Welcome our MadMax Multi-Axis Machine group project. Here we will attempt to prototype a linear axis machine based on a chamfer rail, rack and pinion mechanism. The goal is to make both multi-purpose and modular machine that is easy to design, fabricate and replicate.
Our main objectives at this point of the process is to design the prototype so that it is easy to fabricate using cheap, easily available materials, simple to assemble, operate and hopefully replicate.
We will attempt to prototype a linear axis machine based on a chamfer rail, rack and pinion mechanism with the aim of making both multi-purpose and modular system.
We base our initial inspiration on Jens Dyvik's fabricatable machines for the simple reason that we can prototype this with the available fab lab machines, namely the laser cutter, 3D printer and mill to make our parts. The goal is to design a simple axis machine without fancy techniques. Here is the motivation and thought behind making our own machines.
Our goal is really to experiment on a rack and pinion rail system that can be easily assembled and scaled in a modular fashion. Despite us all being relatively new to machine building, we will attempt to keep it simple. Some inspiration videos Jens’s ultra DIY CNC machine in operation both for cutting and PCB milling:
We will be using Github to plan this project, keep up with documentation and organise tasks. One of great tools github has to offer is the project management tool, we will use it to control the tasks we need to do, the ones we are doing and the ones that are already done.
Our first week tasks consisted on understanding the principles of Jenks machine, through diagrams and 3d models. We also did a lot of tolerances test to get the best fit on rack and pinion. Finally we were able to do a first prototype of the mechanism and automation of our machine, build the passive parts and operate it manually.
The Second week's task will involve automating our machine, using the motors and experimenting with modular control. We are as of yet undecided as to which network control system we will be using, but found Nadya's talk on the Gestalt nodes interesting to be able to control the machine directly from the computer using representation instead of g-code.
Our other option is to use CNC sheilds for Arduino which can control up to 4 stepper motors and is 100% compatible with GRBL.
As for dividing tasks, we divided as follows:
Esteban: stepper motor programetion, tolerances tests for the rack and pinion with the laser and different materials, 1st and 2nd week machine assembly, dealing with Chilli Pepper
Julia:3D modeling of the machine, model and design the machine parts for both 1st and 2nd week. Rhino Cams for HPDE
Marc: Loading the GRBL on Arduino, 3D printing gears tests and finals, 1st and 2nd week machine assembly
Nico: Web documentation, tolerances tests for the rack and pinion with the laser and different materials,1st and 2nd week machine assembly