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Cannot wait to start !!!!
« on: August 17, 2006, 09:39:02 AM »

Hello to all

FYI,,,,::I am going to take the leap of faith and get into the CNC world, and I see that I have heaps of reading to do before I can start.
Looks like I have chosen Mach as the programme to use, by what I have seen it seem daunting at first but the on line tutes have done a great job of making this the place to start. I would be greatfull if I could get some help in choosing the correct hardware as this could become very costly if done wrong :-\

1.From my research I understand that I require drivers ( Gecho G201,G202 or G210 ) if starting new which is the choice to get and why??
2.Withthe breakout board I have read that Bob Cambell makes one as a series two his site has also the documentation to build one,there is another board the PMDX-131 from PDMX which one do I choose.
3. I there a preferred supplier to purchase from?

Many Thanks

Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 08:07:34 PM »
I am going to let a few of the other guys tell you what they have done... but if you need more I will be around :)
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 08:12:45 PM »
Thankyou very much Brian. Looking forward to it.
Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 09:13:35 AM »
Hi Andrew,

I think the first thing you need to do is set the parameters for what you want to do with the machine since the advice on the hardware will vary depending on what they are.

As far as the Geckos there is no question in my mnd I would go with the 202 drives. According to Mariss's tests, they are basically indestructable. That's the kind of equipment I need! ;)

As to the board, I use a Campbell board and will buy from him again, simply because of the great support he offers. That is not to say the other guys don't offer good products or support. I have no other experience except with the Campbell board. You might say I am a creature of habit!

Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 12:11:36 PM »
Fare enough ! G202 it is even the though the specs look the same ??? But reading it a second time I do like those words
"Short-Circuit Protection" .

I was looking at the features of the 210 "Full-step, Half-step, 5 and 10-microstep Opto-isolated step / direction" not that it meant that much to me :-\

With the Campbell breakout board would you request the Combo?????

As for the scope well here it is:
I was a design engineering draftsman some years ago that used Microstation as a design tool with some 3 D modeling work ( need some refressing ,still have all the hardware and software)
I am involved ( getting back in as I now am older ) n  historic motor sport and all the parts are hand milled, folded or turned in Aluminum.
Some of the parts are no longer available or worn out so making them is my next option. I would like to try lost wax casting ( CNC milling the investment mold from wax and then casting the piece )
I know that I could mill say the cam covers and dry sump from solid Aluminum always an option but its the cast look that I am after. I could also look at milling a reverse mold of the cam cover which would allow me to vacuum form a carbon panels positive from it. All work could be milled from jewelers wax blocks before being used as a die or real working piece before forming. I cannot see myself making parts larger than this.
Since there are parts available I was looking at somehow  ???  digitising existing parts into Microstation or back into G code model then importing back into CAD as a wire mess or solid model ,tidying / sharpening  the part up  ,adding or fixing the breaks and faults and then finally milling the wax original ready to be zircon coated , burnt out and cast in RZ5 alloy. Well that the plan. Simple isn't it  :D
Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 01:08:15 PM »
Hi Andrew,

This is the reason I asked about your use parameters. :) I am assuming full size engine parts and probably old 4 cylinders??

I would have to agree with Brian here that bigger is better, if, there is any chance you will actually mill the aluminum parts from billet. Let's start with; Are you intending to use a metal milling machine and retrofit it to cnc? This is absolutely the path I would take if you are intending to mill blocks of al. Now this is not to say that you can't build a machine heavy enough and stiff enough to do the job, but you can't do it as inexpensively as you can retrofit a milling machine. Again, depending on your answer, the advice from em or anyone else could be quite a bit different.

Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2006, 07:29:14 PM »
I have been give diffrent advice from every one but have never received advice from someone who has done one like yourself

You are correct, yes I will be milling Al billet, they will be full size, and yes 4 cylinders,

Retro fitting to CNC would be my preferred option, but do I choose a mini mill with a large bed. Its just that the majority of the retro's I have seen pictures of seem to be mini mills ( is it because they have a higher rpm capability ? )

Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2006, 10:03:00 PM »
All the mills I have done have been 3000 Lb or more :) I am not one for the small mills... I think people use the small mills because they can have them at there house and in there house if they like! If i had one I would put it by the mixer  ;D  People seem to make many very nice parts with he small mills.. I think they just take lots of small cuts.

Fixing problems one post at a time ;)


Offline Chip

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Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2006, 10:35:17 PM »
Hi, Andrew

A Bridgeport series 1 or 2 cnc if you have the room is the way to go, thy already have ball screw's, limit switches and eather stepper or servos just waiting to be converted. Add your control and a VFD or phase adapter for the spindle motor and start cutting.

There cheaper than the manual one's and don't need all the brackets, belt's and  ball screw's installed.

Chechout Ebay there listed from time to time.

Hope this helps, Chip
Re: Cannot wait to start !!!!
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2006, 11:12:26 PM »
Andrew I don't want to mislead you.....I am not a metal worker, but I have seen enough to know that the work you want to do will work best on a heavy stiff machine. I machine wood is 4 axis and soon to a 5 and 6th axis head to the current z. To me it seems the heavy machine will work best for you unless you intend to go into production making those replacement parts and then a light machine could carve the wax for a lost wax process or even foam for the same thing. Brian is the one you need to listen to as far a big machines. He has a link somewhere of one of his retro's that is humming and I mean humming! ;D