hi , i would like to build a cnc in the future but before i do i would prefer to gain some experience using mach 3 so i am building a cnc using floppy and c.d motors.the motors are 5 v . i don't know what type of hardware i need so if anybody has any suggestions or previous experiences i would like to hear from you . do i need a break out board ? what type ? any info would be greatly appreciated.
thanks in advance,
But to answer your question, floppy and CD steppers are often odd types, like 5-phase, rather than the standard 2-phase used in most cnc work. Also they have very little torque so unless your machine is just a toy don't expect to be doing much cnc'ing. Short answer is, without knowing what steppers you have its impossible to say what drivers would suit, but most off-the-shelf drivers would be expensive overkill. You will need some form of breakout board, suggest you look at a cheap one for now, e.g Upgraded 5 Axis Cnc Breakout Board For Microstep Controller + Cables + Software | eBay which includes the parallel cable...
The Following User Says Thank You to irving2008 For This Useful Post:
The last thing you need is experience using Mach3 using a system which is almost, but not quite, entirely disimilar to the one you need to use it with to acieve your eventual goal.
Mach3 just works, you're more likely to have issues with CAM, Post Processors etc. but you'll not find out unless you dive in and have a go,
The Following User Says Thank You to magicniner For This Useful Post:
Download sheetcam, this converts DXF files into g-code which will run on mach3, then download mach3 demo license, at least you can see what it does when fed with g-code.
then you need a 2-d cad program to generate DXF files of what you want to cut, you don't mention plasma, router etc type of machine?
the motors really are the easy bit :)
if it's plasma, the HF interference will be your (and mine) major issue, read up on shielding, grounding etc
The Following User Says Thank You to Davek0974 For This Useful Post:
I don't have any big negatives to share about this controller, and would buy another should I ever be looking to provide the functionality.
As for not buying bits as advised by others, I applaud you for taking the piecemeal approach. Buying this box is going to keep you happy fiddling around with configuring it, and I do feel it would be a wise investment to get it early - otherwise if you buy the big kit in one fell swoop you'd have a mountain to climb to get everything working. With this box and just a single stepper and some microswitches you can learn the basics.
The process is easy enough You connect motor wires to terminals on a board just the same with the only difference being you have 2 extra pair of wires for Step and Direction. That's it other than providing power to each drive which you have to do only 1 time with this controller.
The limits and Home or correctly termed I/O's are just the same no matter which setup.
The Controller Mach3 needs the same setting up as the cheap controller does with absolutely no difference in the process, just with differant numbers for the I/O so it knows where to look.
Don't get me wrong here I'm not getting at you just making it clear for those sat in the back ground(You know who you are) who don't ever speak up or ask but buy off reading post's like this.
Yours is a fair assement based on your single experience which is good and applaude you for giving it. But I've experienced lots of this crap thru helping others and it's not worth the hassle considering much better drives can be had cheap. The " It's easy " reasoning or " It's cheap" is wrong way to view it because it's not cheap when it goes "Boom" which often happens and it's not easy when your pulling hair out trying to find out what happened with limited experience.!
Like wise the individual drive setup isn't hard to setup or get your head around and if folks can't do this then maybe they should be questioning the whole idea of DIY CNC.??
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 19-08-2014 at 06:03 PM.
A couple of years ago when I first took an interest in CNC (for hobby purposes) this assembly was just what the doctor ordered. It did the business of taking GCODE issued thru MACH3 and made the 3020 router/engraver perform its merry dance. I learnt a lot from that. And that's why I am happy to give this the thumbs up for a new user who is not accustomed to setting up and using a CNC machine. It is low cost enough (in the region of $100) to be viewed as a throwaway purchase down the line.
What I do think is wrong is trying to persuade people NOT to invest in this "crap technology" (using your words), and instead save up to buy the full monty. Interests come and go, and if someone bought the full monty and then lost interest then they would have paid a shedload of capital - to discover that maybe it's a hobby they don't want to follow after all. Furthermore, when they do make the full monty purchase, having used this assembly they would be conversant with everything they would need in terms of a tick list.
I'm not pretending this assembly is the dogs danglies, because it clearly isn't. It does however provide the baseline of functionality to get started with a CNC project. Furthermore, in the event that the user decided they wanted something more powerful then they could auction this on ebay to recover some of their outlay. It has crossed my mind to do just that now that I have a CNC 6040. However I still have my 3020 which I will probably continue to use for smaller projects.
Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but realistically I don't think it is fair to poo-poo this assembly given that it does actually perform the job expected of it. I've had many hours of pleasure using it, and it has enabled me to get to grips with CNC - even if I can't manage to get the terminology just right :)
You don't owe anyone an apology Andrew, what you've said is spot on, though some puddings can't see past the bisto so it's probably fell on def ears
The components combined make up the "control system", Mach3 is just another component of that system, more specifically a gcode interpreter.
Last edited by Lee Roberts; 20-08-2014 at 10:00 AM..Me
The Following User Says Thank You to andrew583 For This Useful Post:
I don't do this because I'm Anal or up my own A'~$ I do it because I'm dealing with lots of people Off forum so encounter wrong terminology all the time and it really can make things harder than need to be.
Now back to this "Crap technology".!! We may have to agree to disagree which often happens around here. . Lol
Your satisfaction with this board comes from your one view, your own, based on succesful results using it which is fare enough.
My dislike comes from many many experiences of helping others who have bought and killed these boards/kits relatively quickly only to waste any investment they made, not to mention time and frustration. I also experience users who like your self buy them and they work without problems but never achieve the results they would like or expect but blindly carry on thinking that's just the way DIY CNC is.
So I STRONGLY DISAGREE that there is any thing wrong with encouraging people to invest in better technology because time and time again I get thank you messages from people who have bought "Crap technology" and struggled on with it until frustration or Magic smoke brings them to taking my suggestions on board. Only then do they realise just How Rubbish or restrictive the "Crap Technology" really was and stand in disblief watching the machine that ounce struggled to go from A to B does now.
Again we will probably have to Agree to disagree but I don't think you'll be getting many thank you emails.!!
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