Mill Enclosure (Work in Progress)

Months have gone into the production of an enclosure for the Tormach PCNC 770 mill and robot.  The goal of the project was 1) enclose the mill for safety purposes (also keeps chips off the floor) 2) Make a stand for the robot 3) Make the robot moveable into the mill area so it could be used solo or simultaneously with the mill.

The design was first modeled in Pro/Engineer software.  80/20 aluminum extrusion was chosen for the build, due to its flexibility and ease of connecting.

The next step was to order all the hardware.  The total was roughly $1800.  Most of the cost was in the little brackets/connection pieces and bolts.    80/20 Parts List for enclosure

Once all the supplies arrived, the question was where to start?  It began by framing up door panels (Mainly because I was most excited to get the bi-fold door in working order). Howard (another U of Iowa grad student) offered to help.  I put a drill in his hands and I took pictures while he worked.  Good help is hard to find :)  A few unforeseen hangups, but overall the main frame went together easily.

The main frame was completed so it was now time to move to the robot stand.  The robot stand started working from the bottom up.  The goal was to ensure the stand cleared over the mill bed when finished.  This allows the robot to be wheeled in and out of the enclosure.

The current objectives are moving all the computer components and the e-stop to the outside of the enclosure.  Tormach sent a remote e-stop for the outside of the enclosure.  The monitor mount needed to be slightly modified to attach to the aluminum extrusion.  The monitor and keyboard have living hinges to allow the user to adjust the location of both the keyboard and monitor.

The keyboard will be mounted in the near future.  To be continued…

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