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One-Week Build

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:16 am
by twehr
Now that v2.x is official, I am planning to set aside a week to build it, start to finish. I will document the experience here.

Obviously, I need to make sure everything is ready to go when the build week begins. That means carefully going through the BOM and getting everything ordered. I'll let everyone know how that progresses.

BTW, I am building it to use the LightObject DSP controller. I already have installed on my current system, but will move to the new when the time comes.

One thing I have already done...I have built a "home" for the future big blue box. What better way than to design and build a big blue desk, custom sized to fit the laser and to allow me a comfortable place to enjoy hours of making smoke? Well, here it is. The new laser will completely fill the laser deck space on the left, with it's top level with the upper, computer deck.

Don't know that the color is a match or not, but should go nicely with it.

First issue to resolve

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:33 pm
by twehr
Started putting together orders today. At Misumi, I was surprised to learn that they don't really give you a 30% first-time buyer discount unless you are willing to open a full business account. I am still going to have to order from them, but don't care for the way they advertise the discount and then hide the facts on obscure pages.

I started another post here, to see what others experiences have been with Misumi and their discount. So if you have input, put it there.

Meanwhile, I'll keep digging away. (They can prevent me from wanting to do business with them in the future, but they can't prevent me from enjoying this build!)

First orders placed

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:58 pm
by twehr
I placed the Misumi order this morning. (See related thread on Misumi order.) All items should ship in a couple of days or so and I should get it next week. Shipped UPS ground, but only has to travel about 250 miles.

I also placed an order for the cable carrier from KabelSchlepp. You can't order on line, but yesterday I requested a quote on the item, got it back right away, and this morning I just called them to provide CC info. Really helpful people. The order was less than $20 but they acted as if I were there next million-dollar customer. Order should be going out tomorrow and arriving here by end of week or early next. Again, only a few hundred miles, so UPS ground is as fast and affordable as anything.

First order received

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:56 pm
by twehr
The Misumi order arrived on Tuesday. Last night I went through it to check fit, finish, qty, etc. Everything looked great. Didn't notice any burrs that would need attention.

Even though the packaging was excellent, with like parts wrapped together and paper tagged, I split everything out and marked each piece with a marker. Just before the build, I will sort pieces into groups that will be used together. Saves a lot of time and (hopefully) reduces likelihood of installing a wrong part and having to backtrack later.

I do have to place another Misumi order, probably today. I jumped the gun slightly with the original order. Since then, a couple of minor changes in the BOM, so I have 6 wrong pieces and need to order the correct ones. Should still get it here before the build actually starts.

I have scheduled the build for the week of 3/28/2011. I took that week off from work and anticipate all parts, pieces, and kits to be in hand, checked, and ready for "production" by then.

Still waiting on the KabelSchlepp order (the cable carrier). Thought it would have been here by now, but have not seen it. Need to check with them today.

Ordering Update

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:19 pm
by twehr
The KableSchlepp cable carrier for the Y axis arrived on Thursday. Once I discovered that it was the Y axis and not the X axis (I need to pay more attention), I went ahead and ordered the X axis carrier as well - I'll be using air assist so will use it. Besides, the whole machine just looks so much cooler with a highly visible cable carrier running back and forth. :mrgreen:

I did reorder the correct Misumi parts I will need to complete the build. Also ordered extra nuts and corners. Since I have some misordered extrusions left over, I will need some way to put them together, building something useful down the road. Order shipped the next day. I expect it will be here today or tomorrow.

Today, I ordered the optics from LightObject. Should have them by Thursday - Marco always gets things out as fast as possible.

The only things left will be coming from here ( I know Bart is waiting on a couple of items to arrive, but I still have plenty of time. If it gets here too quickly, I'll have a hard time resisting the temptation to start, rather than waiting till the beginning of my official build week on the 28th. Maybe I'll start on some the sub-assemblies and just keep track of the time - pretending I waited. :lol:

Regardless, I will be happy to start and even more happy to finish it and be able to use the new laser. I am keeping as much of the old laser intact as I can. After the build, and when I can afford it, I want to buy a 60watt tube and ps for the new box and will put the old 40watt tube and ps back into the original machine. I will use the old one mainly for production cutting of small items, so can do that with Mach 3.

Re: One-Week Build

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:19 pm
by bdring
This project has the #1 position in the wait list which is over 30 now. The last item for his order should arrive tonight. That is the Z axis belt. I originally ordered the wrong size for that belt. He is also taking 2 of the motors left over from the other laser. All the other kits are already in the box. It should ship UPS ground tomorrow.

The new motors should arrive real soon which should release the rest of the top 4 in the list. That moves the bottleneck to the sheet metal. I heard that the sheet metal was cut and went to the bending operation last week. I assume they are going to plating by now. The parts appear to be ahead of schedule, but sometimes things get held up as they are waiting to be batched with something else. In hind sight I wished I had ordered a lot more parts with the prototype run. I was quite surprised that everything worked without changes, but one mistake would have been a financial disaster if I had ordered 50 sets.

Right now I have about 50 sets on order of the long lead items, but I can't afford to get 50 sets of everything like hardware, so that is coming in as needed. I am also trying to develop some Chinese connections for some parts to get the costs down. Right now I get the motors and bearings from China. Pulleys are next, but way out in the future.

Optics from LightObject

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:00 pm
by twehr
In case anybody wonders why so many of like doing business with LightObject.....

I mentioned earlier that I ordered my optics this morning. I just received notice that the package has shipped. (I expect it to arrive on Thursday.)

Did I mention that Marco is sick and can barely get out of bed? Marco always does his best for the customer. Gota love doing business with people like that!

Re: One-Week Build

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:57 pm
by cpdude
Isn't he great! I got my stuff the next day!


Parts update

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:50 pm
by twehr
The remaining (reordered) parts from Misumi arrived last night, so that part is complete. Remaining (optional) Y axis cable carrier should arrive in the next couple of days, along with the optics from LightObject.

Bart told me last night that he had my kits boxed and ready to ship this morning, so expect them in a couple or three days as well (only about 250 miles from here). Think he needs a few more days before the skins will be ready, but could live without them initially, so I am not concerned.

I am considering ordering another 24v ps so I can keep the one I have for the old machine, but if I go that route, I will probably also want to order a couple of new drives so I wouldn't be using the current ones. But since I only have one laser tube and ps, and everything else would be just sitting, I will probably just hold off on all non-essential new parts. It would be kind of nice to not have to reconfigure everything on the old one later, but it might be a bit before I get the 60w tube and ps I really want. :x

Almost time to play

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:45 pm
by twehr
The optional X cable carrier arrived on Wed. Yesterday, Bart's package arrived. The optics from LightObject are on the UPS truck for delivery today. With the exception of the skins kit and the replacement z belt, I think I will have everything tonight.

Yesterday I started designing a dummy laser tube that will hold a small laser pointer (see attached 3d PDF rendering). It is made of 1/4" craft plywood disks (some glued together to gain thickness), a few 1/4" plywood stretchers (to maintain alignment) and a 1" wood dowel to get the length between tube holders. The plan is to mount it in place of the laser tube and use the visible laser dot to do my initial mirror alignments. If all goes well, I will only have to remove the dummy, install the tube, and do minor adjustments to tube placement to align with the first mirror. Everything else should remain unchanged. This weekend, I will cut the parts and build the dummy tube.

My original intent was to set aside a full week to work uninterrupted and complete the project. The week I picked starts 3/28. And for sure, the couple of remaining pieces will be here and ready for that. BUT, it is also a week away and I really hate just looking at all those other parts in my shop and trying to resist the temptation to begin. :oops: SO, I will resist no longer. I will start this weekend and keep track of the time spent, just so I can still know how many hours it takes to go from pieces to production.

My plan for this weekend (in addition to the dummy laser tube construction) is:
    1. Redistribute the parts and kits into logical build groups (z-table, electronics, v-rail assemblies, etc).
    2. Assemble some or all of the sub-assemblies. In particular, I want to get the v-rail assemblies glued and set aside so they will be ready when I need them.
Of course, there will be lots of photos to take and updates here to do as well.

Most of next week does not look too promising for time - 50 hours of work and the usual family commitments in the evenings. But that weekend (3/26-27), I only have a birthday party for one of my 8 grand kids. The rest of the time will be for actual assembly.

Like any good builder, I can justify almost anything, so my justification for going ahead is this - If I get it all done before the end of my originally scheduled build week, I will have time left over to actually use the laser for some projects I have had hanging around waiting on the larger work area this machine will have. (At least that is what my wife thinks. - She is pretty well resigned to being a pseudo widow for the next couple of weeks.)