all the holes and form a strong seal. That will be cheaper & easier than making a whole new tanks and buying brass fittings for it.
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Post Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Nick
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TIG cooler:

I found the problem with the leaking tank; some idiot forgot to glue the end caps on! Rolling Eyes



Such shame, much embarrass! That's going to be a quick fix and then some bench testing to make sure the pump is working properly.

UK Robochallenge

In better news, the trip to Robochallenge is all locked in with just the car rental to sort out. Very Happy I am super excited to do two events in different countries in just one week.
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Post Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:28 pm 
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Nick
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Quick update:

The TIG cooler is working! The water flow rate is nothing special but with the fan and the extra large radiator I am sure it will be more than fine. Time to start practising the Ti welding on all the scrap I saved up.

The new mirrors and lenses for the laser just arrived. The original mirrors lost over 20% of the power and the new ones will hopefully bring than down to about 10%. The laser should be able to cut 12mm wood with the upgrade and careful tuning.

That's my weekend all booked out already.
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Post Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:45 pm 
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Nick
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The TIG cooler was looking rather messy so I neatened up the plumbing and added quick-connects:



Meanwhile the first two new mirrors are installed in the laser and are definitely higher quality. The combined increase in efficiency is 8.4%, which might not sound like much but adds up to significantly higher power at the work piece. If the next mirror and lens continue that trend, I will be well pleased Very Happy.
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Post Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:39 pm 
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Nick
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CNC mill:

The last of the aggregate just arrived and the Steel plates are ready to pick up, so its time for more work on the mill. The quill will be locked so there is really no need for the handle or internal gears, so off they come:



That's 5.6Kg that the Z axis motor doesn't have to move any more Smile. A couple of small cover plates will neaten the mill head up. Next, it might be worth relocating the motor controls from the mill head to a separate box away from coolant and moving parts:



Those buttons are non too durable and some of them don't do anything in CNC mode anyway, so a remote control box makes sense - it might be possible to move the RPM display into the same box.
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Post Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:25 pm 
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