Prolight 3000 Lathe Retrofit

Discussion in 'CNC Machines and Conversions' started by ibuildstuff4u, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. Apr 6, 2013 #1

    ibuildstuff4u

    ibuildstuff4u

    ibuildstuff4u

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    I bought a Prolight 3000 lathe a few months ago that was missing it's control box to run the stepper drives. I wanted to run Mach 3 on the lathe any way so the missing control box wasn't an issue. I paid $500 for the used lathe and it came with a second chuck and some tool holders in the tool changer.

    The lathe has some really nice features such as precision ground ball screws, limit switches on all axises, a 8 position tool changer, an air operated door and chuck, and the spindle is set up to accept 5C collets. It also came with a 4" 3 jaw Bison chuck to replace the air operated chuck.

    To build the control box I bought three Leadshine Digital DM 856 drives, a Combo breakout board from Sound Logic, a 48 volt 7.5 amp power supply to run the stepper drives, and a C-3 pulse board from CNC 4 PC to tell Mach how fast the spindle is turning. There is an encoder on the spindle motor that tells a RPM gauge on the front of the machine how fast it's turning too.

    I also replaced the Z and X axis motors with some more powerful ones from Kelinginc.net to make sure I didn't have any issues with missing steps when running. The original motors were 150 oz and the new ones are 282 oz. I didn't replace the tool changer motor as it works just fine.

    I'm happy to report that the lathe is running great, and I have the amps turned way down on the stepper drives as I have plenty of power on each axis. With a simple M code I can control the spindle speed, open and close the chuck and open and close the machine door. Accuracy has been really good and it looks like I can easily keep .0005 accuracy.

    Here are some pictures of the machine and the new control box thats mounted on the back of the lathe.

    Dale P.

    DSC03851. JPG.JPG

    DSC03854.JPG

    DSC03857.JPG
     
    kvom and rcfreak177 like this.
  2. Apr 6, 2013 #2

    Tin Falcon

    Tin Falcon

    Tin Falcon

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    nice !!!
    Tin
     
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  3. Apr 6, 2013 #3

    kvom

    kvom

    kvom

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    I want it! How much? Thm:
     
  4. Apr 6, 2013 #4

    ibuildstuff4u

    ibuildstuff4u

    ibuildstuff4u

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    Well, I bought the lathe for $500 and stuck around $700 into the electronics so the total cost for me is $1200 which I think is pretty good for the size of the machine. I have seen some CNC sherline lathes sell for more than than what I have stuck into this machine and this lathe is way more capable than a sherline.

    As for how much I would sell it for? It would be nice to know how much it's worth by putting it up for auction, but I built it to use so it's not for sale.

    I really want the matching milling machine so if anyone knows of a Prolight mill for sale please let me know!

    I'm thinking of adding a Y axis to this machine so I can use it as a mill until I find one to buy. Grizzy sells a lathe milling attachment for the 9 X 20 lathe which would fit nicely on this lathe. I could add a stepper motor to the milling attachment and plug it into the tool changer stepper drive. The tool changer removes with just two bolts so I could easily swap out the tool changer for the lathe milling attachment and set up a profile in Mach Mill for the new configuration.

    Just chuck up an endmill and make some chips! Total cost for the project would be around $225.00, but the travels would be a little limited and the Y axis wouldn't have a ball screw, but simply use the stock lead screw. If I don't run across a mill soon I may pick up the parts and put together the milling adapter.

    Dale P.

    100.jpg
     
  5. Apr 6, 2013 #5

    rcfreak177

    rcfreak177

    rcfreak177

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    Hi Dale.

    Very Nice indeed looks very professional too, Definitely an asset to the shop.
    I would be hanging on to this one for good if I was in your boots.

    Great machine for making the small fiddly bits, I reckon it would be pretty quick at it too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Baz
     
  6. Jul 2, 2013 #6

    jollykards

    jollykards

    jollykards

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    Thanks for sharing such an amazing information about prolight 3000 lathe machine. I have to say that My prolight 3000 uses a professional 3-axis Animatics servo car owner. This requires an RS232 feedback from the PC. I would be enthusiastic about listening to how your retrofit venture goes. I'd like to be able to use Mach 3 with the work, as the unique application is very old and challenging to use.
     
  7. Sep 9, 2013 #7

    diyengineer

    diyengineer

    diyengineer

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    Hello I build stuff!

    I joined this forum (cnczone guy here) just because you did a fantastic job with your lathe. I just bought the same one from a guy minus a chuck or auto tool changer for $400 bucks. I was going to go with a 5C to 3 jaw 4" chuck. No tool changer, but it did come with a nice tool post, but ill probably go to gang tooling of some sort.

    Anyways, mine didn't come with a controller either, so i'm in the middle of putting together my controller package.

    I'm thinking of installing a Gecko G540 controller, with cnc4pc C3 index pulse card for spindle speed feedback, and upgrading both steppers to Gecko 280oz/in, with a 48V and 5V power supply. This would all be in a single box, with fan, and it would utilize the cnc4pc MPG16 lathe panel with C22 interface board connected to a second parallel port. Seems like it "Should" be a no brainer? However the price tag will be about $900 bucks (for everything).

    If you have any pin outs, diagrams, or any thing that could help me out feel free to load them up to the site, or shoot me an email (my user name @ gmail.com)

    Thanks!! Hope to hear from ya soon!




     

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