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Author Topic: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper  (Read 25018 times)

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Hello All.
I have been lurking for quite some time.  Have combed the forums as well as many other sites that offer information to the use of Mach3 and automation direct sure servo's.  I have used the sure servo product in the past for different applications and have found the product solid and consistent, and they have good support.

I intend to build a home brew CNC router first for toying with, second for generating extra income, and third just to do it.  It will be like any other CNC router with 3 axes.  My main goal above the obvious, is high speed.  I saw several videos of machines with "smooth stepper" boards and they are very fast.  Faster than those of other driver boards, from what I can tell.  I intend to have rapids in the neighborhood of 2000-3000 ipm.  I want to make this machine as close to a professional CNC router as possible, in terms of speed.  I realize the cutting speeds are related to many components, especially the router spindle motor, and the material/cutting load.  I plan on designing a rotary 8 pos tool changer carosel, and using an additional AD sureservo axis and utilizing the onboard internal 8 position indexer.  I will need a some form of breakout board to allow for more inputs and outputs than the parallel port can provide.  I intend on using a PLC if necessary to handle any logic that may be needed.  I also believe there is a speed limitation of the parallel port also. I have experience using the MODBUS protocol with sureservo drives, and I see Mach 3 can also communicate using MODBUS.  Can you guys here that have actually put the wheels in motion help a semi-newbie out?

What interface between Mach3 and the sureservo drives would best fit my needs? (smooth stepper? is it available to the public, as of this message?)
What communication protocols are reccommended?

These are videos of machines I have planned on modeling, in regards to speed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaG3pd8xuWw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG8zG7HGClA&feature=related

As a side note, I have a good bit of experience with professional level CNC routers such as Biesse, Komo, Weeke.  I know how a big boy works, I just want to make a hobby machine function similarily in regards to speed and tool changing capabilities.

Thanks in advance to any one that can help out with info.

Thanks,
Jeremy

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2008, 12:42:00 AM »
Jeremy, the first video is of my good friends router. We put my beta SS on it one one evening and gave it a kick in the pants.  :)  It wasn't running as fast as it can in the video. He had his rapids set at 1200 IPM but slowed it down a little, said it would take some getting use too. LOL

If you want to go 3000 IPM, you will need some nice size servos and a smooth stepper for sure. It can pulse at 4 MHz.  :) They are for sale now but will be a wait. He just can't make them fast enough. You can get one at http://www.warp9td.com/index.php . Chris's router has 25-1 gear boxes and I think his pinions have about a 5 inch roll out if that helps any. For the extra I/O for a tool changer I would go with a PLC. You can communicate with it thru modbus as you said. Either serial or TCP. You will need a H2 ecom 100 modual for TCP. It is faster than serial but I don't think it is absolutley necessary. I think serial would do fine.

Brett
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2008, 12:44:29 AM »
What interface between Mach3 and the sureservo drives would best fit my needs? (smooth stepper? is it available to the public, as of this message?)

The Smooth Stepper is available, http://www.warp9td.com/index.php is the web site.  If you use it you will have the equivalent of 2 parallel ports available for input and output, and faster speeds than typically gotten from the parallel port driver in Mach alone.  Still some work being done on it, can't say if everything you want/need is working yet, but the developer is still writing code for it.

Monte
Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 09:59:43 PM »
Brett,
Thanks for the info.  Everything you have described sounds pretty good.  25:1 gearbox ratio sounds really steep.  If I can achieve the speeds in the video, I would be happy.  I wasn't sure of the speed of the machine in the video, but 1200 IPM looks fast enough for me.  When you say 5" pinion roll out. I assume you mean 5" per 1 rev?  Have you any experience with Automation Direct sure servo's?  I see you know their ethernet module, just so happens I have one in a DL06 i'm playing around with at the moment.  I think too the serial would be fast enough, the RJ12 port on the 06 is limited to 9600, and the 15 pin port is limited to 38.4, if I recall.  In either case, plenty fast enough to relay the signals to invoke the logic sequences. 

The logic I am speaking of would be the sequence of tool change events such as: stop spindle>spindle stopped report>carousel rotate to current tool position if not already>lateral carousel movement to fork tool holder>spindle unclamp>spindle unclamp report>z axis raise to preset position>carousel rotate to next tool in Gcode>Z axis lower to grip tool holder>spindle clamp tool holder>spindle clamp report> carousel lateral move back to rest position, router resumes working....etc.

Does the smooth stepper connect to the PC via USB?  Are the parallel port(s) of the PC used for any Mach3 purpose if I choose a smooth stepper?  What is the number of I/O's available with the smooth stepper?

I intend to use either the 1kw medium inertia or the 2kw medium inertia servos on X and Y, and 1kw on Z with a pneumatic assist cylinder.  Probably a 750w on the tool changer carousel.  I don't have all the mechanics and weights worked out just yet so that is why I have yet to decide on servo size.  I intend to use a rack and pinion drive on X and Y, and a ball screw on Z, with belt drive on all axes.

Monte,
I think, from what I have researched, I won't need anything other than the capability that currently exists is Mach3.  Are there areas of functionality that do not work properly when using the smooth stepper?



Does any one know:

1) How I would write via modbus from the PC/Mach3 to the PLC?  For instance, suppose I wanted to write a 1 to modbus address 40500.  Where and when is this called?  In Gcode? fixed parameters?, macro's???

2) The best source for an ATC router spindle (new).  I have researched HSD, Columbo, and Perske.  I have found a 5hp ISO30 cone Perske ATC spindle to be the least expensive at about $5500.  Any body know of any sources or other brands that have good performance but a lower cost?  I am not locked to a HP or a Spindle specification if any one knows alternatives.  I would like to further explore my options.

Thanks a lot for the help so far!

Jeremy

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 11:18:13 PM »
Hey Jeremy,
   
Quote
25:1 gearbox ratio sounds really steep

Remember, this is a torque multiply er. To get good accels you will need lots of torque. Rapids are nice especially on long tables but accel rates make for shorter cycle times and less rounding in corners. Also depends on what kind of tolerance you need to hold. Achieving good accels and rapids is doable with much smaller motors if you can tolerate a larger following error.

Quote
If I can achieve the speeds in the video, I would be happy.  I wasn't sure of the speed of the machine in the video, but 1200 IPM looks fast enough for me. 

I think in the video it is running at much lower speeds than 1200 IPM. I'm thinking around 600 but will find out for sure.

Quote
When you say 5" pinion roll out. I assume you mean 5" per 1 rev?

Exactly. confirmed it today. It is 5.4 roll out.


Quote
Have you any experience with Automation Direct sure servos?

I haven't but lots of other members here have.

Quote
Does the smooth stepper connect to the PC via USB?

Sure does.

Quote
Are the parallel port(s) of the PC used for any Mach3 purpose if I choose a smooth stepper?

Not at this time.

Quote
What is the number of I/O's available with the smooth stepper?

The exact same configs. that 2 parallel ports will give you.

Quote
Are there areas of functionality that do not work properly when using the smooth stepper?

There are a few tiny bugs that are being worked out and I'm sure Greg will see this through. I'm certain it will be as functional as the parallel port(s) soon. If I was a betting man I would say even better in more ways than just a higher pulse stream.

Quote
1) How I would write via modbus from the PC/Mach3 to the PLC?  For instance, suppose I wanted to write a 1 to modbus address 40500.  Where and when is this called?  In Gcode? fixed parameters?, macro's???

I'm just now playing with Modbus a tiny bit. There are videos that will help with this and lots of post. Look here for the videos. http://www.machsupport.com/videos.php

Brett



« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 11:20:06 PM by Chaoticone »
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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008, 03:01:14 AM »
Monte,
I think, from what I have researched, I won't need anything other than the capability that currently exists is Mach3.  Are there areas of functionality that do not work properly when using the smooth stepper?

I think Brett pretty much covered it more than I could.  There are some basic bugs right now, one is feedrate override won't go above 100%, but it's being worked on.  There are some others, they're getting worked on.  The Warp9 web site has "the" forum for the Smooth Stepper.  If you peruse the topics there you'll find what's up pretty quickly.

Monte

Offline poppabear

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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2008, 09:49:05 AM »
Jermey,

    I have done some commercial machines using ADC SureServos, ADC PLC's, and modbus, it is the primary products I use on commercial machines.

   A few things:
 
1). I noticed that you were using the control reley range of address memory. You would be better off using the lower range stuff like 1400 for inputs and 6000 for outputs (in the PLC), you can use a work around for discrite bits by listing your address as 1400.0, 1401.0, 1402.0 etc. (currently you have to do this since the "Bit of Word" function in the Modbus config doesnt work (it is being worked on eventually, but currently it doesnt work). The reason I didnt list 1200 range is if your using a VFD controlled by an analog module then the analog module WILL conflict with that address range.
2). Using MWX, and MRX instructions, you can write via Modbus from the PLC to the SureServo's, that would include writing to the Index table for your ATC. Further you can read and write to the Drives parameters for high end stuff in where Mach can read advanced drive conditions, as well as write paramter changes on the fly for diagnostics or run time issues.
NOTE: You will have to have your PLC be your Modbus interface to the ADC drives, and then have Mach3 read/write to the PLC. It doesnt work well to try and have Mach directly talk to multiple modbus devices since the scan time is to slow, and you will get com errors.
3). SPEED:  as you are aware you max RPM on 1kw's is 3k, on the 2ks it is around 2000k, having said those things, running the Parrallel port at 60K is fast engough to do what you want, and it currenly is fully developed. You final speed will end up being what your mechanical gearing will do. Further depending on what you do with your Encouder/gearing ratio, that will also affect your end speed and resolution. I would NOT push the PP past 60K even though it can. If you REALLY do need faster pulse rate than that, then go with the SS. 
4). Motor sizing: "Copper Hill" makes a free servo motor sizing utility that uses SureServos (and a few others), for specing the machine. If your using a HEAVY Frame and Gantry like on commercial 5X10 tables then I would put 2Kw's on the X and Y, and a 1 Kw on the Z, UNLESS you gonna use a HEAVY Pensky MOTOR then I would go with a 2KW since that is a very heavy moter that has the ATC  mechanism in it.
5). I would go with your Spindle motor being SEPERATE from your ATC Spindle, both from a future maintainace and cost stand point.
6). On the Machines I do currently, I drive PP's for ONLY Step/Dir and a second one for MPG/pendant readback. I use the Modbus for ALL other things.
7). If your gonna go with the Modbus, then go with the Ether Net TCP option, use a ECOM 100 module it is MUCH more robust from Mach to the PLC verses the serial system. The ADC PLC's are limited to speeds of 38,200 baud if you use standard serial, if your pushing alot of I/O then you will have problems.
8). If you have more than 32 Inputs, and 32 Outputs (this assumes your using an Analog module to drive your VFD), also it assumes your using a combo Analog of 4 in, and 2 out, so you can also use feed, speed, and spindle overrides. Then use a PLC 205.
I used 2 DL06's in a drop net work with Mach3, it was a Pain in the butt to do the programing across two plcs. The client didn't want the cough up the extra 500 dollars that a single 205 would have done the job of 2 dl06's.
9). ATC: The M6 program will be the easiest thing to do on the machine. The modbus Coms between your PLC, and multiple SureServos will be the hardest. You will have to use a "Cyclic counter" method to cycle your coms between your servos, OR, you wll have to buy another serial com per servo drive DCM module, but in eighther case the config for eigther of these options is NOT, for the faint of heart. It is do-able, but there are alot of gotcha's you will have to over come.
10). I forgot to mention that you can also do a Modbus com from your PLC to the highend functions of your VFD as well, you can use it to drop DROS and messages onto your Mach screens as well.
11). To build a system "commercial level", you will need to use: Brains, the macropump, modbus, plc and screen designer, if you want to compete with the commercial boys, you will need to have a high end screen that will disply advanced diagnostic and control functions.
12). Not trying to discourage you, just wanted you to be aware of the issues. For a Commecial machine (that you plan to sell), I would wait till the SmoothStepper is stablized and does all the required functions that you will actually need on your machine.
13). If you hanging a computer on your physical machine frame, then I would use a SSD, or a vibration isolated HD. Also, I would recommend a CD Flash Drive as a secondary drive to have a "Ghost" of your Mach3 config, system, hard drive and OS set up. So when/if your primary drive dies, you can ghost a recovery profile and your customer is back up, with out you eating a service call.
14). BTW: If your using multiple vacuum zones on your table, I would recommend "Blick" manifolds, they also have options on Electro-solinoids to have your CNC control your zones or, turn then on/off from the screen, verses using manual ball valves.
15). On your ATC spindle, go with Air Control, unless your going to use a Cat40 or larger, then I would use a hydraulic system.
16). There is a Spindle Guy out in Oregon (cant think of the company at this moment), but he does HS metal/ceramic bearing spindles with Tool Claws, and Index Prox's. and options on water cooled jacket.
17). If you decide to take the pluge on the MWX/MRX coms to your drives, then "Scott" at ADC is the Big Dog on this subject at ADC. I spent many, many long calls with him on this very topic, it is NOT well covered in the manuals.
18). Make SURE, you are using the Latest DirectSoft5 software (with latest update), Also, make sure you have the LATEST firm ware in you PLC. The same is TRUE of the SureServo Programming software it has all the latest stuff that has gotten ride of many of the bugs that I hit origianally (some of the bug fixes was cause I was b!tching so much about them to ADC...........hehehehe).

Scott
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/
Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 12:41:27 AM »
Brett,
Thanks for the info!  I see the benefit of the gear ratio if using small servos.  I don't predict having such a ratio with the large servo's I intend on using.  A lot has yet to be worked out here though.  I will look into the videos more.

Monte,
Thanks for the forum suggestion, I'll give it a look.  Just getting the info lined up at the moment.  I just want to know my options as well as the pro's and cons of either interface.  As Scott noted, may be better to wait a bit until all the bugs are worked out, but I do like the idea of the faster pulse stream and love the idea of USB, just for easier interface connection and a more streamlined setup.

Scott,
Thanks too for the info!  I will respond to all of your points and see if you or the others that have contributed to this topic have anything to add.

1) I was just using an example modbus address, just something I pulled out of my head at the time of writing.
2) I am working on a project now where I am using a cmore micro, a dl06, and a 750w sureservo to control a single axis linear positioning system.  I am writing and reading data using the cmore micro, to the DL06 using serial k-sequence protocol and DL06 to sureservo drive using modbus.  I believe I am using some of the features in this current project that I will be using in my router project. 
3) I am currently leaning towards the 1kw servos for the very reason you stated, RPM.  But, I will be using a rack and pinion, so I will be able to overcome the lower RPM of the 2kw motors with the revolutions of the pinion, if I decide after calculations of weight/inertia.
4) I have dl'd the calculation program, but have not had any solid numbers to throw at it yet.  I do plan on a semi-heavy gantry, somewhere around 150-250lbs without the router spindle/motor.  On most heavy commercial machines, it is common place to have a pneumatic assist cylinder that "pushes upward" thus reducing the effective weight of the Z axis.  Up/down vertical positioning on the Z axis using the pneumatic assist cylinder makes the axis effectively near weightless.  The assist cylinder helps to overcome the gravitational pull from the weight of the Z axis.
5) I prefer to use an all in one spindle.  Definitely at a greater cost, but pretty much standard for the woodworking industry, and commercial level machines.
6) Your setup here sounds like what I was envisioning for my setup.
7) I have the 10 base e-comm module, should I really consider the 100base for the router application?
8) I am unsure of the I/O requirements, but 32/32 may be pushing it.  With the DL06, the ethernet module will occupy 1 of the 4 option slots.  Is it not advisable to use the option slots for additional I/O if needed?  I wasn't sure of the exact interface to the VFD, but I "was" thinking of modbus to at least control frequency (spindle RPM)....what do you think?
9)  My plan with the ATC in regards to the carousel axis, I was just intending to use the internal indexer of the sure servo drive, with positions triggered using the bit sequencing of the ziplink breakout board.  I would have the capability of  8 tool positions, or 9 positions if I use the home position as a tool holder position also.  "m6 program?"  what are you referring to?
11)  I have been "thinking" commercial throughout this whole process of conceptualizing this router.  I will be honest, I would like to eventually go commercial and produce machines, and feel like I would have a good offering in terms of price, construction, support, quality, and components used.  I have yet to work out the details, but first things first...and that is building a machine, using same components as I would if I was selling it, and working out the bugs.  As well as performing a considerable amount of R&D.
12) I agree it's best to wait until the SS has all bugs worked out, for a commercial machine..that is.
13) I intend to have a seperate cabinet/controller pendant to house the computer.  A current and ongoing ghost or full backup is a must for any PC controlled machine.  I would absolutely have some sort of backup/restore routine in place to protect the customer in the event of a hardware failure.
14) For the initial build i'll probably just use manual ball valves, but for a commercial machine, electrovalves are a must, in my opinion anyway.
15) The ATC spindle will be pneumatic control.  the standards I am most accustomed to are ISO, BT, and HSK, all are pneumatic locking.
16) Interested in more info on this for sure!
17) I have worked with Bill on a couple of occasions, but will keep Scott's name in my back pocket, im sure i'll need more help as I proceed.
18) I have the latest Directsoft and sureservo pro software, and I always confirm/update latest firmware when possible.  I think I have encoutered a few bugs in the sureservo software myself.  I am quite pleased with their products and their support...not to mention they are about 20 minutes away..:)  order online....and have it in hand in less than an hour.  Can't beat that!

Thanks to all of you so far, you all have been an enormous help to get the ball rolling.

Jeremy

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 05:42:05 AM »
Quote
Thanks for the info!  I see the benefit of the gear ratio if using small servos.  I don't predict having such a ratio with the large servo's I intend on using.

These are 5500 RPM servos with constant torque of 13.8 Nm (122 in. lbs) and peak of 36Nm (318 in. lbs). Hes guessing his gantry weighs about 400-450 Lbs. His roll out is 5.4 inches instead of 5 and it is 25-1 gear boxes.

Brett
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Re: General Q's about Mach3 and AD sureservo drives and smooth stepper
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 08:41:14 AM »
Jermy,

First, let me say, where are you located in GA?, I am relativly close to you, I am close to Knoxville, TN.

1). The Reason I said if you need more than 32/32, was I was assuming you where using:
        slot 1 for your E-COM (and yes, get the TCP 100mhrtz)
       slot 2 for your Analog card (4 in , 2 out)
       slot 3 for 16 point input card
       slot 4 for 16 point output card
(thus roughly 36 in, and 32 out).
2). Highly recommend using the Analog to drive your spindle 0-10v, PLUS you can use the modbus to access many of your params in the drive. Are you using the Durapulse Series? or the GS series stuff?  I was using an 18 hp Durapulse on the last router (Granite mill). 
3).  ATC:  with Modbus you can do a dynamic "Go to Position", so you can do any number of Tool slots you want, since you can have a value sent directly to the drive and it will then goto the position. You will need to set up the drive as "Absolute pos."
4). If your going to use an Air assist for spindle head wieght, I would use a dynamic proportional valve so the air pressue is always the same, I would keep the head with a little wieght v. the air assist so that gravity will keep the backlash down.
5). the "M6Start.m1s" will be the ATC macro you will have to write to seqence your ATC for tool changes.
6). You said your gantry will only be around 150 lbs, I was thinking MUCH heaver than that. You can get away with 1kw unless you want quick accel (better for quick dir changes, sharper corners, small segments), then go with the 2KW.
NOTE: on the 2kw's your only choice for power is 3 phaze and 220v.

scott

Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/