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Thread: Mach3 and the spindle control

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    Mach3 and the spindle control

    All the info I have gathered regarding mill conversions, lathe conversions, building a home CNC machine etc.. All describes controlling 3 or 4 axes using Mach 3 or similar software driving stepper motors and ball screws. I am really not finding answers about the detail on the spindle itself, which I would assume is the most important aspect of any machine. Videos on YouTube all demonstrate the steppers for x, y, and a axes, but nothing for the spindle.
    initially I was of the impression that one could use a stepper motor for a spindle drive...although now I am no longer convinced.( I am talking for a milling machine or lathe specifically) engravers or routers is definitely not a consideration.
    now I am trying to decide whether it is better to use a DC motor with controller or an AC motor with a VFD. If going for the AC option then does one still control the spindle speed with Mach 3 or manually on the VFD?
    I have ordered a Nema34 stepper from China which I will use to try and drive a spindle with, but will change to AC with VFD if this is really unsuccessful. Once I have a spindle built I will carry on with the rest of the machine.
    i guess I am going to build a machine around the spindle arrangement.

    just waiting for the Chinese New Year to be over then hopefully I will get my first few goodies to start playing with.

    i would appreciate comments on this....
    thanks
    Rob

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Your spindle can certainly be controlled by Mach. The choice in spindle motor would be more dependant on machine size and what your work will be. DC motor with a speed control is one option, 3 phase motor with VFD is another. I don't think you will have much luck using a stepper for a spindle motor as it looses it torque at higher speeds. It's primary job is to position and then reposition.
    Treadmill motors have been the latest fad for spindle motors, plenty of information out there on them. They can be had pretty cheap and torque is not an issue. Any speed control that can accept 0-10 Volt input can be controlled via Mach.
    If you can provide us with more machine information I am sure someone will be able to suggest a path to follow based on experience and help get it running too. Most of the hobby machines have been modified to increase rpm and decrease noise using a belt drive replacing the built in gear heads.

    Chris

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Steve (Jumps5) may be able to help you get this figgered out. He has converted a couple of machines to CNC and uses Mach 3, Give him a shout and explain the issue you are having and he may be able to help you fix it right quick and pretty easilly. Hope this jelps get you going.
    Bob
    If you don't have something positive to say, keep it to yourself it makes you look so much smarter.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    If you're doing a conversion on a G0704 (BF20, etc etc) - the motor controller in that is very easy to convert to Mach control.

    You can get a board from (really hope I'm not violating rules by dropping company names!) CNC4PC.
    I've got the C6 board,and it ties right onto the existing speed control. It interfaces with Mach, and you have direct control.

    They have other similar solutions for different applications too.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Fiero View Post
    If you're doing a conversion on a G0704 (BF20, etc etc) - the motor controller in that is very easy to convert to Mach control.

    You can get a board from (really hope I'm not violating rules by dropping company names!) CNC4PC.
    I've got the C6 board,and it ties right onto the existing speed control. It interfaces with Mach, and you have direct control.

    They have other similar solutions for different applications too.
    Hi, any chance you could be a little more specific with the connection of the C6 board to the existing controller? I have a G0704 that I will be eventually CNC'ing and would love to know the details on this.

    Thanks for your time and info-
    Dave

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Thanks for the input so far.....essentially I want to build a machine to get some experience with computer control. The machine to be built will compliment my existing lathe, an optimum 280 x 700 vario. This is driven with a 1.5kW motor with a VFD. If I get the mill right then I will possibly look into upgrading the lathe as well to CNC. I will look out for a treadmill motor on eBay. Although not many of the sellers ship to South Africa, and to buy something here is going to be quite expensive. I'm sure I will find something soon.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Quote Originally Posted by fretsman View Post
    Hi, any chance you could be a little more specific with the connection of the C6 board to the existing controller? -
    Dave
    While trying not to hijack the thread...

    http://cnc4pc.com/Tech_Docs/C6R6_User_Manual.pdf

    It's pretty easy when you see the drawing -- and you know how a picture says a thousand words.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Ok, thanks for the info-

    Dave

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    After watching ebay for a few days I ended up buying this..
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/360596501176...84.m1439.l2649
    It is only 660W but might be more in line with what I have in mind and it was only $9.99 plus $60 for postage. Now I have to figure out what I need to drive the motor, and whether I can get something reasonably cheaply off ebay as well.
    I see there is a web site http://www.automationtechnologiesinc.com that deals in these motors for CNC and offer a motor controller, if I can't find something slightly more affordable.
    I will possibly use the Nema 34 stepper to drive the z-axis. this motor is quite heavy at 4 kg's
    Any suggestions on an alternative speed controller... thanks

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    You weren't planning on using this motor as a spindle drive were you?

    It's a stepper.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Thanks, I see that now...I will have to see what I can find along the lines of an AC motor with VFD, like the treadmill motors suggested earlier. I guess a 2 Hp at least. I see these treadmill motors come with flywheels. I guess it would be best to run the spindle without the flywheel.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    The flywheel is for rotational mass. Helps the motor stay at a steady speed as the user picks up and puts down their feet, and pushes along.
    I think you'd tend to get dizzy otherwise from the constant speed change!

    This:
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/CNC-0-3KW-Spi...item3cccfd81ef
    is a motor I was looking at. DC, 3K-12K speed. Even comes with a bracket! Guy has a much larger one too.

    Then check CNC4PC.com for an appropriate controller to let MACH do the speed.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    That motor looks great although I'm looking for something to use to mill mild steel and not quite so fine. This includes facing and making keyways and boring. I don't think I need such high speed and such fine tooling. My spindle should have an Er25 or even Er32 collet. I am thinking of using a belt drive to increase the torque and reduce the spindle speed. I think with mild steel the max speed should be 1000 rpm or even less? Turning mild steel on the lathe is never at more than 450 - 500 rpm.
    i guess the treadmill motor is still the best option.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Have a look at this thread,http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=g-user-u&v=b2-Kdud7eiA
    Here Simpsons36 is using a stepper motor to drive his 4 th axis, see how we'll the stepper motor works turning the spindle at a reasonably high speed.
    This is where I initially got the idea to use a stepper to drive the spindle. Mine arrived today from china. I will try hook it up and drive a similar spindle as simpsons36.
    I guess it is a better option as a 4th axis as the stepper function is primarily for indexing.
    it will be interesting to find out how to have the drive and indexing options as in the video. This is where I think it will become difficult to control in Mach 3.

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    Re: Mach3 and the spindle control

    Quote Originally Posted by MTBcrazy View Post
    HHere Simpsons36 is using a stepper motor to drive his 4 th axis
    Simpson uses a servo motor for his 4th axis. A servo is much different in this application and I don't think a stepper would perform well. I have been watching Simpson and his wokr over the years.

    Chris

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