finally finished up getting my latest project together, so here it is. I've been wanting to make some custom etching stencils for electro-etching sword blades. I figured since I've got a Zen CNC already, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out a blade holder.
Luckily, Sensor (on this forum) had posted up his vinyl cutter project, and it got me thinking... so after so a bit of thinking, I put together this vinyl cutter. My goals were:
1. Simplify the build as much as possible.
2. I'd prefer to simply chuck-in the cutter, rather than mount it on the side of the spindle.
3. Cheap is preferable!
Came up with this design, using an old 1/4" drill bit as mounting part. I happened to have a 1/4" ER-11 collet, so this works for me.
- 2 SC12UU linear bearings. Source; eBay Price: $8 total
- 1 spring. I used an AJAX 85X. Source: local machine shop. Price: $3
- 1 Roland blade holder, aluminum, 12mm diameter. Source: eBay Price: $12
- 4 M5 - .80 x 16 pan-head machine screws: Source: local hardware shop. Price: $3 (highway robbery)
- A sheet of 3/8 ABS. You'll need about 10x10cm.
- An old 1/4 drill bit, round all the way. Free
- 1/4 Machine bolt. Free
- 5 minute epoxy
- Super Glue
- 2 Flute 1/8" carbide bit for my CNC. Source: eBay Price $5-10 (can't remember exactly)
1. Run the included G-Code, and cut out the backsplash, horizontal support, and plunger parts.
2. Screw your 1/4" machine bolt through the hold in the horizontal support, forcing it to self-thread.
3. Screw the plunger support on the end of the 1/4" machine bolt.
4. Mix up some epoxy and apply a bunch to the 1/4" drill bit. Place it in the vertical slot up the middle of the backsplash, leaving about 1" sticking out the top.
5. At the same time, apply epoxy to the horizontal support, and put it in place on the backsplash as well.
6. Wait for the epoxy to cure.
7. Next, remove the two linear bearings from your SC12UU's. You'll only need one of them (but you do need both housings).
8. Using the Super Glue, glue one of the linear bearings into one of the SC12UU housings so that the bearing sticks out about 1/2".
9. Insert your blade holder into the linear bearing you just glued.
10. Add the spring to the end of the blade holder - no need to glue anything here.
11. Place the two linear bearing housings on the backsplash, and screw them down with the M5 screws.
12. Adjust the tension on the blade holder by screwing the plunger 1/4" machine bolt up/down.
13. Chuck it in your CNC, and give it a try.
Gotta go for now, but I'll post up some pics / more instructions later.