- Active project
I wanted to make the machine movable - it would be very handy if it was next door while I was milling something that could potentially break, throwing off pieces at a very high speed. Having a brick wall between me and the machine seemed very sensible!
The machine was sitting on top of a work bench, but it wasn't really moveable. It is just about carryable, but I wouldn't want to be carrying it all day.
The trolley design is to accommodate the machine, set at a sensible height, with lockable castor wheels to allow it to be moved around. I initially designed it using DesignSpark Mechanical.
I wanted to use 63 x 37mm construction timber, as this is pretty strong from everything I've made with it before.
The computer next to it is an Intel NUC that I have spare - I wanted to use this as a remote computer that I would either:
- Load up all of the designs via Remote Desktop (or equivalent)
- This would require me to install all of the software on the NUC
- Use a program that would allow me to use my PCB machining program on my main desktop, but control the CNC machine remotely
- This would be fine - except I wouldn't be able to do anything else with the same mechanism (such as 3rd party CNC drivers like Candle)
- Use an RFC 2217 compliant server and client
- Drivers for Windows are a bit thin on the ground, and I really didn't want to install any unsigned drivers via some back-end route, or pay any money!
I settled on the third option - and implemented the server using a Raspberry Pi using Wifi. For the Windows client, I was able to install the com0com version 3.0 drivers and configure it. To my amazement, Candle worked first time with it! I can now wheel the CNC machine to anywhere that I have mains power and Wifi access on my network.
Underneath the CNC machine is the 3U box (with a spare 1U for an emergency stop switch I intend to make), and at the very bottom, there is space for the 3rd CNC machine - although I probably won't use it for that purpose; I'll proably make some shelves and / or drawers to store material and tools.
The construction of the trolley went pretty much to plan - although I did add one length of 18 x 34mm wood to support the front of the 3U rack.
The only other change I made was to put the 3U rack on the right hand side as I'd forgotten that the length of the cables were too short to put it on the left. I also fitted a 4-way mains adaptor on the right hand side.