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Messages - Pinky

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Hood, I'm using a pc, will try cutting the shielded cable as suggested tomorrow morning, thx!

Jeff, I'm picking up a shielded usb cable with ferrite bead tonight also for testing tomorrow morning.

I've also attached a pic of the Delta VFD, it's basically on a metal case with plastic surrounding, but it's definitely grounded. Not sure about the cabling though as I didn't do the install myself. The pc and controller run off separate circuits.

Reckon I'll first try the USB cable fixes before moving onto more elaborate ideas :)

Thank you for the informative replies guys, looks like I have some work ahead of me.

I know the problem is noise related, for this reason I already installed a "zero phase reactor" by my VFD, which was recommended by my VFD supplier, even though the VFD has a built-in EMI Filter. Needless to say the "zero phase reactor" hasn't sorted the problem.

I did some quick testing this morning by replacing my current usb shielded cable with a standard usb cable. Mach3 hung as soon as I switched on the spindle. I then replaced with another longer shielded usb cable I have lying around, also resulting with mach3 hanging instantly with spindle on.

It seems my shorter shielded usb cable works the best.

Wouldn't it be easier just to get a shielded usb cable with in-line filter?

Howdy Hood, glad to see you still around :)

I used your "fix" you posted some time ago as I had that annoying ESTOP problem when using SmoothStepper, changed the ESTOP filter setting to 1.43 and it worked like a charm!

Not sure if that's what you referring to?

Been using SmoothStepper for the past 10 months and have had numerous problems, most of which turned out to be a faulty unit.

Everything has been sorted out except for one final issue which happens randomly.

SmoothStepper loses communication with Mach3 when the spindle turns on and/or off, which is just before a toolchange or just after a toolchange.

The reason it's random is that it can happen with the first 3 or 4 toolchanges of the day, or during the middle of the day, or even right at the end of the day.

I probably do average 30 - 80 automatic toolchanges per day and like clockwork, smoothstepper will hang mach3 ONCE everyday.

Any advise/suggestion would be greatly appreciated as I LOVE MY SMOOTHSTEPPER :)

lol Jammerm, magnesium can be risky to engrave, unless you know what you doing as I've set one machine alight in the past. Those magnesium fires are almost impossible to put out :/

Sadly no, moved away from that company awhile back to start my own.

Loving it Tweakie!

I remember doing a couple of these for a client about 5 years ago and he was over the moon.....as was I seeing as it was a first for me lol.

Glad you guys like it :)

For the most part we mainly engrave magnesium, which is relatively soft, so pass depths with end mills for roughing and d-bit/conical cutters for finishing is 2mm

For brass engraving I use the same end mills,but differently angled d-bit/conical cutters, with pass depths of 1mm

Because of the construction of the machine we steer clear of using any coolants as it will just splash all over the place, although coolant can be used if ever needed.

I grind my own d-bit/ conical cutters and just buy the end mill cutters as they rather cheap and last about 1 month per cutter.

Attached some pics of d-bit, conical and end mill cutters in case my terminology is different.

For the vacuum table that's made out of aluminum we used coolant, was a rather messy process, and decided right then and there that coolant will never be used again :D

I'm yet to cut anything in steel as I doubt the machine will be rigid enough, especially since the vacuum table base is only 20mm thick and one can feel a slight vibration on it when running lower rpm spindle speeds in the region of 8000 rpm.

In the future I would love to change the vacuum table into 30mm granite vacuum table as this will ensure less vibration and a slightly more accurate finish as well as hopefully keep the machine within 5 microns.

We needed accuracy, something the normal rack&pinion style doesn't provide, hence us going with ballscrews on all axis. Only problem with going ballscrews is that it's limited in length as you can imagine, the longer you go the more your rapid speeds decrease. We ended up with 1m x 1m in travel, allowing us maximum rapids of 30m/min with maximum feed 20 m/min

Machine accuracy with this particular setup is between 5 - 10 micron :)

Only thing holding us back at the moment is our servo motors which only has 750w , not nearly enough to handle fast accurate feeds, but we'll upgrade those once funds are available.

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