plotter to cnc router ? - RC Groups
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Oct 26, 2017, 09:27 PM
Brooklynite In Texas
Discussion

plotter to cnc router ?


Hello

I am looking into converting my HP plotter to do routing. all the necessary software and hardware is in one box but I need a lot of help. is anyone familiar with the circuits of this thing? I can't find any wiring diagrams (not that it would help)

this is what I want to start with.............................................. ........help!
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Oct 27, 2017, 09:53 AM
-insert witty saying here-
Hemikiller's Avatar
I think the best thing you can do with that is either use it as a plotter, or toss it. Lots of proprietary hardware in there that is 20+ years past obsolete. The motors and driver circuits are also not designed to move anything heavier than a sheet of paper.

There are hundreds of DIY cnc router builds on Openbuilds, Instructables, and CNCcookbook.

https://openbuilds.com/?id=286

http://www.instructables.com/howto/cnc+router/

https://www.cnccookbook.com/diy-cnc-...e-types-build/

There's also Cranky's Phoenix plans for an ultra-homebrew cnc router

http://www.crankorgan.com/

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...anky-s-Phoenix

http://www.crankorgan.com/phoenix.htm
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Oct 27, 2017, 11:59 AM
Brooklynite In Texas
Thank for responding, you have provided me with a lot of info and I may just have to follow the purchase and assemble route, It just seems a waste that what I have maybe wasted.

If nothing I will have fun dinking with this thing.
Oct 27, 2017, 03:17 PM
Registered User
dpot's Avatar
you still need to print planes
Oct 28, 2017, 06:54 AM
Brooklynite In Texas
This is the last of five plotters that I have owned and I have only printed five or six plans. anyway I have more plans than I could ever use in a lifetime, but I need a quicker method of cutting them out and not spend a fortune. As hemikiller said above this plotter is and oldy. I just thought the components might be put to some use, if not no big deal, I will just trash it.
Oct 28, 2017, 09:00 AM
supreme being of leisure
ZAGNUT's Avatar
i've seen a big flat bed plotter converted to a router. was pretty much limited to working with 1mm or smaller bits at insane speeds like 50k RPM and above....useless for big thick stuff but perfect for toy airplane woods.
Oct 28, 2017, 04:22 PM
Brooklynite In Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAGNUT
i've seen a big flat bed plotter converted to a router. was pretty much limited to working with 1mm or smaller bits at insane speeds like 50k RPM and above....useless for big thick stuff but perfect for toy airplane woods.

so I am not totally nuts. but
I am sure the person/s had a much better understanding of the electronics than I.
Oct 29, 2017, 06:31 AM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
The hard part would be converting to flat bed work. Yours runs the paper back and forth. Hard to do that with balsa, especially different thicknesses.

Then there is the weight thing mentioned above. You would need a motor/cutter that weighed as little as possible. Remember it has to lift up and down the cutter portion. When plotting it is done quickly, which may be too much for the little plastic bits in there.

You'd also need to slow it down, a LOT.

Yes, it could be done. Will take a lot of re-engineering and software changes.
Oct 29, 2017, 04:50 PM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar
Hi donny,

I'm the guy who posted the build log for Cranky's Phoenix referred to above by Hemikiller: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...anky-s-Phoenix . Before I took the plunge and bought Cranky's plans, I fooled around with some disassembled printers only to conclude that trying to reverse-engineer the motor controllers (and worse, their proprietary firmware) was too much work for even this electrical engineer. Happily, the dead printers provided lots of useful parts for my Phoenix build, including stepper motors, power supply components, microswitches, connectors etc.

If you're handy and don't want to spend over $1000 for a simple CNC router that will happily cut balsa and thin plywood for models, the Phoenix is a great way to get into CNC. I used mine to cut over 30 different kits for other folks, and made enough money in the process to eventually buy components to build a bigger, faster, more rigid router. Heck, if you were nearby, I'd sell you the Phoenix!

Good luck, and if you post your efforts here, I'll be glad to chime in and offer whatever help I can.

Steve
Oct 30, 2017, 08:04 AM
Brooklynite In Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve85
Hi donny,

I'm the guy who posted the build log for Cranky's Phoenix referred to above by Hemikiller: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...anky-s-Phoenix . Before I took the plunge and bought Cranky's plans, I fooled around with some disassembled printers only to conclude that trying to reverse-engineer the motor controllers (and worse, their proprietary firmware) was too much work for even this electrical engineer. Happily, the dead printers provided lots of useful parts for my Phoenix build, including stepper motors, power supply components, microswitches, connectors etc.

If you're handy and don't want to spend over $1000 for a simple CNC router that will happily cut balsa and thin plywood for models, the Phoenix is a great way to get into CNC. I used mine to cut over 30 different kits for other folks, and made enough money in the process to eventually buy components to build a bigger, faster, more rigid router. Heck, if you were nearby, I'd sell you the Phoenix!

Good luck, and if you post your efforts here, I'll be glad to chime in and offer whatever help I can.

Steve
It was my hope someone like you would come along Welcome I just read part of your build thread we think a lot alike. I will go back and finish reading. ............... It is as if I wrote it. I don't do arf's either.

For now I am in a information stage and am gathering as much information as I can before commiting any monies I saw the phoenix ad several days ago but to be honest just didn't trust in it. I have a lot of stuff just laying around, and I once had 13 different soldering certifications.

Holding 1/64" is much more than one needs to cut model parts, no need to use diamonds where rhinestone is overkill. Please, let us stay in touch. I have a massive amount of things to do so I will be much slower than you but I will drag along. Thanks
Oct 30, 2017, 05:01 PM
Registered User
dpot's Avatar
have you see this cnc router it was made up from a old printer

https://openbuilds.com/builds/phlatprinter-mk-3.5207/
Oct 30, 2017, 06:04 PM
Brooklynite In Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpot
have you see this cnc router it was made up from a old printer

https://openbuilds.com/builds/phlatprinter-mk-3.5207/
Very good video, works just like my paper plotter.

Now that should answer a lot of questions. and proves there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

This thread is getting quite educational.
Nov 02, 2017, 12:36 PM
Brooklynite In Texas
This is what I am having trouble with for now, can you identify it and can tell me how to bypass it.

it is used to sense the position of the cover open/closed I really need to bypass this thing to get the program to respond to my inputs .................. STEVE can you help?
Nov 02, 2017, 01:35 PM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyman
This is what I am having trouble with for now, can you identify it and can tell me how to bypass it.

it is used to sense the position of the cover open/closed I really need to bypass this thing to get the program to respond to my inputs .................. STEVE can you help?
Hey donny,

It looks like a slotted optical switch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slotted_optical_switch . Somewhere near where it was mounted (maybe even as part of the device itself) there's a photo detector that detects either the presence or absence of light from the LED, and that tells the control circuitry that the cover is open. See if you can find the mechanical shield that slips between the LED and the photo detector when the cover is opened or closed (probably part of that tube assembly you mentioned), and then experiment with interrupting the light between the LED and detector. Once you've figured out the logic governing the "cover open" state (either light illuminating the detector or no light on the detector) you should be able to rig it so that the control circuitry always thinks the cover is closed.

Steve
Nov 02, 2017, 03:21 PM
supreme being of leisure
ZAGNUT's Avatar
with three leads it's probably a phototransistor. might be an LED somewhere nearby that it was supposed to "read".


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