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Upgrading an old cnc mill
« on: October 21, 2010, 03:32:05 PM »
Hi

Helpful guy on the Denford forum pointed me in this direction for help.  I own a 1986 Denford Triac which I would like to use in school.  I am quite happy to throw out the existing control electronics and replace these if need be but I need the machine to operate;  computer model - conversion / control software - machined product.

I have seen modern equipment in action and a model was generated on Autodesk Inventor, downloaded onto software which converted to G codes (and simulated the machining process) and allowed the mill to operate with minimal user input.

That is ideally what I would like to achieve.  Can't afford to buy new mill / router but am prepared to invest some time and cash in the old one if this can be done - is this where Mach 3 comes in?

I would really appreciate any help and advice - many thanks.  John

Offline RICH

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Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 05:31:36 PM »
Close maybe.......
You can use any Cad program to draw something and then inport the exported DXF into LC and it will post into Mach without much effort.
Thus you have achieved what you want at min cost.
The more capability desired on the CAD/CAM side of things the more the software cost will be.
Higher end software can get quite expensive .............,
RICH

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 04:36:13 AM »
Hi John,

A similar issue - I have converted an old Boxford by throwing out all but the spindle controller and fitting a cheap Chinese controller board bought on eBay. There are some details here which you may find of interest http://www.cooperman.talktalk.net/files/14.htm

The modern CNC controller electronics (microstep and reduced standby current etc. etc.) makes it well worth while, in my opinion, to update what is essentially a very good machine.

Hope this helps.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 09:15:11 AM »
Hi Tweakie

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your site - V. helpful and informative,  I think I am going to pursue this along the lines you have already done.  I will keep you up to date with progress (and calamities) as I go along.

All the best

John

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 10:48:10 AM »
Hi John,

I look forward to seeing some pictures and hearing about your progress with your mill conversion.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 03:06:03 PM »
Hi If you need help converting a Triac I have the information, drawings and contacts for stepper drives and breakout boards to run your machine on Mach3 costs about £300 for everything if you use some of triacs old wiring and transformers.
Re: Upgrading an old cnc mill
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 05:38:00 PM »
I've converted a few of these older triacs, and once you get into it it's a peice of cake to convert to Mach. The stepper drives could be kept, the psu, the contactor, and if it works the vfd. The vfd (brown and pestell) is notorious for failing for no reason, and can be replaced with a modern vfd.
All you need is a good breakout board and an isolated 0-10v analogue board for the vfd. If you need any pointers give me a shout.