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CNC conversion group / forum ?

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  • jdkmlw
    Hello all, I m not an active poster but do read almost all the threads & replies since I ve joined. But does anyone know of a group or forum that has info for
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 2 12:56 AM
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      Hello all, I'm not an active poster but do read almost all the threads & replies since I've joined.

      But does anyone know of a group or forum that has info for a novice on converting these mill/drills to CNC, and has electronics setup & software support too?
      I tried to join the CNCZone several times but never got the comformation email and just gave up trying.

      I have an older Central Machinery model like the RF31 (I think that's the model) and the ways are still tight, but the lead screws are worn out and I'm working on installing ball screws right now.

      Any suggestions would be helpful
    • Joe
      I don t have any personal experience with them, but the homemachinist forum has a sub-forum for cnc conversions. There might be some info there, or they may be
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 2 7:29 AM
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        I don't have any personal experience with them, but the homemachinist forum has a sub-forum for cnc conversions. There might be some info there, or they may be able to steer you in the right direction.

        http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewforum.php?f=9


        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "jdkmlw" <Coils69@...> wrote:
        >
        ned.
        >
        > But does anyone know of a group or forum that has info for a novice on converting these mill/drills to CNC, and has electronics setup & software support too?
        > I tried to join the CNCZone several times but never got the comformation email and just gave up trying.
        >
      • Art Eckstein
        Hi, About 10 years ago, I converted my RF31 to cnc (servo drives) and ball screws on the X and Y axis. I was given a prototype breakout board that I use till
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 2 7:34 AM
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          Hi,
          About 10 years ago, I converted my RF31 to cnc (servo drives) and
          ball screws on the X and Y axis. I was given a prototype breakout
          board that I use till this day on it. Spring loaded double nuts were
          used for zero backlash. For the Z axis, I put a servo on the fine
          downfeed and tweaked the gearing arrangement to reduce the problem of
          backlash. For a power supply for the gecko drives, I rewound a
          microwave transformer to get the desired voltage and made a simple
          power supply with a Bridge Rectifier and big capacitor. My control
          software of choice was and is Turbocnc.

          I don't know of any "kits" for this model of machine and when I did
          mine, I pulled the table and saddle off to make measurements. Matter
          of fact, I did that several times to get it right and to make the
          mounts etc that I needed. You can see some of how I did it on my old
          web page at:

          http://bellsouthpwp.net/A/r/Arts_home_page/cnc/

          I will be glad to help you if I can.

          Art
          Country Bubba

          At 03:56 AM 7/2/2012, you wrote:
          >Hello all, I'm not an active poster but do read almost all the
          >threads & replies since I've joined.
          >
          >But does anyone know of a group or forum that has info for a novice
          >on converting these mill/drills to CNC, and has electronics setup &
          >software support too?
          >I tried to join the CNCZone several times but never got the
          >comformation email and just gave up trying.
          >
          >I have an older Central Machinery model like the RF31 (I think
          >that's the model) and the ways are still tight, but the lead screws
          >are worn out and I'm working on installing ball screws right now.
          >
          >Any suggestions would be helpful
        • Dan Mauch
          You can contact me at d,auch@camtronics-cnc.com. I retrofitted my RF31 with ballscrews and cnc it. I also can help with the motors/drivers and other
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 2 8:48 AM
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            You can contact me at d,auch@.... I retrofitted my RF31 with ballscrews and  cnc it. I also can help with the motors/drivers and other electronics and software.

            Dan

             

            From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jdkmlw
            Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 12:56 AM
            To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [mill_drill] CNC conversion group / forum ?

             

             

            Hello all, I'm not an active poster but do read almost all the threads & replies since I've joined.

            But does anyone know of a group or forum that has info for a novice on converting these mill/drills to CNC, and has electronics setup & software support too?
            I tried to join the CNCZone several times but never got the comformation email and just gave up trying.

            I have an older Central Machinery model like the RF31 (I think that's the model) and the ways are still tight, but the lead screws are worn out and I'm working on installing ball screws right now.

            Any suggestions would be helpful

          • Arthur Marks
            There are kits. For example, www.dtsproducts.com/freestep/products.htm I don t have experience with that one (or any other), but I do love their Z-Axis
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 2 9:13 AM
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              There are kits.  For example, www.dtsproducts.com/freestep/products.htm    I don't have experience with that one (or any other), but I do love their Z-Axis readout.  They were a very nice company to deal with as I bought mine direct.  I wish I could be of more help.  No doubt many have done the conversion.  -Arthur
            • Dan Mauch
              I hate to say anything but he is using those old standard motors whereas everyone is using the new square motors that have higher torque density. Ans his XY
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 2 6:02 PM
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                I hate to say anything but he is using those old standard motors whereas everyone is using the new square motors that have higher torque density. Ans his XY hardware kit sure seems expensive for what he is showing.

                Dan

                 

                From: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mill_drill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Arthur Marks
                Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 9:14 AM
                To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [mill_drill] CNC conversion group / forum ?

                 

                 

                There are kits.  For example, www.dtsproducts.com/freestep/products.htm    I don't have experience with that one (or any other), but I do love their Z-Axis readout.  They were a very nice company to deal with as I bought mine direct.  I wish I could be of more help.  No doubt many have done the conversion.  -Arthur

              • jdkmlw
                WOW, more replies then I thought I d get. Thanks everyone Instead of making a bunch of replies I ll try to comment to all of them in this one. And I ll give
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 3 2:10 AM
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                  WOW, more replies then I thought I'd get.
                  Thanks everyone

                  Instead of making a bunch of replies I'll try to comment to all of them in this one.
                  And I'll give more details of where I'm at now.

                  Art,
                  Thanks for the link to your web page, I did come across it once before looking for info.

                  Thanks Joe, I'll take a look at the Home Machinist site later.

                  Dan, thank you for your offer, but could we keep as much of it as possible on here to help others?
                  And actually I might need help with a motor or controller issue, I'll get into this in a moment.

                  As for "retro-fit kits" I haven't found any at a decent price, I'm going to do some basic motor mounts to start with and hopefully make better ones as soon as I get it running.


                  Where I'm at now;
                  I bought a couple lengths of ball screws and nuts from Roton (5/8 x .200 RH) and got the ends turned down & threaded for the bearings, locking nuts and xl pulleys (planning to use a 2:1 pulley setup) to fit, I haven't had the time to do anything to the mill yet to fit them.
                  For the nuts, I've seen a few people mention using standard ball nuts with belleville(?) washers inbetween them to put a preload on them. Seems like a simple solution for a tight budget :)

                  This past weekend I had time to mess with the motors and controller a little. I got NEMA23 495 oz in. 3A stepper motors, Gecko G540 controller, a Keling 48volt - 7.3amp power supply and trying out Mach3 right now (haven't had time to read the manual yet).
                  I was able to get all the motors (3 for now) wired up (with resistors) and I hooked them up to the controller one at a time like the manual says to, and got a green light for all of them. Then I hooked it up to the pc and was able to spin the motors with Mach3 just using the keyboard, noticing the Z motor seemed to be getting hotter then the others so I turn everything off.
                  I then looked over the controller manual some more and YouTube about "trimming" the motors, well one video the guy said the motors shouldn't "jump" when they start or stop turning and by adjusting the trim will make then move more smoothly at start up & stopping. I was able to get the X & Y to this point but the Z is still "jumping" and it doesn't seem like the trim is working on this driver. Might have to get a hold of Gecko and see what they say.

                  So this is where I'm at right now, got to fix or replace the controller and start learning how to setup and use Mach3, and finish hooking up the ball screws to the mill.

                  John
                • Dan Mauch
                  I did want to mention that I sell cnc systems and specifically say that my 4 axis 3 465 oz in stepper motors in a machined case with cooling fan and a good
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 3 6:23 AM
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                    I did want to mention that I sell cnc systems and specifically say that my 4 axis 3  465 oz in stepper motors in a machined case with cooling fan and a good power supply ready to plug and play using mach3  is $699 plus s/h. I use the bullet proof , short circuit protected G540’s

                    There is a way to double nut with zero clearance the X axis ballscrew drive nut.  The ballnuts have a 15/16” 16 TPI thread. When you machine your drive nut block and tap it  thread  it all the way through. Then screw one ball nut without any balls in it into one side of the block and leave about ½ turn from being tight. Insert the ballscrew and ball nut through the other side and thread the ball nut in All the way into the drive nut block and secure with a set screw. Last insert the balls into the first ballnut. I can give you the procedure for that if you need it. After all the balls are in it and the return tube is made up then continue to tighten thethis ball nut until there is no backlash but the ball screw turns freely. Then secure this nut with another set screw.

                    This method eliminates the spring that you can get with the bevel washer type double ballnuts.

                    If interested I can tell you how to do the Y axis which is different.

                     

                     

                     

                    Dan Mauch

                    www.camtronics-cnc.com

                    dmauch@...

                    Stepper and servo motors

                    Kits, assembled and custom CNC using Gecko products.

                     

                  • Dan Mauch
                    For the picture of the frame profile use GRASP 3D or mimix advanced version. See www.intricad.com Regarding import; the export formats are industry standard. I
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 3 7:50 AM
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                      For the picture of the frame profile use GRASP 3D or mimix advanced version. See www.intricad.com

                       

                      Regarding import; the export formats are industry standard. I don't expect that importing scans into autodesk will be a problem with exception to the fact that the dense mesh models size. Autocad is CAD and is not really a mesh modelling application. Some level of decimation may be required. See geomagic and vrmesh. In particular geomagic will be very useful in post processing the scans.

                       

                      Dan Mauch

                      www.camtronics-cnc.com

                      dmauch@...

                      Stepper and servo motors

                      Kits, assembled and custom CNC using Gecko products.

                       

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