Quetzalcoatl Cartesian Singularity

A Cartesian box with CNC mill, router, engraver, laser and extruder. Integrated as a tool changing interface. Did I mention the lathe and scanners

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The proliferation of Cartesian box based tools have made it evident that the hobbyist can either run many such boxes or try to combine them. The tradeoffs between box requirements has kept costs down such that a single purpose device can be had cheaply enough that a second or third specialized box does seem reasonable. This will be an attempt to deliver a combined Cartesian box that can operate and survive in a reasonably sized Hackerspace (LVL1 in Louisville KY).

LVL 1 has many Cartesian box tools. They are simply different shapes of a tool holder. Each has a mean time between failure based on how comfortable people are to making adjustments. The comfort of adjustment seems to be based on how enclosed it is. Laser cutters are dangerous and fully enclosed and therefore seldom adjusted. 3D printers and small CNC boxes are wide open and prone to adjustment. But adjustments being made are usually the tool and not the box. So I thought, "What if I made them a box with easily removable tool (spindle, extruder, laser, etc) and kept the box mechanics enclosed?". The device would be usable while any single tool was comfortably adjusted. This is the enclosed box and open tool idea. After all, most people come for tools and stay for fellowship.

Quick note: not all adjustments were merited or advisable.

  • 1 × Arduino Mega
  • 1 × Arduino DUE
  • 1 × Diamond 3in1 extruder head
  • 1 × Ev3 extruder head
  • 4 × Mk8 direct drive extruder

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  • Imagine the Confusion

    cabrera.10104/14/2017 at 02:31 0 comments

    This image covers what I will be reducing and standardizing to make an interchangeable tool head interface.

    Things to notice:

    Each tool has a controller that turns signals to actions. Each tool has power inputs that are not in the image. There is more than one way to control a tool, so substitutions of signal types can be made.

  • Tools - Gotta Have Them

    cabrera.10104/09/2017 at 07:02 0 comments

    The tooling interface will define the versatility of the device. The details of the interface wiring is actually quite simple. There will be power wires and signal wires.

    The power wires can be a fixed AC/DC or varying voltages. They can have specific current characteristics. The issue that matters is how does one ensure that the right power lines are used for the tool. This can be accomplished with incompatible plug types which prevent inadvertent wiring (Lean Six Sigma : Poka-Yoke). The method is dependable but can get quite cumbersome and complex as every possible power hookup is implemented along with a unique plug. This can be reduce in scope by implementing standards such as all tools use the same voltage and are within an amperage limit. Another approach would be to have the tool posses an encoded output that informs the tool holder what power spec should be applied. This approach makes the tool self-descriptive and the tool holder smart. The complexity goes up from multiple dumb plugs to a minimal number of smart power lines and a communication interface.

    Signal lines carry the same complexities as the power lines. Signals can be binary digital, analog, wave shaped and encoded forms of the previously mentioned types.

    Answering the issues with the interface would normally be handled by developing an interface standard. And that is what is going to happen. There are obviously standards already out there, so reinventing the wheel is not necessary. That means research. I will start with some PLC research and get back to you all. (It is late, forgive the grammar.)

  • First things first to bring order to the chaos!

    cabrera.10104/04/2017 at 20:38 0 comments

    First things first...

    Divide and conquer.

    The project has to be divided into manageable parts.

    The Cartesian Box (central to project but details are dependent on the tools to be incorporated) is often scaled down for cost reasons to a particular tool requirements. But we need a box of sterner stuff for this project. How stern will affect geometries. This means that basic issues such as which axis has the tools attached and which/if an axis is locked onto another axis will have to be decided later rather than sooner.

    The Tooling Interface will divided into control signaling, power, resource attachment and support resources. For example, a spindle can receive on/off, direction, speed control signals. The spindle is a motor and must receive power. The spindle has bits and must have an acceptor/chuck. Depending on use, the spindle will need cooling. This also includes items such as coolant to the material based on tool.

    The World Interface is what the device expects to receive from the "world" and what it expects to give back. The device would receive power, control signals, tool elements, resources for product, Desired Output Product and waste.

    The Internal Environment is the world in the box. The four basic elements of earth, wind, fire and water can be the generic label for what it manipulates inside.

    These are just a few of it's favorite things.

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