If it were me, I would save the ballscrews until you run across some stepper
or servo motors, and then install the screws and motors. The direction I
would be heading is to have a machine that can run manually or CNC. In the
past you showed an interest in writing scripts and cranking the handles like
an etch-a-sketch to machine shapes. The CNC can save hours of setup time
for getting different angles and radius' that you would need a rotary table
Since you're already comfortable with Linux, you could get up and running
with EMC2 software for free. If you timed it
correctly, you could take your controls to the annual EMC get together and
get help if you had any trouble configuring it for what you want to do.
Anyway, a couple of motors and ballscrews can replace a lot of tooling and
I bought a CNC lathe and couldn't get the controls running so I converted it
to EMC2 control. I wrote a little program to turn and thread the end of a
hydraulic cylinder rod. It turned down 1" dia stainless steel to 3/4" X 3"
long and threaded 1-1/2" on the end for 3/4-16 UNF thread. This with a
manual tool change took about 3 minutes without trying to push it or run the
coolant pump yet. All those operations are easy to do on a manual lathe
except the 3 minute cycle time. I also ran the Pawn chess piece example
program included with EMC2 and has various radius' and angles. It also took
about 3 minutes, that would have taken a lot of tool changes and compound
settings to do on a manual lathe.
13 years ago