Milling Machine Electronics

While my electronics were on the wood rack, I got the steppers tuned for proper scaling ran the x and y axis on the machine.

Being more concerned about safety and now having all the resources to encase the drive electronics, I gutted a print server case and laid out components. The case was from an old EFI print server marked as dead, but the case was all I needed.

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After quickly checking that everything could fit with, I drilled out some standoffs intended for a micro atx motherboard and mounted components. Everything is bolted down with 6-32 hardware and it’s a cozy fit. Note that there is no space between the power supplies or stepper drivers. I won’t be driving this mill hard enough to heat up the power supplies and the stepper drivers are adjacent to a fan for forced air cooling.

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The power connectors with integrated fuse holders are bolted to a piece of 1/2″ thick plexiglass:

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With everything connected internally, I wired up the steppers and proceeded to measure backlash on my machine. It came out to roughly 0.007″ on the x axis and 0.004″ on the y axis prior to adjusting anything, which isn’t bad for what I’ll be using the machine for initially. I couldn’t really think of a good way to measure the z axis since the weight of the head makes it appear as though there is zero backlash.

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With everything setup I decided I might as well run some circles with g-code. They were in fact round up to the point I ran out of y axis travel and started missing steps since limit switches have yet to be installed.

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