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View Full Version : Heiz T-1000, early impressions.



pcstru
22-04-2010, 08:38 PM
My High-Z S/1000-T finally arrived all the way from Germany. This machine was ordered from Prototools about a month ago and is on their site as Heiz T-1000. Machines are built to order hence the long delivery time. I opted for the T series for the extra speed. My old machine ran at 800mm/min - way below my patience threshhold :rolleyes:.

The machine arrived in a sturdy chipboard built box with no apparent damage. Lifting the lid revealed the machine and a cardboard box with the controller, various leads, the software and 4 aluminium T slot planks for the clamping bed and a few other bits. The T Slot planks had been bound with what looked like Germany's version of the Sun tabloid - but every page seemed to be page 3 - not that I studied it in errr ... great detail ... oh no. Missing was the Kress spindle. A quick email to Phillip at prototools led to the discovery that it was missed from the shipping so they will ship it over the next couple of days. So far prototools have been very good to deal with. eMails are responded to promptly with good advice.

I'd revamped the garage and built what my wife referred to as a dining room table rather than a shelf. My old machine was boxed in - which was nice for dust and damped down the noise a bit but also made access an exercise in contortion. The Heiz will be in the open so one of the first tasks will be to make some kind of 'hoover' attachment.

The machine seems quite simple given the price but is very solid and sturdy. It's well put together with nothing loose and no play as far as I could determine.

Set-up was fairly straightforward. The WinPC-NC controller software installed onto a Lenovo laptop without problems and prompted me to select the machine type from a pre-defined list. I found the jog function which asked me if I wanted to go to the reference. I said yes and the machine made the most awfull noise as the Z axis crashed against the stops. The supplied setup file didn't have the correct settings - time to RTFM.

The manual is comprehensible; their English is much better than my German - lucky for me! I gradually worked through the setup and got all the axis homing properly. Then onto the motor testing and setting appropriate speeds and suddenly the machine is whizzing along with 6000mm/min rapids. I'll leave the full 7000mm/min for another day.

Setting up the T-Nut plates requires drilling them to clamp them to the frame. I did a temporary job without drilling. There is a smidgin of flex in the middle of the bed so any metal work had better be done at the ends or the plates supported. The plates can be fixed to the bottom of the frame if working on deeper pieces or if wanting to fix a vice to the bed.

Software wise I'm used to EMC2. WinPC-NC seems Ok, although I'm struggling a bit with some of the settings being saved as 'machine' settings and some saved against a working g-code file. The workround for me is to write g-code from vcarve pro to the same file so settings are kept. First test cuts were a couple of simple signs for my wife's school - just letters carved into round 15mm thick ply using a 60deg bit and a straight flute for clearance. Since the Kress hasn't turned up I'm using my 'old' Bosch POF600 - ok for this kind of work but I think the bearings have a wee bit of slop now. I finally figure out the concept of "workpiece" references and machine references and manage to cut two signs. The results leave a tiny wee bit to be desired (i'll put that down to the Bosch bearings) but are much better than the old machine.

So far (1 day in), I'm pleased with the machine. It's fast, seems solid, robust and accurate. Support from prototools has been very good. I was a bit apprehensive ordering quite such an expensive 'toy' - but my initial impressions haven't resulted in me kicking myself or having one of those stomach sickening moments when you realise you've just blown a stack of cash on rubbish. However, it's early days yet so I'll try and post some more info when I've got a bit more experience with the beast.

Lee Roberts
23-04-2010, 04:04 PM
Great news, any pics of the machine ?

pcstru
26-04-2010, 10:01 AM
I did take some pics - just need to downsize them to some reasonable size.

Also - I posted in the new members thread to update davem who was interested in the machine. Both my attempts to post disappeared into the aether.

Davem
26-04-2010, 03:48 PM
Thanks pcstru,

I already spotted your post above which I read with great interest. The early Z-stop bump would have worried me but I am very impressed that you had the machine up and running in a day. I'm afraid my project has a very long way to go before I get round to ordering any hardware but your information is already proving useful. I had noted the relatively shallow T slot panels from the Heiz site which you confirm really need to be supported in tthe middle (presumably across the shorter dimension). I would be working on deeper jobs so would need extension pieces to drop the bed lower (to allow for the rotary table plus a bit of workpiece upstand). Heiz mention a Z-extender kit but I have found no specific details of it as yet.

Look forward to seeing your pictures.

All the best

Davem

pcstru
26-04-2010, 06:34 PM
Well, I've tried to attach some photos - no idea if it will work. There is one there of the garage before with the old machine - just for some comparison.

pcstru
26-04-2010, 06:52 PM
Davem - The machine is reasonably close to plug and play, unlike my first machine which was a pile of bits! My biggest worry is the two motors on the X axis losing step and the gantry alignment going. My plan then is to just wind it against the stops but if it happens (when) I'll take advice from the supplier first. So far though, there is no sign of any step loss.

The Tslot pieces can be attached to the bottom of the machine for deeper pieces, or for even deeper pieces left off altogether and the machine raised up (and presumably then solidly attached to ... well, something solid. I've a large slice from a chestnut tree which I plan to work. It should fit under the machine with the plates off and then I'll clamp the machine onto the 'table'.

I'd be interested to know more about your project ... do tell!

Davem
26-04-2010, 10:11 PM
Intriguing photos pcstru, the machine looks somewhat smaller than I imagined when viewed in your (presumably) average sized garage. I'd be very interested to hear of any sign of losing steps on the X axis motors. I am assuming teutonic thoroughness means that they will have over-specified the motor torque to avoid getting either of them close to stalling - but what of a steep approach into your large slice of chesnut and my planned, shall we say, more 'sculptural' shapes in thick hardwoods? However, for starters, I hope to be doing fairly light modelmaking not that dissimilar to your clock projects. Unfortunately all this is still wishful thinking in that the super shed with super flat congrete base is a first necessity - I did say this was a long way off project!

Thanks for keeping me posted and no doubt others will be interested to hear of your exploits with your new machine too.

Best regards


davem

pcstru
26-04-2010, 10:41 PM
The photos were taken with a fairly wide angle (17-40mm) lens which tends to do weird things to (apparent) scale on the wide side - although the machine is fairly compact. The piece of MDF you can see on the bed is 915mmx620mm, cutting area is as the spec - 1000mmx580mm. I took a hefty plunge into a bit of oak at the weekend after I made an mistake between vcarve and the controller software. The router stalled and the machine motors stalled before I hit the kill switch. Everything seems fine though, which, given that these things happen is ... good. I'm dreading the day I plunge into the Alu T slot planks.

'sculptural shapes' in thick hardwood, well say no more squire - nudge nudge, wink wink. Got any photo's!

Given you are in MK - do you happen to know of any decent timber suppliers locally? I'm after good quality marine plywood for clock gears and some nice misc pieces of quality hardwoods for frames, ornamental boxes and the inevitable house sign requests?

Davem
27-04-2010, 08:11 AM
I am interested in your 'deep plunge' problem. What did it take to stall your 600watt Bosch (albeit into oak) and then stall the axis steppers too? Can I ask what size/type cutter you were using? One wonders if the Kress would stall under such conditions too.
Definitely something you would not want to do a bit deeper and take out the T-slot bed planks - well not at £340 a pop! ( I thought that Heiz were a bit expensive on this component so I checked out alternative suppliers but they were suprisingly close on costs - although they did offer a slightly thicker 20mm deep plank).
Re. wood suppliers. I'm afraid I don't know any but my neighbour is also into deeply curved wooden forms - but of the more regular variety - (he turns bowls!) I'll ask him where he gets his wood from. Incidentally we both have the excellent 12" throat Elektra Beckum (German again) bandsaws for cutting and preparing blanks. Both bought from Bedford Saw who are good for woodworking machinery, blades etc. - but you propbably already know of them.

Bye for now

Davem

pcstru
27-04-2010, 02:22 PM
Davem, the plunge was with a 1/4in twin flute cutter - the Oak was around 25mm thick with some MDF under it. The cutter went through the oak and into the MDF running at (I think) 3500mm/min before it stalled. It went in at about a 30 deg angle relative to the surface.

daveshorts
27-04-2010, 03:10 PM
Davem - The machine is reasonably close to plug and play, unlike my first machine which was a pile of bits! My biggest worry is the two motors on the X axis losing step and the gantry alignment going. My plan then is to just wind it against the stops but if it happens (when) I'll take advice from the supplier first. So far though, there is no sign of any step loss.

I am building a router on a very similar design (though somewhat beefed, up due to my distinct tendency towards overengineering) and I would be interested in your findings on this. What I would worry about is it not starting in the right place even if no steps were lost...


The Tslot pieces can be attached to the bottom of the machine for deeper pieces, or for even deeper pieces left off altogether and the machine raised up (and presumably then solidly attached to ... well, something solid. I've a large slice from a chestnut tree which I plan to work. It should fit under the machine with the plates off and then I'll clamp the machine onto the 'table'.
I have a cunning plan involving a table with a removable central section for dealing with large objects...

pcstru
27-04-2010, 06:21 PM
I am building a router on a very similar design (though somewhat beefed, up due to my distinct tendency towards overengineering) and I would be interested in your findings on this. What I would worry about is it not starting in the right place even if no steps were lost...


I guess you mean if it's not set up properly making the gantry slightly off 90 deg to the table?

daveshorts
28-04-2010, 09:54 AM
Either that or if one side is pushed while the machine is off

pcstru
29-04-2010, 09:13 AM
If one side is out of alignment then the machine is going to cut parallelograms rather than squares. So my cunning plan is to cut a square, put in on a good surface and try and measure if it's out and if so by how much. I'll need to scale that up to the length of the axis which should then tell me how much the axis is out. Then I'll need to drive one of the steppers an appropriate number of steps to cure it. Well ... that's my theory! Any comments?

daveshorts
29-04-2010, 09:31 AM
I guess it depends on how repeatable the error is, and whether there is any spring in the structure. I think that if you are unlucky every time you turn off the steppers you will lose your correction, and it is not obvious to me that applying the same correction next time will be right.

Davem
14-05-2010, 12:57 PM
Pcstru, a couple of weeks ago, you asked about 'decent' timber suppliers. One recommended company is :

DW Mouldings
56-58 Sunderland Road
Sandy
Beds
SG19 1QY www.dwmouldings.co.uk (http://www.dwmouldings.co.uk)

They do selected hardwoods rather than marine ply - worth ringing their Production Manager - Brian Dawes to see what they have in stock.

My other neighbour (who does wood turning) gets his blanks from :

Bedford Saw and Tool Co
Ampthill Road
Bedford MK42 Tel: 01234 217417

They obviously do square and hex blanks for turning in plain and figured woods but might do other sizes too. Could be worth asking.

Be good to hear how you are getting on.

Davem

pcstru
15-05-2010, 11:35 PM
@DaveM - Thanks for coming back with some suppliers - I'll check them out. As it happens though, SWMBO just bought me 10cu ft of rough planked seasoned oak - which should keep me going for some time. I've also found a few suppliers of Marine ply on the net - seems quite expensive but could be worth it for clock gears. My current supply is 'laser' ply from murt.co.uk - cheap as chips but not really suitable for anything but prototypes.

I've done quite a bit of work with the machine but all in wood - no metals yet. Did a house sign for a friend which turned out well. I never know what to charge for these things so said he might like to get me a nice bottle of malt, which he did. I put the vinyl cutter on the machine and tried cutting some vinyl signage. That's a bit fiddly to get just the right pressure but once you get the mark, it seems to work well. Mounting them after cutting is the hard part. Other than that, I've mostly been redesigning and cutting bits of SWMBO's anniversary clock - changing the foliet from a suspended magnetic bearing to a ... well, a kind of pin in a cup thingymabob. Definate improvement in reliability but the asthetic needs some improvement.

The machine itself is standing up to my abuse. Doesn't seem to be 100% (more like 98%) running from my Lenovo laptop but it let's me know before cutting (rather than half way through a job) - and a quick reboot and all seems fine. I think that is some kind of USB issue. Every so often it just gets it's knickers in a twist and I get "realtime module blocked". Sometimes that is my fault for starting up with the HW master switch off. Other times ... I don't know - I'll try swapping in 'real' PC at some point and see how that goes. Will do a more in depth followup in a few weeks - hopefully after I get some metal in there.

aidank
20-05-2010, 10:51 PM
hi pcstru looks like a good machine, looking at buying a similar machine to that, wondering what type of accuracy is this machine capable of?

also wondering about its cutting capacity, will it cut 6mm wide 0.5mm deep in alumimium, 6mm wide 0.1mm deep in steel?

pcstru
20-05-2010, 11:43 PM
Hi Aidank. Accuracy - I've not made any measurements yet so can't say with any authority. The Heiz site has specs which quote a repeatability of 0.01mm and resolution of 0.00187 and the manual qualifies that for a temp between 20-25deg C.

I've not tried any metals yet but cutting capacity and accuracy in metals will probably be as much down to the spindle as the machine. The Kress 1050 is OK but as an all in one motor and spindle it's always a compromise. If you mostly need to cut metals to 0.01mm accuracy, then unless you need to machine pieces as large as 1000mm by 580mm, I'd probably look at a CNC milling machine rather than a router. If you do need to do pieces as large as that on a T1000 then you will need to deal with the compromises - stiffen it up and cut at speeds way below the 6000mm/m spec of the machine. You might as well save a bit and get the S1000 (lower speeds won't be an issue) but even then, if metals are your main target and you don't need the large cutting area - you should probably look elsewhere.

scjb
10-07-2010, 04:13 PM
Hi pcstru. Very interesting thread. Thanks for your observations. It's been a few weeks now and I was wondering how you were getting on?

As an aside, I work with USB peripherals in live entertainment. One annoying thing that laptops tend to do is power down the USB ports as part of the power saving scheme. The first thing we do with show-critical systems is turn off that feature in the Device Manager. I wonder if that could be part of your USB issues?

pcstru
12-07-2010, 06:37 PM
Hi Scjb. Unfortunately as is the way with new toys - life finds other things to throw in and eat up the time - things that SWMBO might describe as "more important than your bloody machines" :-)! I did sneak in to the workshop two weekends ago and turned out an Aztec/Mayan calendar. It's quite an intricate carving which despite the speed of the machine still took about 4 hours. I've also sneaked in a couple more house signs in the oak SWMBO bought me. It's Nice stuff to work with - but for oak is lacking a bit of density which can lead to chipping on raised detail. Still not put any metals in yet but hopefully I'll have more time over the next few months.

I'm pretty sure I did turn off all the power saving features of the laptop - there were certainly no problems on the 4 hour run. My intention is to swap in a 'proper' PC eventually - just need to install windows on one of the old boxes that are lying about but again - it's a time thing. For me this is a hobby so other things tend to scupper my plans to spend endless hours in the workshop with only the machine and a bottle or two of brown ale for company...

Matic
01-03-2011, 04:39 PM
Hello

I have a problem with crashing to the stops of x axis when reference moving.


I`ve been working with the machine for awhile and everything worked perfectly. Now suddenly it doesnt know when to stop x axis when doing the reference move. Thing that helped few times was jogging the x axis to the reference switch and looking „special functions/signal test“ and the status showed that it was activated. So i jogged the machine away from the switches and clicked reference move again and this time it worked.


Now today i tried that last thing, but it doesnt seem to work anymore. Signals test shows its not active.


Does anyone have any ideas? Could the problem be with the switch being defective?

Matic
02-03-2011, 09:47 AM
Hello


I have a problem with crashing to the stops of x axis when reference moving.


I`ve been working with the machine for awhile and everything worked perfectly. Now suddenly it doesnt know when to stop x axis when doing the reference move. Thing that helped few times was jogging the x axis to the reference switch and looking „special functions/signal test“ and the status showed that it was activated. So i jogged the machine away from the switches and clicked reference move again and this time it worked.


Now today i tried that last thing, but it doesnt seem to work anymore. Signals test shows its not active.


Does anyone have any ideas? Could the problem be with the switch being defective?

pcstru
02-03-2011, 08:36 PM
It could be a defective switch although if it is showing as active in the signals test, then it would be an intermittent fault - which would be unusual in a solid state hall effect unit. If you have a magnet handy, move the gantry away from the switch, set the machine for signals test and move a magnet close to the switch.

Other things to check :

1) All cabling. Check that the signal plugs into the controller are good.
2) Reference Speeds. Assuming the switch is good, what are they set at? Does reducing the homing speed make a difference?
3) The magnet has become degaused. Unusual but it can happen if they are knocked or for some reason heated up.

Matic
03-03-2011, 09:24 AM
It could be a defective switch although if it is showing as active in the signals test, then it would be an intermittent fault - which would be unusual in a solid state hall effect unit. If you have a magnet handy, move the gantry away from the switch, set the machine for signals test and move a magnet close to the switch.

Other things to check :

1) All cabling. Check that the signal plugs into the controller are good.
2) Reference Speeds. Assuming the switch is good, what are they set at? Does reducing the homing speed make a difference?
3) The magnet has become degaused. Unusual but it can happen if they are knocked or for some reason heated up.

Thank you for the quick answer.

It seems the problem was with the switch. I had one spare switch and moved it close to the corresponding switch (with wiring) and the signal lighted. So i replaced it (by placing the new one above the old tape, so it was ca .5mm higher) and the reference move worked perfectly.

On the other hand, i tried the old switch by moving it close to the corresponding switch by hand and it lighted the signal too. Could the problem be that the switch was too far away from the corresponding switch and it occasionally didnt work?

sola
08-09-2012, 09:20 AM
We are a small West London based company and have recently purchased a Heiz S720.
We plan to use it for very basic projects including engraving.
We are struggling to get it up and running (patience run out) and would very much like somebody with experience of this machine to come and give us some help.
We would happily pay for your time and expenses.
If you can help please email me at solastudio AT me DOT com
Thanks

Davem
09-09-2012, 10:37 AM
Sorry Sola, I'm afraid I can't help as we did not invest in a Heiz machine but bought a Warco WM18 mill instead to cover our immediate requirements.

Matic
10-09-2012, 12:06 PM
Hello Sola
I didnt actually install the machine, but i can ask a few questions from my colleague, who installed it.
So let me know, if i can help in that way.