New Romaxx CNC Router Setup

After using a Zen Toolworks 7″ x 12″ CNC router for several years, it’s finally time to upgrade to something bigger, a 3′ x 2′ router from Romaxx. The size of this “WD-1” model means that I’ll have roughly 10x the work surface that I had before, and, incidentally costs in the neighborhood of 10x what the little router did.* The device can also handle an “actual” wood router, instead of the smaller spindle I was using before, so I attached a Dewalt 611 to it (Amazon).This is a fairly small router as far as handheld models go, but works well for this application. Plus it has a light on the bottom, which is neat to help view the workpiece when running.

You can see me setting everything up in the video below, importantly attaching the wire from the router motor itself to the hose from the Shop Vac. This should keep things from getting tangled up, necessary if I ever want to take my eyes off of it, even for a second!

The video’s not exactly a “review,” but more of a “how I set this up.” The bearing damage seen there was inconvenient, but after changing it and tightening up a bearing on the opposite side, it seems to be working very well. The good thing about dealing with any problems that arise is that I can actually reach out and talk to the founder of the company, who is featured in the video after the “read more” link. On that note, he pointed out that the cooling feature of my router may be interfering with my vacuum as set up in the video. Perhaps I’ll have to examine that for “rev 1,” but if you feel like copying/modifying my design, you can find the DXF file here.

As for the build, Read more »

The ClearWalker Comes to Life (Part 3)

If you’ve been following along here, or on YouTube, you’ve certainly noticed that I’ve been working (yet another) Strandbeest. This time, I decided to go with clear polycarbonate, lights, and Bluetooth control. The results, thanks in a large part to excellent film work by PJ Accetturo, are nothing short of spectacular, as seen in the video below:

This has been my biggest undertaking to date, and, though the body was generously cut out by Cook Manufacturing Group, actually assembling the ClearWalker and figuring out the various mechanical difficulties I hadn’t thought of, as well as the electronics, took quite a bit of work. Still, I’m really proud of how it turned out.

Also, a big thanks to ServoCity, which generously provided many of the control components. You can see more about the control scheme, and how to control a ClearWalker/Strandbeest/tank this way in this Instructables article.

And finally, thanks to all of you that have checked out this project, or even provided encouragement along the way. Though this project is “done” for now, as with any project like this, I do have a few more ideas on improvements, other uses. Be sure to check back here, or even subscribe on YouTube to see what other crazy project I come up with next!

Clear Polycarbonate Strandbeest (Part 2) – Now Walking!

If you’ve been following along here or on YouTube, you know I’ve been working on a new strandbeest out of clear polycarbonate. Considering this device was CNC-cut, one would think it would just bolt together and work, but as seen in the video below, it was much more work than that.

For now I’m calling it “ClearWalker,” since I live in the vicinity of Clearwater, Florida, though I keep debating as to whether or not that’s slightly too cheesy. After I asked here and on social media for name suggestions, people came up with some really clever ideas. Thanks for your suggestions, and I’d love to know which you think is best:

Best Clear Polycarbonate Strandbeest Name

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So without further ado, here is the video of the ‘beest walking:

As seen toward the end of the video, though nominally walking, it’s not quite done. Hopefully I’ll be able to add some lights, extra moving appendages, perhaps a camera, and show how I got it to function via Bluetooth/Arduino Mega control!