Retromaster’s Electronics Projects

…related to old computers and other assorted stuff…

Assembled the New Stepper Drive Box

Posted by retromaster on January 27, 2010

Here is a photo of the new stepper driver assembled in its box, along with the laptop power supply I use to power it (and the steppers). The parallel port connector, power input and power switch are in the back. Now that the new driver has made the machine much faster, it’s become a lot more fun to use it :). In addition, with all the little improvements like the new connectors and the advanced PC software control, it has become much more reliable, too. Since the motors do not draw a lot of current, the box does not seem to get very hot (not that it’s difficult to rectify in case that happens). Now I’ll go back to improving the mechanics of the machine, as there is still some work to do in that area.

The faces of the box were cut using the CNC itself. One thing I found out (!) was that using a 3mm cutter at a high RPM to cut ABS plastic does not work very well. It melts the plastic and leaves a terrible finish, not to mention the melted plastic sticking to the cutter. I had to switch to a 1mm cutter, reduce the RPM, and make sure that the whole thing stays cool. This way I was able to get perfect cuts.


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