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Thread: Touch screen??

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  1. #1
    Does anyone use a touch screen for their CNC control system.
    How well do they work, and what if any are the pitfalls ?
    Am starting a Boxford TCL conversion project so wondring about mounting a small touch screen where the Manual panel now is .

    Or has anyone used a dedicated Motion controller.
    Such as this
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/28360995304...b6a7034eb26ade

  2. #2
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 218. Received thanks 32 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I have a touch screen all-in-one PC for my Centroid Acorn system and TBH, I almost never use the touch function. Worse than that, it seems to get possessed sometimes. I suspect it's an optical touch screen and gets upset by reflections.

    Most useful addition to the Acorn system is the wireless MPG. Beyond that, I do most of the other stuff like homing, MDI, loading files, touching off etc using the mouse. The PC is set up on a desk so I can also use Fusion to modify the CAD and CAM, regenerate the g code etc. Modifying and reloading the files is then dead simple. And it's connected to my NAS and hifi, so play music on it of course.

    My other machine has a Newker 990MDCa self contained controller. No touch screen or mouse, just tactile key panel and wired MPG. That's a bit of a PITA but makes a neat installation, sort of like a Fanuc clone.

    There's a massive thread on maddmodder about the DDCS. No experience myself but it looks pretty handy now. https://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=11598.0

  3. #3
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing NEW MEMBER: Hi from Shetland Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,505. Received thanks 293 times, giving thanks to others 7 times.
    I use a touch screen on my mill running KMotionCNC, and I quite like it, but it really needs a suitable screenset to make the most of it.
    My mill does however have a mechanical MPG, so the screen is only really used for selecting programs/options.

    As Muzzer mentions, the type of touch screen can cause problems.
    Resistive relies on pressure, and should be resistant to any contamination on the screen and can be operated using any kind of blunt item, but they're generally less accurate than other options.
    Capacitive (this is probably the most common you'll get now) relies moisture to detect position, so contamination like oily fingers/oil on the screen can cause issues. They'll only work with a bare finger, or a suitable stylus. They won't work with gloves, unless you happen to have ones with conductive thread on the fingers. They are generally the most accurate, which is why they're so popular.
    Optical is the other option, and generally falls in between the other two. They're not as affected by contamination, are a bit more accurate than resistive, but they can be affected by external lights.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  4. #4
    JAZZCNC's Avatar
    Lives in wakefield, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing NEW MEMBER: Hi from Shetland Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 7,609. Received thanks 1,312 times, giving thanks to others 84 times.
    I don't think the DDCS can do lathe.?

    Regards touch screen I'm not a fan as the screen gets covered in grease and unless the screen set is designed for touch panel then it's very easy to accidentally touch wrong buttons.
    Also as Muzzer says if you get the wrong screen type they do strange things, I remember a mill used ramping up the feedrate because someone had turned the screen slightly and the odd flying chip happened to hit the override button.!! . . . Bloody thing was break dancing around the floor when I realised what was happening. . LOL
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  5. #5
    Worn that tee-shirt. Also, done a bit of research into this at work for a very different environment. You're going to hate cap/pcap systems - if you have any foreign grease or liquids on your hands. Bezel-based IR is pretty reliable, but you miss the haptic feedback and suffer false activations (some systems integrate resistive, or SAW sensors to verify an actual screen-press), SAW is not particularly suited to high vibration environments... good old fashioned resistive can be one of the more robust solutions - not the most elegant but for simple podge-type applications it can work well.

    I'm supposed to be developing a touch-screen for my SX2.7 but starting to doubt the sensibility of touch for a mill. Previously used a resistive PoS monitor which was pretty robust, but as Jazz says - ends up full of grime.

  6. #6
    Muzzer's Avatar
    Lives in Lytham St. Annes, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 218. Received thanks 32 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    I had to fit a blackout blind to the Velux-type windows above the PC otherwise it could be unusable on a sunny day, particularly with a light coloured shirt on. At its worst I couldn't even log in, as the cursor would leave the dialog box before I could complete the PIN number. Still happens a bit, when the sun shines over the desk at certain times of the day and year.

    There doesn't seem to be a website for the DDCS but the company uses a Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1724...earch/?q=lathe

    Looks as if Jazz is right - some people seem to have have knife and forked it but it doesn't have specific lathe G codes etc. You'd need different firmware for that and it doesn't sound as if they have developed it.

  7. #7
    I looked at the computer cnc, the cheap DDCS kit (which looked doubtful for lathes) and the proper industrial kit. My conclusion was there is a steep enough learning curve with CNC if you buy a half decent piece of well documented kit with back up. I may be wrong but i have just received my SZGH CNC1000TDb lathe controller and looking at the manuals there are enough variables and things to learn without compatibility problems.
    Last edited by Colin Barron; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:44 PM. Reason: sentence construction

  8. #8
    Maybe I will leave the dedicacated CNC controller for a while, like until I get the machine up and running on familiar software .
    WRT touch screen I dont believe I will have light issues in my shop but I will have grubby fingers .
    I though I would just like to have a touch panel mounted on the machine with PC stowed safely away elsewhere .

  9. #9
    Kitwn's Avatar
    Lives in Exmouth, Australia. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Has been a member for 2-3 years. Has a total post count of 654. Received thanks 84 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by John11668 View Post
    I though I would just like to have a touch panel mounted on the machine with PC stowed safely away elsewhere .
    John,
    Not sure if this would fit your requirements, but if your software has keyboard short-cut keys for all commands (as LinuxCNC does) you could use a keyboard, or a set of more robust pushbuttons driving a keyboard emulator, plus a non-touch screen to do something similar. As an example of how this trick can work I've been using one of these as a pendant for LinuxCNC for a few years now. Each button is configured to emulate a specific keyboard key to provide jogging etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Engineering is the art of doing for ten shillings what any fool can do for a pound.
    Wellington.

  10. #10
    Many ways to skin a cat - and all of them wrong, or right, depends on your point of view.

    I do have wired pendants for the mill, but am trying to get away from things that I trip over etc (I am rather clumsy). For my lathe (more relevant to your use case) I do naughty things (most Myford owners are rather over-zealously protective against dicking about with history) with the cabinet. Another flavour of integration with Linux CNC...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It helps that the gubbins is housed in the cabinet as well.

    Apologies for the mess... the lathe is undergoing some satanic ritual at the moment.

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