When I looked to find a machine that could not only complete a task one day, but could be retooled for something new the next week. I've built many 3D printers, lathes and other machines so I knew most of the tried (cartesian, corexy, delta) designs wouldn't give me what I wanted. The SCARA class machines seemed like they could fit the bill and I think I was right.
Having used many machines, from hobby built 3d printers, to mini mills and lathes and large CNC machining centers I had a good feel for the performance I was looking for. I wasn't looking to try and build the cheapest machine out there, but I was out to build a highly reliable and accurate machine for the least cost possible. Fortunate enough to have the right tools I opted for all steel construction with a welded frame.
I originally started this project after I made an automated hole drilling machine. It was used to drill some 26 holes in these tubes I used for some other project. It used the lite arm and studiously drilled holes in some 500 tubes to complete the job.
While the machine worked quite well, I was left wanting. As created it could only complete a single task. In addition I wasn't very pleased with the reach, payload, resolution and ease of programming achieved by the lite arm.
Here it is doing some motion tests
Source files coming soon in future updates as I get them in sharable order.
Tomorrow we will contour mill the letter P out of cherry.