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Author Topic: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC  (Read 2479 times)

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Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« on: September 05, 2017, 12:45:30 PM »
My name is Donnie and I am very new here and my first post.  I have a Sherline Lathe 4410 of which I need to install some type of CNC to in order for me to make some parts that I can repeat the same process.  I have a forum myself that I own and operate and that is www.shipsofscale.com/sosforums/  well, I am not here to advertise my Ship Building Forum. I am here because I am overwhelmed by the nature of too many things to choose from (parts, motors, drivers)  to make a CNC work.  First, I like what I see with the Mach3 and would like to purchase it. But, I have some questions that are obvious to some, but are not obvious to me.

I wish that I could get some help. Also, I already posted this topic in the "introduce yourself" section  as I am not sure if I am posting in the correct place.  All I have at the moment is a Sherline 4410 lathe and that is it for now.  No CNC motors, nothing, not even a PC yet. (well, I have one that I can restore with win 8.1 or Win 10)

Now, I was thinking about downloading the Mach3, but I am going to have to get some hardware.

This is where I get really confused.  So Sherline makes a Controller Box that has the cables and the two motors that I need. I was leaning to this due to the nature of staying with same product line.
But, newer PC's do not have nor any of the newer PC's have the Printer Port.  So, I would have to have a USB to 25 pin for the Sherline Driver box. 

So, is this set up ok ?:    4410 Lathe ->  Sherline Driver Box  ->  USB to Printer Port (for the sherline machine control) -> Mach3 program
or should I be using another controlling hardware, if so, I wish that someone that has similar situation would lend their ideas and components so that I can build a turn key system. I want to invest in a system that works as I do not have the luxury of "experimenting"

I am totally new at this and lost. I would really appreciate any feedback on real system setups.  I also have Turbo Cad and I can draw out what I want. Lets say that I want to make about 100 Cannons.  I assume that I would save my drawing to .dxf and take that file and import it into Mach3 and Mach3 will generate the Gcode to make the part.  Am I correct on this ?

Re: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 03:02:28 PM »
Hi Donnie,
welcome to the forum. Mach and your Sherline lathe will work together.

When Mach was first written and released it communicated to motor drivers using a parallel port. This method still works but requires a computer
with a parallel port or that you put an expansion card in it that has a port on it, they can be had for $20. The computer also had to run a 32 bit
OS like Windows7 32bit or XP. A parallel port can be a bit of a pain, it can go cranky depending on what other software you have on it but it is free.

An ordinary USB to parallel converter won't work, it can't provide the critically timed pulse streams required. There are however motion controllers
that do the same job, they plug into your PC with a USB plug and have a DB25 output plug that would go straight into your Sherline control box.
They cost around $100. Inside them they have either an FPGA or DSP chip and it can take numerical data sent by Mach to it over USB and generate
beautifully timed pulse streams to motor drivers, very very clever little gadgets.

http://www.cncdrive.com/  The UC100 is cheap and cheerful
https://www.pmdx.com/   The PMDX-411 is cheap and cheerful

Both of these companies have been around since the beginning of time and have a great reputation for support and hundreds if not thousands of CNCers
use their products. Beware that a lot of Chinese made stuff can be difficult to get to work, the info they send with it is sketchy and hard to read and often
don't provide my help if you get stuck but it sure is cheap...suppose if you had to throw it away it wouldn't hurt to much!

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 01:31:34 AM »
Hi Donnie,

With regard to the Gcode it is usual to use a CAD/CAM software (such as Vectric) where the desired part / item can be designed from scratch or imported as a DXF and drawn then, using it’s Post Processor, the Gcode is created then loaded into Mach3 for machining.

There is a very basic CAD/CAM in LazyCam (which comes free with the Mach3 download / install) – this can get you started but be prepared to purchase a more sophisticated package as you needs grow.

Re: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 10:37:33 AM »
Thank you very much guys. I really appreciate the response. it is right to the point, and offers me the exact Item(s) I need to make this work. 

Re: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 11:50:56 PM »
Probably the Mach 4 would be better in my situation. thanks.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 12:05:29 AM by ddriskell »
Re: Sherline Lathe 4410 - very new to CNC
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 12:33:22 AM »
I've used Mach3 and Mach4 on my mill. In terms of machining a part there is no differrnce between them,
the part comes out identical in both cases.

Where Mach4 shines is its ability/capacity to be customised.

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!