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Wanhao D6 Bondtech kit

We are distributors of Bondtech products to the UK and IRE

The big news of the week is that we are now the UK and Ireland exclusive distributors to all the Bondtech products. Bondtech extruders have understandably revolutionised the reliability and speed of printing using filaments. The team have a series of mounts to allow adapting the parts to any prosumer quality printer that are freely available from us or from Bondtech directly. (more…)
CAD mock up of R8 Spindle and QTC tooling

Drawbar tension for R8 and MT3 collets to work safely with QTC tooling?

We have been asked on a number of occasions, and seen in a number of forums, the question of "How much tension should I put on my drawbar when I use  Emvio (or Tormach) repeatable Z tooling?" This question is a very common for those looking to make a pneumatically actuated drawbar using Belville washers. So what do you need to know about Drawbar Tension? (more…)
Emvio Engineering Nema 17 stepper motor damper installed

Damping the sound of stepper motors on 3D printers

Most of us that tinker with 3D printing have wondered how to reduce the groan and squeal of the stepper motors driving us nuts. Especially when long prints are involved! For a while now we have been using and selling our own vibration dampers that place a rubber buffer between the stepper and the printers frame. The rubber is thin and stiff enough to maintain accuracy of the stepper motor while reducing the vibrations being transmitted to the body of the printer. (more…)
BCN3D Sigma 3D Printer

Exciting times, European 3D printer that kicks ass!

After looking around for a the hottest 3D printer to try, we have finally settled on a brand that will give the top players a run for their money.  So we would like to tease you all with the new kid on the block: BCN3D's Sigma   Pretty sleek. Serious engineering going on and a CE mark to boot. Where can you start?
  • Enclosed design with 210x297x210mm build volume
  • Dual heads independent that park when not in use
  • Profile linear rail, not round bar, on the axes!!!!!!!!!
  • TOUCH SCREEN!!!
Now to blow even the most sceptical away, check out the calibration procedure: Interested? Keep watching this space

3D printing obsolete machine parts

Being thrifty in the time of turmiol and economic difficulty is imperative to survive as a company. This has been the case with Oyzo manufacturers Giokarinis of Samos. Every summer we return to Samos for around two weeks to return to our roots and the directors of the company are close personal friends. It was over a glass of ouzo that we started discussing that their factory would have to reduce production in as they were having issues with sourcing spare parts. Bearing in mind that the machines are mature and well used, the original manufacturer had sold up and there are capital controls in place, it was almost impossible to source and import parts. We took on the challenge to design and manufacture some of the more critical wear parts: the bottle neck grippers (more…)

Quick change and repeatable Z tooling for MT3 and R8 spindles?

Industrial and hobby machinists alike all have the same pet hate when it comes to changing tools whether using a Bridgeport knee mill or a bench top CNC mill:

"It takes too long!"

Lets explore this topic and how Emvioeng.com will help small and large workshops alike become more efficient.

(more…)

OnShape logo

Web Browser based CAD? OnShape seems to think its OK

It is not often that the CAD industry gets shaken up as much as it has in the past 12 months. First we had Autodesk Fusion 360 coming out with a Cloud based service and we have recently received word of OnShape.

The pedigree of OnShape could not be purer, it is spearheaded by the founders of Solidworks, an industry favourite for as long as I can remember.

(more…)

Smoothstepper series: Lets send some pulses

Welcome to the third instalment of the Smoothstepper series of posts. In this post we discuss what you need to do to make the computer communicate with the Smoothstepper over Ethernet.

When you connect you Smoothstepper to you computer you will need to make a very important decision: Which IP range do you want to use?

(more…)
Autodesk Fusion 360 Logo

Autodesk Fusion 360: Good start but not there yet

Some would say that finally there is a CAD/CAM package that is suitable for the small/medium enterprises that are looking to make it in the makers world. I must say that I am inclined to agree...partly. Autodesk Fusion 360 came along at the tail end of 2013 with significant power behind it and some of the high impact factor blogs and vlogs (like CNCCookbook and NYC CNC) talked about it at length. (more…)
Messy Cables

Smoothstepper series: Connect it up

Connect it up

In the first post of our series, we discussed some ways to mount your Smoothstepper in your control box. In this post we would like to share some thoughts on how to connect the boards electrically to you drives, switches, encoders and relays.

The most important connection to make is that between your computer and the Smoothstepper. Needless to say, we insist on using a good quality cable for this. All our Ethernet Smoothstepper bundles ship with CAT-6 Ethernet cables. If you have preferred the USB variant then it would be wise to buy a good quality cable and add a ferrite ring to it.

Thinking of the Smoothstepper 2.5 (USB version) or 3 (Ethernet) parallel ports in one (with benefits of course). So you have the options to go with three breakout boards (BOB) that then connect to stepper drives, switches or relays or an all in one solutions that incorporate the drives and the BOBs. The Smoothstepper is outfitted with 26 pin headers on it that will require suitable ribbon cables. We supply ribbon cables with the D25 port connector on the end as we have seen the boards mostly used with BOB's anyway.

As you may already know, Ports 2 and 3 of the Smoothstepper can have pins 2 to 9 set as inputs or outputs in the plugin. When selecting a BOB, make sure you are getting what you want because usually on port 2, pins 2-9 are input only.

For port 1 only, there is no reason not to go with the generic and readily available and cheap 5 axis breakout board. These boards usually offers optical isolation to your Smoothstepper and sometimes comes with a relay built in. Cheap and cheerful!

In some forum discussions it has been noted that the Breakout board optocouplers may not be as quick at reacting to pulses as the Smoothstepper is to send them. This may be the case on some very cheap breakout boards. On the ones we stock, the reaction time of the worst one was 175ns (nano seconds). That means they are able to accomodate frequencies of up to 5MHz, with the Smoothstepper being able to transmit at up to 4MHz.

A number of other suppliers have expansion boards that link directly to the Smoothstepper with the our recommendations being:

  1. The PDMX-126  is a very capable board and offers a very neat solution for connecting you Smoothstepper up. This is a top notch board that is worth its money if you are willing to pay the price and import duties from the USA.
  2. Our favorite in terms of value is the unassuming C25 as developed and sold by CNC4PC . This board provides a good saftey barrier between the drives, switches and other peripherals and the Ethernet