New Motors and Electronics
The stepper motors I salvaged from the Genicom printers work OK, but I can only get about 25 inches per minute from them.· If I push them any harder I lose steps, which is a bad thing.· I would like to cut at faster feeds so I don't have to spend too long baby sitting the machine. So, I bit the bullet and bought new stepper motors and electronics from BuildYourCNC.com. Patrick was quick and reliable with the shipping.
Here is the stuff I ordered from Patrick at BuildYourCNC.com. Three new 425 oz/in stepper motors, three controllers, a power supply, breakout board and a USB cable. I don't have a clue why they sent the USB cable.
Here are a few pictures of the new motors installed. Here is the Z-Axis motor installed. The wiring is managed with the plastic cable manager stuff you can buy at the auto parts house and I used little brass hooks, sold at Walmart as coffee mug hangers to organize the wiring on the machine.
Here is another shot of the cable management along the X-Axis. I am still not real happy with it, but at least the wires are all bundled together and out of the way. If you look closely, you can just see the X-Axis motor peeking out in the back with the mess of wire and electronics.
Here is a shot of the new Y-Axis motor installed. I tried to keep the wiring neat and orderly. It isn't very pretty but it does function well enough. :-)
Some concluding thoughts and other stuff.
I was expecting a pretty good speed gain from the new motors. Well, I started at the 25 i.p.m. that I was able to get from my old motors and that seemed to do alright, so I slowly bumped up the speed to see how fast I could run it before I started losing steps. Well, when I hit 29 i.p.m. I noticed that the gantry would jitter or jump back and forth at the top. That wasn't good. Looking at it closer, I noticed that all four bearings on one side of the machine wasn't making contact allowing the gantry to bounce a bit at the higher speed. I tried adjusting the pipe but had very little adjustment available due to the restriction of the pipe in the hole bored in the end plates and the pipe adjusters. After some thought and painful deliberation, I decided that I had to either replace the end pieces and bearing adjuster with larger bores or do something different. I ended up deciding that I would just do something different for the X-Axis. But that is the next installment.