Most CNC machines are limited to one tool. This machine has a laser, camera, inkjet printer, mill, plastic FDM, fluid FDM, and many more.
There is strong evidence to suggest that a shorter wavelength laser (450nm blue) has different ablative properties than 10,400 nm (CO2 - IR).
So, a 5 Watt blue laser was added to the short bed tool head.
The CO2 laser head is on the right, pointing up, the 450 nm laser on the left. The ink jet printer head in the center.
TheInkShield is at the bottom.
Of course in operation the assembly is rotated 180 degrees.
I hope the three days invested in this mod are not wasted!
Lately I've had to change the mounting of the CO2 laser power supply and add supplies for driving Tron's motors.
Usually, simple is better.
I took an extra few hours to remount the terminal blocks to make access completely unobstructed. Is very nice!. Well worth the extra effort!
It's amazing how much better things look when they are powder coated. The 400 Watt spindle motor should make short work of FR4 and similar materials. The other seven (7) positions are available, a drag knife will be next.
Tron wrecked two expensive end stop sensors for the Z axis. I wonder what else got wrecked during the lift?
One other little problem. The x traverse will collide with Tron's right leg stiffeners when it homes. Fortunately, It's easily fixed by removing the short bed and changing a spacer block.
The similarity between the long bed and the machine in the movie Tron is unmistakable. So, from here on, I'll try to call it that.
Getting to here, where Tron is hanging on it's mount has been a huge effort. It is certainly not trivial that it's big enough that it requires a gantry and winch to wrestle it onto it's mount. Overall, I'm pleased that it's finally found it's home and appears ready to be aligned.
As you may know I'm a big fan of trailer hitches. Uh, large optical mounts.
Other than being very precise, it affords one very important feature that should be considered. It is a blind mount. Frequently we find ourselves working alone. When working alone it's very helpful that close enough +- 2 inches is close enough! Once the hitch is on the ball, your troubles are over. From there it's just a matter of fine adjustment +- a mil for roll, pitch and yaw.
Just before the "big lift", I mounted two Unistruts to give mechanical support to the bottom legs. They proved useful when transitioning from horizontal to vertical and as legs when the rigging was changed and the assembly was resting on its own weight unsupported by a table or fixture.. Things would have gone smoother if I'd removed them once the assembly was on the wench. The winch and gantry worked however, tension on the cable must always be present otherwise the cable will unspool and cause no end of problems.
I had thought before I went through the process that I'll just hang Tron for a picture, and then I can dismount it and continue mounting all the other hardware. Now I think that is a BAD idea. I think I'll learn to work with the assembly hanging as is.
So, this is a banner kind of day. I think it must be almost 3 years to get here from the starting point, when I made my first purchase of Acme screws and linear bearings and a $300 sheet of Mic 6 aluminum plate.