Sunday, January 4, 2009

CNC for Milling machine.

Making intermittent progress on converting my knee milling machine to CNC. This is random notes on my researches to date

Those that have gone before: Hafco HM-52 CNC Conversion

Torque goals:
  1. Maximum handle pressure in normal operation is probably under 5 kilograms.
  2. Handle radius is ~ 3 inches.
  3. This is ~ 3.3 newton-meters of torque.
Speed goals:
  1. Table is ~ 1200mm
  2. Would like to be able to go one of the table to the other in substantially less than a minute.
  3. Say 12 seconds?
  4. Speed circa 6000mm/minute.
  5. Leadscrew is ~ 3mm/turn from memory (8 tpi)
  6. So need around 2000 rpm at the leadscrew for this speed.
Which gives around 600 rpm/Nm required from motor. So something around 5000 rpm @ 1.5 Nm peak torque would be ideal. (Using timing belt to gear it down to 2k rpm @ 3.3Nm).

Would like to use brushless DC motors for efficiency, heat, ease of sealing et al.

Can use of-the-shelf brushless controllers but they're expensive, and require hall-effect sensors on motors.

Can use Takao Shimizu effort, and modify slightly for sensor'ed operation. This would require doing boards, a fair bit of testing and mucking around, but probably substantially cheaper, particularly if I do a bunch of such boards.

Looking to use EMC2 for motion control, so the Mesa boards seem popular and vestitile. Particularly the 7I43-U which is USB or parallel port @ $USD90. Mesa also sell the 7I39-LV which will drive 2 BLDC motors at up to 250 Watts. ( ~ $USD300 for 4 axis). This is currently ~$AUD600 plus shipping. Hmmm.

On the other hand, running brushed motors enabled using the 7I30 which does 100W/channel over 4 channels for ~$USD90. This would effectively drop the top speed to ~2500mm/minute for the X and Y axis, and something much less for the Z-axis (which will need to be geared way down anyway).

Still need to find a suitable source for servo motors (i.e. cheap!).

GCAM is looking for more useful for simple CAM tasks.

Need to change over to anti-backlash nuts for X and Y axis (can probably rely on weight to handle Z-axis). Simplest thing is probably to use delrin split nut? May need to make/buy an suitable ACME tap for nuts (or find an already made one on ebay?)

APT looks like an interesting thing to play with for CAD/CAM.

Cheap rotary encoders are available for $USD25 ea. Example of one being fitted is here.

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