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Thread: Backlash Compensation

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    694

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    I don't think it's off topic. This can be the anything to do with slop thread. I have seen it mentioned that the gear boxes are able to be tightened up to eliminate some of the slop. Any tutorials for this out there. Would just be interested in learning about the process involved.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    7,952

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    There are no tutorials out there for adjusting gearbox lash...this is because you have to rely solely on your mechanical abilities and sneak up on the right amount. If you take too much lash out, you'll wipe the gearbox out (scramble the gears...a la spoons in a blender) after it heats up, expands and binds. Then what?

    As I said there's only so much you can do before you have to explore other options...which is what Gary and I have been saying for years. I'm not singling anyone out when I say some will never get it. A word to the wise should be sufficient...Tune up what you have and if that doesn't work for you, sell it and get something that will. Just upgrading the controller and motors with new gearboxes can make a world of difference.

    It's SO easy for the snowball effect to occur with these machines and then you're upside down in it and still not where you need to be. I speak to those using CNC to feed their family. Hobbyists can make excuses.
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,615

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    Brady is spot on. You have to decide if this CNC brand will perform as needed to do what you want done. Backlash, flex and slop are things you just can't eliminate from ShopBot machines. The technology is to archaic to accomplish that. I have found ways to work around some of the flex, slop and backlash in my work. Yes, I do use the machine to pay bills and feed my family. Does it compare to what a newer machine can do, NOT EVEN CLOSE. But it's enough for me to do what I do. My machine is run hundreds and hundreds of hours (approaching well over a thousand hours) RUN TIME each year.

    One thing I do with my machine is a tune-up after each cutting session. I build this time and material into my shop hourly rate. I check all the nuts and bolts every 3 months. I adjust all the motors and V-rollers, clean up all the tracks and regrease them. This has helped a lot. Before each job I resurface my spoilboard to make sure it is in "sync" with the router bit tip. I use 1/8" sacrificial boards on top of my spoilboard that are surfaced both sides to make sure they are in "sync" with the router bit tip. I replace my v-rollers and pinion gears yearly. Replacing pinions v-rollers is a small cost considering the benefits it brings. As a business, I can build these costs into customer pricing. If I was doing this as a hobby I certainly wouldn't be changing parts regularly. I plan to get a 12 station ATC upgrade at the beginning of next year. I will continue to carry out the same detailed maintenance schedule even after the upgrade. With this approach, I've gotten ten years of decent performance out of my machine.

    It's up to each person, and the results they need from their machines, to determine if ShopBot is the way to go or it's time to move on and get a machine that uses the latest technology instead of, at least, decade old technology. I looked heavily at a Thermwood machine and would LOVE to upgrade to one, but I can't afford the price of the machine and the necessary electrical upgrades to my shop. So I'll keep nursing the ShopBot along until I retire. Then I will either attempt to sell it or use it as a hobby machine.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    iBILD Solutions - Southern NJ
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    7,952

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    Scott, the thing about the DT tools is that at best they can resolve 0.0002"....on paper. However, the reality is, that number can vary due to hysteresis associated with microstepping. The screw only gives a 2:1 mechanical reduction, which is way too coarse on any CNC router in my experience. Since the SB controller is not capable of outputting steps faster than 6 IPS reliably, that's why the DT maxes out at the speed it does. Less than 17% of a motor's rated torque is available when microstepping...a motor is free to waller around until it gets to a 1/4 step torque detent, which will result in positional loss, if the torque required exceeds that 17%. I've discussed this in the past...as have others.

    I liked the DT I had, but it wasn't designed for the kind of precision and features I expected from the tool. Mechanical reduction should have been at least 5:1, the motors should have been more powerful, the screws should have been ballscrews, the spindle should have been 24,000 RPM+ for small diameter tools that require it...the list goes on and on. Those are the main reasons why I sold it. I considered converting to Alpha motors or servos and ballscrews but it was easier to just get something else.
    High Definition 3D Laser Scanning Services - Advanced ShopBot CNC Training and Consultation - Vectric Custom Video Training IBILD.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    694

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    Sounds like I reopened a can of worms. I suppose there is no idea on this forum that probably hasn't been discussed before. I am picking up a 10 year old BT32 the 18th. Part of the attraction is the fact that mechanical parts are cheap and easy to replace. I realize that I won't be getting the state of the art, but turnkey with low investment and good support is huge. I would love a machine I could mill some aluminum to .001-.002" but I don't think there is much out there in "affordable" machines that could do that. I will mostly be doing wood, but hoping with some tuning up the old BT can keep me within .005-.010". On Aluminum...maybe with some practice even better. Originally the idea of the thread was just to try and pick up an easy few thousands. Sounds like the best way on these machines is just to tune it up and like others have said...just accept the fact of what it is.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kennebunkport, Maine
    Posts
    4,100

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    Thanks Brady!
    It does what I need in hardwoods(and just a hobbyist now), but just want to keep on top of maintenance.
    scott
    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

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