Plan to order Shapeoko kit soon.

DONE!  Yesterday, June 22 I ran my first test successfully.  Now am ready to experiment with some projects in wood in order to gain some experience in both the CAD and the CAM world.

Here are some mods I made while building the kit.

As shipped the kit comes with some 4-conductor wire and wire loom for the purpose of wiring the servos to the Arduino controller shield.  There is no box or other provision for mounting the boards, leaving that to the builder.

Being the hoarder I am, I had an old parallel printer A/B switch laying around begging to be useful.

I like thinks that I can unplug !

I removed the parts and used two of the 24 pin connectors and a parallel cable.  The results are shown in the images below. Using any standard 24 pin parallel cable I can put the Arduino controls etc. at any reasonable distance from the dust and noise of the machine.





The information below on the control box is now obsolete.  I will soon be uploading new photos of a MONSTER control box build using a salvaged Apple G5 case.  Tons of room inside. 

  • Auduino ( of course )
  • Stepper power supply
  • Variable 48 VDC power supply for spindle
  • 12 VDC for laser engraving head ( to be added )
  • LCD voltage display for spindle power
  • Vacuum pump for vacuum hold down table ( to be built )
  • Accessory  12/5 VDC power supply for fans, power relay etc.
  • Big Red STOP button.
  • Two accessory switched AC outlets. One probably for a vacuum to suck up shavings.
  • A switch for a work light.  ( flat LED light strip on bottom side of cnc rail to illuminate work area )


================  UPDATED CONTOL CENTER =========================






Above shows the new "Front" which was the back where the three connectors used to reside.

This is the machine end of the connections.  Using this it was not necessary to extend any servo wires. All were long enough to be soldered directly to the connector pins inside the orange project box. ( Also found among my stash ! )

I also encountered another minor issue.  While in the course of adjusting, squaring, aligning etc, I notices a chip out of one of the Y Axis belt idler wheels.  After NCIS left me their report I knew it was a slight design seems the X axis motor plate strikes these wheels in either left or right extreeme travel positions, breaking the idler. 

Two holes were drilled and tapped and I inserted a pair of stand offs to serve as hard stops just shy of the point at which the carriage would strike those wheels. ( image below )

Another modification made at build time:  I added a flexible 6 conductor spare in the wire loom that terminates on the top of the Z Axis tower. The eventual purpose of this may be to control a laser module's color and/or TTL on/off functions.  Like other wires, the other end winds up inside the control box via the parallel cable.


To be done later:

  • Add a more powerful router as a spindle motor.  DONE!  300W w/power supply added.
  • Add a cutting laser module.  I have a blue laser module and am waiting on sample aluminum cylindrical heat sink tube for the mount.  If it all goes well may consider a KickStarter project to make these.
  • Add the LED strip light to illuminate work area to bottom of the horizontal carriage rail.
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