XYZ Repeatable Platform

Cruising Along

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I'm looking to put together a XYZ platform to run any type of tool fixture. 3d Printer, CNC Mill, Laser engraver, whatever else comes to mind, but those are the big three. I want to use basic materials that I can find and afford on a low hobby budget. I don't mind spending some real money for the tool fixtures. I'm not looking for something too big or too small, I'm thinking for starters (can always scale up) something with a 12" x 12" usable footprint.

The real key to this platform will be the tool fixture adapter mounted to the tool fixture itself and the carriage mounted to the X axis gantry (left to right direction). It will have one connector for the control sensors and drivers. One AC and or DC power connector, which ever is needed. A pair of headers that will indicate to the controller what type of tool fixture is mounted on the platform. If I use a 232 connector, I have lots of these, I can just use one pin as the common (Pin 9) I have 8 other pins to identify up to 255 (zero would not count in this case) other tools, so maybe use some 4 pin molex connectors from the shack, that gives me up to 7 different tools. The control headers between the tool itself and the platform main controller will be used based on the tool itself, probably just use a pair of 10/16 pin headers. Maybe it will be beneficial to use specific pins for specific sensors and or controls. A drill and a plastic extruder will both have a sensor to detect rpms and will also need to control rpms.


close up of the X Axis drive

JPEG Image - 328.70 kB - 06/25/2016 at 22:30



got power supply, 12V 30Amp, probably more then I'll need for the amps, but we'll see. Got arduino and 3 stepper drives prepped for doing some dual axis manual motion.

JPEG Image - 341.76 kB - 06/25/2016 at 22:30



just a close up at the way the angle bracket is secured to the rail at the top of the gantry

JPEG Image - 326.26 kB - 04/03/2016 at 01:24



Just a view of a hole I drilled through the MDF cross beam so that I could tighten up the screws and nuts holding the angle bracket on the gantry.

JPEG Image - 329.97 kB - 04/03/2016 at 01:24



This was the first screw access hole I drilled I was only able to get to one of the screws so I HAD to drill a second as picture in photo SAM_684

JPEG Image - 331.98 kB - 04/03/2016 at 01:24


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  • 2 × 2 x 3 x 18 wood stud used on the sides and as the outside frame/foundation
  • 1 × various lengths of shelf rack brackets these are the ones that are mounted on the wall, they will be used as a bottom frame secured to the 2 x 3 studs, as well as the gantry frame for the X axis (left to right)
  • 1 × pair drawer 20 inch slides use on inside of the wood frame will hold the platform to be moved on the "Z" axis, Slide front to back
  • 3 × 1/4" threaded rod use one for each axis
  • 1 × pair of 18 inch drawer slides One will be mounted on the top of the gantry and the other on the front side

View all 23 components

  • Wire Wrap Grommet

    cyplesma02/09/2019 at 06:15 0 comments

    This is just a loooonnngg video showing my hands installing a length of protective wire wrap along the inside edge of a computer case opening that usually holds the various connectors on a computer mother board. My current intent is to use that opening to have all the cables and wires go between the Arduino and easy driver boards and their respective motors, sensors and tool head equipment. I was thinking of getting a thin gauge piece of sheet metal to cover this hole and mount some panel connectors for the various connections but for right now this will do.

    Wire Wrap to Grommet

  • Boring Decision Making - But watch out for the sea sickness.

    cyplesma02/09/2019 at 04:16 0 comments

    First and foremost if you get sea sick easy, you might just wanna listen and take an occasional peak. I tried the action cam head mount with this video. It gets very rolly very  8 )

    Anyway some more videoing of trying to put together this XYZ platform device.

    ::Sea Sickness Warning:: Boring Decision Making

  • testing Some Arduino Code

    cyplesma01/27/2019 at 22:13 1 comment

    Nothing too exciting yet, just a video test some logic for an Arduino stepper motor control.  

    Testing Some Button Control Logic

  • Cleaning the Junk off

    cyplesma01/21/2019 at 00:45 0 comments

    Finally getting back to working on this project. Going to try to video most of the other work. This is just an attempt to practicing my video skills.  

    Here's the link: XYZ Platform Cleaned Off

  • Been working on the Honey Do list.......

    cyplesma06/25/2016 at 22:34 0 comments

    Well, for the past couple of months been a bit busy with life, trying to get back to my projects. Got some parts recently so we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks, got a busy job schedule ahead.

  • X Axis in place.......

    cyplesma04/06/2016 at 01:26 0 comments

    Well after several attempts at what I would call fancy wood work, I managed to get the anti backlash and drive hardware in place for the X axis. And by several attempts I mean I was get very impatient to try and finish the whole thing tonight, which isn't going to happen. So with each mistake I just had to take a deep breath and remind myself not to take a sledge to the whole thing. Thanks for watching. 8 ) No pictures, but I'll add some of tonights work later. Then again maybe not at all of tonights work. What's in place isn't pretty, it's not "There I fixed" work, but more like "Don't mind that dent, it gives it character".

  • Gantry Work Started

    cyplesma04/03/2016 at 01:40 0 comments

    Got some work done on the gantry and the X axis rails. The motion on the gantry X axis rails is very smooth and we'll see how that holds when I figure out how I am going to get the Y axis attached to the gantry. I added some angle brackets to where the legs of the gantry are connected to the feet at the bottom and to the top MDF cross beam. Way less wiggling going on on the right hand gantry foot. I do have some binding on the right hand gantry foot, but I think the 2 X 4 is curved (warped) so that it getting cut by the Z axis rail.

    I'll really hate having to dismantle even some of this to correct that binding on the Z axis foot, but as many times I went through test fitting things for the gantry X axis rails and the Y axis mounting plate I'll get it done if need be.

  • New Bottom 'Plate'

    cyplesma03/30/2016 at 00:31 0 comments

    Got a new piece of wood for the bottom plate installed, surprisingly the rougher 3/4" plywood was more expensive than the sanded 3/4" plywood. Also got on of the x axis rails in place. Bought a few different kinds of metal flat brackets to try and bend in 90 degree angles to mount the tool chassis to. Didn't see any 90 degree agrees that I thought would work. The bigger I needed the thicker they were which is what I don't want.

  • Correction #1

    cyplesma03/22/2016 at 01:57 0 comments

    While securing (aka screwing) the base plate to some 1 x 6 deck planks (i was going to use as a footing), I learned that the 1/2" osb board was bending to the warped deck planks. Well the first one anyway. I didn't even bother securing the plate to the second deck plank footing. So It's time to go fetch some 3/4" plywood to use as the base plate. I can only hope the wood suppliers are not reading this and are as we speak jacking up the price of 3/4" 2' x 2' or 4' x 2' planks of plywood.

    I also spent some time with an ardunio uno and one of my steppers to see if I could quickly rig up a push button controller to manually move the step motors around a bit to test for movement of the axis', well at least what I am referring to the Z axis (to and from perspective as you face the platform). It way more problematic then I wanted it to be and still at the moment what I had wrong with my logic. But I was just trying to rig up a push button to cause the stepper to start turning in the direction another button would be used to control. The hardware all works, it's just whatever I thought was setting some variables wasn't (per some serial output debugging data) or I shouldn't be trying to use the pin values directly in the logic and I need to use some variables to reflect what the output pin values are.

  • Gantry Started - trying to tighten up the slack

    cyplesma03/16/2016 at 02:58 0 comments

    Got the gantry assembly started. Just a couple of 2 x 4 x 11.75 (gantry feet) at the base which are screwed to the drawer slide. Each vertical support of the gantry is a 2 x 4 x 20. I used 2 pieces of mdf one at the top and one one the front of the 2 x 4 supports. There was a lot of play with how much the feet were able to move independently of each other. For those that don't know this is bad. I have since taken a piece of a shelf mounting bar (that a shelf bracket would fit into) and bolted it to the 2 x 4 supports. This did greatly improve the feet staying together but in the world of the thousandths there is still a lot of play (+/- 1/8, it was +/- 3/4). I still plan on using a threaded rod on one side of the gantry to move it forwards and backwards (what I what to call the z axis), if I am unable to get better results on preventing the play, I may just switch to a belted system for the z axis.

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