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acourtjester
05-13-2012, 12:21 AM
Hi All
Here is a cnc table I built with plasma cutting option. I am using my PM256 Multi unit for the plasma power.
This table was built with no plans using things I seen others do for their tables. I ran grounds from the computer/control cabinet, table base, and PM 256, wiring using shielded cables and farrite cores. This seems to have protected against the EMI from the PM256's HF start. Still need to fine tune it but it cuts very well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJfW0r8pbz4&feature=youtu.be


have fun
Tom

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 12:40 AM
That is so nice looking so how much total in parts and materials cost to build it. like the chain drive system . plus look not to heavy so easy to roll around to were you want it

zoama585
05-13-2012, 12:41 AM
Really nice work.... I like your videos, hope we get to see more of this table in action.

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 12:45 AM
forgot what arc divider board did you use and controller for your table

SeanMurphy265
05-13-2012, 01:34 AM
Look at you getting fancy with the cross drive! That's the way I wish I would have gone. Saves money and possible trouble. Are you using THC or touch and go? You have a very nice cnc table, I hope mine looks half as nice.

acourtjester
05-13-2012, 03:41 AM
I dont have a THC I am not planning on doing any big jobs with it. I a using a pilot arc so it is not a touch start it touches metal to get the distance. The software zeros out the Z distance when it touches the top of the metal and then lifts about .750. And drops back to .035 fires the torch and delays to burn through and then starts the movement for the cutting.
I would say I have less then a $1000 in it $550 for the electronics and software I have a computer to use. The table sides and carriage are 4 aluminum channel I scrounged along with the steel legs. The chain drive is cheaper then other types I bought the stuff from Surplus Center (chain, idlers, and sprockets) #35 size chain. I cast the bearing sliders for the X & Y rails from scrape aluminum.

Have fun
Tom

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 04:35 AM
what programs are you using , I had friend give me bobcad , sheetcam and mach3 . same here i am not using thc since all my stuff will be flat to cut. liked the video of it working have to post some more videos of it

acourtjester
05-13-2012, 11:55 AM
I am using Mach 3 to run the table I have turbo cad but dont know how to use it yet. I have heard good things about bobcad and sheetcam the software can get expensive. Im out on a limb here so I need to learn these things by myself. Here is a pen I made to use on the table to check it operations before cutting anything. It fits the floating head for the plasma torch.

Have fun
Tom

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 05:19 PM
this is free to learn cad i have been using this site will give you 2 sites to learn . http://www.learncadfast.com/signup.php or http://www.bobcad.com/videos . same here trying to learn cad before i get my plasma cutting table

acourtjester
05-13-2012, 06:26 PM
Thanks I will check them out

SeanMurphy265
05-13-2012, 07:42 PM
I think I'm going to use this THC (http://www.eagleplasma.com/thc.htm). I think it will work with Everlast plasma cutters better. Is it hard wiring up your proximity switches?

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 08:36 PM
pulled open my plasma cutter sorta goofy little ark divider6625 board , sure be nice to have more information on this . looked all over the internet and could not find any information on it . think i will toss this one i found a better one on the internet

acourtjester
05-13-2012, 10:21 PM
I did not use proximity switches I started out using a magnetic electronics switch but switched to normal micro switches. Hooking up the limit/home switches if quite easy with Mach 3 you go into a menu and tell it which switch you are working with (X home) and activate the switch and Mach see it and logs it for that use. Setting up the software is easy as soon as you get into their mind set or method for doing things.
Proximity switches are expensive unless you know of a cheap place to buy them.
I am using the everlast PM 256 multi-unit so I will not be using a THC. If I start doing lots of cutting I may buy a standard plasma cuter and a THC.

Rodsmachineshop
05-13-2012, 10:35 PM
i am using the Power Ultra 250P so basically the same as what you are using but is 50 amp plasma instead of 60 amp

sportbike
05-14-2012, 01:14 AM
Looks good. I like teh chain drive. Very similar to a large format printer / plotter layout.

Is that just a piece of DOM tube for the slide rail with conventional roller bearings riding on it?

What size is that? Looks abotu 3' X 3' or maybe 4' X 4'.

Rodsmachineshop
05-14-2012, 01:32 AM
yes were did you get your Linear rail system or parts

zoama585
05-14-2012, 01:38 AM
I cast the bearing sliders for the X & Y rails from scrape aluminum.

Have fun
Tom

Did you cast the bearing sliders separately or as one long piece and cut them to length ? Did they require machining ?

Rodsmachineshop
05-14-2012, 02:22 AM
what torch are you using on your cnc table . also do you know can you use a blow back torch or a pilot arc torch on the same machine . also found a cool mod to turn your s45 torch into a cnc torch ==its at the longevity so what it good information http://www.longevity-inc.com/forum/cnc-machines-submerged-arc-automated-systems-other-cutting-methods/3121-s45-plasma-torch-mod-cnc.html

Rodsmachineshop
05-14-2012, 04:41 AM
these are cool bearing would make it simple to do rail 2 bearing 2 on top and 2 on bottom of round bar bottom rollers could be spring loaded to keep tight 6637

acourtjester
05-14-2012, 03:30 PM
The usable tooling area is 35 X 45 the footprint of the table is larger.
All the shafts are cold rolled steel the rails for the guides are 1 and the drive shaft is .
The linear bearing holders for X & Y are cast aluminum that I made and machined them.
The X are 6 long and the Y are 4-1/2 long they were cast a separate parts and them machined.
The torch I use is a Panasonic P=80 with 1.1MM tips it is a pilot arc start. The metal in the video is factory painted metal and the pilot arc when right through it fine. I have heard of buys using blow back torches but do not know how they work.
Neat looking bearings like all the DIY projects everybody does it a little different. I used skateboard bearing as they were cheap and easy to get.

Have fun
Tom

NRM
05-14-2012, 04:44 PM
I like the pen, good work.

acourtjester
05-23-2012, 05:31 PM
Hi All
New torch holder, I was not pleased with the operation of the p-80 torch as it was a 60-80 Amp torch. So I broke out the torch that came with my Everlast PM256 (60 amp max). I machined a holder for it so I could use the floating head holder I was using with the p-80. This was a great improvement in cutting I did a test cut. I drew up a box with 4 holes of different sizes and this torch completed the cut very well. Still much to learn and a few more bugs to work out.

Have fun
Tom

everlastsupport
05-24-2012, 04:25 PM
Hi All
New torch holder, I was not pleased with the operation of the p-80 torch as it was a 60-80 Amp torch. So I broke out the torch that came with my Everlast PM256 (60 amp max). I machined a holder for it so I could use the floating head holder I was using with the p-80. This was a great improvement in cutting I did a test cut. I drew up a box with 4 holes of different sizes and this torch completed the cut very well. Still much to learn and a few more bugs to work out.

Have fun
Tom

I too agree. I have been hounding Oleg to find me a 60 with pilot and euro connector. The old 60 cuts nice and the consumables are pretty tough and cheap. I use the P80 for hacking things up and the A81 for cleaner work for now.

BTW, table looks good, like the handle for the torch as well. Keep us posted, esp total cost minus plasma.

Rodsmachineshop
05-24-2012, 04:42 PM
68426843684468386839684068416842thought this was cool mod to torch 683568366837

Rodsmachineshop
05-24-2012, 04:47 PM
rest of mod pics 684568466847684868496850

everlastsupport
05-24-2012, 07:01 PM
That saved a lot of money right there. I like it, your own blowback CNC torch (dirt cheap).

Sometimes Rod you do scare me. hahaha.. I could see you going, you heat the red bend on the torch handle with a torch and put in a vise and bend it straight. :)

Nice job. Where did you get the black plastic tubes from).

Rodsmachineshop
05-24-2012, 07:16 PM
vacuum cleaner end pipe or could just use pvc pipe . lol i spend so many hours on the internet just looking a homemade projects. people have made people come up with some neat cheap things to make

everlastsupport
05-24-2012, 07:24 PM
vacuum cleaner end pipe or could just use pvc pipe . lol i spend so many hours on the internet just looking a homemade projects. people have made people come up with some neat cheap things to make

I do the same. Waiting on the right CNC or water jet for the next big project.

acourtjester
05-25-2012, 03:32 AM
Looks like good old American engineering But no duck tape???? ha ha ha

have fun
Tom

undercut
05-25-2012, 04:33 AM
rest of mod pics 684568466847684868496850

That's being pretty resourceful. A bit of an aside - You ever cast your own metal parts, Rod?

acourtjester
06-09-2012, 01:51 PM
Getting near the finish of the table. Build the mount for the router and a boom for the plasma cutter cable and router power. I used the same output from the BOB board to start the plasma and router, with the router I added a SSR to switch input power on/off. Thats in the black box on the boom the boom rotates freely and can be removed for storage.
I also built a cart for the controller/computer box its like a hand truck so I can move it when I want. The keyboard and track ball have Velcro under them to hold them down. The monitor is on a flip stand up for using it and down for traveling.
I ran a free program called StickFont v1.1 to lay out names and routed them on some MDF as a test.
Have fun
Tom
:D

undercut
06-09-2012, 06:51 PM
Getting near the finish of the table. Build the mount for the router and a boom for the plasma cutter cable and router power. I used the same output from the BOB board to start the plasma and router, with the router I added a SSR to switch input power on/off. Thats in the black box on the boom the boom rotates freely and can be removed for storage.
I also built a cart for the controller/computer box its like a hand truck so I can move it when I want. The keyboard and track ball have Velcro under them to hold them down. The monitor is on a flip stand up for using it and down for traveling.
I ran a free program called StickFont v1.1 to lay out names and routed them on some MDF as a test.
Have fun
Tom
:D

Really nice and clean. Excellent idea to combine the router and cutter capability - best of the wood and metal worlds. Even better you are able to test things out before the project is completely done. Are those ferrite cores you have the laptop power cable looped through or is it just cable management? They aren't the "typical" ferrite core color.

Rodsmachineshop
06-09-2012, 07:09 PM
that looks super nice like the computer stand

everlastsupport
06-09-2012, 07:45 PM
Yea, I like the computer stand and fold down display too. Ford blue is a nice touch :D

I was at a friends this last weekend, he was doing plastic steps for a 100+ foot boat, wish I thought to get pictures. Bought his Mill and the CNC will be next in the future. He uses BobCad and Mach3, works very well.

Rodsmachineshop
06-09-2012, 07:47 PM
what not purple with flames lol

acourtjester
06-09-2012, 08:17 PM
The ferrite core are from a buddy but here is a place that has a good price for them.
http://www.parts-express.com/wizards/searchResults.cfm?srchExt=CAT&srchCat=301&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=noise%20suppression&utm_campaign=G_Part_Terms_Broad_Plain&utm_group=Noise_Suppressors_Broad_Plain&9gtype=search&9gkw=noise%20suppression&9gad=17114486593.1&9gag=2242940713

I don’t have a laptop I removed the motherboard and hard disc and installed them in my controller box. Attached is a picture of my controller with the motherboardand disc mounted to the top of the box. The BOB is on the front panel and both power supplies are on the bottom with the motor controllers. That is the black box on my cart. The trackball and keyboard have ferrite cores on them and I have a USB jumper out the back. I use it when I want to add things to the disc me inside desktop is where I load a thumb drive with changes and bring it out to my shop to load. If the ferrite cores are large enough it pays to loop the cable through it a few times.
I downloaded a Plasma screen from shopdroids here it is if you want it.
http://www.needfulthings.net/shopdroids/forum/index.php?board=12;action=display;threadid=74

Mike I picked up a interesting tid bit about milling plastic on a CNC table the guy said he submerges his plastic in water during machining to keep it cool.

Have fun
Tom

undercut
06-09-2012, 09:55 PM
The ferrite core are from a buddy

Those are pretty big cores. Nice that you took advantage of their size and wind a couple of times.


I dont have a laptop I removed the motherboard and hard disc and installed them in my controller box. Attached is a picture of my controller with the motherboardand disc mounted to the top of the box. The BOB is on the front panel and both power supplies are on the bottom with the motor controllers. That is the black box on my cart.

I see now. Should have taken a better look when I first saw it. I like what you did with the screen. Nice way of keeping the screen safe when you aren't using it.


The trackball and keyboard have ferrite cores on them and I have a USB jumper out the back. I use it when I want to add things to the disc me inside desktop is where I load a thumb drive with changes and bring it out to my shop to load.

Good idea with the trackball and the USB drive. Will probably keep everything far more industrial that way.


Mike I picked up a interesting tid bit about milling plastic on a CNC table the guy said he submerges his plastic in water during machining to keep it cool.

Must splash quite a bit. Need to keep the water out of the electronics(?)

everlastsupport
06-10-2012, 11:16 AM
Mike I picked up a interesting tid bit about milling plastic on a CNC table the guy said he submerges his plastic in water during machining to keep it cool.

Have fun
Tom

Will pass the tip on to Gary. He is talking about building a water table for plasma, so technically he could drop the plastic in the tank. Nice work on the machine. Looking for buy the one Gary built while he does bigger than his current 3x5. Unless a cheap, well detailed plan comes out. Have you tracked the parts and prices? That and pictures and you could be on to something. What was you final size, sure you posted it. Also, did you buy Mach3 of you think you can break code into small g-code batches?

acourtjester
06-10-2012, 02:57 PM
HI
Its hard for me to put a total cost as I scrounged much of the metal. And some of the parts I cast the aluminum and machined the parts. The useable area on my table is 34 X 48 but since I will not be cutting very large parts my water table will be a little smaller. I did buy Mach 3 and have been trying to learn Turbo Cad. I have finger boned in a few Gcode strings for cutting simple parts. I did machine language programs back in the 70s after your get you head around the concept it makes senses. The video in the beginning of this post was a finger bone I really like the concept of touching the metal top before each cut as a reference as to where to start. A simple start to learn the Gcode is down load the free Mach3 and run some Gcodes and watch what is going on in Mach 3 display. You can see how the command lines move the axiss to do different things. Also Mach had a screen called MDI where you can put in a command and when enter is pushed it executes that line so you can try things like moving to some point or the Z axis up or down. They also have a learn mode you can enter in your finger bone programs and it will save it in the .Tap format to use later. You can also use notepad to write programs in Gcode.
A trick I found is if you write your own programs load it into Mach 3 and click on Regen tool path which cycles through and if there is an error it will stop on that line and you can edit it to correct the program.
You can find all the info you need to make your own CNC table.

Have fun
Tom

acourtjester
06-10-2012, 03:02 PM
Here is the finger bone I did for the small boc cuts in the video with each command info next to it.
The info is not in the program when it is used


G90F30 G90= absolute distance mode and F30= speed of movements
G28.1Z.5 moves the torch to touch metal top (TOP) in G speak
G92Z0.00 tells Mach 3 to zero "Z" axis
G0Z0.750 moves "Z" to 0.750" above metal
G0Z0.045 moves "Z" to 0.045" above metal
M3 turns on plasmatorch
G4P0.5 delay movement for .5 seconds
G0Z0.035 plunge torch to 0.035"
G0X1.50 move "X" for 1.5"
G0Y1.50 move "Y" for 1.5"
G0X0.00 move "X" back to 0 this is the 3rd side of the cut
G0Y0.00 move "Y: back to 0 this is the 4th side of the cut to close box cut
M5 turns off the plasma torch
G0Z0.750 moves the "Z" back to 0.750" above the metal
M30 end of program and rewind to start position

You could also now move the torch to "X" 2" and then zero "Z" and start cutting

another box like above you could cut a string of boxes by doing this over and

over again.

NRM
06-10-2012, 04:51 PM
Tom your table is looking very nice and clean. If you don't mind could you shoot some video of your setup and cutting.

Rodsmachineshop
06-10-2012, 06:45 PM
thats neat i have a couple of lap tops laying at my shop i don't use . could sacrifice for a cnc table

acourtjester
06-10-2012, 07:54 PM
I'll see what I can go on the video it may be a few days.

Rods I was told laptops don't have the power to run Mach 3 but you may check.
I did have a problem with a motherboard that did not have a printer post built in I could not use a add on printer port card.
I bought an older motherboard the used the CPU chip and memory that I had and it all works fine now.
this guy has older cheaper computer parts http://www.pricewatch.com/gallery/motherboards/pentium_d
Or maybe get one from some one who up-graded their unit.

have fun
Tom

Rodsmachineshop
06-10-2012, 08:10 PM
yes my lap tops wont work just buy a bare bone kit there cheap

acourtjester
06-25-2012, 07:31 PM
HI All
Well I am done with building and checking out my CNC table.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJfW0r8pbz4&feature=autoplay&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&playnext=1
Here is a video I did today cutting parts, the short bursts are drill hole marks and the middle of the video was double speed to make is shorter. I'm not sure if all torches are the same but I ran cutting height of .060" at 70 PSI found a formula for water table rust preventer to keep the water clear I have the stuff just need to mix and put in the table.
This table is using a Everlast PM 256 multi-unit plasma with the torch sent with the unit. I was using 55 amps for 1/4" steel plate with no problems. I know the duty cycle would cause a problem for really big parts but for what I am doing it works great. Green Power:D
Lots of time my everlast and a spair computer and some scrounged materials I think my cost was under $1100.

Have tun
Tom

acourtjester
06-26-2012, 01:59 PM
Sorry posted old video here is the new one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdG9_ZQSxCg&list=UUrWyAGIpMmQfMwq0KTKpuRw&index=1&feature=plcp
Have fun
Tom

SeanMurphy265
06-27-2012, 01:48 AM
I think you can go with a USB breakout board you can power it by USB. I know smooth stepper is popular. I thought I could get around buying a desktop, but it looks like I will be ordering an XP refurb from Tiger Direct.....

Rambozo
06-27-2012, 02:09 AM
Here is the finger bone I did for the small boc cuts in the video with each command info next to it.
The info is not in the program when it is used


G90F30 G90= absolute distance mode and F30= speed of movements
G28.1Z.5 moves the torch to touch metal top (TOP) in G speak
G92Z0.00 tells Mach 3 to zero "Z" axis
G0Z0.750 moves "Z" to 0.750" above metal
G0Z0.045 moves "Z" to 0.045" above metal
M3 turns on plasmatorch
G4P0.5 delay movement for .5 seconds
G0Z0.035 plunge torch to 0.035"
G0X1.50 move "X" for 1.5"
G0Y1.50 move "Y" for 1.5"
G0X0.00 move "X" back to 0 this is the 3rd side of the cut
G0Y0.00 move "Y: back to 0 this is the 4th side of the cut to close box cut
M5 turns off the plasma torch
G0Z0.750 moves the "Z" back to 0.750" above the metal
M30 end of program and rewind to start position

You could also now move the torch to "X" 2" and then zero "Z" and start cutting

another box like above you could cut a string of boxes by doing this over and

over again.

G0 is a rapid move, G1 is a feedrate move. Depending on your motors, they might be the same, but you should use the correct code. G0 for non cutting moves and G1 for cutting moves. Also it is not a bad idea to make sure the control is in inch mode in the beginning by adding to your first line (G70/71 or some controls G20/21 inch/mm)
For example: G90G70F30

Those, along with a few other G codes are modal and stay in effect until changed, so you can't depend on what setting they are at when your program starts.

acourtjester
06-27-2012, 02:48 AM
Good info I will file it for later
Thanks Rambozo

DaveO
06-27-2012, 11:03 AM
it looks like I will be ordering an XP refurb from Tiger Direct.....

I've heard that some CNC software works well with XP but not with later operating systems. Microsoft has already stopped supporting XP, though. How much of a problem does that pose for CNC users?

everlastsupport
06-27-2012, 11:46 AM
You load XP and the CAD/CAM/CNC software and use it. Keep it off the internet. Should run until hardware breaks on you.

I know MACH3 and BobCAD work fine on Windows 7.

Is the issue talking serial vs USB or the buffering of the I/O that makes XP a better pick?

acourtjester
06-27-2012, 02:25 PM
Like Mike said I bet there are many whom have XP on an old computer online just for that reason. I have bought versions of both XP and 7 but continue to use XP and 7 sits in the draw. Aslo the USB controllers seem to expensive now maybe they will come down soon as more companies build them.
have fun
Tom

Rambozo
06-27-2012, 05:00 PM
Another option with a support for all kinds of obscure hardware.

http://www.linuxcnc.org

everlastsupport
06-27-2012, 07:48 PM
Another option with a support for all kinds of obscure hardware.

http://www.linuxcnc.org

Being an ex-linux and BSD fan. Might have to look at that. Since the price will be better. What do they have for mach3 and a good cad/cam program, I will need something for my mill soon. Linux is fine for me. I will take a look.

Rambozo
06-27-2012, 08:26 PM
Being an ex-linux and BSD fan. Might have to look at that. Since the price will be better. What do they have for mach3 and a good cad/cam program, I will need something for my mill soon. Linux is fine for me. I will take a look.

LinuxCNC will replace Mach 3. I'm running an older version from when it was still called EMC2, but from what I see the features are about the same. As with most things open source there are a ton of options as to other software.
Here is a brief list of some CAD and CAM packages from basic scripts for dxf to G code conversions to full blown 3D modeling programs.
http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Cam
And an overview of a few of the more popular ones.
http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/08/8-best-cad-apps-for-linux.html

I like Draftsight as it's very much like the old AutoCAD R14 for 2D work, and the price is right.
http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/free-cad-software

For small things I usually just write the G code by hand from the drawing.

everlastsupport
06-27-2012, 09:08 PM
LinuxCNC will replace Mach 3. I'm running an older version from when it was still called EMC2, but from what I see the features are about the same. As with most things open source there are a ton of options as to other software.
Here is a brief list of some CAD and CAM packages from basic scripts for dxf to G code conversions to full blown 3D modeling programs.
http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Cam
And an overview of a few of the more popular ones.
http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/08/8-best-cad-apps-for-linux.html

I like Draftsight as it's very much like the old AutoCAD R14 for 2D work, and the price is right.
http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/free-cad-software

For small things I usually just write the G code by hand from the drawing.

Thanks for the info. I will check it out for sure. Old PCB/Gerber coder hack here, so I think we might like the same things. I have Mach3, pretty but so many lines and you have to buy it. So I figured I would write a program to break the lines up into files and send them over.. The BobCAT I saw a friend use was cool, but they were a tad too eager to sell me and called me over and over when I do not have the plasma table yet and the mill is still at the friends place.

If I go with a 2D for plasma CNC I guess I can just add a Z up and down to make it work?

I liked the old autocads so I will take a look at draftsight. I feel bad for people locked in Windows (and iphones), but this will save me some cash and offer something I can get the source code to as well.

Thanks again RB

Rambozo
06-28-2012, 05:59 PM
The 500 line program limit is probably a non issue for most things cut on a plasma table. Especially with the liberal use of do loops, subroutines, and zero shift. But you also lose the torch height control, so that kinda sucks. Most CAM programs write very bloated G code, but it's not that hard to trim the fat, and improve the runtime, while shrinking the code substantially. If you do art stuff, that will be the thing that requires huge programs, just making parts doesn't.

everlastsupport
06-29-2012, 12:03 PM
Sounds like I'll be fine then. Milling and plasma only and nothing fancy. I have an old Acad 2004 so maybe I will go the windows route with mach3 and see how it goes.

acourtjester
06-29-2012, 04:28 PM
I ran accorss this today for someone who needs a computer for their CNC cheap with XP loaded and on-board printer port.
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1306313&Sku=J001-23016

have fun
\Tom

SeanMurphy265
06-29-2012, 07:10 PM
I ran accorss this today for someone who needs a computer for their CNC cheap with XP loaded and on-board printer port.
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1306313&Sku=J001-23016

have fun
\Tom

I'm sure some one out there offers this, but it would be nice to find a setup with computer and controller all together in one ready to run. I picked a pc from walmart.com shipped to my local store pretty cheap with no shipping cost. I found some cheap ones at Tiger Direct as well.

acourtjester
06-29-2012, 08:44 PM
Sean
With the different input and output pins connections it hard to have a generic package. The motor output pin are very common but some do not use a 4th motor (2 for x drive). Some don't use limit switches and if they do what is active switch, open or closed. If you would like some help I can send you some screen shots with annotations for that setup. Its not hard once you see how some things are done. If your using Mach 3 it has a semi-auto routine for setting up the limit and E switch. The motor tuning looks like it can be bad but once you get the direction right then you just tell it to move 5" and measure if it went 5" type in how far it went and it recalibrates itself. Do that about 3 time for each axis and it should be ok .

have fun

tom

SeanMurphy265
06-29-2012, 09:33 PM
I'm not quite that far yet. The only thing I have to wire up is my THC and plasma cutter to my break out board. I have some info for mach3 that came with my carriage kit, so I'm not completely in the dark. When my PC arrives I will work on the wiring.

Rambozo
07-07-2012, 12:31 AM
Another free CAD application is Solid Edge 2D for those that like the solid edge way of doing things
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/solidedge/free2d/index.shtml

Be aware that in order to get full speed rapids in Mach 3, you need to be able to run the Mach kernel fast enough to provide the required pulse train. So PC speed can't be too slow. It all depends on your microstepping value and motor tuning.

EmptyNester
07-16-2012, 04:38 PM
You load XP and the CAD/CAM/CNC software and use it. Keep it off the internet. Should run until hardware breaks on you.

I know MACH3 and BobCAD work fine on Windows 7.

Is the issue talking serial vs USB or the buffering of the I/O that makes XP a better pick?

On a related note, I had read somewhere that THC's can have issues when using the Ethernet Smooth Stepper due to the timing delays with Ethernet.