Installing Drag Chains on your CrossFire Pro

A few folks have asked me for more information on the Drag Chains I installed as part of my CrossFire Pro build so I have compiled a BOM and illustrated instructions for doing the whole thing.

The BOM and Instructions are in a PDF disguised as a DXF file (thanks to Jim Hatch for the tip)
Download the file and rename it without the “.DXF”
.
Installing the Drag Chain mounts.pdf.DXF (2.9 MB)

The STL (3D printable) files are zipped

Plasma Cutter CNC.zip (284.1 KB)

Please show us some photos of your completed project.

Stay safe and sane - Jim

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Just rename the file xxxx.PDF.DXF and then anyone downloading just needs to get rid of the .DXF and it’ll work fine. Not sure why Langmuir doesn’t allow PDFs but this is a workaround.

Same thing will work for the STL file if you want to add that too.

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Jim - Thanks for the tip. I will edit my original post accordingly.

Actually, Langmuir now allows .ZIP files too so you can package everything up into a single file. And no one needs to know the secret handshake of renaming files (sort of a brain dead method, if you ask me…)

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Tom - You say “Brain Dead” as if it were a bad thing.

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:rofl: Good one!

I don’t have my system in yet, just getting a few things done before it does… i noticd you said you’ll need a cable extension for the z axis and was wondering if i could just get a full length cable to cover the distance instead of having a lump in the middle of the chain? How long would it need to be? Is it just a rs232 cable?

The extension is actually for the y1 cable, though I guess if you swapped which motor was in which location you could extend a different one instead. Unless you splice into the wiring coming out of the motor, it will be easier to extend via the DB9 port, as the motors are pre-wired.

I followed Felichs guide - Installing Drag Chains on your CrossFire Pro

Would it be possible to get a 15x40 chain then to hide the plug? Or would the bending radius be too large?

@Rubricpit778 - I suggest you only use a larger drag chain on the Y-axis. You have more room to adjust for the larger bend radius. Keep in mind the length you need, as you might have to buy two drag chains to fit the Y-axis properly.

OR

Use @theworkshope’s idea of swapping with the right-side Y-axis motor (It has the longest wire) so that you can avoid the extension coupling in the middle of the Y-axis drag chain. It might work out that the extension cable on the other stepper would then join where it wouldn’t be visible. Note that the extension cable’s length might need to be be longer than the one I suggested.

If you try that and get a good result please let me know exactly what you did and I will amend my
Installing Drag Chains on your CrossFire Pro post to comply.

Good luck and stay safe and sane.

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Thanks for posting such a complete “how to.” it takes a lot of time to write it all up in a nice way that others can follow.

I’ve got the parts in my Amazon cart, but I’m going to wait a few weeks and see if there are any more developments before I order the drag chain and DB9 extension.

Very nice, thank you!

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Thanks for making this very simple!!!

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I’m finally getting around to assembly now that I have cleared the shop of a couple of until recently unfinished projects. I ended up buying a 15x30 drag chain on Amazon. That necessitated me designing my own mounts for the drag chain. I’m currently drying out some BluPrint filament to print the parts. It’s a tough UV and heat resistant filament from Taulman. It should hold up well in all the intense light the plasma torch will be emitting. I’ll let you know if using the right side Y motor cable results in more visually appealing cable management, and try to update with some pictures once I have a finished result.

@MrHaNkBoT - I look forward to hearing how that all works out.

Pictures of the drag chain install on my machine starting at the X carriage working back. Your guide was a fantastic starting point, and although I didn’t make the parts exactly the same, 2 of them are very very close. I heat set M3 brass inserts in the printed parts to mount the drag chains, and a combination of them and 1/4-20 rivet nuts to mount the parts to the machine. I’m a huge fan of quality steel rivnuts on assmeblies like this that are too thin to tap, and too pretty to weld. BluPrint filament is making me happy so far, it’s super tough stuff. I was only just able to break a 4mm thick piece of it, and I’ve got crazy monkey grip strength.

I don’t have any of the wires routed yet, but I don’t anticipate any issues. I haven’t tried swapping the Y axis motors yet to evaluate the effect on the motor extension splice location. I anticipate I’ll do that today or this weekend depending on when I get back to assembly. I have some TIG welding to finish first to make the water pan a single assembly and able to 100% drain.

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@MrHaNkBoT
Henry - Your setup looks great so far. Thanks for posting.

From where do you get your BluPrint?

Jim

@felich

Pretty sure I picked it up a few years ago from Matterhackers. Just been waiting in a tote for the right project.

@MrHaNkBoT

It was made by Taulman, but they don’t seem to make it anymore.
I think is was replaced by Alloy 910 HDT.
I bought some to play with.
Thanks for turning me on to it.

@felich

Yes indeed. I thought I had mentioned Taulman in my first post about the BluPrint, but sure enough I didn’t mention that was the brand.

Definitely wants to be dry. Treat it like any other nylon, maybe a bit hotter temps than some. The recommended settings on the Taulman site were pretty spot on. No fan whatsoever.

The Y2 motor in the X position has plenty of cord to reach the cabinet without a splice in the middle of the drag chain. The 6’ extension appears to be enough to get the short cord motor in the Y2 position extended to the control box. A worthwhile swap.