Arduino ?

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ProdEng

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If I were playing CNC at home I would much prefer to have a dedicated microcontroller than use a PC directly to control the machine. Driving a machine is a time critical application and my preference would be that the controller could not be interupted by the PC deciding to do something else. The PC is great for generating code and hosting files and embedded controllers are good at controlling. The faster the feed rate you run the more critical it becomes. At work I am regularly running at 120mm/SECOND feed rate.

Jan
 

Tin Falcon

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The reason for starting this tread is to help myself and others understand the capabilities and limitations of the arduino board and system. As I understand it it is an open source development platform for computer control. since CNC stands for computer numeric control I was curious what applications in cnc ,folk here have used it in.
I see the ardiuni as a combined computer/microcontroler and a breakout board, as it is designed for various i/o boards to be plugged in directly.
My experience with cnc is converting a mill with a gekco 540 controller. I then set up a small lathe to use the same control system .


So if I am using a aduino as a break out board and the input voltage limit is 20 volts then I am limiting the size motor I can hook up to it and I am limiting the size machine I can control.
All electronics have limits. Stepper systems in general are limited to 200 watts . inexpensive import driver boards are limited to IIRC 3 amps and 24 or 30 volts depending on the controller. a G 540 has a rating of 3.5 amps max 50v max and a G21x will run 7a,80v max.
From tin falcon : looks like pretty much limited to small applications like 3-d printers and the like
From Geoff P That comes across as pretty condescending, Tin.
Not intended that way. I see I neglected punctuation at the end of the sentence. Sorry, I could have easily put a question mark there. And I should have included a sherline/taig mill or lathe in that list .

By geoff p "The Arduino can easily control ANY three-axis machine, be it a putter-onner (3D printers) or taker-offer (mill, router, etc) or cutter-outer (laser, plasma etc) and the size of the machine is of no concern to the Arduino, which simply provides the control signals."
OK I was seeing the arduino as a combined computer/breakoutboard that would piggy back motor drivers. something as a possible substitute for say a G-540. So it could be plugged into a g-540 to control it instead of a PC? or set up with other external breakout board and controllers?

Let me turn your question around: what do chaps consider as a non-small application?
IMHO a small application would be limited to nema 17 motors or maybe small 23s a small lathe or mill a small 8 " x 12 " Bed router. and as I have stated. 3-D printers maybe micro sized would fit better or desk top. .

Then mini: Mini mill seig x-2 ,mini lathe seig c3 , mini router/cutter 18" x24. Or bench top sized.

Medium size: 9" lathe and a seig x-3 mill 48 x48 router/cutter etc Floor sized machines.



Full or industrial size would be: a Bridgeport size mill or larger a 10" plus size lathe and a full sheet or larger router /cutter 48"x96" or larger.
We could add a huge indusrial size here but see no need in this forum.

If I were playing CNC at home I would much prefer to have a dedicated microcontroller than use a PC directly to control the machine. Driving a machine is a time critical application and my preference would be that the controller could not be interupted by the PC deciding to do something else. The PC is great for generating code and hosting files and embedded controllers are good at controlling. The faster the feed rate you run the more critical it becomes. At work I am regularly running at 120mm/SECOND feed rate.

Jan
Looks like I need to invest in one of the smooth steppers . they do just that. I have been pondering one for a while. thanks for the input and It looks like the Arduino could do the job as well?

Geoffp thank you for helping me see what an Arduino can do.
Jan thank you for pointing out the advantages of an independent controller.
Tin

 

RonGinger

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Arduino is simply a microprocessor. It could be programmed to do just about any control function, within its memory and speed limits.

It cannot be a breakout board in the sense that term is usually used- a BOB is an isolation between a parallel port and some drivers or other control. It could be used as a motion control like the smoothstepper. But I would note the SS have a much more capable processor and a big gate array logic element.

There are open source packages that have been written to read gcode and output pulses to stepper drivers. They work, but are a long step dowm from something like a smoothstepper and mach.

In addition to the smoothstepper there is now another low-end motion controller for Mach- the PoKeys. Its latest rev is now capable of a 3 axis motion control, as well as handling I/O. Its a nice device for simple systems, and will be the perfect device for the new Mach4Lite systems.
 

Tin Falcon

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Thanks ron now I am getting a better picture of what the arduino will and will not do.
Like I said leaning toward a smooth stepper .
Tin
 

cfellows

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RonGinger said:
... In addition to the smoothstepper there is now another low-end motion controller for Mach- the PoKeys. Its latest rev is now capable of a 3 axis motion control, as well as handling I/O. Its a nice device for simple systems, and will be the perfect device for the new Mach4Lite systems.
Ron, thanks for the intro to the PoKeys. I found their website and downloaded some of the information. That looks like really cool device. Depending on the programming ide and interface, looks like you could use your laptop like an Arduino, reading and controlling real world events through digital and analog ports.

Chuck
 

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