This group will work with cable management as it applies to CNC machines. You can find manufactured cable carriers available from many sources, and there are some drawings available that are basically a copy of those, but how many have designed and or made a carrier link that is completely different? We will start with my design for ABS carrier links and see how it goes.
This group will attempt to address the problem of cable management as it applies to CNC machines. If you have the cash $$, you can find manufactured cable carriers available from many sources. When building a DIY CNC machine most of us do not have the extra cash to spend on such things and need to save every penny for the things we can’t make like the motors and electronics to drive them. It is this mindset that drove me to design my own cable carrier to go with my first CNC build, and I will attempt to document the thought process along with the changing design ideas I went through to get to my final design.
This is the .dxf that details the bracket I used to mount the end of the ABS carrier links to the machine. It is a sheetmetal formed part made of .048" thick CRS and the drawing includes views of the 2" ABS link.
Here is the .dxf for the small links I ended up making for my first CNC build.
I only made a few of the 2.5"(3") links and opted to make the links shorter feeling that the shorter length would work better for the short travels the machine would be making. The larger link should be just as functional and the basic difference is in the length and the bottom section not being closed.
If someone wanted to make the 3" links I would suggest that you cut the bottom sections like I did the shorter 2" links and I feel this makes the link a better stronger item. If there are questions as to methods to index and cut the parts I will be glad to offer the method I used on my small mill to cut them, so please just send me a message or email and ask me.
TubeCarrier3inch.dxf (original version)
This is one of the first revisions of the tube cable carrier design and it is drawn to a 1.5" diameter because I did not know the actual size diameter I was going to be working with at the time. The vectors can be scaled to give you the size you need for the ABS or PVC pipe you decide to use. The left side views are and attempt to explain and show the steps and operations involved and the views to the right side are for the toolpaths I had planned to use to machine them. This version was revised several times to get to my final 2" short link and if I was going to change it I would recommend simply leaving the bottom side closed rather than cutting it as it is drawn. It will take less work and yields a closed surface with more strength for the cable-wiring to lay on when the carrier is flat. I will be glad to offer some suggestions as to how I machined them so just send me a message and ask if you have questions.
ABSlink.dxf with Jon Karisny's simplicity
I made a quick drawing of the ABS links as modified to use Jon Karisny's idea for an external link connector, and also added some miters to allow for the links to pivot with clearance on one side. This design will enable making the cable carrier with simple hand tools and a jig saw or band saw. The links can be cut to the same length from a length of pipe and then the miters can be cut.
It should not be difficult to get the links cut very close to the desired size and the miters can be cut with a jig and are not critical so they don't need to be perfect(clearance mainly) The holes can be hand drilled for the hardware you choose and the simplicity connectors can be made from some flat material(plastic, metal, rubber etc.) or they can even be made from the same ABS material that you cut lengthwise. Mount the connectors so that the convex side faces the convex outside of the links so they will pivot easily and not bind. It should be doable with only hand tools but an electric jig saw, drill press, or other electric hand tools will make the task a bit easier.
Take a look and if you have suggestions please to post them.