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  1. #11
    Hang on , am I missing something here ?
    Steve was on about doing a MDF starter machine so we are talking about simple slides and build and now people are throwing 1200 x 800 into the plot.

    so MDF, drawer slides, simple 24 volt drivers at 1/2 stepping onto M12 screwed rod running 1200 x 800 or similar size for three pounds seventeen and sixpence.

    Oh nearly forgot, it must be capable of 6 metres per minute cutting.

    .
    John S -

  2. #12
    John, Just because I said I was looking at a 1200 X 800 machine does not mean I am dismissing Steve's efforts. MDF I have, Threaded rod I have, so I can see no reason why I cannot follow his plan and learn from those who know what they are talking about!! In the meantime I can gather together the items for the larger machine.

    I am looking at this (CNC) as a means to an end and not just a hobby. For years I have been unable to contribute anything but my War Pension to the household but with the help of an organisation called Combat Stress I have started to become somebody again. I cannot and will not ignore the possibility of making my family some extra income however small

    With that said, Steve, crack on!! Whatever knowledge and experience I can gain from your hard work will be put to good use.

    I shall now retire to my Sanger and put on my Flak Jacket and tin lid!!
    Tim G-C

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    (attrib. Voltaire but written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall "The Friends of Voltaire" 1906)

  3. #13
    Making the design scalable may or may not be an option, depends what happens with the linear slides and what they end up being constructed from but I will know more next week.

    As for the stepper controller, would there be any interest in a handheld controller that took away the need for a PC?

    This is the initial description - The
    handheld controller will read from a USB memory stick and execute NC files with no need for a PC at all (however currently a PC is required to edit the pin config / steps per unit etc file which is then uploaded to the device using a memory stick) only a problem if you don't have a PC!!!!. It will also allow manual data entry via an inductive keypad and jogging of the machine. It uses a 3.5" colour TFT screen and is designed to plug into a 25 pin break out board. It uses a 100Mhz processor for stepper timing which should be more than enough.

    I have already seen a prototype which works very well.

    Estimated price - 200-250

    It will look something like the attached image.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. Its a nice idea Steve, but if this is CNC for beginners then my 2p is that this complicates things - the device you show is still only a controller, you still need the stepper drivers, and I would argue most who are interested in building a CNC machine have access to a PC.

    I think concentrating the electronics side on either sourcing a cheap driver set or, complementing the intent of the design, a cheap, easy to build, set of drivers would be better value. There is a wealth of knowledge about EMC and MACH3 and, esp in the case of EMC, there are a lot of cheap PC available to run the free software. Indeed, for real low cost, EMC2 (free) on a PC sourced from eBay has got to be a better option - there's a good selection of P3 and P4 systems which would run EMC available for <100 and some as low as 30.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by HiltonSteve View Post
    [FONT=Verdana][SIZE=2]which is then uploaded to the device using a memory stick) only a problem if you don't have a PC!!!!.
    How the fook are you reading this then ?
    John S -

  6. #16
    Steve, I know it would involve more work by yourself and those who could assist you but why not offer both the Pendant and the EMC2 options. Let the folks choose.

    I for one like the idea of the Pendant (I am thinking of the dust problem which would not be so much of a worry for those who will be machining metals etc.) It may not be something I can implement straight off but to have the option would be great.
    Tim G-C

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    (attrib. Voltaire but written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall "The Friends of Voltaire" 1906)

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by irving2008 View Post
    there's a good selection of P3 and P4 systems which would run EMC available for <100 and some as low as 30.
    Agreed you only need to look around.

    I just bought a stack of these for an average price of 38 and these were complete systems with TFT monitors and a licensed copy of XP

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=170476010886

    That's cheaper than a copy of XP. Nice thing was they were only 15 miles away so well worth the trip to collect and save shipping.
    John S -

  8. Quote Originally Posted by John S View Post
    Agreed you only need to look around.

    I just bought a stack of these for an average price of 38 and these were complete systems with TFT monitors and a licensed copy of XP

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=170476010886

    That's cheaper than a copy of XP. Nice thing was they were only 15 miles away so well worth the trip to collect and save shipping.
    And with XP SP2 going out of support now and Windows7 SP1 due soon, there will be a lot of ex-corporate desktops coming available in the next year, perfect for EMC2/Linux or MACH3/XP...

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by HiltonSteve View Post
    I hear what you are saying about the electronics and I do not know of a really cheap way of putting together a stepper controller system either. But if you do go with do go with one of Roy's system 4 boards then you would be looking at about 260 with a power supply which is not over expensive and this could be used with a bigger/better machine later on if needed.

    Would a newbie CNC builder think 350 is expensive for a stepper motor and controller solution? I don't know! Are there any newbie's out there to answer this one for us??
    Great thread, for me this is just what is needed, because a lot of people are enjoying this as their Hobby and are unlikely to have funds from a "bottomless pit" and wont be making "loads a money"

    I finally took the plunge and went for a system 4 and also got the spindle board (but thats for later). I justified the cost to myself with the good reports I read on here, and the help thats available from Roy. Also this will be ok when I move on to bigger and better things much later

    I've got mine up and running and cutting basic shapes out and drawing - But this is very time consuming because I'm still fascinated every time I see it running :)

    I'm running with 10t timing pulleys and direct driving these through a short piece of rubber hose, just temp to get the feel of things and start to get to grips with cad- cam- code process

    So my answer is yes its more expensive than the fleabay route, but the reputation for support and service that I will need when I reach the "brick wall" is by far is the best route for me :)

    Cheers Shaun

  10. #20
    I finally took the plunge and went for a system 4 and also got the spindle board (but thats for later). I justified the cost to myself with the good reports I read on here, and the help thats available from Roy. Also this will be OK when I move on to bigger and better things much later
    I would agree that getting good drivers to start with is a good plan, and defiantly don't get bogged down with building some for a first machine (been there tried that). There is too much to do and just having smoother steeper drives really transformed my x-y table.
    I got the 4.2amp with micro stepping from Gary(115 for 3 i think) There also optically isolated so I didn't bother with a BOB. cut one plug of a printer lead and hard wired it :whistling:

    Like Shaun I justified the cost as A; they can be used on the next machine or B; used on more than one if the same motors and settings are used.

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