View Full Version : Control Panel nearly done!

13-11-2017, 09:56 PM
What do you think?
Just a bit wiring needed, then some gaffer tape onto the side of the machine, and I'll be good to go :drunk:


13-11-2017, 10:00 PM
Shouldn't that big red knob be labeled 'Oh F**k', but I do think you have overcomplicated things,

13-11-2017, 10:13 PM
I'll get a fresh Sharpie out once it's all fitted for the labelling.

From top left to right, I think it's these labels-
Big dial - Move.
Little knob one - Lefty/Righty, Inny/Outty, Uppy Downy (plus spinny aroundy for the 4th axis option)
Little knob two - Wee nudge, Wee Baw Hair, Big Baw Hair, Big Nudge
Big knob one - No as fast, Faster
Big know two - Quiet, Loud
Red Button - Whoa!
Green Button - Go!
Big Red Button - S***e!

13-11-2017, 11:22 PM
Like it ! Puts mine to shame and makes it look over-considered.
Can't wait for you to hit that estop and punch it through the panel whilst your machine carries on !

13-11-2017, 11:24 PM
That's a posh box, I think you may have over-engineered it! :D

Clive S
13-11-2017, 11:25 PM
This is my Oh s###e button,
And it bean tested many times

13-11-2017, 11:38 PM
I've been umming and arring over the control panel for a while, and having finally finished all the major cabinet wiring and programming last week, it has reached the top of my roundtuit list.

While contemplating button/dial placement, I happened to notice the box which was about the size I had in my head. So after rounding up all the bits, I got the scissors out tonight. I was going to put the axis/step size select switches above the MPG, but having tested the layout, I felt the MPG would be too easy to knock while working the switches, which is why all that seems a bit bunched up.
I'm going to put a handle along below the buttons, so I can rest my hand on it while working the MPG.

Next step is modelling it in Fusion.

14-11-2017, 12:00 AM
You'll be needing the Mach Tavish plug-in Dr Finlay !

14-11-2017, 08:21 PM
I'm actually surprised to read this thread here and now - I'm in the process of replacing a panel on the starmill that had a single E-Stop button with one with a full axis/mpg and DRO indicators, and just last night started learning F360 and mocking up the panel.

I might nick the alternative E-Stop label, though

15-11-2017, 10:55 PM
Doddy, I've done various sketches for control panels, but I really wanted to test the layout, as that's the only way you can get a proper feel for how it'll work.

Like the MPG/selector switch thing. The selector switches above makes sense from a visibility view, as it means their labels would be more visible, however as I mentioned, trying them with the mock-up, it felt like I had to make an effort to lift my hand up, over and clear of the MPG to move them to avoid using the MPG itself as a steady for my hand.

This will be getting coupled with just a touchscreen. I will have USB ports on the housing should I want to connect a keyboard/mouse, however I've got no plan to have them permanently connected, as I'm aiming for most things to be done via the touchscreen, with only physical buttons for critical functions.
I am currently considering not even having the axis/step size select switches, as I've seen a way of adding that functionality to a touchscreen in a way that I think will work well (the new screen designer for KMotionCNC has opened up a lot of options!). If it works, it will save me a good bit of fiddly wiring, as the connectors on the selector switches have to be soldered, with a terminal for each position you want to use.

15-11-2017, 11:10 PM
m_c: Interesting insight there on your thought process - and entirely sensible.

I do, as a profession, deal with HMIs and ergonomics, but in a rather different field, but your points are very well made.

For me, I have an issue that I'm keeping my main computer 10ft away from the mill, and so I'm putting the functions to manage the interactive stuff (touching-off, etc) and the DROs onto the machine and enough to start/stop the program. Program management though, back at the computer. I've enough experience of tripping over hand-held pendant flying leads (replaced another USB plug last weekend when I sheared the connector by standing on the lead).

On the panel I've shifted the encoder to the right, with the DRO immediately to the left of it - so as not to obscure with my arm, and planning (once I get the IP65 chinese push-buttons delivered that I can get some accurate measurements to design with), push an Arduino with an Ethernet shield, use ModBus ethernet to hook this up (been playing with that - it's doable, and I had ethernet to the motion controller already - it makes sense to extend this to the machine).

I've contemplated touch-screens in the past, and kept an eye out for cheap ones (I am cheap) - I do worry though about heavily oiled fingertips with any interface (I'm am dirty).

Most of the stuff I've done on the starmill is an evolution on the previous attempts... for me I know I'll make mistakes, learn, and try again. It's a hobby :) One day I'll be happy, but that's a while-off!

15-11-2017, 11:44 PM
I have been relying on cheap computers from ebay for running machines, as you can get complete 'refurbed' setups for under a hundred, and I'd rather have the computer near the machine than that far away.

The key thing with touchscreens, is stick to resistive screens as they rely on surface pressure, so are not affected by contamination like capacitive screens are. Resistive is generally not as accurate though, so you need to have the ability to have reasonably sized buttons.

Mistakes are part of the fun, however experience has taught to me try and make them in the cheapest/easiest way possible..

16-11-2017, 09:28 AM
I tend to do mine in CAD to get a feel however this works well. I'm right handed, so Id place the MPG on the right. Here is a mockup of Thor's panel. Ive since bought a Shuttle Contour controller which works well as my MPG seems not to want to work on 5V, so kinda abandoning this for now.


16-11-2017, 09:42 AM
I didn't see if the box was fixed somewhere or if it was portable. The reason I mention that is because any time I use the MPG wheel, it means getting my eye right up to the spindle to see what's going on, so being portable is a must for me.

16-11-2017, 09:44 AM
I didn't see if the box was fixed somewhere or if it was portable. The reason I mention that is because any time I use the MPG wheel, it means getting my eye right up to the spindle to see what's going on, so being portable is a must for me.

True. In my case Id probably put it on a swivel arm that can be moved somewhat but its not infinitely portable or wireless.

16-11-2017, 05:35 PM
I did briefly think about going the pendant route, however with this machine, I can stand at the spindle and still reach the control panel, so there's not really any benefit.

If it was something like a big bed router/plasma cutter, I'd use a pendant.

17-11-2017, 02:00 PM
Until recently I have been using a wireless keyboard and standard Mach3 hotkeys and so on. It had the advantage that I could put it on the bed of the machine while eyeballing a setup position, and the built-in touchpad was useful as well, but I have just bought one of the 90 or so Chinese wireless MPG units. Plug-and-play for the basic functions, and with a little bit of work I have begun programming in my favourite macros (Z touch off, etc). I have found it more useful than I had expected, as it is so easy to switch between axes, jog speeds, and so on. Especially now I have programmed a button for "set X Y work coordinate zero". It's not so much a matter of being able to get to the spindle from the control position as being able to move around to squint at tool alignment or whatever and still have the control to hand. But it's horses for courses - this gadget suits my way of working. I'm fairly impressed by what it can do for the price. I had thought about building something, but for me it just wasn't worth it. Not as if I don't have enough projects on hand already...