The Future Belongs to the Creators ™

Reassemble the Robot

The part we were really dreading… moving the ShopBot… turned out to be really easy all things considered. Unfortunately, our ShopBot doesn’t have a “bundle install” option to update it easily. There are a few steps to getting it operational again.

To make it move complicated, we’re going to take the opportunity to do some upgrades while setting the ShopBot back up.

Starting Point

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The new location of the ShopBot provides about six foot of clearance on every side and twelve feet to ceiling. If you look closely, you will notice there are no power outlets in sight. First problem.


Control Box

In the previous shop we mounted the Control Box and placed the computer on the side opposite of our home (0,0). This never felt right since the keyboard arrows weren’t directly corresponding to the tool movements. Minor but easy to fix now. Our choice makes more sense because existing conduit lines up better for power.

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To re-position the gantry, we had to take off the YZ Car to reduce the weight. We didn’t want to damage the v-rails if the lifting got out of control.

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We also re-attached the X-Axis energy chain, placing the cables but not locking them in place yet.

Stepper Motors

Two motors control the X-Axis.

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One motor controls the Y and Z axes. We connected them for testing but didn’t zip tie or apply the heat shrink tubing.

Powering Up

The robot needs 120VAC ideally on its own circuit with some line conditioning to prevent any noise on the USB connection and motor controls. The computer needs 120VAC as well. The previous tenants agreed that the ShopBot’s location was good for tools a they had run conduit and some J-boxes to the same part of the building.

On the column closest to the Control Box, a J-Box could be added to for powering the Computer.

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The wires shown run back to a sub-panel and a 20Amp breaker. By running more wire to the left, we can feed the robot. Adding a run of conduit out the bottom port will get power outlets to the computer.

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A new four gang box holds a double outlet and a fancy outlet with low and high amperage USB ports.

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To fire up the robot we needed to connect to the main power bus in the Control Box.

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To feed a power wire from the ceiling, we decided to try creating a drop using conduit and some armored cable.

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The conduit runs down to a J-Box with rubber feet sitting on the floor. The armored cable is connected to the Control Box.

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Trial Run

With everything now powered, it was time to boot the Computer and see if we could communicate with the robot and test the stepper motors.

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Surprisingly, IT WORKED!!! We didn’t move the router very much but at least confirmed we hadn’t broken anything in the move.

True it up

To test the robot fully, we need to square and level the table.

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We started off not very level.

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After an hour of adjusting table legs, we were good!

Next Steps

  1. Re-design and install the table surface
  2. Setup the Dust Collector