The XL Marking System
The XL Marking System is supplied with required pneumatic valves, air tubing, and cables. However, the scribing tool and permanent marker are not included due to the large variety (and cost) of available marking tools. For more information, refer to the section on tooling.
Installation XL Marking System
The scriber tool is a fantastic vibration generator that can loosen just about any bolt. Use a small amount of non-permanent thread locking compound on all bolted connections of the XL Marking System.
Installation of the XL Marking System requires the following steps:
- Install the Marking Head
- Install the Air Solenoid Valves
- Connect the Air Lines
- Connect the Control Cables
- Installing the Marker and Scriber
Marking Head Installation
- 6 mm Hex Wrench
- Thread Locking Compound (non-permanent)
It is easier to install the marking head at the front of the table. After homing, jog to the front left (most negative X, most negative Y), and safely power off your machine.
The MAD table is an automated piece of machinery which may begin motion at any time. Disconnect power to the MAD table before performing maintenance. Failure to do so may result in injury or death.
- Remove the torch and dock it to the right side of the X carriage's front plate.
- Locate the two (2) M8 x 16 mm flat head screws.
- Put some non-permanent thread locker compound, such as Loctite Blue 242, onto the screws before installing.
- Install the marking head to the mag base as shown at the yellow arrows using a 6mm hex wrench.
- Secure the screws very tightly to prevent them from loosening during scribing.
Air Solenoid Valve Installation
- 10 mm Hex Wrench
- Thread Locking Compound (non-permanent)
- Using two (2) 6 mm flange bolts and 6 mm flange nuts, install the air valve bracket onto the cable carrier bracket as shown by the green arrows.
Solenoid Valve Positioning
The instructions below assume the solenoid valve controlling the scriber (control cable S7.160C) is in the rear, and the solenoid valve controlling the marker (control cable S7.170C) is in the front. The physical positioning is not important as long as all of the air lines are connected to their respective solenoid and control cable.
- Install both valves onto the air valve bracket as shown using three (3) #6-32 x 2 1/4" long screws, six (6) #6 flat washers and three (3) #6-32 locknuts.
- Carefully route both valve control cables through the grommet on the bracket.
Connecting the Air Lines
- 13 mm Wrench
- Knife or Scissors
Each cylinder is connected to a single air valve. The 4mm (5/32") diameter air lines are installed by simply pushing them into the correct connectors. To remove an air line, disconnect the air pressure, depress the connector's clamp ring (orange) and pull the air line out.
Solenoid Valve Air Line Connections.
Marking Head Air Line Connections
Referring to the photos above, execute the following steps:
- Insert a 4 mm (5/32") diameter, 32 mm (1 1/4") long air line into the Marking head's right cylinder connector at #1 (light green).
- Press the union tee onto this air line.
- Insert a 4 mm (5/32") diameter, 460mm (18") long air line into the union tee.
- Insert this line into the rear solenoid's left connector.
- Routing from the #2 (dark green), insert a 4 mm (5/32") diameter, 610 mm (24") long air line from the right cylinder's lower connector on the marking head to the right connector of the rear solenoid.
- Routing from the #3 (light blue), insert a 4 mm (5/32") diameter, 480 mm (19") long air line from the left cylinder on the marking head to the left connector of the front solenoid.
- Routing from the #4 (dark blue), insert a 4 mm (5/32") diameter, 610 mm (24") long air line from the left cylinder's lower connector on the marking head to the right connector of the front solenoid.
- Insert the 6 mm (1/4") diameter air line into the remaining connector of the union tee. This line will later be cut to length depending on the scriber you have purchased.
- Lightly zip-tie the 4 mm (5/32") diameter air lines together as shown to prevent them from contacting the Laser Pointer cable.
Remove the left Y-Axis motor cover.
Starting from the entry of the Y-Axis cable carrier, run the remaining 4 mm (5/32") diameter air line through both cable carriers until it protrudes from the end of the X-Axis carrier approximately 4" (100mm).
- Insert the union Y connector onto the end of the air line.
- Cut a 3" (75 mm) and a 4" (100 mm) piece of air line from the other end.
- Insert one end of both pieces into the union Y connector.
- Insert the 3" (75 mm) line into the rear solenoid's connector.
- Insert the longer line into the front solenoid's connector.
- Connect the 1/4" NPT to 4mm (5/32") diameter connector (red arrow) to the air line protruding from the Y-Axis cable carrier. Depending on your available air connection, you may need to replace this connector with one more suitable. The only requirement is that it is Push-to-Connect on one side compatible with 4 mm (5/32") tube.
In the photo the blue arrow points to a quick disconnect air hose connector commonly used in the USA. It is not included with the marker system.
- Reinstall the left Y-Axis motor cover.
Connecting the Air Solenoid Control Cables
See the downloadable schematic for more details on connecting the control cabling. The XL marking unit is connected to two of the four outputs in cable S3.160C.XX.
- Locate the end of the cable S3.160C.XX at the end of the cable carrier next to the air solenoid mounting bracket.
- Scriber: Connect the scriber air solenoid control cable (S7.160C) into the connector labeled 3 in S3.160C.XX.
- Permanent marker: Connect the marker air solenoid control cable (S7.170C) into the connector labeled 2 in S3.160C.XX.
- Carefully zip-tie the cables together and to the cable carrier to clean up the installation.
Installing the Marker and Scriber
The XL Marker System is a dual tool solution. Due to the disparity in available tooling where the MAD plasma table may be located, we felt it best to reduce the price of the marking system and allow the user to choose the tools they prefer. To accomodate this, tooling blocks are available in common bore sizes of 12.7 mm (1/2"), 16.3 mm and 17.3 mm. Custom bore size tooling blocks may be ordered if required.
A Sharpie permanent marker with the push button is a good choice for an indelible surface mark. Mounting requires a 12.7 mm tool bore.
Almost any pneumatic scriber with a bore that can be clamped will operate correctly. Two such markers are:
The Sioux 5980 is the scriber used by JD Squared internally, and has been used in all images demonstrating installation. It provides a very high degree of engraving quality when coupled with the high resolution of the MAD plasma table. Mounting requires a tool bore size of 17.3 mm.
The Sioux 5980 is supplied with an air hose. This should be removed and replaced with a push coupling. If you are unable to locate an appropriate push fitting for your marker, you can cheat a little. After removing the Sioux provided air hose, there is a metal tube above the coupling. Slide a locking clamp down over the threads of the coupling on the scriber. Lubricate the end of the 6 mm air line provided by JD Squared with soapy water (or glass cleaner), and press it firmly down over the metal tube as far as possible. Align the locking clamp and crimp.
Chicago Pneumatic CP9361
The CP9361 is a popular scriber choice. The tapered body makes it slightly more difficult to hold than the Sioux model. Mounting requires a tool bore size of 16.3 mm.
The CP9361 has a 1/8" NPT female thread for connection to the air supply. Install a 1/8" NPT to 6mm (1/4") diameter Push–to–Connect male fitting into the scriber. An example connector is shown in the image with an orange clamp ring. These very common Push-to-Connect fittings are available through JD Squared, or any other reputable retailer.
- Position the torch so that it is 5-3/4" (145 mm) below its clamp.
- Adjust the scriber until it is 2-1/2" (63 mm) below its clamp.
- Expose the marker point by pushing the button or uncapping it, depending on the marker. Adjust the marker until the point is 2-1/2" (63 mm) below its clamp.
With the air pressure removed, the marker and scriber will drop to their lowest positions. It is VERY IMPORTANT that they are both 5/8" (16 mm) below the torch. During operation the marker and scriber will operate by default 1/4" (6 mm) above their lowest point. This allows the material's surface to wave up to a 1/4" (6 mm) without contacting the torch.
Depending on the scriber selected the intial dimensions from the clamps to the tool's point may vary from what is suggested above. This is not critical. If both tools drop 5/8" (16 mm) below the torch, the marker will operate correctly.