Computer-Controlled Mill
This project is the mother of all my others because it supports the computer-controlled design and fabrication of endless parts. The machine is a standard Taig mill converted for CNC (computer-numeric-controlled) operation. The welding-adapter project provides an end-to-end narrative of how this system is controlled from the software side.
Laying out the innards to get a feel for how big to make the case. The design diagram is to the right.
And here it is. I want to redo it as an aluminum case with extra features eventually, but it works great now, so leave well enough alone.
One hell of a paper cut! Don't ever knock over a bottle of layout fluid. Luckily I intended the surface of this work table to be repainted frequently, so I don't worry about keeping it too clean.
Marking up the cuts for the control panel. This is the same piece of plexiglass from my office chair runner that shows up in many other projects here.
How's this for bootstrapping? The mill is making itself, albeit manually with the hand cranks.
Getting close.
Miscellaneous setup and testing.
The controller.
Testing the cooling system. According to the specs for the Xylotex stepper-motor driver, their board can get really hot. So I assumed my system needed substantial cooling (and no, I didn't do any thermo calculations).
I also didn't do any airflow calculations, opting instead for the garbage bag and stopwatch approach.
Some of the control boards, designed in National Instruments Ultiboard.