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  1. #1
    Hey All, I was looking for some pointers on my proposed upgrade. I have disassembled my larger cnc router and I am currently rebuilding it in a smaller foot print. One day hoping to get to 5 axis but concentrating on 3 axis. for the moment. My current electronics/motor setup is a standard BOB and Nema 23 4Nm Steppers and Mach 3. The new machine will run 16/5 ball screws as they are what I have to hand.

    I want to upgrade the motors to closed loop (Well impressed by a demo video Jazzcnc done a while back)and run a half decent controller, preferably Ethernet. I was also looking into offline cnc controllers from china but I'm not too sure they would be the way to go.

    Can anyone give some recommendations on the following?

    Ethernet controller that works well with Mach 3.

    Closed loop steppers and drivers (Aiming for 8nm as a minimum and up to 12Nm as max) I would consider servos but I would prefer to keep it simple! ( going for bigger than what I need for the moment as no doupt I will build a bigger/heavier machine down the road.

    Power supplies for steppers.

    Where to source the above from Europe. I really dont want to buy direct from china as It's pig in a poke what you get sometimes. Besides I don't fancy the Import duty surprises which are typically unknown until your parts arrive after several weeks and sometimes months!!!!!

    I just seem to be bamboozled by the overall choices out there at the moment.

    Cheers....

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    Can anyone give some recommendations on the following?

    Ethernet controller that works well with Mach 3.
    I'd ONLY fit an Ethernet controller, stay Away from USB it's flaky.

    UC300 is the one I'd go for these days if running Mach3. Normally I'd recommend CSlabs controllers because they are superior in build quality and reliabilty but they are not supporting Mach3 any more and don't seem interested if you have a problem. The UC300 as more than enough I/O for most machines and works well enough with mach3, it also as it's own softwate UCCNC which works much better than Mach3 now and is still supported. Fit it to a decent BOB like the UB1 and your sorted.!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    Closed loop steppers and drivers (Aiming for 8nm as a minimum and up to 12Nm as max) I would consider servos but I would prefer to keep it simple! ( going for bigger than what I need for the moment as no doupt I will build a bigger/heavier machine down the road.

    Power supplies for steppers.
    At those sizes then your into Nema 34 motors.
    These are what I use and they are brilliant, they are 3 phase steppers so higher resolution with 1.2 Deg step angle compared to 1.8 of 2 phase motors and more powerful.
    They are easy to setup and wire, and very reliable. I've fitted in excess of 100 sets and not had one faulty or give me trouble in any way. They run on Mains voltage so you don't need a PSU and being high voltage they allow high RPM which you wouldn't get from lower voltage DC motors.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3279...13616f37ZeokDw


    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    Where to source the above from Europe. I really dont want to buy direct from china as It's pig in a poke what you get sometimes. Besides I don't fancy the Import duty surprises which are typically unknown until your parts arrive after several weeks and sometimes months!!!!!

    I just seem to be bamboozled by the overall choices out there at the moment.

    Cheers....
    Don't be afraid of China, I've bought from them for years and rarely do I have any issues. The suppliers I recommend are all well proven and trusted suppliers.

    It's not true that it takes Weeks or Months, I've had stuff arrive in 4 days, but typically when times are normal.!! it's 2-3wks max if comes via Air freight and often that's because it's stuck in UK customs for a week. Also you know exactly what the charges will be, typically you pay VAT and a Ripp off paperwork fee from Shipping agent between 10-20. However, some parts can be subject to import duty and this depends on what category it falls into, but still you can find out exactly what the charge will be by going to Customs site and finding the import code.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    , it also as it's own softwate UCCNC which works much better than Mach3
    I will second that, I have just moved from Mach3 to UCCNC,it ha a multitude of built in probe routines and should you need to restart a program mid way through it takes seconds compared to Mach3.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to ngwagwa For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Thanks for the Info Jazzcnc. Those steppers and drivers sure look good. Perhaps a little outside what I was looking to spend so I may save the penny's and get them in a couple of months. I need to get the machine in working order first off so I will use the steppers that I have for the moment and upgrade them at a later stage. The UC300 Ethernet looks good and I will order one of those today and a BOB.Thanks for the tip as I was going to get a usb device. They seem like a lot of trouble from what I have read so far.

    At the moment I will concentrate on the mechanical side of things and get her limping in order to produce some parts for the future build.

    Thanks again for all the info :)

  7. #5
    Cheers Ngwagwa, I'm ordering one today!!!!!!!!! :)

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mills View Post
    Those steppers and drivers sure look good. Perhaps a little outside what I was looking to spend so I may save the penny's and get them in a couple of months.
    Well worth the money and don't forget the cost is offset by the fact you don't need to buy or build a PSU which for large motors will set you back the best part of 90.

    If the cost is too high and you decide to go with standard DC steppers then be very careful because there are a lot of cheap nasty Nema34 motors out there which will cripple a machine due to very high inductance which require a much higher voltage than the cheap DC drives can provide.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  9. #7
    helpful thread, as i'm currently in the same boat, came to a dead end with my baldor servo drives and controllers as they dont play well with others, so no motion board readily available.
    i have a bunch of allen bradley servo drives but they are serco interface so motion boards are scary expensive.

    come to the conclusion that picking up some closed loop nema 34's and controllers might be expensive but by the time i have mucked around with trying to find solutions for what i have its actually not that spendy to do things right the first time.

    UC300 is the one I'd go for these days if running Mach3. Normally I'd recommend CSlabs controllers because they are superior in build quality and reliabilty but they are not supporting Mach3 any more and don't seem interested if you have a problem. The UC300 as more than enough I/O for most machines and works well enough with mach3, it also as it's own softwate UCCNC which works much better than Mach3 now and is still supported. Fit it to a decent BOB like the UB1 and your sorted.!
    i cant seem to find a reasonable supplier of these in the eu could you recommend one.

    Jazzcnc, i agree on the motors and controllers as that seems like a fairly elegant solution and the money saved on power supplies is best spent on better motors and controllers.

    do you have a schematic for connection of these motor controllers to the UC300 ?

    last few days have been a bit of a head scratcher, initally i wanted to use the spares i had and when that went under i felt the centronics boars seemed a good solution however the closed loop board they supply is over 2k so by the time i add a bit of aux io its nice but way to spendy, i did however like the option of adding a linear enc input for additional axis which could have given me closed loop on the steps and feedback from scales on the other 3 axis.

    would you say that the uc300 and the nema 34 motors from aliexpress plus mach 3/4 is the way to go ?
    as you have done a few of these your experience is way more than mine in this respect.

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
    Jazzcnc, i agree on the motors and controllers as that seems like a fairly elegant solution and the money saved on power supplies is best spent on better motors and controllers.

    do you have a schematic for connection of these motor controllers to the UC300 ?

    last few days have been a bit of a head scratcher, initally i wanted to use the spares i had and when that went under i felt the centronics boars seemed a good solution however the closed loop board they supply is over 2k so by the time i add a bit of aux io its nice but way to spendy, i did however like the option of adding a linear enc input for additional axis which could have given me closed loop on the steps and feedback from scales on the other 3 axis.

    would you say that the uc300 and the nema 34 motors from aliexpress plus mach 3/4 is the way to go ?
    as you have done a few of these your experience is way more than mine in this respect.
    Ok well you are talking about different things when you mention the Centronics Boar closed loop board.? This will be for a Fully closed loop system back to the controller. This is different to Closed-loop Stepper system which just closes the loop between motor and drive and doesn't feed back to the controller or neither does it have encoder outputs on the drives.
    Likewise the UC300 isn't a Closed Controller either so even if you used a Servo system with encoder outputs you couldn't use them.
    If you want fully closed loop system you need a more advanced controller and drives that provide encoder output, or use linear scales for feed back.

    The connection to the UC300 is simply like any other stepper system in that you feed it Step/Dir signals and Enable, fault connections if required etc.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  11. #9
    UC300ETH, UCCNC and BOB ordered and on the way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Pretty hard to get anywhere that has stock of them. I ended up going to the Netherlands! (Virtually).

    Took the plunge and ordered some HGR Square rail and carriages also My old setup was using round supported rail. Never had any issue with it as my gantry weighed in excess of 70KG. Gravity assist kind of kept things from floating around :) Ooh and emmm some 20mm Ballscrews and bits n Bobs... The 16mm Ballscrews that I had were a bit too short for what I needed.

    Dam it anyway.. I promised myself I would not spend any dosh on this re-make of the Big girl. 1k out the door so far and those motors that Jazz sent me the link too will pop another 1500 or so out there too including mounts couplers etc. Once you get the CNC building fever it's hard to stop!!! Now if I could only get this idea of ATC out of my head I might be able to sleep ha ha. Last but not least the 4th and 5th axis. My biggest challenge will be keeping all of this from the missus!!!!!!

  12. #10
    Filco's Avatar
    Lives in Clitheroe, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 8 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 23. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 9 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    I'd ONLY fit an Ethernet controller, stay Away from USB it's flaky.

    UC300 is the one I'd go for these days if running Mach3. Normally I'd recommend CSlabs controllers because they are superior in build quality and reliabilty but they are not supporting Mach3 any more and don't seem interested if you have a problem. The UC300 as more than enough I/O for most machines and works well enough with mach3, it also as it's own softwate UCCNC which works much better than Mach3 now and is still supported. Fit it to a decent BOB like the UB1 and your sorted.!



    At those sizes then your into Nema 34 motors.
    These are what I use and they are brilliant, they are 3 phase steppers so higher resolution with 1.2 Deg step angle compared to 1.8 of 2 phase motors and more powerful.
    They are easy to setup and wire, and very reliable. I've fitted in excess of 100 sets and not had one faulty or give me trouble in any way. They run on Mains voltage so you don't need a PSU and being high voltage they allow high RPM which you wouldn't get from lower voltage DC motors.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3279...13616f37ZeokDw




    Don't be afraid of China, I've bought from them for years and rarely do I have any issues. The suppliers I recommend are all well proven and trusted suppliers.

    It's not true that it takes Weeks or Months, I've had stuff arrive in 4 days, but typically when times are normal.!! it's 2-3wks max if comes via Air freight and often that's because it's stuck in UK customs for a week. Also you know exactly what the charges will be, typically you pay VAT and a Ripp off paperwork fee from Shipping agent between 10-20. However, some parts can be subject to import duty and this depends on what category it falls into, but still you can find out exactly what the charge will be by going to Customs site and finding the import code.

    I'm glad I found this thread. I am currently designing a new 3 axis and was going to use the Nema 23 4nm steppers but was still not sure they would be upto the job.
    My cutting area is 700x1200x100 and will be mainly used for cutting 25mm plywood but need reliability and accuracy, for small production runs.
    Now thinking of going for your suggestions JAZZCNC, cheers!

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