Delphe Gearwheel Designer clock wheel design software

I came upon the Delphe site and was excited at the possibility to cut clock wheels on the Tormach PCNC440 as this was one of my prime motivations for the purchase.   Does anyone love crossing out wheels ?

Delphe has been feeding me with updates to their code and it is starting to make sense what it is doing and I like it.   Today I have run a wheel on slightly hybrid code (Delphe plus my direct G Code hacks) and I am impressed so far.

The Delphe code lets you design all manner of wheels for clock and other applications.  You can define the style of the teeth, the crossings etc and you can drill or mill arrays of holes.   You can also define the order of the machining processes.   I bolted down a square of brass with corner holes holding it down – you can see the holes in the MDF below.  Next I had the Tormach PCNC440 drill the three sets of holes in the blank, then cut the blank to circular size to match the teeth maximum diameter.  In the picture the mill is cutting a rough cut first pass on the teeth using a 0.7mm carbide cutter.   Next is the tooth fine second cut and then I can cut out the crossings which is what the five screws are for – holding down the petals that will become free once profiled.

It is all in 2.5 D but well worth a look.

Delphe GearWheel Designer Tormach
First wheel tooth being cut using the Delphe application.

Update : –

All went well in the first rough pass on the teeth called a Gash Cut in the software.   I was running at 4000 RPM and 5mm per minute and each tooth was taking 4 minutes with a slow 3mm lead in.  The second finishing pass was much quicker and now only leaves the crossing out to run.   As each petal of the crossing out is cut free , the screws shown above will keep the petal segments in place so there is no damage to the tooling.   I have made some small clamps on the 3D printer to put around the outside of the teeth to keep the wheel in place and centre screw to hold once the petals are cut free.

Gearwheel Designer, Tormach PCNC440, Fusion 360
Clamps in place ready to run crossing out
Crossing out completed and milling finished
Finished wheel after a light papering

What a feeling to complete it and thanks to Delphe for their support in getting me there.

Spindle Illumination Light for the Tormach PCN440

I am a great lover of having enough light to see what I am doing and being of a certain age my optics are not as sensitive as they used to be.   I have fitted Ebay sourced Angel Light ring car clusters as illumination lights on my pillar drill press and on my Myford VMB manual mill.   The arrival of the Tormach PCNC440 got me thinking of doing the same.

As luck would have it I had a 100mm OD ring left over from the VMB installation and this was just about dead right to fit the Tormach 440 spindle diameter.  All it needed was a mounting boss.

On the drill press and on the VMB I machined up a boss in Acetal which left a mountain of swarf and I was not looking forward to another session vacuuming out the lathe.   Then the thought struck me I have 3D printing so why not print a boss ?   It is quite funny how you get locked into one way of doing things and then you step back and realise there are more ways to skin the cat.  (Is that a non PC thing to say these days ???)

Booted up Fusion 360 and one extrude pull and two extrude cuts plus three clamping screw holes had a design ready to print.  Print time on the Sindoh was just under 4 hours.  It looked a lot more professional than the Acetal ones.

Tormach PCNC440 Fusion 360 Sindoh 3DWOX
3D printed boss for Tormach PCNC440 spindle illumination designed in Fusion 360 and printed on Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 and using 100mm Angel light ring LED cluster

It also fits like a glove and the three M5 nylon screws lock it in place.   I just need find a 12V plug top to drive it.

Tormach PCNC440 illuminator
Component parts of the illumination ring
Tormach PCNC440 Fusion 360
Completed illumination ring for Tormach PCNC440
Illuminator in place on Tormach PCNC440
Wider view showing the illuminator and my home made swarf (chip) shield

If you would like the Fusion STL or the link to the Angel Lights on eBay let me know.  I have the STL file for the 3D printed a small enclosure to suit the regulator for the Angel Lights from a 12V supply.

I also have the Fusion file for the handles on the magnetically mounted perspex front shield as seen above.   The handle mountings have 45mm centres to match the magnet plates which are standard UK sourced magnetic latches.

First Ding on the Tormach PCN440

Well it had to happen …. first ding on the Tormach 440 which thankfully was not major.

I made a spring loaded pen from an old Parker Pen body and refill to allow me to sketch the XY movements of the mill on sheet of paper on the mill table.  I forgot to reference the tool lengths and the pen buried itself into the table …. fortunately I had a sheet of MDF fastened to the table for protection but the pen dramatically disintegrated and distributed itself around the workshop.

A new pen has been made, better than the first one and no damage to the mill, just to my pride.

I must practice hitting the STOP button with my eyes closed.

First trial cut on Tormach 440 using Fusion 360 CAM

After a lot of research and testing I managed to run a small test piece in MDF using Fusion 360 CAM imported into the Tormach 440.   Hand hovered over the emergency stop button but all went well.  Getting there slowly.

There are so many boxes in the CAM settings for each function that is a worry what needs ticking where.   Lars Christensen‘s Part 4 video on CAM helped no end.  The other one to watch that was useful was the Library tutorial.

Battery replacement module for Chinese vernier scales

When I created the external 1.5V PSU modules for use with my DRO350 it struck me at the time it might be possible to create the same PSU in a dummy battery to fit directly into the scale battery socket.

I used the same AMS1117 regulator chip and decoupling capacitors mounted on a small pcb inside a short piece of K&S thin wall brass tubing.  The pcb was milled on the Tormach 440 with hand written G Code and using a dental burr as the engraver.  Once the pcb was soldered into the end of the tube I turned back the tube to leave the pcb proud of the tube to match the normal battery profile and spring contact in the scale battery socket.

It was a bit tight to put together but it works !   I am debating a full write up so look back in the future.