I perform several break-in operations on every machine I build. These operations vary from moving the machine to its extends to performing complex drawing or machining tasks.
Types of Break-in
Lets take a look at the various types of break-in that I use.
The initial (basic) break-in test is used to help the machine get into its groove so to speak. It helps to loosen new fittings and to shake out any early fastener issues.
In order for these files to work you need to position the machine at X:0 and Y:0 (Front left) and zero the X and Y axis. The Z axis needs to be zeroed near the bottom as the tests need about 3” of travel.
I run the slow test for about 4 hours, then move on to the medium, and then the fast test.
Here is the three tests in action. Note that once I finish with the tests, I go back and check each axis for slop.
I also use the break-in files when I oil the drive screws and linear rails.
A drawing test can help you really shake out issues. You don’t need a spindle for this test, a simple pen holder will work just fine. You can get some information on making your own pen holder here: DIY Pen Holder
This is a drawing test I use to put my machines through their paces.
I run this break-in at a slow 100 ipm with the acceleration on my motors set low as well.
The test takes a little over an hour.
I have index marks that are drawn at the beginning and end of the test. If any steps are lost it will show up here.
After I do the initial run and make any needed adjustments, I will up the speed and acceleration until things start to fail.
Other Drawing Tests
Acceleration Truck Test
This is a very early CNC Construction Set prototype. By performing this test, I quickly found out the stand I was using would not be suitable for plasma cutting.
Some other Tests
Here is a break-in of one of my KRMx02 machines.
I used the Z Axis test file to help me pinpoint and diagnose a bad set of thrust bearings.