2011-05-24

Toolhead adapter for RepMan tools in Thing-O-Matic

I want to experiment with milling PCBs using the new Thing-O-Matic.
I did this in the past on my RepMan but copper-dust was in danger of entering the open electronics, motors and bearings.
The Thing-O-Matic is much more enclosed and clearly separates electronics and motors from the work-volume.

So I looked for existing toolheads that would serve my needs.
Indeen I found some.
However one required to saw apart the freshly printed ataper and re-attach it using hot glue.
(That "somehow" sounds very, very wrong.)
One simple looked like it did not fit the organic shape of the Dremel.
One uses just one arm to hold the Dremel and is thus prone to vibration and flexing.
Two only hold the Dremel via 4 bolts. Kind of like a Christmas-tree stand.
While one of them even requires the use of Makerbeam.

Not the best of options.

However I still have my Dremel-toolhead for the RepMan around.
So I imported the DXF of the RepMan tool-mount into my CAD program and meassured the bolt size and -diameter of the Thing-O-Matics toolhead-mount and found they could be made compatible.


With this adapter, any RepMan toolhead should fit into the TOM.
The allowed tool-diameter is even larger then on the Repman.
However I find the Z-stage of the TOM to be less stable then the construction used in the RepMan.
The long wooden plate is able to flex and deform my multiple millimeters
while the sled used in the Repman is made out of 3 linear bearings compressed between 2 layers of thick acrylics with dozens of bolts in a small and rigid package.
More capable of widthstanding vibration and forces applied to the toolhead.








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