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About 4DThinker

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  1. Late follow up about the college Meteor.... After swapping the X and Z axis cables the Z axis stepper works and the X axis stepper doesn't. Looking to see if a stepper driver replacement was available i found this info on the Probotix wiki page: "DEPRECIATED: This product is no longer made nor maintained.". So we have ordered a new controller box for it, but will have to re-wire all the steppers on the Meteor as the old controller was monopolar and the new controllers are bipolar. BTW my personal Meteor was bought just a few months before this college Meteor, and initially had the s
  2. It seems three will be the minimum recommended bridges to deal with 99% of flat work. I found this out while cutting the parts for my 3rd bridge. I cut the top board first as it spanned between the first two bridges. That included a shallow dado in the bottom for the vertical rib. Apparently the plywood was bowed down some between the bridges as the depth of that dado was shallow near the middle and deeper at the ends. Flipping it over to cut the slot for the t-track the board bowed up and the slot ended up deeper in the middle than at the ends. All is well now though as I've
  3. In production the goal is to maximize efficiency and lower cost. Several years ago I took a bet (with myself) and made a nice computer cabinet prototype to show my dept. head. He liked it enough to ask if I could make 30 of them and said he would pay me. What I was paid was never mentioned, but effectively what I would have made teaching a summer school class rather than making 30 cabinets. He bought the materials needed. I had a big shop space (furniture design classroom) to use. I'd spent 10 hours or so making the initial prototype, and knew I couldn't afford to spend 10 hours x 30 cab
  4. My cam levers came in. Spent the morning trying to cut an opening in the top of the side rails so I could drop in new t-nuts. I have a nibbler but the head wouldn't fit into the slot. I thought about using a drill bit to make an opening big enough for the nibbler head. Bad idea. Got out my fancy dremel clone tool but none of the cutters I had were making good progress cutting the aluminum. Ended up using my Milwaukee cordless trim router and a 1/8" high speed steel end mill to cut out enough so I could tip in the new nuts. The cam levers are powder coated, and came with a
  5. Thanks Cal. While I can occasionally suffer a stroke of genius, designs like these bridges are more of a slow burn evolution of earlier ideas and years spent trying to get down to the real problems to solve. T-track strips between MDF slats has done a relatively fine job of hold down work to cut with only a little post-cnc work required to clean up the parts. What persistently nagged me over the years were the occasionally unexpected results that were hard to track down the reason(s) for. I've known for a long time that MDF is not structural and more of a brittle plastic. Plywood could be
  6. Photo of bridges with t-track in the middle. Still waiting on cam levers. 4D
  7. Clearly there isn't a great audience for this idea, but I do appreciate the likes! Keeping the CNC bed flat has been the one irritating ongoing challenge using the Probotix CNC I own and those I oversee. Mill it flat one Friday and find a project cut on Monday hasn't cut through evenly all around is common. I've traced some of it down to the boards actually warping the MDF when a warped board is clamped down snug to the bed. Adding cross beams every foot or so and screwing the MDF down to each one would lessen that problem, but add considerable hassle to change out the MDF when it need
  8. I previously made a couple of frame bridges to support an assembled student project for some CNC joinery cuts. Lately I've been using the bridges more often to support flat work. They have proven their worth in every case and these are the advantages they offer: 1. They are stiff and flat and remain level to each other and plane-parallel with the CNC's X/Y travel. 2. They have a horizontal side to provide a clamping edge for c-clamps to hold the work down. 3. They have aligned holes for pins to set the project board against for perfect alignment with the CNC Y axis. 4. The
  9. Great looking sign! Only challenge with such a sign is they don't sell well in KS where I am.
  10. Near the end of the fall semester I got an email from my lab assistant who reported the Z axis of our old Meteor CNC wasn't working. A few day before that I'd noticed the Z axis was slipping, and traced the reason down to a loose coupler between the stepper and the drive screw. Tightened the screw with some Loctite and all seemed well, so I was surprised to get that email. For reference this Meteor lives in a room with 2 other Probotix CNCs, but has been the workhorse for flat cuts mainly furniture hardwood parts. The Nebula to its right has a 4th axis on it which gets used
  11. Relating to lasers and CNC, Vectric just announced that they have an add-on module to support lasers in their 10.0 and greater versions. Pretty nice features too, including mapping laser toolpaths to 3D surfaces. $49 for the module when it becomes available. This help explain to me why several CNC companies have been announcing laser attachments for their CNCs.
  12. No. The book stand has been delivered and installed since before the college was closed for the pandemic, and was featured in a newsletter sent out to the college and alumni. Everyone in the college knew about the stand, but only I and the DH and the college accountant knew the DH didn't want me to be paid for it. To get paid my DH needed to sign a form, and he refused to. It is pretty likely though that the DH saw this thread and knew my stance, and so either he brought it up or the accountant did. It is also possible that he just gave up and told the accountant to go ahead and pay me w
  13. As to what changed the DH's mind, I know they had an administrators meeting yesterday so I suspect the Dean settled the issue. The email I got came right after their meeting ended. 4D
  14. Beautiful and brilliant! I love the mix of woods used. Great excuse for keeping scraps! 4D
  15. Not sure how a mind was changed, but I just got an email from the college accountant that I'll be getting a paycheck for the gross amount of the invoice in a few weeks. The DH does have a CNC, so perhaps he's been following this thread. Thank you all for the kind words and friendly retort. Nice to have a little company when venturing down a rabbit hole.
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