Building the Frame

The structural components of this printer will be cut from ATP-5 aluminum tooling plate.  Tooling plate comes finished to a very precise thickness and flatness, and is therefore suitable for applications where accuracy is critical.  It also looks nice which will save me from doing any additional processing of the parts.

Cutting a bunch of complex parts from half inch thick aluminium plate isn't really a hobbyist job so I submitted my files and material to a local machine shop and received finished parts several days later.  Note that aside from the occasional hole in the side of a part, everything is "flat" and can therefore be economically cut on a waterjet.

Waterjetting leaves a nice edge finish but sometimes produces a frosted look around holes.  The frosting will be much harder to notice after the printer is assembled since it will be covered by screw heads.  

The machine shop has done the heavy lifting, but the parts still need a bit of work.  Threading holes with a tap is a time consuming but simple process.

Most of the holes go all the way through, but blind holes need a second "bottoming" tap to ensure the thread reaches the bottom of the hole.

And a few counterbores.

Finally I washed and dried the parts.  There is still quite a bit of work to do before I can begin final assembly, but I don't think I'll be able to resist putting things together for a test run.

No comments:



Email *

Message *