Driving the router

A project log for The Pipeline Project

A tool invented to make use of a extremely durable, cheap and ubiquitous material that allows to make things simply, from PVC pipes.

Christophe MachetChristophe Machet 08/02/2019 at 14:130 Comments

The electronic and software side was totally new to me.

So, naturally, most of the work went into choosing the right components and the correct software chain, from my file to the steppers.

I determined the force needed to cut through PVC in one pass. This required a fair amount of torque and I went with NEMA 34 stepper motors. 

Of course during the course of this project, i wanted to spend as least money as possible.

Already getting these motor plus controllers broke the bank, so i was going to go easy on the rest.

I considered many different solutions including having a dedicated computer running LinuxCNC or even Mach3 among others. I discovered that GRBL 0.9 could do a very good at controlling these stepper simply using an arduino. I tested it and got convinced enough, so i went with that. At least until i find a better way.

I crammed together the power supplies and stepper controllers into that electrical cabinet.

I wanted to add a fan, but its been working pretty well without until now. But would still be safe to add one at some point.

Grbl is just reading the g-code and moves the steppers accordingly.

Again, i've tried a couple of different option and finally chose IGSplatfom.

Actually i chose this software almost only because it handles and its look. All other software have ridiculous GUI. I'm not building a toy here. 

One day, i really want to develop my own interface. Stay tuned

Anyway, UGS does a ok job at streaming file G-code files. visualisation could be better, but still does the job.

The machine is now ready to be tested, all axis run smoothly.

All axis are belt driven for cost saving and convenience. 

Now i still need to edit GRBL firmware to change the machine characteristics.