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Author Topic: Need help with a custom machine  (Read 1576 times)

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Need help with a custom machine
« on: October 23, 2013, 01:09:29 AM »
I knew that this machine would be an adventure, and it's been fun so far. It started out as an old lathe, and a rather heavy one I got a good deal on. I removed the motor and all transmission parts. I left the spindle, the bed, and the carriage, but no cross slide. the spindle is now driven by a stepper, with a 10:1 belt timing reduction. The carriage is the interesting part, it is driven by a hydraulic ram. The only piece left on the carriage other than the ram mount is the shaft for the handle that used to move the carriage, which I have reduced in size from a 1" to 3/8" shaft to fit my 500 line encoder. The way this thing needs to operate is the ram needs to pretty much be the "z" axis of the lathe, I need to start somewhere near the fully extended position and tell it to retract a given number of inches. It's rather similar to user Supahonky's post of the tube bender. But where it differs is that I need the X axis to act as the 4th axis on a mill, that is in a given Z distance, rotate a number of times in unison with the ram movement.  I have a tower with mach3 hooked to it now. I'm using a mill profile to run it. My X axis stepper is configured on pins 3&6 to run where 1" = 1 rev of the spindle. The ram uses the spindle relays on output 2 & 3 to extend and retract with M03 and M04 codes. I have the encoder set for encoder2 (for Y axis, I guess?)  in mach3 on pins 11 & 12. This is about as far as I can get alone. The ram can move just fine, and the stepper works flawlessly, but my encoder doesn't read out. if I put 500 count/rev in mach3 it will bounce between .020 and 0.0000 , and if I put in 2000 counts/rev it bounces from .007 to .0000 Let me also say I'm new to mach3, VB programming, and screen4. I've done mild java, and LUA programming, so I get a little but....not much  :)  any help is greatly appricated