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Custom CNC Pendant Project

April 13, 2021, 12:28 am

Ever since getting my benchtop CNC running, I have not been very happy with the lack of manual control over overrides and buttons.

This DIY Engineering video gave me a great idea: build one myself.

I wanted the smooth speed and feed overrides, so I decided to not go with HID device, but instead with a full serial control paired with a custom plugin on the UCCNC side.

Here is the Fusion design of the enclosure:

And here it is 3D-Printed.
Acrylic face engraved from the back side and painted.
And all buttons and controls mounted:

All I have to do now is wire the Arduino board, program the plugin, and test it!

Cheers!

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Attached file: Pendant.jpg

Portrait mode UCCNC Screenset

March 28, 2021, 11:26 pm

Here is the promised portrait screenset for UC400.

IT ONLY WORKS FOR UC400!!

You would have to adjust to your controller by hand.

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Attached file: (7)_image.png

The job of a software developer is to solve problems.

So naturally, when I wanted to easily edit a screenset for UCCNC motion control software, I decided to create an app for that!

You can find it here: https://snapwebapps.com/uccnceditor/

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Attached file: (2)_image.png

Since my garage/shop has a limited workspace, I have long wanted to upgrade the big and clumsy computer I used to drive my little Prolight desktop CNC to something more elegant and convenient.

TL;DR: You can read about the printing settings and download files on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4754968
Here is the shared Fusion Project: https://a360.co/36UhI15

After quite a bit of googling, and testing the UCCNC control software that i already have I decided to re-use my old Z83 mini-PC with Intel Atom processor.

Then I ordered a SunFounter 10.1" touchscreen monitor with a nice resolution of 1200x800 from amazon.

Since the display does not come with an enclosure I decided to design one myself.
A good opportunity to dust off my 3d modeling skills:

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Attached file: image.png

First real project almost done!

December 10, 2020, 8:36 pm

Machined this 2-piece utility knife on my ProLIGHT2000 benchtop CNC.

Just one little lock left!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Eldar Gerfanov (@hsmadvisor)

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proLIGHT 2000. First videos!

September 14, 2020, 12:21 am

After almost one month of waiting for parts, tracing wires, testing, soldering, and assembling. Here is the finished product!

Milling case hardened t-slot nuts:

Quick Tool change action with Tormach TTS holders:

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Having done all the motor tuning and testing on the table, it was time to mount everything inside the machine enclosure.

I cut the heatsink to size enough to house four drivers, laid out some mounting holes, and drilled and tapped them M3.
Then drilled clearance holes in both the heatsink and the board and joined them with some 19mm long brass standoffs.

Drilled a hole in the enclosure for the motion controller mounting and LAN cable connection.

Then the main board containing drives and the power board and the breakout board were installed in the machine.
At this point, I realized the drive mounting scheme I chose was a mistake because it was a lot more challenging to connect the wires to the drive terminals so deep and so close to the enclosure. It helped to unscrew the main board, pull it out a little, connect the wires and only then push it back in and screw it to the wall of the enclosure.

Traced all the black cable going to the fuses and found which ones control the spindle and which ones go to the appliance plugs.
By fiddling with the controls on the front of the machine, identified all the wires and their functionality.

The Gecko G320X drives use the same (ERR/RES) pin controlling the drive fault reset and the error status.
When the drive is at fault (every time you startup or when the motor loses too many counts), it has a ground voltage of 0. If you pass +5v, it will reset the fault and enable the drive.

So I had to re-use the red cycle stop button to pul it to +5V when the machine is started. To sense the drive fault and stop the machine I used pin 12 (pull-down) on the C11G BOB. So when any of the drives pull ERR/RES to ground, the C11G board and mach4 react to it like an E-STOP.

The motors mounted back, and the encoder wires soldered directly to the data cable wires of the same colors. For that, I cut off the bulky DB-25 connectors.

Pay attention to the property belt tensioning. According to the manufacturer, the belt should sag a maximum of 1mm under the pressure of about 3 pounds applied at its middle point.

With everything connected, it is time to test the machine. See how it homes and runs!

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ProLIGHT 2000 retrofit!

August 20, 2020, 7:20 am

I have been hunting for a very rigid but small machine for the last year or so.

And when I finally found one for sale on an auction in Minnesota, I could not pass.

Now the machine is in my garage.

It is a surprisingly heavy machine with a solid epoxy granite frame.

The features are as follows:

  • 1.5HP 5000 RPM spindle
  • Closed loop servos on all axes
  • Power draw bar and a rack tool changer assembly

I built a table with casters for it and upon plugging it to a computer it turned out that.... It's dead!

The proprietary Animatics control in the back is not working, which means 95% of all electronics in the back must be replaced.

I was actually almost hoping for that because the original software is DOS-only. It is hardly convenient to work with it.

I want it to work under mach or LinuxCNC

So I ordered the required parts online and when all of them are here, I will start the retrofit process.

I will be documenting my process in comments.

Wish me luck!

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Before we start milling away our stock we first need to get down to the required depth.

This is not a problem with external features when we can plunge outside.

When machining closed pockets, however, we need to find a way to get down to the machining depth first.

As usual there are several ways to get the job done. The plunging methods listed here are not ordered by their preference.

For various machining operations on different materials some may be more preferable than others.

Straight Plunging into a larger Pre-Drilled hole

This is one the best ones in my opinion.
Very few machining modes can compete in effectiveness with drilling and this method will get you the best combined tool life on most materials and (in case of many deep pockets) the least machining time, even when tool change time is factored in.

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Did you know there are three ways you can touch off your tools?

Because of how Machine Offsets add up, there are several ways CNC machinists can set their Tool and Work Offsets.

This is especially true Tool Length Offsets.

Tool Offsets can be either Positive or Negative.
Depending on your Machine Shop equipment you should use one or the other.

Regardless of how you set you tool length offset you apply it the same way.
Right after the tool change and after turning on your spindle and moving to your X Y position above the part.
The very first abslute Z movement should be the line where you apply the tool length offset.

Code
T15 M6; (TOOL CHANGE)
G0 G54 G90 X1.0 Y1.5 S1500 M3;(APPLY WORK OFFSET, MOVE TO THE FIRST POSITION, TURN ON THE SPINDLE)
G43 Z2.0 H15; (APPLY TOOL LENGTH OFFSET WHILE MOVING TO 2.0" ABOVE THE PART)
G0 Z0.1 M08;(MOVE TO FEED HEIGHT AND CARRY ON WITH THE PROGRAM..)

Positive Tool Offsets (gage line tool length offsets)

In case of Positive Tool Offsets, the offset represent the Length of the tool measured as a distance from Gauge Line of the spindle (typically spindle nose) to the tip of the tool. The longer the tool, the larger your Tool Length offset will be.

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Attached file: Tool_Length_Offset.PNG

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