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Author Topic: Dual spindle control on mach3  (Read 1983 times)

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Dual spindle control on mach3
« on: February 14, 2017, 10:02:17 AM »
I understand how to control my x, y and z stepper motors on mach3 but I am unsure as to how to control 2 spindles. My project requires the control of two spindles within a dual spindle cnc machine. These will be located top and bottom. As a design team we would much appreciate useful responses to this question. Mach3 only currently allows the control of one spindle in the menu, how can we adjust the programme so that 2 spindles can be controlled independently as the two spindles will have to move at different speeds?

Thank you

Offline ger21

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 10:21:40 AM »
One method is to use your tool change macro to switch between spindles, using relays, based on tool #.
If both spindles will be called the Z axis, use the swapaxis() command in the macro to change axis.
Gerry

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 06:20:23 PM »
Thank you ger21

We have stepper motors on the z axis as well, so calling the spindle the z axis may not be possible. Where on the interface will you find the tool change macro option because it sounds like the best option for us will be the first option you mentioned?

Also, do you reckon if bamcam or fusion 360 autodesk are the best in terms of cam software?

Offline ger21

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 11:06:03 PM »
Quote
We have stepper motors on the z axis as well, so calling the spindle the z axis may not be possible.

That's not what I meant. You can't call the spindle the Z axis. What I meant, was will both spindles travel along the Z axis?
If they don't need to move at the same time, then you assign one axis as Z, and the other as A, B, or C, and "swap" that axis for the Z axis when you need to move it.

You modify the M6Start and M6End macros for tool changes.

As for CAM software, it really depends on what you need to do. There is no single "best" for everyone, or every different project.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html
Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 10:02:12 AM »
Sorry ger21 for the late reply, I understand the motion of x,y and z axes but what I am trying to ask is whether the settings for both spindles can be done on mach3? It only allow the change in settings for one spindle at the moment. It depends, sometimes both of the spindles will be used at the same time but sometimes they may be used separately.
One process: Both of the spindles mirror each other. 
Second process: The spindles are offset.
Third process: One spindle moves along and then the other moves to a position.
We are also thinking of controlling our spindles through a frequency variable drive inverter (a kind of speed governor).
Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 03:42:57 PM »
My project requires the control of two spindles within a dual spindle cnc machine.

If you tell the people you are asking for help with this what your aims are rather than drip-feeding them information it might help them to help you.
It sounds like you have designed a project with vertically opposed, simultaneously and independently controlled spindles for which, at the very least, you will need to hand code or possibly write your own CAM system.

Offline ger21

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 07:33:43 PM »
Sorry, I was on vacation.
Mach3 really can only control one spindle. For anything else, you need custom macros and possibly electronics to get it to do what you want.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline nicad

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 10:06:44 AM »
Sorry, I was on vacation.
Mach3 really can only control one spindle. For anything else, you need custom macros and possibly electronics to get it to do what you want.
I too am needing to control dual spindles (servos via step/dir), but with independent RPM for each. ie:
M3 S1200 (turn on spindle one at 1200 rpm)
M1003 S500 (turn on spindle two at 500 rpm)

Is this possible at all? If so, what custom macros, etc will be needed?

Offline ger21

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Re: Dual spindle control on mach3
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 10:20:55 AM »
No, I don't think it's possible to run two at the same time.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html