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Question #: 7967

Question: What would be needed to convert my blackfoot 4x8 into a 3d printer ?

Current Solution

To convert our CNC machine into a 3D printer, an extruder would need to be attached to the z-axis. The extruder could be added next to the spindle, or the spindle can be removed and the extruder replace the spindle.

The former would be an interesting combination where you would be able to extrude plastic and then run the spindle afterwards to do some finishing passes; however, the weight of the spindle would reduce the performance. Without the spindle, the z-axis will move with reduced inertia.

The electronics would be mostly the same with the addition of an extruder controller and a main controller board to control the existing drivers.

You can find all of the 3D printer parts here:
https://buildyourcnc.com/3DPrinterComponents.aspx

If you need help with fashioning a mount for the FDM extruder, please let us know.



User response:
Yes what type of mount would I need for the FDM extruder ? Thanks Gary

User response:
Could you be a little more specific on what type of main board I'll need to purchase the board I'm using now for my router is a serial port interface purchased from you. Thanks Gary

BYCNC response:

The 3d printing board we sell works with an Arduino Mega 2560. We sell the Arduino here:

https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-arduino-mega-2560-FDMElectronics

and the board here:

https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-3d-printer-mainboard-FDMElectronics-3dprintermainboard

We sell the extruder itself here:

https://buildyourcnc.com/item/3D-Printer-Component-extruder

You can manufacture the mount yourself using the BlackFoot, or you can contact us directly with your requirements and we would be happy to prepare a custom quote.

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • what's needed to add a 4th axis to a Blackfoot 4x8?

    You can add a head stock and tail stock on the blackFoot by designing the table in a way the head and tail stock is positioned at the correct level so the end mill will be at the correct position. The correct position will depend on the end mills that you will be using. The end mill should be centered to the center of the head stock jaw near the lowest z-axis position.

    Click the link to respond:
    what's needed to add a 4th axis to a Blackfoot 4x8?

  • what's needed to add a 4th axis to a Blackfoot 4x8?

    You can add a head stock and tail stock on the blackFoot by designing the table in a way the head and tail stock is positioned at the correct level so the end mill will be at the correct position. The correct position will depend on the end mills that you will be using. The end mill should be centered to the center of the head stock jaw near the lowest z-axis position.

    Click the link to respond:
    what's needed to add a 4th axis to a Blackfoot 4x8?

  • what parts would i need from you to convert my cnc plasma table into a laser cutter? price?

    First, you would need a laser tube, laser power supply, laser controller and a lens holder. You may need mirrors and mirror holders if you plan on orienting the laser tube in a direction other than directly towards the work surface.

    You can find these items and prices here: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/LaserComponents.aspx

    You will need to mount the laser tube and power supply. We recommend mounting the tube and power supply to the gantry, or directly to the axis that moves across the gantry for reduced power loss and to eliminate slight drift from mirror alignment error.

    The controller will need to be connected to your existing motor drivers. If you wish to still use your plasma table for plasma cutting work, you will need to have a switch and transistor circuit to switch which controller has precedence to control the drivers (having both controllers connected to the drivers, but having a TTL circuit using buffer/gates chips that is controlled by a single switch. We can assembly this circuit for you for a fee.

    If this is a machine that we did not manufacture, you will need to create the mounts for the laser tube. We can provide guidance for a fee if needed.

    Additional Information:
    Will my existing controller not work for controlling both? What would I need to make the laser cut when the table moves. The table has a thc and enable disable circuit. Also when will the mirror mounting head assembly be in stock again?

    Additional Information:
    I'm not familiar with the controller that you use for plasma cutting. The principle is probably the same. There is two main axes for movement and a trigger signal to start the plasma cutting. Not sure if your plasma table contains a z-axis that follows closely to the work surface to get the most efficient arcing. That function could be helpful, but not necessary for the laser.

    If your controller has a standard digital level trigger control, then that would be fine.

    Laser controller have the ability to create raster style engraving. If you don't need this functionality, then a laser controller may not be needed.

    Click the link to respond:
    what parts would i need from you to convert my cnc plasma table into a laser cutter? price?

  • CONVERT BLACKFOOT 3D PRINTER

    To convert our CNC machine into a 3D printer, an extruder would need to be attached to the z-axis. The extruder could be added next to the spindle, or the spindle can be removed and the extruder replace the spindle.

    The former would be an interesting combination where you would be able to extrude plastic and then run the spindle afterwards to do some finishing passes; however, the weight of the spindle would reduce the performance. Without the spindle, the z-axis will move with reduced inertia.

    The electronics would be mostly the same with the addition of an extruder controller and a main controller board to control the existing drivers.

    You can find all of the 3D printer parts here:
    https://buildyourcnc.com/3DPrinterComponents.aspx

    If you need help with fashioning a mount for the FDM extruder, please let us know.



    User response:
    Yes what type of mount would I need for the FDM extruder ? Thanks Gary

    User response:
    Could you be a little more specific on what type of main board I'll need to purchase the board I'm using now for my router is a serial port interface purchased from you. Thanks Gary

    BYCNC response:

    The 3d printing board we sell works with an Arduino Mega 2560. We sell the Arduino here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-arduino-mega-2560-FDMElectronics

    and the board here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/Item/3D-Printer-Component-electronicsAndMotors-3d-printer-mainboard-FDMElectronics-3dprintermainboard

    We sell the extruder itself here:

    https://buildyourcnc.com/item/3D-Printer-Component-extruder

    You can manufacture the mount yourself using the BlackFoot, or you can contact us directly with your requirements and we would be happy to prepare a custom quote.

    Click the link to respond:
    CONVERT BLACKFOOT 3D PRINTER

  • I have a 4x8 CNC and would like to cut my own parts for the Blackfoot. What is the price for the plans and the electronics ?

    The available options for the blackFoot, is only structural components with hardware, and structure components/hardware with electronic components.
    However we currently do not have any plans available for public use/distribution.

    Click the link to respond:
    I have a 4x8 CNC and would like to cut my own parts for the Blackfoot. What is the price for the plans and the electronics ?

  • What power supply would be adequate for the whiteAnt 3D printer?

    The whiteAnt will work with a 6 amp 12 volt power supply. If you add more peripherals to the machine, like heating bed, you will want higher current. Each motor draws 3.0 amps at full torque. Most of the time, only the x and y axes are moving at the same time, and the drivers are only allowing a max of 2.5 amps and they should be set for about 2.0 amps so they don't overheat (they have overheat protection and the LED will light up, so you will be fine if it does overheat, but your model may suffer). The remaining current will be enough to keep the hot end heated.

    Click the link to respond:
    What power supply would be adequate for the whiteAnt 3D printer?

  • how can I convert the whiteAnt from the 3D printer mode to the CNC milling mode?

    To convert the whiteAnt to a CNC machine, you will want to lower the upper structure to the lowest position to create the most rigidity overall. You will see that there are many holes below the sides of the upper structure that are evenly spaced. This is so you can adjust this lower. You will also want to fasten the lower sides to a substrate (piece of wood, or something) with l-brackets or something that has a bit of adjustment capability. This will keep the sides more rigid as well. Use a Dremel for the spindle. If you want to use a another spindle, let me know and we can product a mount for that spindle since the Dremel has poor runout (TIR). This is important if you are wanting really precise milling.

    Click the link to respond:
    how can I convert the whiteAnt from the 3D printer mode to the CNC milling mode?

  • Can you convert a 3D print file to a file that can be ran on my cnc rounter and how would it have to be converted ?

    Converting a 3D file to be used with a CNC machine will depend on the capability of the software you are using for developing machine operations (CAM software). For instance, if you use CAMBAM and the operation will consider a typical 3 axis CNC machine without a 4th axis, you would simply load the 3D file (.3ds or .stl) and apply a 3D profile machining operation on the 3D object. No conversion is necessary.

    Check the capabilities of the CAM software you are using. You may just be able to load up the 3D file and start using it.

    If you don't have your 3D file in the specified format (i.e. .3ds or .stl) then you will need to find a converter to convert the file into the file format that is compatible with your CAM software which should be relatively easy to find on the internet for free.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can you convert a 3D print file to a file that can be ran on my cnc rounter and how would it have to be converted ?

  • I am loking for a kit that can cut 4x8 material and would be ready to cut when assembled. plus what computer and software are needed to be ready to cut?

    The greenLean machine comes with the entire structure and features a 4'x8' cutting area. You will still need some hookup wire to connect the electronics and silicone tubing for the water to and from the spindle.

    greenLean Machine: https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-greenLean-v1

    Thanks for answering my last question. So I have two follow-up questions from the response. The green leaf stands vertical is it designed for the material to be cut without falling free once it is cut through? And second question: you metioned water running to the spindle is this a cooling system for the spindle?

    You would use holding tabs to keep the parts from falling out of the cut areas. Holding tabs are generated as part of the CAM file. Yes, this is the way the spindle is cooled. This is far superior to air cooling. Air cooling will blow the chips all over the shop.

    Click the link to respond:
    I am loking for a kit that can cut 4x8 material and would be ready to cut when assembled. plus what computer and software are needed to be ready to cut?

  • Besides the blackfoot what else will I need to purchase.

    PC with parallel port and USB port
    20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - If the machine does not have the table included, then a table will need to be built. The rails, chain and chain mounts are included that are used on this table.

    Click the link to respond:
    Besides the blackfoot what else will I need to purchase.

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRINTER CABLE PORT AND USB MOTOR KITS

    The parallel (printer cable) port is uses the computer as its main source of pulse trains to operate the motor driver directly. Parallel ports are a direct connection from the processor commonly referred to as GPIO pins (General Purpose I/O pins) and provides a convenient and powerful way to interface with the computer. The parallel breakout board is included in those kits only to condition those signals for use with the drivers.

    The USB serves at the actual controller, sending the pulse trains, but the computer sends simple human readable instructions to the USB controller to tell the controller how to send pulses.

    The non-technical differences that may serve as the most important information to you is that the parallel configurations allow for a wider variety of industry standard software that can be used to control the cnc machine. The USB that we offer requires the operator to use a software called Planet-CNC software which is a very well made and feature full cnc control software.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:

    Click the link to respond:
    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRINTER CABLE PORT AND USB MOTOR KITS

  • Under what conditions should the LED on the 3d printer driver be lit when the driver is connected to the MB?

    The driver's LED serves to indicate a fault condition. The driver chip has built in protection for overheating and over current. If the LED is on, most likely, the driver will stop until the condition is resolved. If you see the LED on, adjust the vref trimmer. First, connect a multimeter to the pads just next to the trimmer potentiometer and adjust until the voltage is lowered a bit. Alternatively, even though the PCB contains a vast amount of thermal vias and a relatively large ground plane connected to the belly of the driver, there still may be a need to cool the driver chip using a small heat sink. Do this only if you are not satisfied with the performance of the motor at the torque require.

    Click the link to respond:
    Under what conditions should the LED on the 3d printer driver be lit when the driver is connected to the MB?

  • one of my motors from the blackfoot kit goes back and forth rather than turning, the wiring hasnt changed since i bought it, what could be wrong?

    The motor shaft does not turn, but slides back and forth in an axial motion? Please submit additional information on this page.

    Additional Information:
    it goes one step then the next step in the other direction so it seems to just vibrate

    Additional Information:
    It sounds like this could be a bad driver? You can determine if this is the cause by connecting another motor to this driver to see if it still happens to the new motor plugged into that driver. This will either rule out the motor causing this, or if it is the driver.

    You can also possibly rule out the driver as well if you change the step and direction wires from another driver to the problem driver.

    Make sure you do these steps one at a time. It's best to consider a single variable at a time.

    Click the link to respond:
    one of my motors from the blackfoot kit goes back and forth rather than turning, the wiring hasnt changed since i bought it, what could be wrong?

  • The rods in my blackFoot gantry connected to the x-axis motor are bowing or bending.

    We are using the 1/2" rods in the gantry now. You can opt to purchase 1/2" rods and new gantry sides which will accept 1/2" ID bearings.

    Click the link to respond:
    The rods in my blackFoot gantry connected to the x-axis motor are bowing or bending.

  • Can the 4x8 blackfoot be outfitted with some type of reference pins?

    Our CNC Routers can be outfitted with other devices and configured in so many ways. However, I'm not familiar with reference pins. Are you referring to input for feedback?

    Customer response:
    Looking to add something like this:

    https://youtu.be/J7kcXfn0HKk

    Does the Blackfoot have a preset x and y home point so pop up pins will be accurate?

    Buildyourcnc response:
    Oh yeah. You can easily add those types of pins to any of out machines. You can even use pins for registration as well so you can machine two sides of your work-piece so the design matches.

    Click the link to respond:
    Can the 4x8 blackfoot be outfitted with some type of reference pins?

  • Would your CNC machines be able to have an optic camera to pick up registrations marks from a printer?

    You can modify our machines to have a camera to view your process and pick up registrations.
    Here you can see a one of our customers adding a webcam to his machine! (https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/Example-customer-blacktoe-clintW)

    Click the link to respond:
    Would your CNC machines be able to have an optic camera to pick up registrations marks from a printer?

  • Hi is the blackfoot 8x4 cnc router sold by anyone in the UK or would I need to import it from yourself?

    We are in talks with someone in the UK on distributing our machines. I will provide further information on this FAQ when I have more information.

    Click the link to respond:
    Hi is the blackfoot 8x4 cnc router sold by anyone in the UK or would I need to import it from yourself?

  • what would be required as far as hardware is concerned to build my own 3 axis cnc mill?

    The hardware options to build a 3 axis machine are too vast to be able to recommend any one particular option. This would depend on your design and personal preference.

    Click the link to respond:
    what would be required as far as hardware is concerned to build my own 3 axis cnc mill?

  • I would like to make my own custom length XL belt and would like to know what to use to join ends?

    There is no current solution to bond the ends of a timing belt as this would cause a weak link in the belt. If you know that the part of the belt that is held together will not be pass around the pulley, then you can mechanically bond this part of the belt. Otherwise, it would be best to design the axis of your machine's mechanical system so that the timing belt is pinned at both ends.

    Click the link to respond:
    I would like to make my own custom length XL belt and would like to know what to use to join ends?