LaserCut Mendel Post processing

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LaserCut Mendel Repstrap Post Processing of LaserCut parts
This page is a work in progress, please help us by telling us where more detail is needed, or where the instructions need to be more clear.


Introduction

Throughout the intructions on this page we have taken photos and provided a description about how to perform the "Post Processing" of the LaserCut parts, when you are done with these steps, you will have a set of LaserCut parts which are ready for assembly into the LaserCut Mendel.

It is assumed that your skills and abilities with the tools and materials involved are adequate for the job, advanced skills should not be required, but your ability to pay attention to detail and handle the pieces accurately will make a big difference on how your machine fits together later. We are not in any way trying to teach you the skills needed to process these parts. Along with that, we do not get into any safety discussions, and OFTEN in the photos provided, there is no safety equipment shown, this is intentional to make the image of the steps more clear. You should always always use and follow safety instructions which came with your equipment.

I feel bound to warn you that the tools involved can be dangerous! They can remove fingers, and put holes into your body. If this makes you nervous, please re-read the introduction, before deciding to tackle these steps yourself.

Post Processing has three main processes to it, Routing, Drilling and Gluing/Clamping. Some of the major components (listed in the Table Of Contents below) require only one of these and others require more, I note which processes are involved.

Contents



Tools used

To perform the following procedures, you will need these tools:

  • Router Table
  • 5/16 in Diameter or 8mm Roundover Routing bit - This is not a common size bit, don't assume you can buy it at your local hardware store. I had to have mine custom made!
  • Drill Press
  • 21/64 in Diameter or 8.5mm Drill bit
  • 0.154 in diameter or 4mm Drill bit
  • An assortment of small clamps (I use spring clamps, other will work too)
  • Good wood glue, I use a polyurethane glue, but other should work

I also use a micro-pin nailer, but you can glue and clamp each piece, where I have pinned them (pinning just saves clamps and in many cases time).



Frame Vertices

Processes: Glueing/Clamping, and Drilling

LaserCut Pieces Used:

This shows 2 of the 12 Lasercut pieces used to make 6 Vertices.
6 assembled Vertices.
Although the picture only shows 2 LaserCut Pieces, there are twelve of them and they are glued together to create 6 vertices, as shown in the following picture:


Image of vertices being drilled.

After the glue has dried, the vertices need drilled. I created a jig to help hold my vertices in the correct position and to keep them square and upright. Take extra care to get these holes positioned just right, having them off center will cause serious problems squaring your machine. You may also find that you need to trim excess glue from the parts, in order to get them to sit squarely in the jig.

The holes are centered the one direction. The other direction they are placed as closely to the lasercut holes as it can be without intersecting them.


Here are a few more pictures we took while performing the above processes.


Z Bar Top Clamp

Processes: Routing

LaserCut Pieces Used:

This shows 4 pieces, used to make the bar clamps.
4 Routed X bar clamps.
The processing on these is fairly simple, we route a groove in the center of the clamp piece, to hold the Z Axis Smooth bar firmly.

The picture on the left is before processing, the picture on the right is after processing.


Setting the router to the middle of the bar clamp.
Using a Square scrap to push the bar clamp through the router.
The router is set to route a groove through the middle of the bar clamp, about 3mm (aprx. 3/16 inch) deep (see picture on left). Then using a square-cut peice of scrap, push the bar clamp through the router to make the groove (see picture on right). You can also see that I used another piece of scrap clamped to the fence to hold the workpiece down while routing it.



X Axis Carriage

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

The pieces used to make the X Carriage.
The Processed X Carriage.
The pieces shown on the Left are used to make the X Carriage as it is shown on the right.


Fastening the top to the Carriage.
Installing Part of the back.
The top is installed, with the larger portion of the offset towards the 360 (back) end of the carriage, leave enough space for the back to sit flush with the sides. The top half of the back (the larger of the two back pieces) is set between the sides, and is flush with the top, the larger portion (from the two holes) is facing up. The other piece of the back is also placed between the two sides, flush with the bottom of the sides and again the larger portion (from the two holes) is oriented up.

Two of the bearing supports are fastened to the front of the X carriage (see picture of processed X Carriage above) They are centered and glued as far to the top and bottom of the space provided as possible. The other three bearing supports are not fastened into the carriage, so that they can be removed to clamp the X belt into place.



X Axis Vertical Drive Plate 180 end

Processes: Routing, and Gluing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the X Axis 180 plate.
Processed X 180 Plate.
The three pieces shown on the Left are used to make the X Axis Vertical Drive Plate, 180 degree end, as shown on the right.


Setting the fence to route the drive plate.
Processed X 180 Plate.
Use the X Drive plate reinforcing piece, to set the fence of the router so that it is centered under the protruding reinforcement on the end, as shown in the picture on the left. You want these routes to be quite shallow, they only help to center the X Axis bars to the correct position.

Next take the reinforcing piece and glue it to the piece you just routed, but on the opposite side. You line up the ends of the reinforcement with the edges of the plate, (see picture on Right).

The smaller piece is also glued to the bearing plate - I recommend waiting until the top piece has dried before gluing the bottom piece. It is glued to the bottom (where the shallow grooves were routed). Take extra care to properly line up this pice, with the one you just glued on top. I usually take some of the bearing supports and a small squaring jig that I have made, to make sure that the ends of the slots for the bearing supports line up. It is also possible to help line these up using a bearing support and a small square.
Here are some more pictures taken while processing this part:


X Axis Vertical Drive Plate 360 end

Processes: Routing, and Gluing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

pieces to process into the X 360 end Drive Plate.
This Piece processes almost exactly like the 180 plate. It just uses different starting pieces. Rather than two bearing supports, this piece uses three bearing supports, which means you have more places to verify alignment between the reinforcing peice and the smaller bottom piece.


Here are the pictures I took of this piece being processed.


X Bar Clamps

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

pieces that make the X Bar Clamps.
There are four bar clamps, and they are slightly different for each side (to match the X plates).

Leave the router fence set to the same place and depth that it was for the X Axis Vertical drive plates. Lay out the Clamps, and note that there is an inner edge and an outer edge. You should have two sets, one for the 360 end and one for the 180 end. When you route them, make sure the outer edge is against the fence, and make sure that you run the set through so that you have a matched set, not two identical pieces - There is a right and a left, after you route them.



Y Axis Bearing 180

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

pieces that make the Y Axis 180 Bearing.
Nearly complete Y Axis Bearing 180.
The pieces on the left are used to make the 180 bearing part on the right. The picture on the right is not quite complete, but is shown as it is for clearity.

The two bearing support arms are not identical, the arm with the notches will be the top and the one without will be the bottom. They are both glued into the bracket, with the arms centered and the brackets near the end of the arms. To make the piece shown in the right photo.


Adding Build Plate Support Arms.
After the glue dries, I use the Frog plate as a jig to add the Build plate support arms (there are four of these in the set, and they have three elongated holes in them). To do this I clamp the build plate support arms to the frog plate and glue the bearing assembly to them. The yellow clamp nearest to you in the photo is there for the bearing assembly to lean against while the glue dries. (Notice that the Assembly is upside down). The assembly is connected to the arms near the inside hole.


Y Axis Bearing 360

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

pieces that make the Y Axis 360 Bearing.
Nearly complete Y Axis Bearing 360.
This is very similar to the 180 Bearing assembly, but it has three bearing support arms instead of two. Two of them are glued in place, and the third is left floating and removeable.


Adding Build Plate Support Arms.
Just like on the 180 assembly, connect the 360 assembly to the Build Plate Support Arms. For this one I found a small box that was the perfect height to support the assembly while the glue dried. Placement is a direct mirror of the 180, but it is possible to get the assembly backwards. You need to know that the Bar which passes through the middle of the assemble should fall between the two inner elongated holes on the build plate support arm, pay close attention to which way you place the assembly to make this possible.


Y Axis Bar Clamp (Style 1)

Processes: Routing

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the Y Bar Clamps.
Processed Y Bar Clamps.
For the first style of Y Axis bar clamps, we route a groove through the middle of the peices shown on the Left, to make the pieces shown on the right (one is set on edge to show the profile). Four of these will be used to make Style 2.



The tool I built to protect my fingers.
Pushing a LaserCut piece through the router.
The Router is set to route right down the middle of the piece (the pieces are square). The depth is almost half the thickness of the material (aprx 3mm or 1/8 In.) The image on the left shows a board which I cut to hold the small Bar Clamp blank, and glued a small piece of wood to the top of it to help hold the blank down while routing. You can see that I clamped a scrap of wood to the fence to hold the workpiece down as well. The photo on the right shows me pushing the workpiece through the router. 14 pieces... and that is it! (for this step)


Y Axis Bar Clamp (Style 2)

Processes: Routing

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the Y Bar Clamps.
Processed Y Bar Clamps.
Four of the Bar Clamps from the above process are used to make style 2. For this Bar Clamp, There are two grooves through the piece, on opposite sides creating a 'T'

The picture on the Right shows one set up on its corner, so that you can see the profile of two edges at once. (It is hard to see, but that is a corner right in the center pointing up at you).


Pieces used to make the Y Bar Clamps.
This image is to show that the groove from the last route is set up, and crosswise from the way we are going to make the new groove. Do the same to all four pieces.


PCB Bar Clamps

Processes: Routing

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the PCB Bar Clamps.
Processed PCB Bar Clamps.
I placed these in this position, because with the router set to route the groove for the Y bar clamps, it is also set to route the grooves for the PCB Bar Clamps. These are Rectangular rather than Square and the groove is cut across the short distance of the workpiece.


Here are the pictures I took of this process.


Y Axis Idler

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the Y Axis Belt Idler.
Processed Y Axis Belt Idler.
This is perhaps the simplest piece to process, simply align the two identical pieces, and glue them together.



Y Axis Motor Mount

Processes: Glueing/Clamping

LaserCut Pieces Used:

Pieces used to make the Y Axis Motor Mounts.
Processed Y Axis Motor Mount.
This is the second simplest piece to process, simply align the two nearly identical pieces, and glue them together. You may want to pay attention to where the extra bump on the thinner piece goes, the opto endstop mounts to this bump.



Z Axis Belt Tensioner

LaserCut Pieces Used:


Z Axis Motor Bracket

LaserCut Pieces Used:


Z Axis Leadscrew Base

LaserCut Pieces Used: