We Broke Our CNC! – Tales from the Butty.
Urban Moorings commissioned us to make a series of signs for their community project. These are to name the series of wooden buildings used in the community garden space.
Having taken the time to learn how to use the ‘Little CNC’ for wood carving, it was decided that this would be the perfect project to put our new skills to the test (plus it would mean making one for Lou’s’ own studio).
Well we got through three of the four signs when disaster struck! The Z Axis (the up and down) was loosing steps – meaning that it would randomly set off on a journey of its own and ruin a piece that had already had an hours worth of work done on it.
What Happened Was…..
Well there was some head scratching, procrastination and fiddling, and then it was decided that it required taking off a cover to have a closer look. So whilst Ali was doing a full engineering inspection, Lou asked Google for some wisdom. Hmmm it seems that having a Hoover and other power packs close to the machine can cause such an issue; and not too randomly Lou had hoovered up some dust just before it had gone haywire. Bugger!!!!
Ali couldn’t find anything wrong mechanically so we thought we had solved the problem; so we set to work putting it all back together. Right, everything back in place so just a final run of all the motors, and send it back to its home coordinates. Job Done!
Aaaarrgggh Nooooooo – now the X Axis is wobbling like a drunken sailor after a pub crawl. We had taken a ‘shortcut’ getting the cover off and bent something – a motor, a axis connector or a rail. More engineering inspection from Ali, and it was decided it was all three!!!!! So Lou is back on Google finding the spare parts. Luckily it is a German machine, and you can just about rebuild an entire machine, as every single part including tiny Grub Screws and sticky pads for the feet are available. So new motor ordered (including a spare for the Big CNC – but that is a whole other story), new X Rail, new Axis Connectors, Spare Screws and some Grease (might as well). So only £100 lighter!!
The spare parts arrived a week later, and we spent a day fixing our ‘Little CNC’ so we are back to being able to carve our wooden designs.
Well Dear Reader, we will let you decide the moral of this story.