Although the V-slot gantry plates provide a simple solution for an initial prototype, a problem with them is the placement of the bolts. Because I wanted to use the existing holes in the THK linear actuators some of the bolts fall behind the actuators and as the gantry plates are only 3 mm thick there is no room to countersink them. So the linear actuator rests at the bolt heads.
For the connection between the z-axis and Kress bracket this was even more problematic because this uses M8 bolts with large heads.
Also I noticed that the gantry plates bend very easily because they’re only 3mm thick and have a lot of holes.
Therefore one of the first things I used the first prototype of the router for is milling new customized aluminum connection plates.
15 mm thick ones for the z-axis so that the M8 bolts can be countersunk, 6 mm ones for the x- and y-axis connections.
Despite the limitations of the first prototype I was pleased with the accuracy: the 15 mm plate that connects to the double table of the z-axis actuator has 8 holes and all bolts fit perfectly.
For fun I tested the text engraving function of the Estlcam software and put my initials in the front Y-axis connection plate. Although I didn’t have an optimal mill bit for engraving in aluminum the result didn’t look too bad.
The custom design of the new plates makes it possible to place the bolts that connect it to the V-slot rails left and right of the linear actuator instead of behind it so that it’s easier to position it with even more precision.