Build: XZero Predator... With more teeth!

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12 Jun 2019 15:17 #136744 by ihavenofish
I'm in Toronto.

I have suppliers. Well, all the good ones. I'm skipping over the Chinese crap that was such a problem with both quality and reliability.

Machine frame (machined aluminium part) is taken care of. I have a "new mini" and a "guitar makers special" (this modified predator). Those cost a little more than the originals cause I've gone all solid aluminium, and they will be anodised and I expect to make more than $6 profit (George cut it too close I think).

Hardware (screws and rails) you basically have 2 choices. Cheap and crap, or expensive and good. The difference is about $2000-$3000 per machine. That's a lot. George was using TBI, which is kinda in the middle - not totally crap, and not very expensive - but, also completely unreliable as a supplier. Much of the delays with xzero machines were related to ball screws and rails. I'd like to find someone else in the middle, who is more reliable. I don't have that yet.

As a result, I don't think I want to do the same type of kits he did. We are pondering "just the metal" kits for the first few. Leaving all the hardware to the customer. This may have limited appeal though.



Then the flip side is to just offer a running machine out of the box. This is pretty easy on the mini. Add in JMC servos, a DDCSV2.1 controller, Delta PSU, VFD and a small teknomotor spindle, go NSK/THK for hardware, and sell for $7000. This is more broadly appealing than a box of parts and will always deliver on time, but of course the price is about double the "cheapie" spec of a running xzero mini which sold hundreds. More machine for more money doesn't always equate to more customers :)

The predator is a lot more tricky cause its big. 25mm screws, 25mm rails, 400lbs of aluminium, ATC spindle. I'm not sure how to sell it. "just the metal", you are $2500-$3000. Complete, $15000+, probably closer to 20k with the ATC and delta servos. Still great value, but no hobby level anymore at all.
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12 Jun 2019 16:29 #136756 by andypugh

ihavenofish wrote: Will be 3D printed from something translucent and strong. Nylon if i can make paint stick to it. Airbrushed black. Laser etched border for lighting to shine through. Water slide decal for the text,


Why not laser the text?

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12 Jun 2019 16:34 #136757 by andypugh

ihavenofish wrote: Got me wondering now, can linuxcnc do this type of probing?


We investigated it once:

wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ProbeKins

This would now be far easier with the external-offsets pins that have been added. An external component could apply the offset.

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12 Jun 2019 16:45 #136759 by ihavenofish

andypugh wrote:

ihavenofish wrote: Will be 3D printed from something translucent and strong. Nylon if i can make paint stick to it. Airbrushed black. Laser etched border for lighting to shine through. Water slide decal for the text,


Why not laser the text?


Lasering the text would leave it a pale translucent colour that is hard to read.

But I've changed that whole thing now if you look at the last images. It now has clear acrylic caps with printed paper labels.

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12 Jun 2019 16:48 #136760 by ihavenofish

andypugh wrote:

ihavenofish wrote: Got me wondering now, can linuxcnc do this type of probing?


We investigated it once:

wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ProbeKins

This would now be far easier with the external-offsets pins that have been added. An external component could apply the offset.


Oh, interesting. I'll have to revisit that when I get to that part of the machine. I need to figure out what type of probing setup to use.

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13 Jun 2019 05:34 #136809 by ihavenofish
O_O

So, Digikey is selling delta vfd's and servos.

The servos are priced high compared to some online sources, but the VFD's are competitive, given they have free next day shipping.

I need this little guy:

www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/delta-e...MS21AFSAA-ND/9862503

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13 Jun 2019 13:32 - 13 Jun 2019 13:38 #136830 by ihavenofish

ihavenofish wrote: The predator is a lot more tricky cause its big. 25mm screws, 25mm rails, 400lbs of aluminium, ATC spindle. I'm not sure how to sell it. "just the metal", you are $2500-$3000.


Just got numbers back.. Aluminium has doubled in price since George did them - partly thanks to dumbo, but also just generally. So more like $3500 us "just the metal".

That to me seems too much for that type of kit, no matter how nice it is. So were not going to produce that one at least for now. As a whole machine one customer at a time we might entertain.

I gotta finish mine first though! :)
Last edit: 13 Jun 2019 13:38 by ihavenofish.

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15 Jun 2019 15:27 #136993 by ihavenofish
Well, 3D printer is on the way.



Items from mouser on the way to connect my Sanyo test motor and drive for tuning.



Gotta put in a McMaster Carr order today for bolts and screws and bits that I've lost in the moving of this machine around.
Also need some 4mm nylon tubing and fitting for linear guide grease, my noga minicool mister. I'm holding off on the air and water fittings for the spindle until it arrives.

I want to put my 7i76 par port mesa card inside my PC case, where the drives used to go. this would meaning I would use the internal 5i25 db25 slot. Is it ok to use that slot ONLY and not the external one? Or is there a sort of priority to them.

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15 Jun 2019 16:45 #136995 by PCW
You can use the internal connector but with standard (7i76x2)
firmware, the step generators will be numbered 5..9 rather than 0..4
and the field I/O channel numbering will be different. Its probably easiest
to change the firmware to 5i25_7i76x2r.bit that swaps the connectors.

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15 Jun 2019 16:52 #136996 by ihavenofish
OK. i'll be getting to this part next week.

Thanks!

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