building a Semi-Automated drilling machine - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    I'm not seeing why the tapping needs to be CNC. This is a layout problem. Once the holes are there a parallelogram tapping arm with a pneumatic motor will make short work of the tapping. Something like this:

    flexarm

    A 4x8 CNC router (with variable speed or a geared head) would put your hole pattern in with little muss or fuss, and you can get a servicable one for under $20k new, or half that used. You probably want one with a toolchanger.

    Separate the tasks and everything becomes very off the shelf.

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    If it were me I'd probably make drill jigs for the patterns and have something like a T track into which they could be quickly mounted, with a measuring tape on the track to align the edge of the jig to known dimensions. No layout necessary, just grab the correct jig and align it to the measurement on the job sheet. If the pattern repeats further down the piece just slide it down to the next reference measurement, tighten a knob and drill away.

    For what you do that should be plenty precise and requires no programming. Drill bushings are fairly cheap and if the correct bit(s) is/are stored with the jig no extra time is spent looking for the correct bit.

  3. #43
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    Looking at the finished part pics again, it appears that it is simply
    angle iron, cut off (with a miter cut) and some holes.

    Why not a simple machine to take full lengths, and "Squirt out" using a stepper
    motor to advance the material past a drill unit, stopping to make the hole
    ( a DRAP could do both things in one shot).

    Thence on to the saw positioned "x" inches away, that cuts the 45.

    So you program the parts, they spit out, and slide down a chute to the welder,
    who is placing them on the table and tacking them.

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  5. #44
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    That is what I want, I just don’t have any personal experience building a machine like that from scratch. That’s where the tigers stop cones in. It looks like I can down load a simple program to the head unit and it will push the material through all the hole positions. First step is with an operator at the drill and then I will automate that portion.

    I’m really not interested in drill templates. Projects do not share parts from project to project. More importantly I need something that takes ME out of the equation laying these parts out as there is no one else to do these layouts unsupervised efficiently.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  7. #45
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    I did a little research on this as I build this kind of stuff myself. If you take a look at a BRX PLC from Automation Direct they have 8 high speed outputs that could give you up to four axis of motion driving stepper or servos. One of the new 7" C-more touch screens has a built in recipe function that uses an Excel CSV format file to store up to 100 recipes or motion programs in this case. You can edit them directly in the display or upload an Excel spreadsheet load a new Recipe file.

    Operation would not be G-code programming would be file where a line is a recipe with a name or part number and the X,Y,Z coordinates for each hole, and paramaters like hole size, tap size, spindle speed etc.

    Palleti Extrusions has a very nice linear rail system that is belt driven using round steel rails, and they will sell it pretty much pre-built.

    The PLC is about $500 and software is free, the C-more is $500+$150 for software. Stepper motors and drives figure about $200 per axis, $200 for a DC power supply, $300 for an enclosure, and so on. Automation Direct can sell you all the electrical components and once you have their price you can scrounge on Ebay for surplus stuff. I got my electrical enclosures for my CNC on Ebay for $25 each for two that normally cost $225 each because they had some holes already, and I managed to use them all.

    Initially you could have a 1 axis Tiger Stop like device that locates in X while your Bridgeport locates in Y for a little less money than the Tiger Stop. If the concept works well you could put a stepper on the Bridgeport Y axis. If you want to go further add a Y axis and a Z axis with a drill spindle so it is fully automated.

    If you'd like to talk further you can contact me directly. I do mechanical, electrical, and PLC programming, and I am NOT looking for work! But I am happy to point you in the right direction and offer some help.

    Gary H.Lucas

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  9. #46
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    To avoid all "programming", I would think about building a simple machine using linear guide rails for 'X' and 'Y' . Use small stepper motors for positioning and light position holding. Plus and minus buttons for quick movement and non-graduated pulse wheels for fine positioning of X and Y. This would be simple friction drive arrangements for steppers (in a crash the steppers would lose steps and/or slip their drives. Lost steps would mean nothing plus no homing needed). Use digital scales and readout for positioning. Supply X and Y locations for holes sizes, threads and what not on a print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David_M View Post
    To avoid all "programming", I would think about building a simple machine using linear guide rails for 'X' and 'Y' . Use small stepper motors for positioning and light position holding. Plus and minus buttons for quick movement and non-graduated pulse wheels for fine positioning of X and Y. This would be simple friction drive arrangements for steppers (in a crash the steppers would lose steps and/or slip their drives. Lost steps would mean nothing plus no homing needed). Use digital scales and readout for positioning. Supply X and Y locations for holes sizes, threads and what not on a print.
    Yes David, that is exactly what I was suggesting!

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    you would have to cost this out, but how about a laser?

    you could lay down enough angle for a couple of doors (at least) at a time, blast the holes out, cut partial miters, never need to compromise on optimal hole spacing, make the following ops pretty much mindless.

    outsource that, and the equipment capitalization is ...zero.

    might not work so well if its, say 1/2 sq. you are using, but a fiber MIGHT possibly work.. distortion could be a problem...BUT, at the least, you could use the pulse/engrave function to "centermark" the positions. thats really what you need, once a good position is established, its all monkey work from there...

    worth looking at, no? cheers!

  12. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyanidekid View Post
    you would have to cost this out, but how about a laser?

    you could lay down enough angle for a couple of doors (at least) at a time, blast the holes out, cut partial miters, never need to compromise on optimal hole spacing, make the following ops pretty much mindless.

    outsource that, and the equipment capitalization is ...zero.

    might not work so well if its, say 1/2 sq. you are using, but a fiber MIGHT possibly work.. distortion could be a problem...BUT, at the least, you could use the pulse/engrave function to "centermark" the positions. thats really what you need, once a good position is established, its all monkey work from there...

    worth looking at, no? cheers!
    Don't use hot rolled angle iron.

    Laser cut from flat sheet, simple press brake bend.

    I do this all the time when I can (the OP in this case might need the
    thicker corner that the HR material offers though)


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