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//* {The Chimpanzee 2010} ::
*//{2010.10.02 ~ Nights & Weekends}

Designing & Building The Chimpanzee 2010

The Chimpanzee 2010 is a steel and aluminum 3-axis production CNC router which I designed and built for conducting architectural research, with the added capacity to mill and resist foundry sand. The design was kept as minimal and mechanically simple as possible, while maintaining the ability to upgrade the system for closed loop operation, vacuum workholding, toolholders, etc. whenever I have more money to spend on it.

The take-away from this experience was aquiring the knowledge and skills to design, specify, and fabricate CNC motor driven assemblies in low tolerance applications; embedded computing which can be readily deployed to control just about anything. Coupling physical computing with the increasingly user-friendly open-source programming interfaces or parametric modeling platforms is becoming increasingly easy to do, and holds huge promise for changing both the ways we interact with buildings, and the way in which we make them.

This is a project that would never have been possible without the internet, and the massive amounts of knowledge archived in online forums. The electrical layout of the machine is based primarily on the MechMate CNC router’s design, with advice found in the forum archives. After 6 dedicated months of long nights and weekends the Chimpanzee came to life. Thanks are extended to Christian Cutul & Nathan Brown for their many selfless contributions, and to Eleanor Pries for her patience & support.

Specs.
~PK296A2A -SG7.2 Oriental Stepper Motors, 880 Oz. In. Holding Torque, Vexta Series
~Modern Linear VX3 Series Guides, Track, Bearings, and Track Clamps
~Porter Cable 7518 4HP Router
~GeckoDrive 203V Motor Drivers
~Mach3 Controller Software
~Smoothstepper USB Control Interface
~Proximity Sensor Limit Switches, 4 Axes. (Auto-Squareing Gantry)
~48x108x8” Work Area