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Offline Whacko

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Wire cutting
« on: May 20, 2008, 02:48:12 PM »
Has anybody used Mach3 for CNC wirecutting? Or spark eroding?

Whacko sparking here. :)
Nothing's impossible

Offline poppabear

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Re: Wire cutting
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2008, 10:18:53 PM »
I did a retro on a 4 axis Sodic with Mach and a PLC for Analog Wire control stuff.

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

Offline Whacko

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Re: Wire cutting
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 03:51:24 PM »
Hi Scott, did you control the wire spool with Mach3 as well? I want to build a small cutter as a sideline. Did the retro work well?

Whacko
Nothing's impossible

Offline poppabear

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Re: Wire cutting
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 05:17:10 PM »
Yes spool via spindle to analog module on the PLC.

The PLC it self handled the PID loop for Wire current, that included with the alarms to lower feed speeds or raise them to keep the current steady. Wire breaks also.  The Feed/cut/current monitoring was the biggest pain in the ass.  To me PID loops are the Darkest of : "Black Ju-Ju" magic. I STRUGGLED mightly to get it right. In the end, it worked fine, but there where several, several times I just about threw in the towel. If it wasnt for the PLC's abiltiy to do PID loops and realtime current control, it would have been a NO-GO.

I posted up the Screens I used for that machine, a while back in the screens section, feel free to use them (If you sell for money, remember your poor cousin scott......ehehehe). I have added more to them since then, but it was specific for that machine.  I had to make some custom Threading Macros also, and Wire hiegth control macros. (had screen and physical controls for this as well.  The machine was running well, last time I heard, about 1 year ago or so.  OneCNC (the Cad/Cam), I use  had just came out with 2 - 4 axis wire CAM, so it was a good time to take the plunge.  It took me about 4 months to do the machine, mostly because I didnt know a DARN thing about these kinda machines, Still dont understand the DEEP stuff. I got ahold of a Sodic Applications engineer, and got very LITTLE information that was usuable. They gaurd those secreats like fort knox.  In the End, I didnt fool with the Spark Gen, I just through trial and error got it to function with Mach and a PLC.

I suspect you could now do a C++ plugin that would have some kind of soft PID that could control, and handle the "Back ups" and other Wire issues that would avoid the PLC stuff.........

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

Offline Whacko

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Re: Wire cutting
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 05:44:39 PM »
Thanks Scott,

I'll hav a look at the screens and let you know. I was more inclined to do the basic nc path with Mach3 and have a dsPIC plugin take care of the PID. But it'll be a first for me and it's just a sideline for kicks. But if it seems that I can go commercial I will let you know. The demand for wire cutting has decreased a lot since the introduction of waterjet, which is much faster than wirecutting, but waterjet is out of reach of many small engineering shops. We have the facility to manufacture the sparkgen, we have lots of toys. We can do transformers, pcb's hardware manufacturing etc. I do firmware development for embedded applications so we can pretty much cook up any custom plc pid incorporated. Excuse the short form, a bad habit of mine. I did play around with the com object model using the sdk. But time is a major enemy and I certainly have too many pokers in the fire. So I haven't been constructive as far as the plugin dev is concerned. But I am impressed by what Art has achieved and obviously all the other contributors.

Whacko
Nothing's impossible

Offline poppabear

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Re: Wire cutting
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 09:30:59 AM »
Ok,
   
   Please post your companies website:

I did ALOT of work as a CNC repair man and retrofitter for "Peddinghaus".  They are the Mercedes of the Structual Steel machine tool industry.
The have HUGE, Plate machines that will do: Plasma, torch, Drill, and Punch operations. They could cut through 3" plate steel.
The Hypertherms they used where custom made by Hypertherm for them. What got me interested in them, was the ability of the control (Siemens and/or Fagor), to do real time control of the "Brain/perameters" inside the Hypertherm. The amount of Data available for Diagnositics and control was quite extensive. We had "Step Seven" PLC systems that would do the interfacing. Only the "Big Boys" play with these toys, the larger machines where close to a Million each.  My thought (and hope), was that the CNC interface modules in the units had some kind of "Universal" programming/communication launguage. (I do relise that each machine also has some unique funcitons to it). But my hope was to just make a "Mach to Hypertherm" Translation/communication/control solution.

Like I said, the Metal Fab shop I have been talking too, says they want a 12' by 24' Table, that will cut upto 2" thick. I looked at pricing of units that I thought would do the job, and estimated Table cost. I think the guy went into "Sticker Shock". He hasnt come back with a Go or No-Go as of yet. I just wanted to be ready to be able to deliver the Machine that would work with the Hypertherm flawlessly. (meaning, I have to do alot of homework, or pick your brain).

There is a Hypertherm Rep that is relatively close to me, I am trying to set up a meeting with him about getting on the "Integrator" list in my area for CNC Machines.  I am going to see if I can hit him up for some Training classes.........

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