|Oct 27, 2014, 11:51 AM|
Convertable 4 axis CNC foam to 3 axis Router?
Ok... this is my first CNC machine experience.
I have just purchased the working parts to a 4 axis CNC (two X/Y towers) complete with a 4 axis (older but working) mechatronics controller board.
I have fired the equipment up and it is functional through manual controls in FOAM WORKS.
As I set this up and get it functional, I would like to make it a dual-purpose unit. In addition to using the original 4 axis foam cutting setup, I would like to build a bridge between the two towers and add a router withstepper for horizontal axis to cut balsa/light ply parts.
1) In order to use the same controller board when in "router configuration", can I run two steppers "in parallel" on each of the X and Y axis, and then add my new motor on the Z?
Obviously I'd have to set up quick connects, and ensure that I had the steppers in proper position before changing from 4 axis to 3 axis configuration, but would this work?
2) the current 4 stepper motors are: model KP56LM2-097 from JAPAN SERVO
Parameters: Unipolar / 2 phases 6 Volts DC (nom) 1.2 Amps / Phase (nom) 2.4 Amps / Motor 1.8 Degree/Step 80 oz/Inch 6 wires
I don't think those exact motors are still available. How do I go about selecting a new one for the Z axis? Since these are 80 oz/inch units now, but would be running "in parallel" should I look for something 2x of that for a 'balanced' end product? ie: ~160 oz/inch for the Z axis? Or do I just need to stay ~ 80 oz/inch?
3) I don't think CAD Works/Foam Works would be the right programs when in "router" configuration. Any favorites out there for that would be free/low cost and suitable for a beginner?
Thanks in advance,
|Oct 29, 2014, 04:32 PM|
As far as software goes you could experiment with Mach3 for stepper motor control. The demo version is free and it should be good enough for testing and simple programs. If I`m not mistaken Mach3 allows to "slave" axes for the purpose you are writing about. If you choose the Mach3 make sure to read the User`s Guide to Installation, Configuration and Operation. Otherwise mistakes could get very difficult to correct later.
The foam cutter mechanics may not be sturdy enough for milling work since the heat melts the foam around the wire and the wire basically doesn`t cut anything but air.
Good luck with your project.
|Oct 29, 2014, 04:45 PM|
-re: Sturdiness, yes I've already decided to rebuild the mechanism. In my opnion the unit I bought wasn't even sturdy enough for reliable foam cutting.
-re: Mach 3/Slave feature: Sounds good... and I had planned to check out Mach 3. but I only have a 4 motor controller board. I'd need a new board with at least 5 controller channels in order to use a software "slave". (2 on X, 2 on Y, and 1 on Z) ... or something like that.
I hate to just plug the two motors together and see if it works... because the answer might be a [small] mushroom cloud if not. Guess if that happend though, I'd be forced into that new board anyway!
Maybe someone else will know if that can work!
|Oct 30, 2014, 11:23 AM|
that's exactly what I built.
Mach3, which I use, allows slaving axis.
While milling, I have two motors slaved for X axis, two motors slaved for Z axis and one motor for Y axis.
When I use tha machine as foam cutter axis become independent as X/A (X axis), Y/B (Y or vertical axis), Z axis being the wire.
I'm trying right now a drag knife.
The machine work well, just when milling it is not really stiff, so better suited for foam, wood and fiberglass milling.
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