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Messages - BluePinnacle

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Good work, lighting - lots of work for the right spinner. We do all microwave stuff, generally C-band to Ku band with the odd one at nearly 40GHz. All ours are hand spun though.

If it helps, large PNC machines usually have a roller of a known shape which is moved across the static tool, and the path recorded, then the gap set according to the stock material thickness and the path recreated based on this - Thus arbitary shapes can be reproduced easily. There's more to it than that of course, it's very much a learned skill rather than a fixed process.

Errors on parabolic reflectors are usually measured using photogrammetric modelling: lots of dots and a couple of coded targets are photographed from various angles using a very decent digital camera; all the shots are then fed into a laptop and the target dots' position calculated relative to each other and relative to a 3D model of the dish. the software is called Photomodeler ... it's very very clever.

We can hold 0.6mm RMS surface error on a 3 metre dish ;)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Stepper Motor Question
« on: January 30, 2010, 10:29:04 AM »
The other problem I've encountered is that the processor load exceeds the processor's ability to deliver signals. When this happens all hell can break loose. Go to the diagnostics page, watch the processor load bar go up and down as the program executes. If it breaches 100% at any time you're on course for a program crash. The only cure for this is to reduce the pulse rate to the steppers.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Fine Saw dust
« on: January 30, 2010, 09:32:11 AM »
magnets are good, in  case of collision it has a good chance of just falling off instead of getting smashed.

Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: My Big Project am I crazy
« on: January 30, 2010, 06:01:49 AM »
Or switch power from one to the other using simple relay logic. It's primitive but very easy to impliment.

This is fantastic work. Spinning is not an easy thing to do and it's far less obvious how it works than milling or turning.

We make parabolic antenna reflectors using a variety of lathes, including this one:

it actually used to be a hydraulic copy lathe but it was stripped out and used for hand spinning. it'll swing a 2.4 metre tool weighing 3 tons. We have a bigger one that will swing nearly 4 metres.

My thinking is that retrofitting hand-spinning lathes or scratchbuilding new ones may work well in terms of economy and results, considering that a new one from Leifeld would cost around £800,000.  Perhaps a large, surplus lathe bed would make a good cross slide?

Any news on how this project is progressing?

Show"N"Tell ( Your Machines) / Re: My Big Project am I crazy
« on: January 29, 2010, 05:27:28 PM »

This is my first post here. I have been reading the Mach and other cnc forums for several years now.

I have purchased an older used big router that I want to rebuild and update to be able to work with newer software like Aspire. The machine is in good condition and runs fine but is very limited to working with its original software. The plan is to use Mach for the control software and Galil components to replace the control hardware.

The machine has a lot of components (3 router spindles, lots of drill spindles, a saw and several locating pop ups). I plan on trying to just get  one spindle working and getting control of the three axis first so the machine can be used. With more time it would be nice to get the other features working.

I look forward to meeting and talking with people here about this project. There is a great amount of knowledge and experience represented on this forum. I will have a lot of questions and will be looking for suggestions on the best way to make this work.  

My work experience that should help with this project includes
aircraft electrician/mechanic for more than 15 years
information technology 9 years
technical hardware development and implementation 4 years
designing and cutting components on a cnc machine 3 years

Thanks in advance for all the help


I think we'll be coming to you :)

Would mach3 be able to treat multiple spindles as some sort ot tool changer arrangement?

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mill running
« on: October 27, 2009, 05:55:59 PM »
Buffer load seems to have a bearing on this as well, mine is much more prone to crap itself and squeal the motors if the buffer load approaches or reaches 100%. Find this on the diagnostics screen, right in the middle.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Protect paint from moisture
« on: October 25, 2009, 02:12:35 PM »
I'd agree with the above - preparation is everything.

Epoxies are very resistant tp petrochemicals, and a good epoxy primer will be key to a long coating life. Finish off with an epoxy topcoat and you're good to go. Sunlight/UV aren't an issue in most workshops, but avoid bright red if it's going near a window - reds fade faster than other colours.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Gcode questions pt2
« on: October 19, 2009, 03:49:43 PM »
no idea where it comes from. It just makes Mach calcualte the value of what's in the brackets before it does anything with it. Brackets can be nested for more complex functions, of course.

G40 G21 G15

G0 X0 Y10 Z10

M3 M8

#1= 1.5
#2= 2.5

G0 Z1.0

G0 Y[#1]
M98 P1 L20

G0 Z10

G03 X0 Y[#1] Z[#1*[#2*0.01]] I0 J0 F500
#1= [#1+0.2]
#2= [#2*1.2]

This is a complete nonsense program that doesn't make anything useful, but it does at least show a little of what can be done with comparatively simple parametrics. If you know the maths behind a particular shape, you can get Mach to do all the work. It can also form the basis of an internal (or at least alternate) offsetting system for ball-ended tools, radiused tools and other strange shapes. Just get it to re-calculate where it needs to be again and again. Effectively what you're doing is the same that a CAM program would do, except you miss out the messy bit in the middle where you generate 4 or 5 megs of ugly code. I'm quite evangelical about hand-coding, as you've found out it becomes very easy after a while to start fine-tuning it, and you rapidly get to understand exactly what's going on.  :)

General Mach Discussion / Re: Gcode questions pt2
« on: October 17, 2009, 06:29:29 PM »
put the revised # value in square brackets -

#100 =[#100+0.010]

this should work now ;)

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