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EMV-25CNC kit headplate

EMV-25VBB CNC Kit – The story

Over in the shop we are running a preorder for the CNC conversion kit. Here we would like to give you a bit of background on how it all came about and our design intent.

From day 1 of ordering the EMV-25VBB milling machines, the CNC conversion kit was always going to be an option we would offer. As the development reaches commercialisation and release, let us give you a bit of background on how we designed and thought the project through.

The first conversion our team did involved a Chester Machine tools Super lux. At the time, we were short of cash and also wanted to get the machine running asap. This was not a good combination as corners were cut, money was skimped with the end result…well much to be desired. Thanks to that machine one of us learnt to hand scrape for flatness and alignment as well and owns more metrology tools than we would need, a Biax powerscraper and a granite table.

The following learning outcomes have stayed with us as we designed the conversion kit for the EMV-25VBB:

Servos are so much better but Steppers can be good

Granted there is a cost to servos and there is also a learning curve regarding PID position control and parameter tuning. Thankfully Clearpath servos are here to save the day! Plenty of YouTube videos to prove why, including John Sanders’ special projects! Thankfully for those with a limited budget, the option of using steppers is not eliminated due to the servo motors we will ultimately inlcude are also Nema 23 frame sizes. The added bonus of the servo is that you can back drive it much easier than a stepper. Our protoype kit sports steppers, because that is what we had at the time

Don’t touch the castings!

Invariably the castings used on the machines we are aiming this kit to are not aged or stress relieved. In some cases they are not even ground well enough. On our Chester we found that even drilling lubrication points was a bad idea as the saddles would move killing the accuracy we hand scraped into them. So great effort has been expended to get a custom made ballnut and ballscrew mount to allow fitment of the X-axis screw. In fact we even use the same screws from the factory in most case. No more hunting around for a mate with a Bridgeport!

Backlash sucks!

Yes you read that right, no too ways about it. Yeah you can use the CNC controllers backlash compensation function but why not just eliminate it from the getgo? We came to this conclusion about 3 months after we put the first machine together. Kept chasing repeatability, squared off circles and steps in all directions. So ditch the silly ideas of springs between the nuts, shims etc and go with quality precision manufactured ballscrews and bearings throughout.

Hence our kit is based on C5 accuracy ground and preloaded ballscrews. They are so good they can be backdriven!

Wish I had kept the handles

Why code a a hole drilling program if you only want to do a quick job? Not going to eliminate the quill too right? So yeah, jogging with a keyboard is impractical and for the one quick hole you want to make using that drill you cannot really be bothered to touch off…Lets keep the handles on. Oh but wait, what happens when the handles are spinning with the motors? Best make them the safety kind.

Material choice

In order to eliminate backlash and lost motion, we have made the ballnut mounts out of steel. As you may already know the coupling between the casting and the nut occurs through a boss and it is held in place with a single screw. Using steel we know that the parts will last a long time with no loss of rigidity.

What machines will this fit on?

The kit came about with some help from Aaron Powter of Youtube fame. He designed his kits to fit the Titan machine tools, available in Australia. His kit fits the AMAT25LV, the Optimum BF20, HBM BF25 and other machines too. The biggest difference between the EMV-25VBB and the other mills is the end of the table. Ours takes a small flange that does not cover the ends of the T-Slot area, while the others have a larger plate. To keep all of your covered we have designed both variants.

How do we get this kit?

Getting the numbers up is critical in being able to make this viable. Unlike the other kits available, we have put great effort to ensure it is as plug and play as possible, this has built in the complexity of needing special ballnuts and holders. So, we are asking that our customers head on over to the shop area and preorder their kits. This commitment keeps you keen and us on track. Think of it like crowdfunding.

Head on over now to see the rest of the photos!

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EMV-MC faceplate

Teaser alert! What we have been secretly organising

You know the counter in the machine tools page. Well it is counting down to the 19th of August 2016, the day we unveil our grandest product to date. the unveiling will be done in the Thornbury model engineering exhibition so why not check us out at stand 134.

You can find more about the BSMEE on the official exhibition webpage

 

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Emvio Engineering is now a reseller of all BCN3D products

It is with great pride that we bring to the UK market the products designed  BCN3D Technologies.

BCN3D Technologies started off as a project of Fundació CIM, which has more than 20 years of experience in Rapid Prototyping and knowledge transfer. The results have been impressive and that is why when we first came across the company, we were keen to collaborate with them

We will be keeping stock of as many of their products as our limited storage space allows but will be giving priority to the Sigma. As you may have seen in our earlier post, we were giddy with anticipation when the Sigma was released. In no time you will be able to browse our shop for all four of BCN3D printers:

BCN3D Sigma 3D printer

The BCN3D Sigma – The flag ship model that received the best quality award on 3Dhubs page for April

The BCN3D Lux – A SLA machine working with photoreactive resin allowing for fantastically fine layers and printing speed

BCN3D+ kit

The BCN3D Plus – A Prusa clone kit aimed at those wanting to build their own printers

BCN3DDR Delta Printer

The BCN3DR – Another kit but this time for a Delta printer

BCN3D Ignis laser cutter

The BCN3D Ignis – a premium 100W CO2 laser cutter with honeycomb bed and a 900×650 working area

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?

This decision will be influenced on whether you want the computer you have running the CNC machine to easily access you home network. In home networks we usually expect the router to do all the work assigning the IP addresses to each computer using the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). For those not familiar with the term IP address, it is the numeric address assigned to a node on a network. Home networks will usually use the form 192.168.0.xxx where xxx is a number from 0 to 254. Do be aware that some routers will issue addresses 192.168.1.xxx.

For a SmoothStepper to be able to talk to your computer you need to have the IP address of the Smoothstepper and the PC on the same range. This means that they need to have an IP address that only differs in the last of the 3 sets to digits. We have set ours as 192.168.0.50 for the Smoothstepper and our computer as 192.168.0.10

From the factory, every Smoothstepper is programmed with an IP address of 10.9.9.9 which means that you would need to set your computer to have an IP for example 10.9.9.8. This is easy enough however should you wish to plug an ethernet cable into the PC, it may not communicate with the home router.

I will let the Andy over a Warp9TD.com do most of the talking. The next two videos show two different methods which can be used to set up your Smoothstepper. Most people that have a computer dedicated to the CNC machine will be covered by following the first video. More advanced users should follow the second.

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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.

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Emvio is now a SmoothStepper distributor

We use Mach 3 by Newfangled Solution LLC as the control software on our CNC machine tools. The flexibility and customisability of this package combined with the fact that it runs on Windows (XP, Vista, 7 and 8) makes for a very good solution despite the limitations imposed by being tied to a PC.

As time has progressed, the parallel port originally used for the control of the cnc machines through Mach3, has just about faded away. Software and hardware limitations have crept up on it and although the golden standard for many, including the Linux community, it now is not as common as it once was.

The SmoothStepper in action on our KRV2000

Thankfully vendors of solutions to the issue have emerged to ensure we are still able to use our beloved machines with newer operating systems and hardware.

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