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Author Topic: Controlling an Extruder with Modbus TCP/IP  (Read 1237 times)

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Controlling an Extruder with Modbus TCP/IP
« on: April 09, 2020, 06:07:49 PM »
I'm trying to put together a 3D printing system and I want to control the extruder with Mach3.  Currently, we're controlling the XYZ movement using four stepper motors, a GeckoDrive 540, a UC100 controller, and Mach3 (the x-axis is powered by two motors).  I want to integrate our extruder into the system as well though and was advised I probably need to modify the M3 command.  My ultimate goal is to be able to use a slicing software (like Slic3r or Cura) that will automatically generate the G-Code to print any *.STL file and include any M3/M4 commands to start/stop my extruder during the print as needed (without me having to do it manually).  Our extruder is a big Strangpresse Extruder Model 19 (see web address below) and the software for it is made by Rockwell Automation (it's FactoryTalk View ME Station).  This extruder is a single-screw extruder powered by a servo motor and it has three heat zones.  Also, the components inside the extruder control box are made by Allen-Bradley and the controller itself is a 1769-L18ERM-BB1B ALLEN-BRADLEY - ETHERNET CONTROLLER. I have one main question to start with:
(1)  The only port on the extruder I have access to is an ethernet port, so I'm supposing I need to connect the extruder to  the computer running Mach3 using an ethernet cable and Modbus TCP/IP.  With that being said, how do I configure the TCP Modbus Setup settings in Mach3?  Specifically, where do I get the information to select the correct Slave #(s) | # of Registers | Local Address | ModBus Address | Input/Output?

Sorry if this is a dumb question - I've never used Modbus.  I've seen tutorials on how to use Modbus in Mach3, but it seems like I'm sort of expected to know a lot of things already like how many registers my device has, for example, and I don't know where to get that info.  I thought perhaps if I could connect the extruder to my computer I could potentially download the PLC program that is on it to my computer and then I could get all the info I need from that, but I do not have the software to edit/open PLC programs.  Any pointers for me would be much appreciated!


Extruder: http://strangpresse.com/strangpresse-extruders/
A-B Controller: https://us.wiautomation.com/allen-bradley/plc-systems/compactlogix/1769L18ERMBB1B?SubmitCurrency=1&id_currency=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsLzr9afc6AIVDSCtBh2hQArJEAQYASABEgJTI_D_BwE