As a starting point I would suggest looking at Mach3
This will give you the software to control the machine and the Mach3
user group has a lot a examples of making it work.
For the next step we need to know how big a simple machine to discuss
I'm slowly building a Beginners Guide
Model Engineers' Workshop magazine has carried articles in the past
couple of years on converting the X3 mill to CNC - one series authored
by Dick Stephen and one by me.
You will find Dick's article on the Arc Eurotrade website under
"Projects and Articles" along with one or two other CNC articles:
My X3 article is here:
The last 2 issues (120 and 121) have articles on my conversion of a
Taig (Peatol) mill to CNC. I haven't posted it on my website yet
Alan did you have any issues installing the software, when I tried I got
an installation error saying I needed to update some windows package.
This even though I run XP with latest updates?
A few things, thanks for correcting my link when I posted, it can be
.co.uk or .com both same just that I managed to do neither! Again thanks
Mach 3 is it free? Or limited download to try and see if it works ok for
the individual before purchase? It may seem a daft question but at
present I am on a Linux Machine and Dos is not available to me to try at
the present. So it is not just a case of download and see.
I haven't tried it, though it will be the first one I play with when I
get started myself. It used to be the case that it needed a real
intel pentium as it relied on some timing register that wasn't
available on the other x86 processors, but that was quite a long
time ago. I would have thought anything less than a few years old
would be OK, but a 486 or some early AMDs weren't.
I presume you've found
but the Yahoo group
CAD_CAM_EDM_DRO can also be helpful.
I have downloaded the image files to install but came unstuck on two
aspects not enouigh memory I seem to remeber that min of 256 K was
required and I only had 124K Also the PC I had had intergrated graphics
on the motherboard and the recommendation was not to have but go for a
higher spec graphic card as a seperate item. It basically ment the 800
Mhz pentium I had was not up for it. When i retire another computer or
buy one from fleebay I would have another go.
The hardware specs said min of
OK my attemps with the free Dolphin Cad package led to an error 1931.(The
windows installer cannot update the system file
C:\Windows\...\NTOSKRNL>EXE because the file si protectedby Windows You
may have to update your operating system for this programme to run
So I think I will give up with the package for a while and concentrate on
the gear I have.
Alan, I have been wading through your writeup today whilst sitting here with a
sore throat and lack of voice.
You are doing yourself down...
On page 5 you have :-
So what is the error for a movement that is not a multiple of 64? Well taking
0.001" as the probable smallest accuracy then 1/1000 = 40640/1000 steps =
40.640 steps which of course cannot be achieved so there will be either 40 or
41 steps done.
At 40 steps this will give 40/6400 =1/160 mm which equals 0.000255" and:-
At 41 steps this will give 41/6400 = 0.00640625 mm which equals 0.0002522",
so a 1/4 thou error can be expected. Am I bothered? (to use current jargon!)
This should be :-
At 40 steps this will give 40 * 4 /6400 =1/40 mm which equals 0.000984" (.016
thou error) and:-
At 41 steps this will give 41 * 4 /6400 = 0.025625 mm which equals 0.001009"
(.009 thou error)
[X1 CNC conversion]
Alan's maths may be wrong, but he's probably closer to the right answer
anyway. 32 microsteps just doesn't buy you anything like 32x the
*accuracy*. It gets you 32x the *resolution*, but that's not the same
thing at all, especially when it comes to microstepping. A search on the
interweb for "microstepping", "microstepping accuracy" or similar will
find ample discussion of exactly why you don't get the accuracy (and why
microstepping is still a good idea anyway). The short version: You get
bugger all /incremental/ torque (5% for 32 microsteps) and that small
incremental torque is swamped by effects in the stepper itself
(friction, detent torque), let alone the external load.
Oh, and the maximum (resolution) error is always half the smallest
division; half a microstep in this case. So I'd just have worked out how
far that is rather than working examples. Imperial and metric are "out
of phase" so you are going to get that maximum error at some point
(actually at 1/127 points).