Last night I went back to the Artisan’s Asylum for the first time since getting back.
The blackfoot CNC router I built back in the fall is still in regular use and seems to be holding up well.
It’s being run by my friend Jeffrey, who’s been teaching classes in Computer Aided Machining (CAM) software (which you can sign up for here!). While the idea was to build up a solid base of people who can use the machine, it was hard for me to gauge how often it’s actually getting used. I also noticed a few things about the current state of the machine; some good, some bad.
- The stepper motors are running very quietly; I suspect that this is due to the switch to a g540 stepper motor driver setup which is properly tuned. I have the same setup, but for whatever reason I was unable to properly tune mine (I suspect that I was using the wrong tool).
- Limit switches have been added so that the machine can auto-home.
- Our friend Calvin made a switch for the router so that it can be turned on and off by EMC2.
- A slot cut into the vacuum mount makes loosening the collet nut possible without removing the router from the gantry.
- A ring of LEDs on the underside of the vacuum mount helps illuminate the cutting area.
- The aluminum rails show significant wear from the v-groove bearings. While this should not effect the accuracy of the machine in the X and Y axis, it might cause slight variation in Z, especially towards the ends of the axis where the wear is less even.
- Apparently the shaft of the Y axis stepper motor snapped off during a long job not too long ago.
Those two issues are also things that might affect the Kikori; thankfully I already have solutions in mind for both that I’ll implement as soon as I have it back up and running.
Speaking of reviving the Kikori, I saw the space for it; unfortunately it’s full of stuff which will have to be moved. Since I don’t know whose stuff it is or where it should go, I can’t move forward on setting up my space. However, I’ll be meeting with the guy who’s currently renting the space to get all that figured out soon.
In the meantime, my Kickstarter project is almost ready! Just a few more things to set up and it’ll be ready to launch. Stay tuned!