Friday, October 6, 2017

This bed is too small

I wanted to build a bed extension for my CNC machine. First of all, this would allow me to move the clamps a little bit farther back, giving me slightly more practical working area. Second, it would theoretically allow me to use the CNC machine a little like a pillar drill, since the milling head can actually extend slightly beyond the end of the aluminium bed.

After carefully measuring the CNC machine, I designed the bed extension to bolt onto the end plate, making sure to allow for the existing screws etc. In order to bolt it on I drilled two holes through the end plate, using the existing grooves to help me maintain a consistent height.

Now that I could take the final measurements (to make sure I wasn't off on the position of the holes I had cut), I generated the g-code and milled it out. I used my new 90 degree V-bit to cut the large grooves.

Finally I bolted the first plate to the machine, and the second plate to the first. This way I could grip something between the two like a vice. It all fit together quite well.

I haven't actually tested it yet; but of course I can always cut a new one if needs be. The only real issue that I see is that the mill head might not extend far to use it the way I would like; I believe it would be possible to extend the distance that the mill head can reach if I was willing to dissassemble the machine and take some material off from the beam the crosses under the bed, but I really don't want to have to do that, so fingers crossed that I won't need to.

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