Electronics Enclosure for the CNC – Fitting It All In a Box

Currently all my electronics have just been strewn all over the place with jumpers and all sorts of cut up cables everywhere and I’m now in a bid to tidy this all up. I want to let my girlfriend use the laser setup on the machine when I’m out so it’s going to have to be neat because she will throw a fit if it’s like it is!!

I’m going to impliment some safety features into the design – The machine already has an emergency stop button as well as an on/off switch on the main power but I want to make it even more safe to use. I have bought some 4PDT switches which go inbetween the motor cable and the stepper drivers so the motors can be turned off without the electronics being turned off. I have also bought some 16mm aviation style connectors for both the motors and laser/spindle power. I got 3 of the 4 pin connectors for the motors, 1 of the 2 pin connectors for the spindle and a 3 pin connector for the laser – this is so the 12v laser can’t be plugged into the 48v spindle power supply.

I’ve tried to align the USB of the XLCD arduino so it can have a cutout on the side and placed the GRBL arduino inside the case. I wanted to keep the HY-DIV268N-5A (TB6600) stepper driver in the box as well to keep as much away from the dust as possible and keep cables tidy. With this though I will need to make sure there is adaquate air flow through the box and not make it easy for dust to enter the box as this would be defeating the object of putting it all in a box! I think the solution to this would be to put the in and out fans on the side oposite to the CNC – so in my case as the electronics will be to the right of the machine then I will put the fans on the left of the box. I also plan on using a filter type substrate to keep the dust out as much as possible, I’m still not sure yet.

I have planned on adding the motors voltmeter/ammeter and the spindle voltmeter/ammeter into the lid of the box as well as the 20×4 LCD display from the XLCD monitor. I want to also add a series of status LED’s to the top of the box so I can see the status of the machine from a distance. I’m still not sure on using the wireless module with this – I did add this as a proof of concept in an earlier post but I’m not settled on this yet. The machine will be manned at all time because of all the inherent fire risks – especially with the laser module on it! (Later post to come about smoke and fume extraction!)

Here is a basic layout I’m looking at for the box – I’m still to add a main power on/off switch for 12v, 24v and the 48v supplies as well as a few other modifications. I’m not sure whether to house the 12v power supply inside the box or have it on the outside.

Yesterdays design (24/02/2015):

electronics-box-design

And todays after some modification (25/02/2015):

electronics-box-design-3

I will for sure be making changes to this layout as parts arive and things change! I still need to work a way to change the M03/M05 spindle on/off pins to change from the laser to the spindle and back without having to open the box and rewire this. I’m thinking about a switch that changes between two different relay boards, this might not work but I’m going to give it ago to see what happens without the spindle and laser connected!

I’m going to be adding bluetooth to this setup so I dont need to run a USB cable between the mac and the CNC to tidy up on cables so i’ll have to add that into this design – I’m just waiting for the bluetooth module to arrive and do some testing before I finalise this so I’ve not added it for the time being.

I’m also adding a switch for the LED’s, this is going to be one of them LED spotted toggle switches where the switch lights up when the power is on. I’ve already blown the one I ordered due to carelessnes! So heres how to wire one up:

12v-led-toggle-switch

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