MakeSmith progress update..

Well, I’ve had some time to start putting this kit together and it hasn’t been without a few frustrations…The body is laser cut MDF and the instructional videos (on youtube) are good and reasonably clear. For the most part, construction has been without major hiccups. It pays to put things together without the glue first to check alignment/fit etc then go back with the adhesive. Gluing the acrylic drive parts together took an alarming amount of superglue to actually get it to stick…The only significant issue i’ve encountered is that the steel rod guides can prove tight against the guide holes in the MDF, especially I’ve found for the Z-axis tool holder..even though the rods were inserted into the tool holder and ends whilst everything was glued, they still managed to setup a tiny bit out of line….several minutes of manually sliding it up and down has loosened it up a lot, but until I fire up the servo then I won’t know if it’s sufficient to prevent binding and hence vertical accuracy…Also the cuts on the threaded rod have proved poor so a little dressing with some small files is necessary before you can get a good thread for the locknut etc…


The main body frame was pretty straightforward and the movable bed is nice and ‘loose’ on it’s guides so shouldn’t prove a problem once in motion (Due to a minor ‘repair’ to the Z axis assembly, I started putting the other parts together out of order…the horror!).



You’ll note from the picture that it’s all controlled from an Arduino compatible driver board with a custom power control header for the CNC. At the front you can also see one of the servos which is attached to the threaded rod via an acrylic toothed gear and ‘socket’…we’ll see how well that holds up after some use. The degree of rod rotation (and hence board movement) is provided by a magnetic sensor at the end of the threaded rod (see picture below, there’s a magnet glued to end of the locknut)…



So far, I’m really enjoying putting this together, and there isn’t much left to finish it….then the fun starts as I try and figure out how to drive it from my Mac….The creators, Tom and Bar have come up with a really neat piece of open source kit!

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