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Italian shed ornament - Nick's cnc router repower


NickJ
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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, flyingbrick said:

Hah funny!! I saw this (or maybe another author) on trademe and wondered about it. Even watched a few YouTube vids. I just wasn't sure if it was usable as a cnc for doing cool stuff or just for milling up kitchen cabinets etc. 

Quite likely this one, top bidder got cold feet over something trivial and pulled out, was offered for fixed price at that bid which I ended up with.

In the current state, its a worn out joinery machine, most of the air leaks are busted solenoids and the usual signs of someone else having a fixed price poke around. From my investigations, I could trick it into doing fun stuff but that leaves many compromises with the risk (cos I don't rally have any experience with the control system) of a real fuck up. The existing control system is very specific to cabinetry and is barely 2.5d capable, as the servo drives are standard industrial units, the linuxcnc will be near plug and play for basic control, then getting the sub spindles and toolchanger working might take some time.

Truth is this machine is a liability to a business, but insane value to a hobbyist (If I can make it go...)

LinuxCNC hardware is on the way along with a pendant controller, once they turn up i'll start ripping out wires.

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7 hours ago, JustHarry said:

Wanna make me a kitchen before you ruin it? 

In Short, nah bro... Better chance solving Lucas production faults!

I've earlier mentioned the pneumatic issues, the machine is listed as needing 220l/min air, which my compressor is capable of, but when plugged in all you can hear is hissing, from many places along with a rapidly dropping pressure gauge.

Air enters the machine at a regulator, here it splits to a clean air feed and an oiled feed, these then head to 3 main banks of valves:

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On the chassis running parallel to the X-axis, these control the main distribution to the gantry, table controls (end stops and sucker position) and tool library.

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Second on the gantry, these control the spindle retraction, tool changer, hoods and various other functions

The third bank is located on the toolhead, in addition to the two spindles, this machine has 18 drill heads, 6 horizontal drills, saw and surface finder, above each is a solenoid that controls the extension when the tool is called for. Sorry no picture because I still haven't pulled out the guards enough to identify them, but the drawings tell me they are in there, somewhere. As each tool requires an output, I don't plan on enabling them all, but at least one horizontal and the saw could be handy!

Back to the air leaks.... I started by gathering up some blanking ports and methodically blocking off banks, starting from the main input and working back, I soon found various solenoids were leaking from their vents, blocking these off allowed working further down the line.....

By the time I got to the gantry the list was growing, half the end stop solenoids are done but so far nothing I could live without. This is where it got interesting, during the initial pick up, the machine threw an alarm, the operator just said, 'oh, just give this bit a push' turns out that was the tool changer... With many leaks blocked off the compressor could finally keep up, manually operating the spindles was successful but the dust hoods were all over the show, as was the tool changer which refused to retract. Oh, did I mention the piece of timber blanking off the main spindle?

With further digging, the tool changer is manipulated by the messy stack of solenoids that don't match the rest

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Yeah/nah, not something I feel like working out today! From the drawings, pilot air is used to combine various functions, while it makes sense on paper, the absolute mess needs to be untangled to properly evaluate, test, then reassemble to the drawings (And test again)

I would carefully assume the main spindle has not run for some time and likely part of the machines demise, I have managed to enable the vsd and get the spindle to turn, so it is functional, just the state of the tool collet and changer is currently unknown.

This was a pretty big sign to me that battling with the existing system was a stack of work with still not much chance of it doing what I want, but strip down, assess then rebuild to something that is useful will yield a pretty cool machine.

The existing controller is about the size of a microwave, all the ribbon cables lead over to breakout boards which patch to the rest of the machine, 

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I'm crossing my fingers that I can remove these breakout boards, replace them with the Mesa boards and replace the controller with a smaller desktop and screen.

 

 

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8 hours ago, flyingbrick said:

Why did you choose Linux cnc over the many other options? 

I think I have settled on simple grbl but open to other better options too. 

A mate up here in Chch set up a router from the ground up based on Mach3, he spent countless days trying to solve small issues which ended up being hardware and windows related, as I understand, Linuxcnc keeps all the processing in house so many control issues are effectively non existent. His advice was to go direct to Linux on this machine, as God ThePog has also followed this route, that left me at -1 Mach3, +2 Linux.

I've been put in contact with a fella Andrew up in New Plymouth who has done a few machines, he hooked me up with the breakout boards and has been quite helpful with practical advice so far.

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47 minutes ago, NickJ said:

A mate up here in Chch set up a router from the ground up based on Mach3, he spent countless days trying to solve small issues which ended up being hardware and windows related, as I understand, Linuxcnc keeps all the processing in house so many control issues are effectively non existent. His advice was to go direct to Linux on this machine, as God ThePog has also followed this route, that left me at -1 Mach3, +2 Linux.

I've been put in contact with a fella Andrew up in New Plymouth who has done a few machines, he hooked me up with the breakout boards and has been quite helpful with practical advice so far.

Andrew is the man I got all my kit from. It was from his first machine he built when he was 16 or so, and he had ripped it all from a machining center or something.

He is a good man.

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I'm running mach3, at high feeds in multiple axes it will start skipping. Otherwise it seems good enough.

 

Is grbl a proper real time solution or do you just send it g code via serial and pray it works right?

 

 

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1 hour ago, ajg193 said:

I'm running mach3, at high feeds in multiple axes it will start skipping. Otherwise it seems good enough.

 

Is grbl a proper real time solution or do you just send it g code via serial and pray it works right?

 

 

From what i can tell, it is a "proper" real time solution.....

However i think its only better at being "real time" and seems to suck at quite a few other things, like reliability and ease of setup.

You put GRBL on an arduino and plug that into the cnc. Then you use a "code sender" to send the G-code to the arduino. Then the arduino plods along by itself and runs the cnc. Most people seem to say that mach3 is far far far better and more reliable than grbl though- and grbl is going to have issues if your g-code asks it to compute steps faster than it can manage (This might be your issue if you have microstepping set real high?)

I'm 100% sure i want to use linux cnc now. I was cautious because I've had linux on a few PC's and although it was great (fast etc) it just didnt function as well as windows.

I'm going to run linux on a Pi. I'd have bought one today if they werent all bloody out of stock. Looks like an extremely nice interface and full of features that are not present in many other systems.

I've done a few hours reading about this now so I'm an expert. No practical experience at all- just google.

Anyway, you are welcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fun hands on stuff is beginning!

Cheers to @- i5oogt - for sorting me a PC, unfortunately my ancient screen didn't have hdmi/dvi so the TV took over.

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Standby for noob problems, this is my first ever PC, fumbling through BIOS and formatting bootable USB drives somehow happened (Credit youtube/google) and we have linuxcnc loaded up, running latency tests was square in the 'not suitable' window ~1,000,000ns but for now I will ignore it, as my confidence grows i'll work through diagnosis and checking suspects off the list.

Its a massive steep learning curve, but happy to have booted linux and loaded up a mock machine, most of it makes sense and the few questions that arose were easily researched and answered if the "help" tab top left couldn't assist.

A few weeks back I was informed to buy a certain MPG from our dear friend Ali, in record time it arrived, decent quality and heavy in the hand, hopefully it performs as expected.

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The MESA boards should be on the way, might be some long nights when they turn up!

All for now, stay tuned!

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