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Thank you so much! that's going to be very useful to better understand how it communicates with OpenPnp. By the way, how long did you take to develop it? was it easy or complex? I was looking into the code, seems like quite a lot.
When I started my interest for PnP I first toyed with the idea of
"dual-using" a mill/router, because I thought I wanted both,
initially. Having only very limited space in my workshop was also
What really threw me off, was not so much the slow speed, but the
sheer dust and dirt involved in milling, especially if you add
lubrication and/or cooling into the picture. Once I really
starting reading up about this, I knew it was impractical. It
might be less dramatic if you strictly just mill PCBs (and not
wood and aluminium, as I wanted to), but I still guess it would be
hard to keep everything clean and free of tiny copper shavings and
dust, that might otherwise lodge under small pitch SMT parts and
short them out. In any case you'd probably need a strong and
effective dust collection system. And that, together with USB
lines for cameras, vacuum lines for the nozzles, filament pipes
for 3D printing, heavily shielded power and signal electronics,
etc., makes the supply conduits to the head complex and bulky.
I guess a single "universal tool head" is almost impossible to make. Think about a spindle, a 250°C hot-end, two nozzle motors, vacuum valves, a power laser, knife holder, all crammed together. It would be gigantic in size and weight, extremely complex, very hard to make mechanically stiff, and a major pain to service.
So I assume you think of an "interchangeable tool head". But then
all the various connectors would be very difficult to make.
Once you have a design in mind, try to imagine (realistically, honestly) how long it will take to exchange a tool head, and clean everything for the subsequent task. How reliable will the connectors be, if they are frequently disconnected and connected again? How likely will you not break anything doing so? How can you uphold precision and repeatability without having to re-calibrate the whole machine after each exchange?
The heated bed would be in the way of sunken PnP camera and
Also I'm not sure if you realize that a PnP machine must be quite
large because feeders take up a lot of space, at least for
anything more complex than a "blinky". That kind of size makes it
harder to get the precision for the mill side of things, assuming
you want to engrave PCBs for quite small component and lead
I honestly doubt, that given the required kind of engineering,
you would save any money in comparison to buying/making all
separate machines. I guess you could quite easily combine a laser
and drag knife with the mill, but otherwise I would reconsider.
Note, you're also not the first dreaming of this.
Granted, this project also failed due to it being a Delta
robot and not achieving required precision.
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