Started to design the electronics enclosure/control panel. I've had an idea of the functionality I wanted pretty early on, but came the the realization that the tool PSU size makes a 3d printed enclosure difficult when your longest axis on your printer is just larger than the PSU. I also want a compact design with active filtered air flow (like a PC filter), so I think I am going to have to sacrifice ease of access to the internals to make it work. I also need to make this slightly modular so that it can be changed to suit different internals/spindles.
- Enclosure with active mesh filtered airflow (Not air-tight, but proper flow)
- Modifiable/Modular for different parts/connectors (Within Reason)
- Compact. (Within Reason)
- Spindle control with hold/resume/abort buttons and E-Stop. (Required)
- Vacuum relay controlled by grbl. (Required)
- CNC Cable diconnects. (Required)
- Carrying handle. (if possible)
- Fused AC Computer cable input. (Required)
- Combination hooka and coffee maker (Stretch Goal)
I wrestled with this for more than I would like to admit. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I would use the PSU as a primary back-bone of the enclosure with multiple larger 3d prints. They will mirror each other and sandwich the PSU. There will be two middle prints that cover the missing gap.
Each of these prints have mounts for panels that can be swapped out and re-designed and connected by m3 screws. I am happy with how these turned out. The upper panels are 10mm shorter than the bottom panels, but they are the same width.
I absolutely love these aviator connectors. So long as the connections are solid when wired, I see no reason not to use these in general. I am using the number of connectors I need and also dedicating an extra pin on the servo and end stop wires to grounding the cable shield.
I got my order of screws from NuttyBolts, but they got me M4 screws in place of the M5 that I ordered. I sent them an email and they are sending out the correct M5 today and letting me keep the M4. Pretty good customer service I'd say. The M6 70mm screws from that order allowed me to connect the new tool clamp. The tool clamp parts were printed with 100% infill. We will have to see if they can withstand the heat of the 500W spindle motor.
Deciding on wire gauge has been a pain, specifically for the stepper motor connections. Like screws, it seems that amazon just isn't geared for selling the vast ranges of wire standards. I also want shielded considering its all going to be grouped in the cable chains. I ended up ordering 14awg spools (various colors stranded) and 4 core 20awg stranded and shielded. The 14awg will be good for the electronics enclosure and spindle wiring, but the 20awg had a loose jacket that just makes it too big for the cable chain, so the plan is to pull the jacket off and put some 1/4" braided PETG sleeves over it instead to keep the grounding cover intact. There wont be any exposed conductors in the chain, so I don't think this will be an issue. I should have just gone with some 22awg shielded.
A fault in the CNC design is that that the wires will need to be re-terminated if they need to be removed, for say, a broken printed part or component. The ends just wont fit along the cable chain. Which kinda sucks really... but cant really change it now. So I guess Ill just have to deal with it and commit.