View Full Version : NEW MEMBER: Basic 3d milling

06-06-2012, 10:04 PM
Hi all, I'm Scott, I've been 2d CNC milling for ten years now, the boss went to the mach convention last month an has come back with all ideas on starting 3d milling, all our CNC's run fanuc programming, an I know they wont hold a program long enough to mill 3d as they are, I'm trying to find out if anyone knows how hard it'll be to convert the machines to read a program that is drip fed into them from a pc? any info will gain me many brownie points so thanks in advance

06-06-2012, 11:20 PM
Shouldn't your control manual tell you if it's possible to drip feed code to it.?

I don't have any practicle experience but do know a few people who work on large older type industrial wood machines designed for 2D panel, cabinet, door type work and from what I can gather it's very difficult if not impossible to get the controller to run 3D code of any use. The more modern machines can I belive but I guess from your asking it's not a modern machine.?

It's also difficult just getting decent software to output 3D code without a purpose built and some times very expensive post processor for some of these controllers, most of the 2D cabinet type software can't do 3D so modern software is required.

The cost of a modern industrial controller and it's software can be silly money so that idea usually gets dumped.!! This is why you see old big industrial routers fully loaded with spindles etc going cheaply, just far too expensive to bring upto date using manufacturers upgrades (If available)
I know of a few people who have bought and converted these older machines to run modern controllers like Mach3,EMC etc just for this very reason.!!

I think your boss may very well have to get his hand in his pocket.!!

What machine is it.?

07-06-2012, 09:20 PM
Hi jazz, thanks for replying, the machine in question is an awea vp 2012 running fanuc 18-m built in 2000 so its not that old, theres a clip on youtube of the exact same machine milling a dome, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw3cjpmytPQ so im certain it can do it, however there is no drip feed on the mode select dial, and the manuals we have are not complete, i was hopin it could be done through the rs-232 port, but im not very good on the technical side, hence my being here

08-06-2012, 12:11 AM
Ok I've had a little sniff about and from my brief looking found that this should be easy to do.

First you need a communications program like DNC server to talk to the control and drip the NC file. Heres a link and it gives a 30 day free trial plus it's only $60 so should keep the boss happy.!!

The control will need some parameters setting so it can talk to the software correctly plus a correctly wired RS232 cable and these settings and pin outs are here. .

Another communication program that seems to be popular and works with most fanuc controls is DNC4U found here http://www.dnc4u.com/
Looks to be similiar but with a few more bells and whistles.!! Sure if you dig around the site or fire them an email giving control details they'll tell you the appropriate setting inside the control to change so it talks to there software.! . . Would take a guess it's exactly the same settings has DNC server.??

Does the control have a memory card slot and whats it's max memory size.? It may also be possible to have it drip feed from the card with a few changes of control settings.
Basicly telling the control to read from tape but giving it the memory card address instead of the RS232 port.

Edit: I think that to set control drip feed mode to on you set the tape mode to on and set machine parameter setting #0020 =4 (4= memory card which probably is set to already.? RS232=0) then it will drip feed from the memory card.? . . . Obviously limited to the cards capacity and speed but even that I think will be faster than RS232's typical 2400 or 4800 baud rate.?)

How what Cam software do you use.? . . . and whats the memory limit of the control now.?

Hope this helps and keep us informed on how you get on.?