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So, after spending a week doing some house repairs for my Dad, and then having some family visit for another week, I am back in the shop! The plasma table has been needing some attention itself, and was looking pretty lonely, and lifeless.
I finished making the gantry carriages, making them from 3/16″ steel and adding the motors and gear reduction. In the picture they’re just tacked up, but I did attach the motors to them and made the gantry move for the first time. This thing is smoooooth and FAST! I will show some video once I weld it all up and permanently mount things.
I decided on the name, “Gamera”, for the table. For those who do not know, Gamera is a turtle that was trapped beneath the ground from historic times and fed on petroleum deposits. One day he emerged from the earth, and since he fed on petroleum for so long, he can breath fire, and also has a pair of jet engines to fly around with. I figured, what better name for a metal cutting machine, built by a company with the name Turtle in it, than Gamera?
I also mocked up the X axis carriage with the beginnings of a Z axis. I have a gameplan for it, but am waiting for some parts to come in.
By the way, the Bladerunner system is SO easy to use so far… I hear the digital torch height control will have a learning curve. As far as the motor movement, I literally took my computer, installed Windows, Mach3, the Bladerunner software and hooked up the motors and controller, and had the motors running within about an hours time. Compared to my first machine where I soldered the HobbyCNC board, had to wire all the motors, then use a breakout board to communicate to the computer, this was a BREEZE. So far I am very happy with the Bladerunner system.