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Old 11-27-2013, 05:08 PM   #31
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Hi Chuck

I use BobCAD it's quirky but capable; even if you haggle with them I'm not sure you could get it for $300.00 There are other low end solutions but I haven't tried any of them. It will be interesting to see what others are using.

Dave


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Old 11-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
Another question, what are you CNC guys using for CAM? I'd like to keep my CAM cost under $300 if possible. Most of my work can probably be handled by 2.5D but might want full 3D from time to time.
Chuck------- D2nc works great for $78.00
http://www.d2nc.com/html/purchase.html

artsoft for Mach 3 works well also
http://www.machsupport.com/software/mill-wizard-beta/

and their is also an addon for Mach3
http://www.machsupport.com/software/...dons-for-mill/

If you are planning in trying JOG MODE you might want to download different screen set for Mach3
http://www.machsupport.com/software/...es/screensets/

enjoy
Luc


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Old 11-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by stevehuckss396 View Post
You can read the whole story on the Gecko website but here are the highlights. The voltage of your power supply is entirely dependent on the inductance rating of your motor, which we learned is translatable to the number of turns of wire in the stator. Every motor model will have a different inductance rating and will therefore have a different maximum voltage. To figure out what the maximum power supply voltage should be, use the following formula with the motor’s inductance in millihenries (mH) used for the L value. 32 * VL = VMAX If you are using several different models of motors on the same power supply use the lowest inductance rating in the above formula. This will ensure that your motors will not overheat due to the voltage being too high. I think my drives are fed with some 60-65 volts but my drives max voltage is 80. Chucks is only 50 so cant exceed that ever. In his case I would go 48 if possible. To get 48 DC the ac input voltage needs to be about 34 volts. CNC suppliers have some wierd voltage transformers so its possible but not likely. At any rate he will need about 125Watt minimum if he uses the 4th. Also will need a 1500-2000MFD capacitor as close to the input of the drive as possible.
Actually he can come close fairly easily, 48 VDC is a fairly common bus voltage in the controls world. The trick is finding supplies suitable for motion control work. Searching for 48 VDC power supplies brings up a few possibilities:
1 http://www.automationdirect.com/stat...esteppower.pdf. (Watch open circuit voltages)
2 http://www.automationtechnologiesinc...0-48-duplicate
3. http://www.ebay.com/bhp/stepper-motor-power-supply
4. http://www.kelinginc.net/SwitchingPowerSupply.html
5. http://www.wantmotor.com/ProductsListB.asp?id=90&Pid=75
6. http://www.omc-stepperonline.com/pow...l1ikvahli02il7
7. http://americanmotiontech.com/products/powersupplies/
8. http://www.omega.com/pptst/ps_series.html

These are just a few of the possibilities out there, if you go to a local electrical supply house they probably have access to something. Many of the above supplies are switching supplies which come in two flavors, regulated and unregulated. Even though the regulated supplies are offered for CNC systems you need to make sure the can handle voltage regeneration from your motors. Omega for instance offers a voltage clamp device to deal with that. Also the drive itself might have some protection against regeneration. Another common voltage to look for is 42 volts.

For the unregulated supplies you need to keep a very close eye on open circuit voltages as some will exceed driver limits. I still prefer cheap and simple transformer rectifier solutions, however switch mode supplies can save space. Also with a transformer approach it is easy to DIY, just buy a transformer with the right output voltage and current capacity. As far as transformers go here are a couple of sources:

1. http://www.surplussales.com/transformers/HvLvTr-5.html. They have almost exactly what you would need listed but it is sold out!
2. http://www.toroid.com/standard_trans...rmers_117V.htm Very nice layout that makes selection easy.

Some of the online vendors are real proud of their transformers or to put it another way the prices are insane, especially for used ones. Like power supplies your local electrical supply house ought to have a bunch of items catalogued. I'd shop around. Of course you could DIY a power transformer too.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:55 PM   #34
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I have to agree with Luc's great suggestion of the mach wizards, but then since I wrote and support them I am slightly biased

However, they are conversational wizards, not a real CAM system. They are fine for common shapes, like circles, rectangles, pockets, bolt circles, arc slots, etc. The set called "addons for Mach" were written to run under Mach3 and cost $50. The new nfsMill set is standalone and will run on any windows system. They are $75. They are kind of the quick and dirty approach, very simple and fast to use but less capable than a CAM system.

In full CAM software there are several good packages in the $200-300 range. I have used Sheetcam for several years and it has done very well for me. It is really aimed at the router or plasma guys, hence the name sheet. I have used it to make many parts for model engines. It reads dxf files and generates gcode.

There are several very good products from Vectric. Cut2d and Cut3d are as the names suggest. Their interface is similar and work well. As I recall they are about $200 each. Vectric has a more expensive program, Vcarve pro aimed more at the sign makers, but I have used it for model parts, especially name tags and labels for boiler and locomotives. It is about $700, and would not be my choice for simple model work. I have it because they were at one of the early CNC workshops in Galesburg IL and offered a package deal.

There is also CAMBAM which is highly regarded. I have used it, but only in demo mode- it lets you run a limited number of sessions, I think 40. It is probably the most capable of these, but a bit steep on the learning curve. I think if I were starting fresh today I might pick CAMBAM because of its more advanced capability.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:08 AM   #35
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There is also CAMBAM which is highly regarded. I have used it, but only in demo mode- it lets you run a limited number of sessions, I think 40. It is probably the most capable of these, but a bit steep on the learning curve. I think if I were starting fresh today I might pick CAMBAM because of its more advanced capability.

I have to agree. I have been a bammer for a few years and it never fails to amaze me. If you can afford it Chuck, its the one to get. Also there are more than a few users on the board so there will be help when you try to get going.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:19 PM   #36
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The basic license for CamBam is $149. That certainly sounds reasonable. I plan to download it and give it a try when I get things a little further along.

Chuck
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:04 PM   #37
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When your ready Chuck post a message of something you plan to make and supply the DXF file with a dimensioned drawing. I can CAM the part and send you the CB file. All you will need to do is load the file in CB. That way you can see what the process is for doing it and you will have a good idea what to do when you get going on your own.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #38
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Had the creeping crud which kept me out of the shop for a few days. Got back on it today. After installing a plain ball bearing on the stepper motor end of the table, I started on the connectors and making up the electrical cables.



I finished the cables. One end has the DB9 connector for the Gecko controller and the other end will connect to the steppers.



I used 1.25" x 1/8" aluminum angle to hold the connectors. As you can see, the angle is attached to the motor with zip ties which are clamped down pretty tight. Doesn't seem to be any movement.



I still need to solder the motor wires to the back end of the connector sockets.

Chuck
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:30 PM   #39
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Chuck,
If I can sugest one thing dont use the angle plate
use a regular 1/8 and mounted with the motor screws trying to eliminate as much noise
"electronic noise" as possible.
with your set up the magnetic feild could cause some problem

cheers

Luc
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:48 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianhorsepower View Post
Chuck,
If I can sugest one thing dont use the angle plate
use a regular 1/8 and mounted with the motor screws trying to eliminate as much noise
"electronic noise" as possible.
with your set up the magnetic feild could cause some problem

cheers

Luc
Interesting. So attaching a flat plate to the back of the motor wouldn't be subjected to so much of the magnetic field from the motor windings?

Chuck


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