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| | |-+  Surface grinder programming (aka, just getting started).
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Author Topic: Surface grinder programming (aka, just getting started).  (Read 1254 times)
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« on: April 13, 2017, 08:25:21 PM »

I have a small, entirely manual surface grinder.  It's a delightful thing to have, but a person can sure spend a lot of time standing there turning cranks.  As a CNC kinda guy, this seems nuts.

So I mounted some steppers on the Y and Z axis, and a small servo on the X.  I built a stand alone controller using a PIC microcontroller, a four line LCD and a bunch of pushbuttons to set the various parameters; y distance, y increment, z distance, z increment, x distance, x passes before y change and so on.

It works ok .. but barely.  A whole lot more programming work will probably (maybe .. hopefully) get it working well.

I also have Mach3 installed on a couple of milling machines, and started thinking that it sure would be nice to use Mach3 to move things on my surface grinder, rather than my little PIC.  (The motion portion is what needs the most work.)

So I started to think about writing a G code generator, treating the grinder like another milling machine.  That would be better than what I have now, but still sub-optimal.  For example, it would be nice add a "spark watcher", so that once the grinding is no longer making sparks, the program can go on to the next stripe or next height (depth).

That calls for programming, and it surely SEEMS as if Mach3 can do this.

But I'm not quite sure where to start!  I'm fluent in a couple of languages and have certainly written some VB code over the years.

But I don't see how VB interfaces with Mach3.

Is there a good thread or site about just getting started?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.


CNC is only limited by our imagination.
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2017, 12:38:12 AM »

Hi Alan,

The Videos and Tutorials are here; http://www.machsupport.com/videos/

Perhaps take a look at Scripting and Brains.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2017, 06:20:11 AM »


Not much info on this site about coding or a wizard for surface  grinding that I can recall. A wizard was requested a long time ago  but it never got posted due to being purchased by someone.

I would think the best thing to do would be to create a wizard for grinding and that is more work and involved than you may think.
Also it is not as simple as one would think.
Like my friend at the shop who did all the grinding work with cnc controlled equipment said......anybody can grind something flat, but, do it to a dimensional tolerance and size, that's a different story!

BTW, Have a bench top Sanford surface grinder, it is sweet and does nice work. 

Keep us posted,

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