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  #1  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 00:10
Don_Kellogg
Just call me: Don
 
Kalamazoo, MI
United States of America
Wide Mouth Mechmate - Suggestions

I'm slowly making my way through the many machines on the site, but so far I have not seen one that loads from the wide side. What considerations if any are there when building a machine that loads wides side. Do I need to increase the wall thickness of the tubing and C channel? I'm not looking to do anything huge just what ever it takes to cut 4x8' sheet goods. I figure it will need to be either 9.5 or 10' wide by 6' deep.

Any feedback would be greatly welcomed.
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  #2  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 02:15
Axel1966
Just call me: Axel
 
Paris
France
A link to a MechMate that loads wides side : Rik's #92
It's a small table, so there's no problem doing it.
Wide side loading induce the use of a long gantry, which can brings some problems :
- more weight (more forces to deal with, especialy for stepper motors)
- less stiffness that induce vibrations and rough motion.

I asked several questions about a wide gantry.
I guess the largest gantry ever built is Danilom's, with 8'32" wide cross bearers (this is not cutting range).
It's build from 4'x2'x1/8' rectangle profile, and he says he can sag them by pushing down with hand, and this really pushes the design to the limit.

You might go to a 1/4' thick gross bearers, but you'll have to manage weight,
and it's fully experimental. Managing weight means choosing high torque stepper motors
(which brings other problems), and/or decrease the overall motion speed.

Remember loading from the wide side is more pleasant.
Through, C-chanels are only 7" height, it's easy to pass over.
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  #3  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 03:56
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
Don,

Why do you want to load from the side?
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  #4  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 04:28
Don_Kellogg
Just call me: Don
 
Kalamazoo, MI
United States of America
For one it's easier for me, second the form factor would fit into my garage much better. I really can't afford the space to load long way, and I really do not want to try to loaded the unit over the rails. There is also an added benefit of the unit being a make shift bench when not in use.

It's good to see the two things I was considering come into play. My intent was to look at higher torque and increase the wall thickness of the supports and beams.
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  #5  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 07:39
bradm
Just call me: Brad #10
 
Somerville(MA)
United States of America
Don, I'm in a garage sized space as well, and I have to load over the rail. I have an aisle about 30" wide between the MM and my table saw, and steel racks above the MM for sheet goods.

The material movement pattern is:
- in the door onto the saw
- rotate 90 on saw bed
- slide from saw to MM rail (with a pad when I care, gantry all the way at one end)
- slide from rail to bed, rotating 90.
Alternatively
- lift one end from saw to overhead rack
- lift other end and slide into rack
- rotate 90 and complete racking
- unrotate 90 and slide from rack
- drop leading edge on table saw
- drop trailing edge on MM rail
- complete the MM load.

I think it's probably more important to worry about material storage and movement path than about over the rail vs. onto the end. Make yourself some designated cloth or wood pads for the rail when sliding over it.
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  #6  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 11:01
WTI
Just call me: James
 
Detroit (Michigan)
United States of America
Don,

Did you look at this thread?:

http://mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2280&page=1

Not exactly a MM obviously, but it may hold the solution to your problem of side loading.
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  #7  
Old Fri 04 May 2012, 12:01
Don_Kellogg
Just call me: Don
 
Kalamazoo, MI
United States of America
Hmm that looks kinda of like a Master CAM?

Well the problem with that is I already went down the experimental design with a Joe's 4x4 only to redo it with 3/4 AL plates. I could probably figure out what needed to be down the table looks easy enough but when it comes to mounting the gantry I don't have a design or access to a mill to make AL plates

Too bad that god didn't start his own forum, he did a really nice job.

Last edited by Don_Kellogg; Fri 04 May 2012 at 12:18..
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  #8  
Old Mon 07 May 2012, 13:58
Don_Kellogg
Just call me: Don
 
Kalamazoo, MI
United States of America
It's too bad this guy didn't post something on this else where. He had a pretty solid design the more I look at it. I'd used a Mechmate though and it's pretty amazing as far as machines go.
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