Over the last months I have been busy planning, designing, printing, purchasing, and building.
I thought some might be interested in my progress.
My main work has focused on the 8020 table and pneumatics.
The table is almost complete, except for the final leveling of the cast aluminum bed. I am hoping to get it within =/- 0.02 mm across the entire surface.
The pneumatics enclosure is complete, and includes my version of an MQL coolant/lubricant system.
On the outside, I have a separate panel switches for main power from PSU to solenoids/MQL electronics, and a separate switch for the power to the MQL system, along with the external dial to control the main flow.
Being an ATC spindle, there are a lot of connections (4 for the spindle), as well as air for chip evacuation both for the endmills as well as for the tool setter air knife.
The MQL system came through research of various great builders online. I did not want a fog buster, but because of the cost as well as I did not want to use air to control the fluid. I decided on a design that uses a peristaltic pump. I chose a stepper motor version, and added a small driver and PWM signal generator to control the steps/RPM/flow (The knob on the panel front controls the frequency/RPM).
I 3D printed a mount for the mister mixer valve to attach it to the Z axis, and the knobs will be used for fine-tuning the air/coolant mix.
I have a temporary set of toggle switches mounted at the front of the table to manually control the solenoids and MQL system, both of which will eventually also be software controlled.
I will be experimenting with spindle mounts, and my first tests will be with double 80 mm 1F mounts. I purchased two smaller linear bearings to use with this set-up to replace the longer ones. Initially mechanical tests give me about 75 mm travel. I anticipate this being adequate for my main work in wood and aluminum. I will start with this set-up, then perhaps switch to a single mount to see if there is any noticeable difference in cut quality.
Next steps will be to decide on the tool change system. One of the limiting factors is the clearance between the bottom of the Z axis assembly to the top of my aluminum bed - it is only about 112 mm with the Z assembly in its highest position. This does not leave enough clearance for me to put the tool holder forks at the back of the table in an ‘above table’ mounting which is customary. My solution is to use drop-in holders (see photo) vs forks, and drill holes through the table for the endmills to protrude through. My rough calculations show that the clearance will allow for standard length endmills as well as longer reach tooling that I plan to use for thicker foam/Styrofoam. The other alternative is to use tradition fork mounts at the front of the table, but I do not like the idea of not having a clear path to the front.
I am also designing a vacuum work holding system, but am still awaiting a few components to be shipped (sadly, still waiting on my VFD).
Much to do and test in the meantime however.
Happy to answer questions if you have any.