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4DThinker

Proximity and Oversight

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CNCs can be dangerously noisy.  They can produce copious amounts of potentially toxic chips and dust,   Best to leave the room and let them finish on their own, except for the inevitable calamity that will happen while you are gone.  

 

I do my design, drawing and tool path creation in a room far away from the CNC. The files are either saved to a network drive I can access from the Linux PC by the CNC, or saved to a thumb drive which I carry down to the CNC room. 

 

I also occasionally open a file in my linuxCNC controller software to realize something is wrong about it.  Knowing this I've kept a Windows PC in a closet of the CNC room which I can use to quickly edit a file.   This PC is only used for quick edits, being hooked up to the network for access to my source files.  The poor thing is only a few feet from the CNC though, and suffers like any human does.  I found this closet PC dead yesterday.  Overwhelmed no doubt by the noise and dust.  The second black box I've killed with a CNC

 

The point of this post is that the closer a thing (human or hardware) is to a CNC the more abuse and assault it suffers. We protect ourselves with dust masks and hearing protectors and safety glasses and such because we can't be too far away from our running CNC.   The PC and controller that run your CNC must also be protected with filters over their intakes, and periodic, thorough cleaning.  I failed to protect my poor closet windows PC. :(

 

4D   

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That is a great point to make. Would you mind posting some pictures of your machine setup and how you protect the CNC's PC?

 

Would some of you other CNC operators mine doing the same?

 

Thank you in advance

Edited by Chips N Dust (see edit history)

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At this moment 3 of the 4 CNCs I oversee are in storage awaiting final inspection of the new shop building they'll be moving into. 

 

My personal Probotix CNC controller and associated linux PC are on the bench opened up for cleaning out. After finding that closet winPC dead I figured these other two boxes could need a cleaning. I had thin air-filter material taped over their inputs,  It got thrown out. I'll have to get some more filter material to replace it as I'm out here at home. 

 

4D

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I have a computer cabinet I got off the curb that someone did not want.  The rest of the system is across the room.

 

Pleas note, the computer shown died on me on my way to Michigan for a sawdust meet and had all my demo pictures and software on it.  I stopped the first night and took it in my room tried to turn it on and it had died.  Tech that looked it over said battery good, hard drive good, mother board gave up.  Ask about dust and he said it was not bad that he had seen a whole lot worst.

Bought replacement and was taking it in every night and charging it, until dogs decided to chase each other and got into the charger cable and  dragged it onto the floor breaking the hinges.  Got new hinges but have not had time to install them.

 

Bought a floor model Windows 7 netbook $79 to use as a spare and still using it.

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14 minutes ago, MEBCWD said:

I have a computer cabinet I got off the curb that someone did not want.  The rest of the system is across the room.

I love this whole story, great re-purposing, overcoming challenges (dogs) and making due, now that's the American spirit!

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In our new shop space we have a dedicated room for our 3 small CNCs.  Mostly to keep the noise they make separated from the rest of the shop area.  A shop-wide dust collector system is part of the new shop space and hookups for the 3 CNCs are available in this room. 

 

All three of these CNCs use t-track and clamps to hold the work in place, and I've found that the clamps and fans on the routers used make any attempt at dust collection less than ideal.  The CNCs don't have any obvious way to mount the collector shroud so it can remain in place no matter what the Z-axis does.  No obvious way to adjust the brush height when different length bits are used either.  

 

My mind wanders to unconventional strategies to collect the dust and chips produced.  For the moment we will rely on broom and dust pan along with a shop vac after each job ends.  

 

I've pondered vertical panels to keep the dust from falling/blowing off the sides of the CNCs, and a constant ducted air flow to blow everything toward the back of the bed where a wide trough would be hooked to the shop dust collector.   This idea crumbles when I see chips and dust wafting up into the air where no strategy will find them. 

 

I imagine a positive static charge somehow applied to the dust as it is made, so a negatively charged dust collector will attract it all.    My personal shop vac hose does a good job at attracting dust on the outside of the hose pipe when used.   This effect seems as though it could be put to use for productive collection.   Beyond my technical experience though. 

 

Then I imagine plasma obliteration of all dust/chips when it is produced.   The dust collector would manage the smoke/ash produced.   I don't have good faith in this idea.   ;)

 

I'll be re-doing the bed on our Probotix Meteor soon, and I am considering dust collection from below.  Build it like a sloppy vacuum bed, so any dust produced would be sucked down through holes in the bed itself.  The whole bed area would have a grid of holes for dust to fall through. Even the perimeter outside the cutting area could be open to the dust collection below. Not a simple install, but it may be my best idea.

 

4D

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