Zenbot Resurrection – Part 2

The Rebuild Begins

Back in April I had 2 months off with some of my long service, it was around this time I wanted to do this project, but as it happened I ended up going to Shenzhen with Hacker Camp 2016 and when I got home I renovated a bathroom, so I didnt start the rebuild, however in anticipation of this I had already started ordering the parts for the project and already had just about everything I needed.

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Zenbot Resurrection – Part 1

Zenbot comes out…of Storage

For the past number of years my Zenbot Mini CNC has been in storage as I don’t really have a place to run it where I’m currently living. It was also cumbersome to use, not size wise, just dusty and noisy when I’ve done work with it in the past. With the ‘Othermill’ getting a fair bit of publicity in the maker arena, this has picqued my interest in CNC again, so I decided to dig out my Zenbot and look at how I can overcome these factors preventing me from using it day to day where I currently live, without too much complaints from those around me.

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CNC – MK1 Modelling Begins

After lots of research I’ve started to put some ideas to paper for the MK1 CNC Machine.  

Yes I know I could probably jump right in and start putting together bit and pieces, but I really want to learn to use some 3-D Modelling CAD Packages for future Robotics projects and since I will eventually need to model components so they can be exported to the CNC machine for milling, I thought it might be a good exercise by modelling the MK1 itself.

So here is the start of the X-Axis Linear Bearings

CNC - MK1 X-Axis Bearings

CNC Bug Bites

Over the past number of years, along with my interest in robotics and software development,  I have also had a keen interest in machining and metal work, I suppose ever since I build my first Stuart Turner stationary engine when I was 15 on my fathers Lathe,  BTW my father is also a very keen model engineer/machinist.  So wanting to merge my interests along came CNC.

I don’t own a lather / milling machine, actually I don’t even have a workshop myself (about to change with my new house being built), although I do have access to them when ever I want its still not the same as ducking out to the shed to whip up a part, in general I find making small components and PCBS a bit of a pain, mainly though lack of tools and proper work area.  So Getting back into the robotics/electronics scene after a long break has also re-kindled my interest in the CNC Area, especially for small robotic parts (plastic and aluminium) and one off PCBs (routing and drilling). 

So in my quest for knowledge, I spent the last few nights browsing what’s out there, and was very surprised to see the huge amount of work that people have done.  I must admit it had been a couple of years since I’ve last looked, and there there are some truly amazing machines out there (check out http://www.cnczone.com/).   Anyway I think I want to start off small first with a low cost pcb router/drilling using a 3-axis with a dremal.  Plenty of photos out there with low cost designs and common parts have inspired me to take some steps and begin some design work, so stay tuned.