CNC with a robot arm??

Discussions regarding building a walking robot at home. Most of the robots participating at Robo-One competitions are custom fabricated.
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CNC with a robot arm??

Post by wthierry » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:30 am

Post by wthierry
Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:30 am

Wouldnt it be possible to make a robot arm with a drill bit as a gripper to replace a table top X,Y,Z cnc machine?
Wouldnt it be possible to make a robot arm with a drill bit as a gripper to replace a table top X,Y,Z cnc machine?
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Post by sap1975 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:43 am

Post by sap1975
Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:43 am

Hi there.

I just saw your post now and figured that although i’m not a humanoid robot builder i do know a thing or two about CNC and have been (as many others)thinking about the exact same thing.

In short don’t bother. You’d be better of getting a Chinese mill and converting it to CNC.

1. The forces in play when running even the lightest of jobs is way more than most small industrial robots can handle. Not to mention that even if you where to build something using 100 kg/cm holding torque servos all you get at the “drill” end is a kilo or two in a 20 cm. range.

2. The next logical thing to consider is cost… You can build a converted Chinese mill for about 1200£ complete. It’s going to cost you about the same to build said robot arm 20 cm range with decent (in relation to this job) servos and it’s still not going to be able to manage. Another option is to pick up a used industrial robot off e-bay but the cheapest deals with missing parts are still going to cost you a couple of thousand £.

3. Software to convert your drawing into something usable in the actuator end or CAM as it’s called in this particular application is non existent. A few industrial vendors have done some experiments with it but as far as i know nothing commercial is available and no obscure GPL project is working on it either. Not to mention that typically any piece of Staubli or Fanuc software is going to run you thousands of £ again.

4. Last but not least the good stuff. Or rather the reason why it would be so great to do this is that you’d end up with a very versatile 4 axis mill potentially with at quite large working envelope. Done right you could produce car body parts in a very fairly cheap (compared to a similar sized normal CNC setup)

If you want to get into CNC stuff i’d recommend taking a look at www.cncfusion.com and www.cnczone.com.

Ohh. And by the way after going through the a somewhat similar thought process to yours i ended up converting a regular mill. I’d highly recommend it.

Cheers
/Stig.
Hi there.

I just saw your post now and figured that although i’m not a humanoid robot builder i do know a thing or two about CNC and have been (as many others)thinking about the exact same thing.

In short don’t bother. You’d be better of getting a Chinese mill and converting it to CNC.

1. The forces in play when running even the lightest of jobs is way more than most small industrial robots can handle. Not to mention that even if you where to build something using 100 kg/cm holding torque servos all you get at the “drill” end is a kilo or two in a 20 cm. range.

2. The next logical thing to consider is cost… You can build a converted Chinese mill for about 1200£ complete. It’s going to cost you about the same to build said robot arm 20 cm range with decent (in relation to this job) servos and it’s still not going to be able to manage. Another option is to pick up a used industrial robot off e-bay but the cheapest deals with missing parts are still going to cost you a couple of thousand £.

3. Software to convert your drawing into something usable in the actuator end or CAM as it’s called in this particular application is non existent. A few industrial vendors have done some experiments with it but as far as i know nothing commercial is available and no obscure GPL project is working on it either. Not to mention that typically any piece of Staubli or Fanuc software is going to run you thousands of £ again.

4. Last but not least the good stuff. Or rather the reason why it would be so great to do this is that you’d end up with a very versatile 4 axis mill potentially with at quite large working envelope. Done right you could produce car body parts in a very fairly cheap (compared to a similar sized normal CNC setup)

If you want to get into CNC stuff i’d recommend taking a look at www.cncfusion.com and www.cnczone.com.

Ohh. And by the way after going through the a somewhat similar thought process to yours i ended up converting a regular mill. I’d highly recommend it.

Cheers
/Stig.
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