It might not look much, but on the table is the start of getting the Bridgeport converted to CNC operation. Nick brought his new motor and encoder round, fitted to a neat housing he made. I’d picked up an ODrive and old power supply, which we coupled to a Raspberry Pi. Igor kindly donated memory card and we were on our way!
By the time the evening was out, we’d managed to get the motor to turn through a fixed angle in either direction, run continuously at a fixed rpm, and apply a holding torque. Three critical operations for CNC. A great start, although there’s no doubting we’ve still got a long way to go.
Next steps are getting some beefier motors, fitting the odrive into a better housing and upgrading the power supply.
Setting up to start drilling the oilway through the flywheel, now that the bores are final sized. It’s quite a challenge getting a flat started in the right place, on an acute angle into toughened steel. Luckily the spot cutters managed it, ready for drilling next.
There isn’t room for a centre drill, so it’ll be a delicate job drilling the pilot hole. But with a following wind the final part of the wheel will be completed ready for pressing together.
It’s taken a while, but the Bridgeport mill and Myford lathe are now operational with inverters providing 3-phase power and the added bonus of variable control.
First job up is to use the power feed on the quill to get a good finish and final size the bores in the flywheels. That’s going well, which is a good sign as we’ll use the same method for boring the big end for the bearings.
Long term I plan to convert the Bridgeport to CNC, but for now it’s working just fine as a manual mill – and I’m loving it!!