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Old 09-09-2009, 05:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bulltear 4x4 Gantry Writeup

So lastnight I received this from Bulltear:

Here's the gantry before installation:

And after:





Everything went together nice, take your time getting the v rails lined up with the gantry rollers. Moves nice and smooth, and hopefully tonight I'll finish up with the software and plasma cutter wiring.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sweet!

Looking forward to the completion and testing...

Did you get a real plasma for on that thing
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you get a real plasma for on that thing
Why I oughta!

Throwing a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 on it to get going. But have a Longevity 60A IGBT unit that'll be here soon that I'm gonna try on it too...
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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right on man, looks good
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you screw up you wont hurt anything these tables dont need limit switches. They cut 54"x51" and if you overtravel they will exceed the gear rack and coast.
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I had a weird parallel port driver issue, or lack there of. I chased my tail on that while working on finalizing the table the last few nights. Got the table moving today, and the torch height control circuit board is tested and working well. Built the tower for the table, tested and mounted up motors and zipped her around manually at 800 inches/minute tonight (see video). Planning on finishing wiring, calibrating table and plumbing up the plasma tomorrow night for first cuts...
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you screw up you wont hurt anything these tables dont need limit switches. They cut 54"x51" and if you overtravel they will exceed the gear rack and coast.
I like what I'm seeing so far.

What all is involved with resetting the gantry and software if it runs past/off the gear rack?
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Like the progress very good! Remember your hours ok!

If you overtravel you simply twist the motor with your hand and pull the gantry back a little and release. There is no need for a limit switch on these I have been showing alot of locals these tables lately and even the logn time table owners are liking them. We are taking on with us to Cordova Ill for the Drag race show this weekend if anyone here is around please stop by for a brew and check out one of these first hand.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Materials to build the table:
3- 24' sticks of 2x2x1/8 - $100
Set of 300 lb each casters off ebay - $20
Welding wire, bandsaw blade, grinding disc, plates to mount casters - ? (not much)
Time - 5-6 hrs (alot of it is standing there drinking a beer cutting tube with the bandsaw )

Gantry Mounting/Assembly:
2 very casual hours

Electronics:
Time mounting control boxes running wires & testing connections - 2 hrs
Mounting and testing stepper motors - 1 hr
Researching pin-outs for plasma to connect THC - 1 hr
Wiring plasma - estimated 1 hr (tonight)

My computer was lacking a parallel port driver, so I've wasted probably 3-4 hrs researching and fixing that issue.

To do:
Mount z axis
Clean up cables
Wire plasma
Tune homing on stepper's
Test cut flip off smilie coasters

To do after its running:
Build down draft funnel
Hook up tube fan for exhaust
Make lots of money
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Pics ya stingy bastard

And I hope the last item on your list comes true
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROXROES View Post
Materials to build the table:
3- 24' sticks of 2x2x1/8 - $100
Set of 300 lb each casters off ebay - $20
Welding wire, bandsaw blade, grinding disc, plates to mount casters - ? (not much)
Time - 5-6 hrs (alot of it is standing there drinking a beer cutting tube with the bandsaw )

Gantry Mounting/Assembly:
2 very casual hours

Electronics:
Time mounting control boxes running wires & testing connections - 2 hrs
Mounting and testing stepper motors - 1 hr
Researching pin-outs for plasma to connect THC - 1 hr
Wiring plasma - estimated 1 hr (tonight)

My computer was lacking a parallel port driver, so I've wasted probably 3-4 hrs researching and fixing that issue.

To do:
Mount z axis
Clean up cables
Wire plasma
Tune homing on stepper's
Test cut flip off smilie coasters

To do after its running:
Build down draft funnel
Hook up tube fan for exhaust
Make lots of money
How much do you have in it all together.....not counting the plasma or computer?
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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And I hope the last item on your list comes true
Me too, the funds to get this came out of the finishing funds for my willys buggy. And I really think it needs some 609's...

Hopefully have some pics of cut sheetmetal tonight and videos of it running. Tune in around 5-8 Pacific time.

Quote:
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How much do you have in it all together.....not counting the plasma or computer?
Bulltear Ganty kit - $4500
Steel for table - $100
Downdraft funnel sheetmetal - $50
Plugs etc to hook 220v tube fan and plasma up to extension cord - $40
Casters - $20
Tube fan - freebie from work
Mach 3 License - $175

Total: $4885

My total with computer and Longevity IGBT plasma is more in the $5500+ range. And I don't foresee my noisy ass craftsman 33 gallon compressor lasting much longer.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well, would have had cut parts today. But I'm not gonna lie, I have this problem with not reading instructions or not reading them thoroughly enough. I'm just going to blame it on being really busy...

Anyways, the Sheetcam program is ALOT easier to use than what I thought at the beginning and I know now how to create and load G code.





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Old 09-10-2009, 09:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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that table is so small, i wouldn't even build a down draft deal around it, that'd probably just make pickin up parts that fall under harder to get. I would just get big fan, set it right next to the table, and point it where you want the smoke to go, or just roll it out the door to cut, w/ no fan.

Your computer desk is PIMP

Now let's see some cut parts, and cut quality
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There will be tracks that a piece of expanded steel slides on top of right under the slats. So that when I'm done, I can reach thru the slats to grab fallen pieces. Then there will be a trap door at the bottom of the downdraft funnel that I can use a hoe to clean crud out every once in awhile.

Garage is 4 bays, and it'lll get cold quick with a door wide open and a big fan blowing in the winter. With the tube fan and down draft I just have to open the overhead door enough to throw the vent tube out into the driveway.

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Dude, your like MacGuyver. Trap door plasma table
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I was looking at making an "angled funnel" shape for my 4'x4' table. Basically, skin 2 opposing sides with sheet metal. Then, do a diagonal sheet from the "backside" top.. angled down to the front (where I'll run a suction fan). The small parts will fall thru the slats onto the angled sheet and slide down to the front of the table. You could even make a "trough" to catch all the spray.. making cleanup pretty easy. For the time being, I just set a couple small powerful fans on the side of the table and blow the dust/smoke out the front door of the shop.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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nice work.

You are gonna love the Mach 3 controller

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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nice work.

You are gonna love the Mach 3 controller

john
Thanks!

Been one heck of a learning curve, thats for sure!
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Can you give us specs on the plasma cutter you are using? I would like to know if my L-Tec PCM VPi would work with this table setup. Its okay for cutting stuff around the shop, but not sure if it could keep up with the speed this table cuts at.

Could someone at bulltear let me know? Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I'm starting off using a Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52. But today my Longevity 60A IGBT Continuous Pilot Arc unit came in, so I will get another torch height control board and wire that up.

Your plasma MUST NOT be a high frequency start as it will interfere with the signal. You must have a pilot arc (torch fires without sensing ground).

The size of your plasma dictates what gage material you can cut and material piercing abilities which the manufacturer should supply you. The table can be setup to run at whatever IPM (inches per minute) is required to get a satisfactory cut with your plasma cutter.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:54 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Well here's the recent lowdown, where the manual says pin-outs for "okay to move" for this model Thermal Dynamics are do not supply an "okay to move" signal. I can get the torch to fire but no DC voltage signal with the voltmeter. So I am figuring that the PCB relay they sell hooks up to wherever and supplies this. And I really don't want to know what Thermal Dynamics charges for it. So it looks like I need to buy the AC transformer from candcnc to get this signal that hooks into the THC circuit board.

I was able to get it to advance and fire by manually hitting the "torch on" button, but it dragged the arc rapidly across the piece as it advanced. But here's a pic of the cuts without any major tuning.

One on left is before I turned up the voltage on the plasma a tad. Wallered out corners is where the torch stayed on to long and would have usually shut off.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Nifty

Always something tiny gets in the way too!
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I looked at the manual and could not tell if the ARC OK signal is a voltage signal. It could be a dry contact closure like the Hypertherms.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:15 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I looked at the manual and could not tell if the ARC OK signal is a voltage signal. It could be a dry contact closure like the Hypertherms.
On the j10 output, pins 1 & 3 say "okay to move". Had my buddy manually run the plasma while I used a voltmeter. No DC voltage at all, and only a .2V AC movement. Sucks since I even had a guy at work dig me out an 8 pin molex connector and he made me up the wires and crimped on the special connectors and everything. Oh well, such is life.

Going to call around and see if any dealers are open and would happen to have the PCB Interface. And find out the price and if that includes a complimentary tube of KY.

EDIT
EEK! EBAY $175
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