I started of with an Ender 3 Pro printer for christmas, and have been having fun with it. I am more interested in using it for making part for other projects, particularly electonics projects, and the functioning of the printer it self. After about 6 months, I decided I want to make my own, but this is all virgin territory for me. So i decided to make a laser engraver instead.
The laser engraver has the benefits of having only 2 axis (more on why i was wrong latter) and I figured would be much simpler. So I bought som 2040 extrusion, a laser off amazon, and a whole bunch of misc screws and brackets.
I dont know how to use cad/design software beyond tinkercad. So i did the whole thing in my head, imagining different configurations, over and over and over. Once I had a basic design in my head, I headed to youtube and the internet, particularly the reprap and prussia sites, and looked up how smarter people then me did it. And modified my idea, im not vain enough to call this mess a design, accordingly.
Around stage 3 I realized I wanted to document it, so i filled in Stages 1 and 2 from memeory and what pictures i took on phone. After that it turns into thoughtstreamy tech journal.
- 3x Nema 17 Motors
- 3x Threaded Rods (I am using 500 mm)
- 3x Couplers between motor and threaded rod
- 3x 22mm bearings to stailize rod
- 5x 2040 Extrusion (I am using 500mm)
- 1x Laser
- 2x Gantry slides for X axis (Fits the 20mm side of the extrusion)
- 1x Larger Gantry slide (Fits the 40mm Y axis slide...This is what the laser mounts to.)
- 1x Power Supply
- 1x SmootheBoard Compatible board, i used the azteeg x5 mini based largely on random choice. If i was going to do a Z axis, it would have 1 too few driver ports. ( https://www.panucatt.com/azteeg_X5_mini_reprap_3d_printer_controller_p/ax5mini.htm )
Stage 1: The Frame
Stage 1 constructing the frame. I am going for two "feet" of 2040 extrusion in the Y directions. I then bolted the X directions too the "feet" forming a roughly INSERT_SIZE square. The long end of the X extrusions is going up the Z direction.
I then printed some NEMA 17 to 2040 mounts i designed in Tinkercad INSERT_thingiverse/file links. I bolted these flush with the ends of the X axis on the left hand side.
I then made some simpler mounts to hold a bearing to stablize the end of the threaded rod and mounted flush to the right hand side fo the X axis.
Stage 2: The Electronics
I bought an
Azteeg X5 Mini with WiFi from INSERT_VENDOR, with INSERT_DRIVERS. I wired this up with the default
config file. And it didnt work. Specifically the problem was it would make wierd grinding/vibration noises, and then move in jerks, then move smoothely, then towards the end of the jog, do it all again in reverse. Putting some preasure on the treaded rod in the right direction made it start faster, but it still did it.
I could not find any useful sources online, but through trial and error I discovered the "Acceleration" value of 3000 on the alpha and beta axis was WAAAAYYYY to high. I lowered it to 300 steps/sec/sec, and instantly all my problems went away.
- DO NOT PLUG/UNPLUG anything while the Azteeg is powered, warnign all over the place about it causing damage to component parts.
- The wiring of bi polar steppers is confusing to me. 1A and 1B are a pair, and 2A and 2B are a pair. I initally cross wired them because i thought A1 and A2 were pairs, and B1 and B2 are pairs. (Read them backwards) .
Stage 3: The Gantry
- 2019-06-14: Started work on the gantry.
- 2019-06-17: Assembling the final project, i noticed the center hole was 1 MM to low on X-axis threaded rod bearing holder. The sled was dragging on the threaded rod. So I checked, and there was a 1 mm misalignment. Adjsuted large bearing, and center hole 1 mm up Z axis to compensate.
- 2019-07-17: Took a break til tonight. Assembled everything but the laser and it moves fine. (TODO: Add Pictures)
- (Solved): Was binding, had to adjust the sled and sled bracket, till the screw aligned with motor better.
- (Unsolved): Every so often when jogging back and forth, it slows down, to almost nothing. It seems to keep the distance. Tried replacing the drivers, swapping alpha,beta channels. Still happens. If i let the motor free spin, it happens dramatically less. Bt the coupler (without screw) and it starts happening more, and with screw happens ~100,200,300mm marks. Nothing is binding, or over torqued. Current seems to drop 250mA->240mA when it happens. Wondering if its these fast and slow homing values in smoothieconfig. going to set them to higher values.
- I also need to revist the step size at some point, cant recall i think i am doin 1/8.