I took some pictures of the inside of some arcade games that I’ve been maintaining for awhile. I thought folks might be interested to see what they look like. The components are actually quite simple!
After my first experience milling aluminum, I decided an enclosure was necessary. There were two reasons for this. The first is, aluminum swarf gets everywhere. I’m not kidding. The milling I did left a mound of tiny aluminum shavings that got all over the desk, all over the floor, and into anything it could. Second, there is little protection from flying objects should there be a problem. This could be a broken bit or a piece of metal flying off the mill.
To that end, my Father and I spent a large part of new years (12+ hours) building a stand and an enclosure for the mill. I had originally had ideas of making it out of plexiglass with aluminum rails, but scrapped that idea due to cost. For the base, we took a design he had implemented and adapted it to the size of the mill. For the top, we did a bit of framing and enclosed it in plywood on all sides but the door. For the front, we decided to use an acrylic sheet that would slide into a groove and be capped on top.
The first two pictures were during the final phases of construction. I had wanted to take more pictures along the way, but got immersed and forgot.
The next picture shows the overall mill area.
In this one you can see everything installed. The cnc controller is on top of the box. The vacuum controller is on the shelf. The emc2 computer to control the mill is on the corner of my Craftsman desk. The plexiglass is installed in this picture. The next two pictures are more of a closeup.
In these two pictures, you can see the wires come in through the top left corner. These are for the stepper motors, the light, and the spindle. I’ve also mounted the vacuum gauge on the back panel and run the vacuum line through the port as well. This will provide for the vacuum chuck system when I’m milling PCBs.
You may also notice that the mill is not centered. The reason is because the stepper hanging off the right side adds an additional 9 inches to one side of the mil.
I still have a few things to do to it. I need to mount the acrylic to the top piece so that it hangs from it. I think that will make it a little easier to work with. I plan to add two switched outlets and an e-stop button somewhere easily accessible. I need to be able to stop/start the spindle with the enclosure closed. The other one will be for a future accessory. There is also the possibility of a drag chain for the x-axis. I’m not sure about that one yet. We’ll see …
The last thing that I plan to add in the foreseeable future is a cooling system as well. Rather than use flood coolant or misting, I’m going to try and use compressed air. To support that effort, I’ll add an npt fitting to the backside and a flexible tube on the inside.
Before I close I want to thank my Father for helping me to spend his New Years Day putting this together. It took nearly 12 hours to get it all together. It would have taken me much longer without his help and guidance.
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