Returning to my CNC

I haven't worked on my CNC mill for a while.
This weekend I'm planning to:

  • Attach cables to the (already mounted) X+Y+Z+A homing switches
  • Test homing
  • Test my experimented M6 tool change macro for my Usovo ATC spindle. (manual tests worked out)

Later I need to:
  • Add an M6 exception for the 3d touch probe to be stored in a different location (because it's too large for the pneumatic tool-magazine)
  • Find a way to get 10V, so the PWM-output of my PLCM B1 breakout board can control the Usovo spindle via 0-10V PWM because it doesn't have RS485 like my old China-spindle+VFD.

Raspberry Pi stage intercom system

Project history

  1. No Previous project
  2. No old posting on project
  3. current posting
  4. next step
  5. Next project: add LTC time code output using the unused RasPi on-board soundcard

Because analog stage intercom systems are way too expensive for what they do,
I started building a Raspberry Pi + Mumble based digital intercom that can work with existing Network infrastructure.
The software is based on the TalkiePi Walkie Talkie project.



Looking for EF to MFT electronic adaptors


I'm switching from Nikon-F to EF lenses.
Because I own a Panasonic GH5, I'm looking for an electronic adaptor that communicates focal length for the IBIS system (especially while zooming) and focus information.

I'm not looking for a speed booster. I already got myself a Metabones "S" model for that.


Because and smaller Micro 4/3 Blackmagic cameras have not been updated fro ages and the larger Blackmagic cameras are offered with PL, EF and B4 bajonett but not Nikon-F.


So far I have not found anything yet.
I'm documenting my findings in this blog posting for others with the same question.

electronics fail
  • I tried the "Commlite CM-EF-MFT " and it does not work at all on GH5 and GH4 (black image) and has no autofocus on the old GH2.
  • The "Andoer EF-MFT" does not transfer focus information.
  • "Kipon AF Adapter" - is reported as "Limited lens compatibility, reports of missing AF, battery drain, and some lenses aperture control is unstable or limited""
mechanical only
  • The "Fotodiox" is mechanical only.
  • The "K&F Concept Canon-EF (EOS)" is mechanical only.

too expensive
  • I trust that the "Metabones EF MFT adapter" (not speed booster) would work but it costs 300+€ 
  • The "Aputure Apt-DEC-EOS-MFT-PRO" even 550+€
  • There is also a 200€ "Viltrox EF-M1 Adapter
  • and a simialr priced Viltrox EF-M2 Adapter up for pre-order 


Alibre is back!!!


Back in 2010 I started 3D printing (later also CNC machining) and needed a CAD package.
I got myself a licence of Alibre Design Xpress. The small hobbyist version of Alibre Design.
Later this became the Alibrea Design Personal Edition (PE).

In 2013 it was renamed to Alibre-Geomagic Design V2013 because 3D Systeme aquired Alibre and I changed into a larger, more fully featured version of it.

In 2015 I got V17=V2015. That was the last update anyone got. 3D Systems had added support for their 3D printers and 3D scanners including a very cool Mesh-to-Solid conversion that works very well with very large meshes.

Then there was silence. 
Nothing happened for 2 years. Not even bug fixes.

The good news!

Some ex-Alibre employees have created a company called Alibre LLC and are reached an agreement with 3D Systems to get sale, support and development of Geomagic back into their hands.

...let's stay tuned.



Filament sensor broke off

Looks like there was a knot in the filament and the pulling forces broke off the arm with two of the three "ultimate filament sensor" s on my modified Ultimaker II extended.
It houses the load cell to meassure filament pulling force and the encoder to meassure filament odimetry.
Both where not enabled at that time and thus didn't pause the print as soon as forces exceeded the allowed range.


ATC: parts for my CNC arrived

Project history

  1. After evaluating my choices in  back in February
  2. I decided on what ATC system to get for my CNC mill in March. (posting contains MACH3 software references)
  3. Now the Usovo parts for my CNC finally arrived.
  4. next: mounting spindle and cables
  5. Defining M06 tool change macro
  6. Next project: designing a chain link tool library

Too late to install them during the easter holidays but they arrived.

PROBLEM!!! - update: Solution in progress
The water-pump Usovo has shipped in the WZW105 kit,
does not fit the spindle and tubes they included. It has fittings for much larger tubes.
I may find out what thread they use and find fitting to fix this however it may mean that the water pump is not strong enough to push water (and more importantly: small air bubbles) through the smaller tubes.

Update: It'2 now 2 weeks with no answer from Usovo regarding both issues.

Update: I got an answer. The water pump fitting where an honnest mistake and apparently I got 5 SK15 tool holders for the ring system, not for this system and a single, DIFFERENTLY LOOKING SK15 holders also for the ring system. I'm making an adapter to use the top-system, pneumatic tool magazine with tool holders designed for the ring system.


I already have the Usovo Manual in German and English.
I also found this document with meassurements (page 9) for the tool magazines

tool #1 X=0 Y=565 Z=0
tool #1 X=0 Y=530 Z=0
tool #1 X=0 Y=495 Z=0
tool #1 X=0 Y=460 Z=0
tool #1 X=0 Y=425 Z=0
tool #1 X=0 Y=390 Z=0
tool sensor X=18 Y=585 Z=0


Since there are so few detail photos of them
(especially of the backside and inside of the control box)
I made some photos for everyone who considers the same upgrade.

Photos - Unboxing


Photos - main box


Photos - Power supply 

Photos - water pump


Because the pump has no mounting holes, I designed a simple mount for it:

Photos - spindle and mount


Hand strap for my GH4 and GH5 cages

Project history

  1. designing+prototype cages for GH5, GH4, GH4+battery grip and GH4+YAGH.
  2. add hand strap
  3. next step: machine cages from Aluminium
  4. Next project: unknown

Hand strap

Last month I started designing my own cages for GH5, GH4, GH4+battery grip and GH4+YAGH.
I am considering these cages to be finished and a carbon fiber prototype of the GH5 cage is currently in the first of 2 field trials.

However one thing bothered me all the time.
I did not find a good way to add a leather wrist strap.
This is a feature I enjoyed on my previous (chinese) cages.

Now it hit me.
All this time I wanted to add holes for the strap at the top and bottom. However at the bottom the mounting screws where not allowing for enough space.
However the GHx bodies do have attachment points for a strap already.
So I just designed a small modification to the bottom of the cages and will test it next week.


The modified GH4 cage design has been printed and it works very welll.
I'll do the same modification to the GH5 cage design...


More jaws for the 4th axis chuck on the CNC

Design intent

This is my 4th axis.
A "K11, 100mm, 3 jaw chuck".
I already made a custom steady-rest for it but still, the existing jaws are not very good at gripping soft, cylindrical blanks to mill.
So I want to have either cylindrical chuck-jaws or base jaws that I can bolt any kind of custom jaw-geometry onto.

Existing hardware

Thanks to Jeremy Parton on Google+, who pointed me to this website ,
I know that:
  • K11 is grouped into K11 (1 jaw), K11A (3 centering jaws) and K11C (3 independend jaws)
  • meaning we have K11A here
  • K11A are ISO3442 standard clutches.
 K11 100mm is defined as
  • D1=72mm
  • D2=84mm (diameter between mounting-bolt center-points)
  • D3=22mm  (shaft diameter)
  • H=74.5mm (thickness of chuck with jaws)
  • H1=55mm (thickness of chuck)
  • H2=n/a
  • h=3.5mm
  • Z-d=3-M8 (bolts mounting the chuck to the face plate)
(Without a copy of the DIN/ISO3442 standard, I found this catalog of chucks and jaws containing a reference drawing. It shows where these measurements apply.)

Options considered

I'm currently investigating these 95mm jaws for turning machines.
The  chuck they come with is not compatible because it uses a thread to attach to the shaft.
This doesn't work when changing direction. So I need to use them with the existing chuck.

This chinese seller seems to sell K11-100mm chucks and the chucks I want. So he should be able to answer if they fit together.

What I actually did
In the end I now meassured the existing jaws and created a parametric CAD design.
The single design has 3 configurations for labeled Jaw #1, #2 and #3 .
After getting a single Jaw #2 to fit properly....

...I'm now printing Jaw #1 and #3


4th axis improvements to the YOOCNC 6040Z+S80 CNC


I want to be able to machine larger diamter parts on the 4th axis of my 6040Z-S80 machine.
Because the space below the gantry was limited to about 110mm, the original plan was to machine larger side-plates that hold the gantry higher.

However that would mean making the entire machine less rigid.


Closer inspection shows a much better path.
The bed of the machine consists of 4 plates, each 120mm in width.
They can be removed individually.
The 4th axis (a chinese build 100mm K11 chuck on a 50:1 harmonic drive) needs 110mm of width and has the center of rotation at 65mm above ground.


Without the T-slot plate it sits a -20mm and thus the center of rotation is at 55mm. Perfect.

I can mount it to the t-slot plates on the left and right.
The edge of one of them makes sure it is perfectly square and parallel to the X axis.

The only problem are the chucks.
They extend beyond the 100mm circle.
So I will have to cut slots into the T-slot plates left and right of it.
Luckily the traperoidal spindle that drives the Y-axis gantry has enough clearance to not collide witgh the chucks.
Mounting some plastic foil onto the t-slot sides will prevent them and the bearings to get covered in dust and shavings.

 This is what is looks from below the bed.