Beta

Green Beta 2.0 and Purple BBB Capes

Quick update to let you all know how we are doing with our Beta 2.0's.  We got them back from anodize and were pretty happy with the results.  This is our first run with a shop here in Montana so that is always nerve wracking, but they did a great job so that was a relief.

PocketNC_Beta2_Desktop_5Axis_CNC_Mill

Bannor finished the design of our cape and we had the boards made.  The guys over at OSH Park did a great job of doing a rush set for us so that we can keep the ball rolling.  This week our purple boards came, and we have been working hard to get them populated with our components.  Like any prototyping process, we already know of some changes that need to be made to the boards but we are really happy to be making progress.

Also wanted to update you all on the timing of our Kickstarter campaign.  Once we get the boards up and running, we will need to run some good tests on the machines before launching the campaign.  If everything goes as planned, it is looking like December would probably be the earliest launch date for the campaign.

Beta 2.0 Progress

Since we got our Haas up and running last month we have been working hard at machining the frames for our Beta 2.0 machines.  We are close to finished with one of the machines, and the next one will go much faster since the programs are proofed out now.  It is such a blessing to have a machine available to us to make our own parts and learn along the way.  We can't wait for our machines to get out there so others can have that experience too!

Here's some pictures of the Beta 2.0 parts next to our original Beta parts so you can see some of the improvements we have made:

The base of our machine(left) was previously a box composed of 4 half inch walls.  To add rigidity to the machine and simplify assembly, we have moved to machining a solid billet of aluminum(right).

The base of our machine(left) was previously a box composed of 4 half inch walls.  To add rigidity to the machine and simplify assembly, we have moved to machining a solid billet of aluminum(right).

Our previous X/Z stage(right) was composed of 2 parts,  lacked rigidity, and was difficult to align.  Our new one (left) is a single, rigid part and greatly simplifies alignment.

Our previous X/Z stage(right) was composed of 2 parts,  lacked rigidity, and was difficult to align.  Our new one (left) is a single, rigid part and greatly simplifies alignment.

Our previous A/B backing plates(required) required the wires to be routed through the center where they could get kinked and made it impossible to disassemble if repair was needed.  The new plates(left) have the wires routed through the side and includes a second motor for additional torque.

Our previous A/B backing plates(required) required the wires to be routed through the center where they could get kinked and made it impossible to disassemble if repair was needed.  The new plates(left) have the wires routed through the side and includes a second motor for additional torque.

Our previous spindle mount(left) lacked rigidity.  Our new spindle mount (right) has added rigidity and simplified assembly.

Our previous spindle mount(left) lacked rigidity.  Our new spindle mount (right) has added rigidity and simplified assembly.

Our old linear bearings (upper right) for the Y rails were very difficult to assemble because of the fastener size so our new ones(upper left) are easier to assemble, have better seals, and are made in the US.  Our new rotary bearings(lower left) are bigger and easier to assemble.

Our old linear bearings (upper right) for the Y rails were very difficult to assemble because of the fastener size so our new ones(upper left) are easier to assemble, have better seals, and are made in the US.  Our new rotary bearings(lower left) are bigger and easier to assemble.

We are also making progress in developing our cape for the BeagleBone Black.  The initial design is finished, and we are now working on finding a board house that will be able to get us a few prototypes quickly and at a price that we can afford.  Hopefully the first boards will come back around the same time as we get the frames back from anodize and we can get this second round of testing going!

We wanted to let you all know that we will not be attending the World Maker Faire in New York this year.  Those of you who present or attend Maker Faires know that not only are they expensive to do, but you also end up spending a few weeks getting ready, attending, and recovering from them.  We have so much to do to get through this last push of development that we are deciding to spend the time and money to get us closer to our Kickstarter campaign instead.  Thanks for understanding, and we hope you have an awesome time at the Faire! We will miss it!

Beagle Bone Black and Beta 2.0

A lot has been going on for us in the past couple of months!  We attended the Bay Area Maker Faire in May and had a great time.  We ran demos of a wax ring casting on our new Beagle Bone Black setup for pretty much both days straight.  We had some family join us and our friend Gary came to help us answer questions at the booth.  

We are moving forward with a real prototype of a Beagle Bone Black cape which could enable us to release the machine with encoders on all axes.  We are also doing one final run of updated hardware on the machine, which we are calling Beta 2.0.  Once the boards and the hardware are done, we will do one last round of testing on the machine before launching a Kickstarter campaign(still aiming for fall).  

Another exciting piece of news for us is that we have ordered a Haas mill that will be delivered in July.  This will be the machine we use to produce our Kickstarter orders as well as machine the Beta 2.0.  It will be a huge asset to be able to prototype our work in house.

Below is a picture of the Beagle Bone Black running LinuxCNC that we showed at Maker Faire.  We have been seeing great results testing our machine with this setup and we are really excited about all of the opportunities it allows for us to increase our functionality and usability.   Big thanks to Duane who has put in many hours to help us get rolling on it!

PocketNC_Beta_Desktop_5Axis_CNC_Mill2