Posts Tagged MPCNC
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:
Gripping a diamond engraver in a collet chuck worked well enough, but the MPCNC’s pen holder lacks sufficient downforce and lateral stiffness. The bit has a chrome-ish plated 3 mm shank, so I tinkered up a mount for a pair of LM3UU linear bearings from the LM12UU drag knife holder:
The shank isn’t exactly a precision part, but a few licks with a diamond file knocked off enough of the high spots so it slides reasonably well through the bearings. The bearing alignment is more critical than a simple 3D printed plastic part can provide, so a real version may need bearings in a metal shaft press-fit into the plastic; brute-forcing the bearings into alignment sufficed for now.
The butt end of the shank press-fits into a disk held down with three springs, similar to the LM12UU mount:
It draws Guilloché patterns just fine:
I don’t like how the spring-around-screw motion works, even if it’s OK for small excursions.
The anodized body of the drag knife on the left measures exactly 12.0 mm OD:
Which happy fact suggested I might be able to use a standard LM12UU linear bearing, despite the obvious stupidity of running an aluminum “shaft” in a steel-ball bearing race:
The 12 mm section extends about halfway through the bearing, with barely 3 mm extending out the far end:
Because the knife body isn’t touching the bearing for the lower half of its length, it’ll probably deflect too much in the XY plane, but it’s simple enough to try out.
As before, the knife body’s flange is a snug fit in the hole bored in the upper disk:
This time, I tried faking stripper bolts by filling the threads of ordinary socket head cap screws with epoxy:
Turning the filled section to match the thread OD showed this just wasn’t going to work at all, so I turned the gunked section of the threads down to about 3.5 mm and continued the mission:
Next time, I’ll try mounting the disk on telescoping brass tubing nested around the screws. The motivation for the epoxy nonsense came from the discovery that real stainless steel stripper bolts run five bucks each, which means I’m just not stocking up on the things.
It slide surprisingly well on the cut-down screws, though:
Those appliqué templates came from patterns for a block in one of Mary’s current quilting projects, so perhaps I can be of some use whenever she next needs intricate cutouts.
The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:
The 11.5 mm body is long enough to justify making a longer holder with more bearing surface:
Slicing with four perimeter threads lays down enough reasonably solid plastic to bore the central hole to a nice sliding fit:
The top disk gets bored to a snug press fit around the flange and upper body:
Assemble with springs and it pretty much works:
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work particularly well, because the two screws tightening the MPCNC’s DW660 tool holder (the black band) can apply enough force to deform the PETG mount and lock the drag knife body in the bore, while not being quite tight enough to prevent the mount from moving.
I think the holder for the black knife (on the left) worked better, because:
- The anodized surface is much smoother & slipperier
- The body is shorter, so less friction
In any event, I reached a sufficiently happy compromise for some heavy paper / light cardboard test shapes, but a PETG bearing won’t suffice for dependable drag knife cuttery.
Back to the laboratory …
Flushed with success from engraving a hard drive platter for the 21HB5A tube, I bandsawed an acrylic square from a scrap sheet and unleashed the diamond drag bit on it:
That’s side-lit against a dark blue background. The long scratch and assorted dirt come from its protracted stay in the scrap pile.
If you look closely, you’ll see a few slightly wider loops, which came from a false start at Z=-0.1 mm.
Engraving at -0.5 mm looked pretty good:
Despite an angular resolution of 2°, the curves came out entirely smooth enough. The gritty scratchiness resulted in a pile of chaff covering the engraved area; perhaps some oil or lube or whatever would help.
Rescaling the pattern to fit a CD platter worked fine, too:
Polycarbonate seems to deform slightly, rather than scratch, leaving the final product with no chaff at all:
In this case, the doubled lines come from the reflection off the aluminized lower surface holding all the data.
That CD should be unreadable by now …
The three collet pen holders I got a while ago came with ink cartridges:
So I bought three bucks worth of a dozen pens to get pretty colors, whereupon I discovered they didn’t fit into the collet. Turns out the locating flanges aren’t in the same place along the cartridges:
The flanges on the top cartridge have been shaved down perilously close to the ink, but it now fits into the collet.
Bonus: a dozen fairly stiff springs that are sure to come in handy for something!