Posts Tagged MPCNC
My collection of old USB cameras emitted a Logitech Quickcam for Notebooks Deluxe, with a tag giving a cryptic M/N of V-UGB35. Given Logitech’s penchant for overlapping names, its USB identifiers may be more useful for positive ID:
ID 046d:08d8 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam for Notebook Deluxe
It works fine as a simple V4L camera and its 640×480 optical resolution may suffice for simple purposes, even if it’s not up to contemporary community standards.
The key disassembly step turned out to be simply pulling the pivoting base off, then recovering an errant spring clip from the Laboratory Floor:
The clips have a beveled side and fit into their recesses in only one orientation; there’s no need for brute force.
Removing the two obvious case screws reveals the innards:
Three more screws secure the PCB:
The ribbed focus knob around the lens makes it more useful than a nominally fixed-focus camera.
Reassembly is in reverse order.
I miss having obvious case screws …
Then plotting the data points and eyeballing a straight-line curve fit:
Doing it on hard mode definitely has a certain old-school charm. The graph highlights mis-measured data and similar problems, because, if you don’t see a pretty nearly straight line, something’s gone awry.
But we live in the future, so there’s an easier way:
Start by firing up the STAT library (cyan arrow, then the 5 key), selecting Fit Data … from the dropdown list, then selecting the Linear Fit model:
Then tap EDIT and enter the data in a tiny spreadsheet:
My default “engineering mode” numeric display format doesn’t show well on the tiny screen. Tapping the WID→ key helps a bit, but shorter numbers would be better.
With the data entered, set an X value and tap the PRED key to get the corresponding Y value:
Tapping the OK button puts the line’s coefficients on the stack, as shown in the first picture. Write ’em on a strip of tape, stick to the top of the holder, and it’s all good:
Works for me, anyhow.
The MPCNC isn’t the most stable of CNC machine tools, given its large masses and 3D printed structure. My early plotting pen tests suggested speeds around 250 mm/min were appropriate:
Diamond drag engraving produces a thinner line and makes the wobbulations more obvious:
Another test showed similar results:
Slowing down definitely reduces the shakes:
Producing the best results takes quite a while:
Similar results on another test:
Those “mm/s” labels are typos; they should read “mm/min”. Plotting at -1.0 mm on scrap CDs and DVDs produces a downforce around 200 g.
Eyeballometrically, 100 mm/min seems fine, but 50 mm/min (I’d likely use 60 for a nice round 1 mm/s) eliminates all the shakes.
Smooth curves, like Guillloché patterns, can run much faster, because they don’t have abrupt direction changes. This 3-½ inch hard drive platter has text engraved at 100 mm/min and the pattern at 600 mm/min, both at -3.0 mm for 300 g of downforce:
A closer look at the text:
And some digits:
When I want to brand an engraved CD, this will suffice:
All in all, the MPCNC engraves much better than I expected!
The LM12UU drag knife holder buries the blade ejector pin deep inside the machinery:
So a handle with a pin makes sense:
It’s a variant Sherline tommy bar handle, so there’s not much to say about it.
The dark butt end comes from the traces of the black filament I used for the previous part. Even after flushing half a meter of orange through the hot end, you’ll still see some contamination, even with the same type of plastic. Doesn’t make much difference here, though.
Encouraged by the smooth running of the LM12UU drag knife mount, I chopped off another length of 12 mm shaft:
The MicroMark Cut-off saw was barely up to the task; I must do something about its craptastic “vise”. In any event, the wet rags kept the shaft plenty cool and the ShopVac hose directly behind the motor sucked away all of the flying grit.
The reason I used an abrasive wheel: the shaft is case-hardened and the outer millimeter or two is hard enough to repel a carbide cutter:
Fortunately, the middle remains soft enough to drill a hole for the collet pen holder, which I turned down to a uniform 8 mm (-ish) diameter:
Slather JB Kwik epoxy along the threads, insert into the shaft, wipe off the excess, and looks almost like a Real Product:
The far end of the shaft recesses the collet a few millimeters to retain the spring around the pen body, which will also require a knurled ring around the outside so you (well, I) can tighten the collet around the pen tip.
Start the ring by center-drilling an absurdly long aluminum rod in the steady rest:
Although it’s not obvious, I cleaned up the OD before applying the knurling tool:
For some unknown reason, it seemed like a Good Idea to knurl without the steady rest, perhaps to avoid deepening the ring where the jaws slide, but Tiny Lathe™ definitely wasn’t up to the challenge. The knurling wheels aren’t quite concentric on their bores and their shafts have plenty of play, so I got to watch the big live center and tailstock wobbulate as the rod turned.
With the steady rest back in place, drill out the rod to match the shaft’s 12 mm OD:
All my “metric” drilling uses hard-inch drills approximating the metric dimensions, of course, because USA.
Clean up the ring face, file a chamfer on the edge, and part it off:
Turn some PVC pipe to a suitable length, slit one side so it can collapse to match the ring OD, wrap shimstock to protect those lovely knurls, and face off all the ugly:
Tweak the drag knife’s solid model for a different spring from the collection and up the hole OD in the plate to clear the largest pen cartridge in the current collection:
Convince all the parts to fly in formation, then measure the spring rate:
Which works out to be 128 g + 54 g/mm:
I forgot the knurled ring must clear the screws and, ideally, the nyloc nuts. Which it does, after I carefully aligned each nut with a flat exactly tangent to the ring. Whew!
A closer look at the business end:
The shaft has 5 mm of travel, far more than enough for the MPCNC’s platform. Plotting at -1 mm applies 180 g of downforce; the test pattern shown above varies the depth from 0.0 mm in steps of -0.1 mm; anything beyond -0.2 mm gets plenty of ink.
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:
GCMC includes a
typeset function converting a more-or-less ASCII string into the coordinate points (a “vectorlist” containing a “path”) defining its character strokes and pen motions. The coordinates are relative to an origin at the lower-left corner of the line, with the font’s capital-X height set to 1.0, so you apply a
scale function to make them whatever size you want and hand them to the
engrave library routine, which squirts the corresponding G-Code into the output file.
Such G-Code can annotate plots:
The scaled coordinates cover a distance L along a straight line, so putting them on an arc will cover the same distance. The arc is part of a circle with radius R and a circumference 2πR, so … polar coordinates to the rescue!
The total text length L corresponds to the total angle A along the arc:
A = 360° L / 2πR
It’s entirely possible to have a text line longer than the entire circumference of the circle, whereupon the right end overlaps the left. Smaller characters fit better on smaller circles:
The X coordinate of each point in the path (always positive from the X origin) in the path gives its angle (positive counterclockwise) from 0°:
a = 360° x / 2πR (say "eks")
You can add a constant angle of either sign to slew the whole text arc around the center point.
The letter baseline Y=0 sits at radius R, so the Y coordinate of each point (positive above and negative below the Y=0 baseline) gives its radius r:
r = R - y
That puts the bottom of the text outward, so it reads properly when you’re facing the center point.
Homework: Tweak the signs so it reads properly when you’re standing inside the circle reading outward.
Converting from polar back to XY:
x = r × cos(a) (say "times") y = r × sin(a)
You can add an XY offset to the result, thereby plunking the point wherever you want.
This obviously works best for small characters relative to the arc radius, as the lines connecting the points remain resolutely straight. That’s probably what you wanted anyway, but letters like, say, “m” definitely manspread.
Overall, it looks pretty good:
A doodle helped lay out the geometry:
The GCMC source code as a GitHub Gist:
The 12 mm drag knife holder on the left slides nicely in an LM12UU bearing:
However, its aluminum body isn’t really intended as a bearing surface and it extends only halfway through the LM12UU, so I finally got around to modifying the 11.5 mm body on the right to fit into a section of 12 mm ground shaft:
The general idea is to turn the body down to 10 mm OD; the picture shows the first pass over the nose after turning the far end down and removing the flange in the process. Exact concentricity of both ends isn’t important (it gets epoxied into a 10 mm hole through the 12 mm ground shaft), but it came out rather pretty:
The ground shaft started as a pen holder:
I knocked off the ring and bored the interior to fit the 10 mm knife body. The large end of the existing bore came from a 25/64 inch = 9.92 mm drill, so it was just shy of 10.0 mm, and I drilled the small end upward from 0.33 inch = 8.4 mm.
The smallest trio of a new set of cheap carbide boring bars allegedly went into a 5/16 inch = 7.9 mm bore, but I had to file the bar body down and diamond-file more end relief into the carbide for clearance inside the drilled hole:
I blued the bit, kissed it against the drilled bore, filed off whatever wasn’t blued, and iterated until the carbide edge started cutting. Sissy cuts all the way, with no pix to show for all the flailing around.
Epoxying the turned-down drag knife body into the shaft: anticlimactic.
The solid model features a stylin’ tapered snout:
Which gets an LM12UU bearing rammed into place:
The steel block leaves the bearing flush with the plastic surface, rather than having it continue onward and indent itself into the wood; I can learn from my mistakes.
The new idea: a single spring pressing the knife holder downward, reacting against a fixed plastic plate:
Unlike the previous design, the upper plate doesn’t move, so there’s no problem caused by sliding along the screw threads. I should run nylock nuts up against the plate to keep it in place, stiffen the structure, and provide some friction to keep the screws from loosening.
The top of the knife holder now has a boss anchoring the spring:
As you’d expect, the ground shaft slides wonderfully in the bearing, because that’s what it’s designed to do, and the knife has essentially zero stiction and friction at any point along the bearing, which is exactly what I wanted.
The spring, from the same assortment as all the others, has a 48 g/mm rate.
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist: