Ideas

Discussion in 'CNC Machines and Conversions' started by 1hand, Feb 23, 2010.

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  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1

    1hand

    1hand

    1hand

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    OK,

    Here I am thinking out loud again. ::) I can see that a CNC setup would be very useful for my future plans, in both a lathe and mill. Been snooping around at different outfits and turnkey suppliers, And boy they are nice. With some further thought on the matter seeing the size and expense of these individual machines has force me to look towards some different avenues. First, trying to fit two more machines in the basement shop, would be tight, space wise and electrically. So, then would have to build a outside shop, and that's Not in the cards for quite awhile. Second, would be retooling for different machines.

    Beings I have a nice 9x19 and SX3 all tooled up with there own place already on the bench and in the electrical box, as brought me to explore the option of doing a conversion on the machines I already own. I guess what has kept me from exploring this avenue before, is my inexperience with CNC, Or I should say No experience. I sure like the Plug and Play option of the turn key units, but the price and said comments above are forcing me down this road. Maybe building these from the ground up wouldn't hurt helping me understand how these things work, for problems down the road.

    I decided to post this here instead on the cnc fourms, because when ever I've had problems with anything, you guys have gotten me headed down the right road, and I just feel that this is my home. Maybe others here are thinking that maybe someday to CNC also.

    Well enough with the Why. Now on to the How???

    I have been looking at the Fusion CNC kits. They have one already for the SX3, and are spouse to be coming out with a 9x19 (20) also.


    I would like if you CNC guys could put sort of a "Shopping List" together of what it takes to get the lathe and mill converted over to CNC?


    Where you find these things, and there "ball park" prices?

    Everyone is welcome to post comments and Questions.

    Matt
     
  2. Feb 24, 2010 #2

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    You could save a ton of cash and just order the plans from Little Machine Shop or else where. I am doing a X3 for a friend and he spent less than $700 for everything except the computer.

    There are a few pieces to make from some 1/2 inch plate. We got ballscrew from McMaster Carr for $10 a foot. They are cheap rolled screws but my mill makes parts to .001 with a nice new endmill. I have recieved the last few pieces yesterday. The hard part is prepping the screw but they can be annealed and machined. The plan uses the lead screws for X & Y but if that works poorly, The screws and nuts is only an extra $90 to convert.

    It is nice to buy a kit and bolt it on but you will spend twice the money.

    Here are a few pieces.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Feb 24, 2010 #3

    1hand

    1hand

    1hand

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    Steve,

    Thanks I'll look at LMS for some plans. I would image after doing the mill from plans, figuring out doing the lathe would be possible "same principle I would think"? I feel making the mounts and stuff isn't above my ability, but I'm am worried tremendously about the electronics of this project. I am completely dumb founded when it comes to that. The more of complete unit I can purchase up front the better I think for me. Break out boards, drivers, power supplies, CAM, Gcode, Steppers, and so on. I would like to get as close to a plug and play in this department as possible, to keep me out of a disaster's way.

    Matt
     
  4. Feb 24, 2010 #4

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    Most of the kits come without motors. Some have another motor kit that can be purchased seperate. You still have to wire up a control panel. None of the kits come prewired.

    There is another option. For $2000 there is a guy that you send the X3 mill to him and you get it back ready to plug into a computer. He does the entire thing.

    For that kind of money you could do both your machines.

    I of course had to do things the hard way and I built the entire mill.

    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=6511.0

    What ever you decide, we will try to help out all we can.
     
  5. Feb 24, 2010 #5

    1hand

    1hand

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  6. Feb 24, 2010 #6

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    It will save you about half of the wiring. You still need to wire the motors. You have to solder longer wires on the motor and then solder the connectors on to plug the motors in. As far as price, cant tell you but I do know this.

    That box $600


    4 axis Board $130
    Power supply $40
    This is about what you get from the fancy box. Still have to buy motors and wire them. Here is what Jimmy Bought. Does what the fancy box does.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MC433-4-Axis-Un...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_2?hash=item4cedd63d2a
     
  7. Feb 24, 2010 #7

    vlmarshall

    vlmarshall

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    Go with Gecko! There's nothing better. Back when I refit my mill there were no Gecko drives, and I went with the old 24volt Xylotex system. I've since helped my dad build a CNC router, wnd powered it with a Gecko G540, and I'm using two G251s to drive my new lathe, with a LOT more power and speed than the Xylotex can manage.


    That said, the steppers and power supplies from Keling are the best deals I've seen.

    CNC4PC's breakout and relay boards are good too... but if you went with the G540 you won't need either.
     
  8. Feb 24, 2010 #8

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    Gecko is the best but the money goes way up. If speed is not important, save your money. With the X3 conversion, Gecko might be a bit over kill.

    Do you have a budget figured for this project?

     
  9. Feb 24, 2010 #9

    1hand

    1hand

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    I checked out LMS's Mini mill plans. I found that fignoggle has plans geared right for the X3. I figure if I do the build myself, I should probably use the fignoggle plans right? Then I shouldn't have to change anything. Where the LMS plans wouldn't be quite right for the X3? Or am I missing something?

    Matt
     
  10. Feb 24, 2010 #10

    stevehuckss396

    stevehuckss396

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    the 4 mills listed on the plans are all X3 clones. The LMS plans will work. If you like the fignoodle plans or are more comfy with them, go with that.

    Just a word of caution. The X3 is very small and not very rigid when graded on a curve. Spindles on CNC machines start at about 15HP and go up from there. You watch youtube and see these things cutting 1/4 inch deep at 60 MPH. The X3 will never do that. You can spend thousands and make the machine go super fast but you an only go those speeds when moving around not cutting. If this was a 4X8 foot router then rapid speeds would mean more but your mill can travel less than a foot. Also the mill will flex so you can only cut accutate if you do not exceed a max speed. Buying the best and fastest for a mini mill can be gross overkill.

    I guess the point is, try to not overspend on your drive system. In the case of a milling machine of that size, servos and gecko's and 500 dollar ground screws is a bit extreme for a X3. If you want a production machine with high speed, star with something a bit more capable.

    Just my 2 pennys
     
  11. Feb 25, 2010 #11

    Tin Falcon

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    My x-2 used the steele plans I think those are the ones LMS sells. Fignnoodle I think is a better setup. I have a set of those plans as well a bit more machining may be a little more money for timing pulleys but couplers are not cheap either.
    the gecko 540 is virtually plug and play with just a little wiring you do need to solder the db 9 connector for your motors.
    Tin
     
  12. Feb 25, 2010 #12

    vlmarshall

    vlmarshall

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    Ask or read around on the CNCzone forums, and you'll see some more opinions and advice...especially in the "Benchtop Machines" sub-forum;
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=164

    There are also sub-forums for specific drivers, which are great places to read about the problems and marginal performance other people have had in converting machines with budget electronics.

    You're not going to be able to take giant, hogging cuts with any little machine, but you CAN take advantage of CNC's repeatability, with many small cuts. Your biggest limiting factor is going to be spindle speed, not motor power, but using 4-flute endmills to give up chip clearance for improved chip load, and a good CAM program to help generate those multi-pass programs that you'd NEVER write by hand, will help a lot.




     
  13. Mar 3, 2010 #13

    1hand

    1hand

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    Will the Nema 23 381's that I'll use on the Mill X and Y also work for the 9x20 lathe lead screw and cross slide?
     
  14. Mar 3, 2010 #14

    Tin Falcon

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    what is the weight of the saddle as compasrd to the table of the x-3 I would think less . if so those motors should be fine.
    Tin
     
  15. Mar 3, 2010 #15

    vlmarshall

    vlmarshall

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    The 381's I've just put on my little Sherline SEEM like monsters, but I've only cut air with the thing so far.

    They're certainly a lot more powerful than the 269's on my mill, that are powered with one of the many 24volt drivers available.

    I know that's no help...

    ummm... put a torque wrench on the feedscrew cranks and measure the force needed to take a heavy cut?
     
  16. Mar 5, 2010 #16

    ianjkirby

    ianjkirby

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    Hi all,
    These guys only do servo controls, and without starting an argument, I would go this way. You will need to purchase motors, and screws if you wish to add them, but their controllers are good stuff, and the price seems good. They are in Australia, so figure in postage.
    Regards, Ian.

    http://www.cncteknix.com
     

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