Thread: Why CNC?

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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by saxonhawthorn View Post
    I just checked the price of an MSD542 from Motion Control Products it's 47.12 presumably plus vat, and presumably I'd need one per motor
    Gary has them for 33 + tax but I can see you feel driven to try :whistling:

    It may look good on paper, but the 542 microcode is probably based on what actually works, rather than what should work. The best you can hope to make is the 542 prototype which probably ended up in the bin.

    Confidence is that feeling you get just before you understand the problem :heehee:

    I started out with home brew, then went to 542's, then fitted drivers that plugged straight in to the mains and rectified it. You can never have enough volts

  2. #42
    saxonhawthorn I think you are in for a long long learning path as you have not yet arrived at the foot of the cliff.
    My cnc conversion has almost been finished and now I am onto the software and that is just as hard as the mechanical side of things, there is just so much to learn.
    The information on the subject is a bit thin on the ground and harder still i dont know what to look for in the books etc.
    I like you like to do evrything but when I looked into the making of the stepper drivers I balked and bought a box already made so I could concentrate on my mill and oh boy was that a baptism of fire. The only machining I had done was the odd hobby done whilst at work but now I have to buy the tools myself and there are so many! and possibly more I havn't heard of yet.

    Peter

  3. But then again, thats half the fun of it! I, like Ian, prefer to know exactly why something works, but I came to the conclusion some time ago its better to focus on the non-commodity stuff, on the grounds that enough people know about the other already...

    Ian, if you go over to the CNCZone.com and look for threads from Mariss or about Gecko drivers there is a good, warts n all, thread documenting the development of a new driver from scratch through to a production item...its interesting but painful reading....

  4. #44
    Gentlemen,

    "I think you are in for a long long learning path as you have not yet arrived at the foot of the cliff."

    Of course, but that's exactly what I enjoy about engineering, and especially electronics and software. There's always new stuff to get my head into. Would you deny me the pleasure of doing what I enjoy most? (well, second most ;) I have spent years programming Intel processors, and if you can program Intel there's not much else in this vale of tears to terrify you. I have also had to decipher spec sheets in Japanese, and more recently Chinese. Where there's a will, there's usually a bored girl in a Chinese take-away who's happy to do a bit of translation over a plate of noodles.

    Now, you're certainly right about all the tooling needed to turn out quality work on today's power tools; but this is just another argument for not spending what I don't have to on electronics. And there again: where I can make the tooling myself, I shall do so.

    Irving, yes I have had a quick look at CNCZone and have seen the threads on Gecko. I'll read more at the week-end.

    But I have to chuckle:- I entered this forum with people applauding the task of automating PCB manufacture. Now the roles have reversed, and you're all trying to disuade me from doing it!

    Come on gentlemen! Where's the spirit that began the world's Industrial Revolution in England? Where's that can-do attitude that built the Empire? Ask an Aussie if he'd rather buy off the shelf or build his own? Nine times out of ten he'll roll up his sleeves and do it himself. (And incidentally, have you noticed that for several years now all the constructor articles in Practical Electronics have been written by Australians? It was a British magazine for decades, but it's now written by Aussies, and the online edition is distributed by a Brit living in America.)

    If I were still employed in Industry I'd normally go for an off-the-shelf developped-and-debugged item every time, simply because the commercial environment almost never leaves time to re-invent the wheel. You just buy what's needed and cost it into the project, because the customer wants ten thousand off delivered at a thousand a month starting next Wednesday. But I'm not in that environment any longer. I'm a free man again; my time is my own to spend as I please; and it pleases me to learn about designing stepper drivers. There are not many areas I haven't explored yet, and in all my working life I have never met a technical problem I couldn't solve. Now I'm looking forward to doing this.

    And I will.

    Ian

  5. Ian,

    I applaude your sentiments and your will-power... if I had the time I'd probably approach things a different way as well...

    I look forward to your efforts with interest and I am happy to help where I can, as I know other will be too (not that I should think you will need it).

    regards,
    Irving...

  6. #46
    Tom's Avatar
    Location unknown. Last Activity: 30-11-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 172. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Quote Originally Posted by saxonhawthorn View Post
    Gentlemen,
    Where's the spirit...

    ...in all my working life I have never met a technical problem I couldn't solve. Now I'm looking forward to doing this.
    And I will.
    Hear, hear....

    It sounds like you will massively enjoy the project, and that's the only justification you need to start it. I won't be able to help with electronics, but I look forward to reading about it, and learning plenty... Bolt-together modular machines is what I (and many others on the forum) have done. It will be a refreshing change...

    Onwards and upwards! - do keep us up to date with developments...

    Now, you've made me thirsty for tea and English cake.... I'm going to boil the kettle.... :)

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by saxonhawthorn View Post
    But I have to chuckle:- I entered this forum with people applauding the task of automating PCB manufacture. Now the roles have reversed, and you're all trying to disuade me from doing it!
    Au contraire, I'm totally selfish and want you to succeed with as few pre-conceived notions as possible.

    I don't want you getting bogged down recreating things that are of no use to me, I want you to come up with novel solutions to old problems so I can pinch your ideas, fix your mistakes and make a better one :rofl:

  8. #48
    My Dear Robin,

    When I have totally exhausted my energies on stepper drivers, please feel entirely free to brief me all about those old problems which need novel solutions, and with a glass of Christmas cheer in my hand (or probably more like Easter cheer by the time I get there) I shall enjoy nothing more than cranking-up the little grey cells.

    FWIW I was taught workshop practice fifty years ago by one George Stevenson, grandson of the man who invented the railway. Everything he made - in any medium at all - was both beautiful to look at and perfectly efficient. Genius ran in the family. I'd encourage anybody who hasn't done so to take a look at the Stevenson linkage for reversing a steam engine: it's a perfect example of a brilliantly simple but elegant solution to a very real and practical problem. That's the kind of approach to engineering that has inspired me all my life, and I'm never content with anything I have made until it reaches that same high standard. I don't always reach it but I try, I try.

    A very Happy Christmas to all here. May your swarf never tangle and your bearings never jangle.

    Ian

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