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Rf30 Convereted To Cnc Been Done Yet ?

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davidh

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#1
i have looked around at router cnc kit from "inventables" or something like that, got to thinking, the hardest part of that kit is building the mechanical parts. why not, i said to myself, could i not just convert my rf30 with the parts that come with the inventables (the electronics).
then again, why reinvent the wheel if someone else has done it already and would be willing to share their information ? so thats the question. . .
it appears that the cmc thing is getting more and more user friendly so just maybe i could understand it. its just another thing on my bucket list
 

MarkStephen

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#2
If your talking about the electronics for the Shapeoko 2, you will very quickly find the little steppers and controller used with that machine will not move your table and probably have a hard time even moving the quill. You will be wanting to be looking at much larger stepper motors and higher amp and voltage controllers/ power supply(s). A quick google search turns up a gaggle of RF30/31 CNC conversions.

https://www.google.com/#q=rf-30+mill+cnc+conversion

IMO, and it is NOT a professional opinion, I would say that absolute bottom rung stepper motor / controller setup would be something like this - http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-DE-Ship-...024?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4add848b30

And if your going with ball screws, you might want to toss in a set of these for the X and Y axis - http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-Timing-P...059?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4182be8c3b

I'm sure others will jump in here and point out anything I got really wrong. Like I said, I'm not a pro, and I have not set up anything as big and heavy as an RF-30.

Mark
 

rdean

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#3
This is a mill I did about a year back.
GEDC1359.JPG

Servo motors, ball screws, and all the electronics in a rolling pedestal.
GEDC1377.JPG

Most all the bells and whistles included.
I added a 4th rotary axis about 6 month back.

Does everything I need it to do
Ray
 

davidh

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#4
wow, that look way way above my pay grade. nice work. .
 

davidh

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#5
i feel foolish, thanks for the replies, i forgot how youtube is sometimes your best friend. . there is some great looking and seemingly affordable conversions out there. . .
onward and upward. . . thanks again.
 

compsurge

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#6
Don't feel foolish - you asked questions before opening your wallet. That's smart :)

I believe Flashcut CNC has a retrofitkit already. www.g0704.com has some good information on driver boards and stepper drivers.
 

davidh

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#7
there are soo many questions that need to be asked. i think i found what i probably need, then the fine print does not show any machine language comes with it, so a bit farther into eBay i see someone is selling Mach3 and license, and makes me question if there's a better way. aarrggg.
then we have all these youtube places that tell you what cad / cam stuff you need and how easy it is to draw a box with a hole in it and apply that to your mach3, etc ,etc, etc.
i think i was impressed with a youtube by gale peters when he demo'd inkscape and maker cam. . as a good and easy and free stuff for playing with. . i keep taking notes and now the notes don't even make sense. .
I'm going to ask questions at the eBay place I'm looking at maybe they can give me more insight.
is this just me having problems with my brain or are there others out there having the same thoughts ? ill share my findings until someone tells me to stop.
by the way, its springtime, the sun shineth and the creek runeth. made it thru another winter.
 

compsurge

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#8
You will need LinuxCNC (free) or Mach3 for software controller/G-code interpreter, motion controller, stepper drivers (some combine the stepper drivers and motion controller into one box - pay attention to motor current requirement though).

I'd only ever buy Mach3 from Artsoft (they make it) or a listed authorized distributor. Anyone else could be selling pirated software.

CAD/CAM/G-code generation is up to you. There are some inexpensive pay versions such as Autodesk Fusion 360 (I think this is currently the most powerful package for the dollar at this time). Don't hesitate to ask questions.
 

davidh

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#9
here's what i was considering, partially due to price, then i found the same fella offering a kit with two steppers this size and an additional much larger stepper for the quill.
"this is whats in the box
  • 3 pcs Nema 23 stepper motor with 425 oz.in DUAL SAHFT
  • 3 pcs stepper motor driver DM542A, peak 4.2A, 128 micsteps, replacing M542
  • 1 pc Power supply 350Watts (36VDC/9.7A)
  • 1 pc Breakout board & 1 pc Parallel cable"
i believe the motors and power supply are adequate as they are advertised as a kit, no ?
and for the option of manual control, need i get dual shaft steppers ? i do not see any problem with making mounts and couplings, nor all the placement and wiring of the components if this is the basic direction i should be going.
the more powerful quill motor does strike me as a smart idea.

from this point backwards, i can purchase Mach3, as i assume i need that. question is here, are these two comparable ?

for a high speed spindle, my mind tells me i could fab a mount for a actual wood type router or a decent die grinder as the RF30 needs belt changes for speed changes. its this a bad idea ?

this the other one. . . . both from "long motors" on eBay this may be a better idea. . .
  • 1 pc Nema 34 stepper motor 1600 oz.in2 pcs Nema 23 stepper motor 354 oz.in
  • 1pc Stepper motor driver--DM860A, High Perfermance Stepper Driver DM860A Up to7.8A, 24-80VDC
  • 2 pcs Stepper motor driver DM542A,PEAK current 4.2A, replacing M5421 pc Breakout board( free offering when you bought all these above)
  • 1 pc Power supply 350W-36V( power for Nema 23 motors)
  • 1 pc Power supply 350W-60V( power for Nema 34 motor)
  • 1 pc Breakout board( free offering when you bought all these above)
looking at the beautiful electronic panel that dean did (above) it does seem complicated but when broken down in to components, its probably quite do-able for me too.

so there's more to ask but i need to check out some cad / cam things i have marked for reading. thanks so much for your patients with this old dude. ..
davidh
 

rdean

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#10
You may want to checkout Vectric Software. They have free demo software and a wide range of products. Start with Cut2d.

Ray
 

pberry26

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#11
i have looked around at router cnc kit from "inventables" or something like that, got to thinking, the hardest part of that kit is building the mechanical parts. why not, i said to myself, could i not just convert my rf30 with the parts that come with the inventables (the electronics).
then again, why reinvent the wheel if someone else has done it already and would be willing to share their information ? so thats the question. . .
it appears that the cmc thing is getting more and more user friendly so just maybe i could understand it. its just another thing on my bucket list
 

pberry26

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#12
https://www.ebay.com/itm/USA-Free-Wantai-3Axis-Stepper-Motor-Nema23-57BYGH627-270oz-in-3A-4-Lead-Driver/322250212815?_trkparms=aid=444000&algo=SOI.DEFAULT&ao=1&asc=48754&meid=e7642f798b084886866ca728ae7eef75&pid=100752&rk=4&rkt=6&sd=321544031024&_trksid=p2047675.c100752.m1982

$176.60, includes shipping, meaning big savings, IF it is suitable! It appears to be NEMA 23 motors, similar controllers, to the one listed that is a year ago... I have about 30 used HP computers that run at 2.0 to 2.4 GHz, in steel cases. 32 bit Intel processors, plus, lots of interior space to mount more electronics. Also, have spare empty cases, with ventilation fans...

I am looking forward to converting my 1984 ENCO RF-30 mill (that has the Rong-fu Z axis mechanical drive, built in). It will run Linux, as do all the systems I built, since 1997. We hold a monthly seminar all day on the First Saturday each month, since 2002, at Winter Park Christian Church, in Central Florida. Their Fellowship Hall seats 100, where we talk, and show, high tech machines, Rasberry Pi's, Arduinos, Beagle-bones, and more, all running on a Linux that is built for their platform.

Plus about half of the attendees are HAMs, and two are College professionals who all are very familiar with GNU/Linux, and we demonstrate why it is a disaster to try to run Microsoft (Failure mode is too high for competent use in any professional environment), when Microsoft Corporation runs their Windows development cluster of 25,000 desktops in Linux, their "Microsoft Cloud" leased from Ubuntu Linux, their front line servers on Linux and BSD, and their Corporate Network behind 400 Aruba Linux firewall boxes...

I also have just picked up a 3 HP Marathan motor, that was created as a VFD motor... Was $50.00 on Craigslist, with pulley. My ENCO RF-30 mill has a 2 HP motor, that is wired for 120 VAC, without reverse (31 Amps!). The current 5 foot long AC cord gets very warm, meaning it has too small gauge wires. Was going to switch it over to 220 VAC (15.2 Amps) anyway, but, we will see how it goes when I get the Variable Frequency Drive unit. That's my first step.
 
Last edited:

davidh

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#13
now this post is two years old. . . i did not convert my f30 for a number of reasons, the two main ones were, lack of actual work area, and second would be that it would pretty much complicate the ability to use it as a job shop / maintenance type machine. i think i use it more as a accurate drill press than a mill. two years ago, after making that decision i built a router, cancan machine, work envelope is aprox 16 by 24, with a 8 in "z" ability. . . . however i have totally lost interest in it because of the computer savvy requirements of my old brain. . . so it sits, within a couple days of being operable. . . hoping that i can finish it and sell it to someone thats up for the challenge. life goes on until it doesn't. . . so I'm gonna keep on keeping on for the time being anyway IMG_2457.jpg
 
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