I have to go and pick up my new toy next Tuesday, and I've hired a van to get it. I'll be travelling from Coalville, Leicestershire to Poole, Dorset in the morning with an empty 3.5t van with 1/2t tail lift. Once I'm loaded up I'll be travelling back, with only one machine and stand weighing less than 1/2t in the back. If anyone would like to "piggy-back" onto the trip drop me an email -can't be too far off the route as it could be a long day already.
Well, I've been wanting a cnc mill for some time, and I've just bought a Denford Triac. This is about as big as it gets without going into full inductrial stuff, and even if I got a big 3 phase converter I coudln't get the power to run an interact or similar (and would struggle to get it in as well). It is described as a "benchop" machine, but as it weighs quarter of a tonne it needs to be a sturdy bench! They are a nice sized machine, with an R8 taper and good working envelope. The only slight limitation is the controller, but that can be cheaply upgraded if I decide I really can't live with the existing one.
I'm knackered tonight though, having spent quite a lot of the day re-arranging the workshop to fit it in an appropriate place. Look out for all the parts I had squirelled away to build my own machine on ebay soon -linear ways, sherline spindle. And also all the other stuff I found while moving things around.
Let me know how it goes John, and if you think it was worthwhile after you've done it. Are you replacing the existing stepper drives, if so where they knackered or is there an advantage to replacing them with new items. The only real problem I can see with the original controller is it's inability to do true 3D movements (x,y,z at the same time), it's like a Heidenhein TNC145 in that respect -which I think would be my main motivator to upgrade.
If you would like to give me a valid email address I'll send you a composite .pdf file I made up when I converted a TRIAC a couple of years ago. I buzzed out all the connections and those at leaset should save you some time. I retained the steppers and sensors and replaced all the electronics using Gecko drivers, and squeezed a pc (Compac SFF) into the base unit - worked out quite well. (I have a spare SFF if you are interested)
I found it excellent, a very nice machine to use once converted, but the original controller was a pain. I used TurboCNC and fiddled a bit with the source code to do a few extra twiddles. However I sold mine as the working envelope was a bit too small. The sale more than funded the purchasing and transport for a Bridgeport Interact 1 with Heidenhain TNC151b though the Triac was (though I say it myself) really rather nicely done - it fetched a very good price on fleabay.
Yes been gutted completely. New microstepping drives from Ketan at Arc Euro to replace the original 1/2 step drives, Mach3 as a controller and breakout board from CNC4PC. New invertor, this is an AC drive model.
About the only original parts are the transformer and e-stop switch
This is a paying job so the guy may have some parts to sell. It was a working machine before we ripped it apart and there are two more to do when this goes back to it's owner. If you want to op up and have a look needs to be in the next few days as hopefully it going back this week, just waiting for the breakout board.
That's interesting. I'm not looking to do any major mods immediatly (not least because I'm a bit skint having bought it) but it is certainly a consideration for the future. Does fitting the microstepping drives increase accuracy, and whcih size did you use
-did they work OK with the existing steppers, or need a little "tweaking"? I presume the breakout board just adds opto-isolating between the pc and the drivers.
I do have full copies of Mach3 and Turbocnc, and I also looked at this one
it doesn't mention Triacs, it will go in. Putting processing power into the machine means I could use any old pc as the controller, while Mach3 needs a reasonable pc (though not expensive now).
I don't have any time to pop up at the moment, got a machine to collect and install, but I'd like a look at the finished thing when you do the next one -hopefully I'll have used the machine a bit by then and be able to make a comparison.
Increases smoothness. Micro stepping won't increase accuracy as they way it works it's still only accurate to 1/2 step Breakout board is for the opto and full control of spindle, on- off and speed control via the G code.
You can get brand new desktops at 3200 Gig less monitor for under £200 with a new XP licence.
I may phase a conversion over time. Staart by just using it as is, then maybe fit Mach3 as the control -but using the existing drives. And finally replace the drives as well. Depends how it goes (and how much spare cash I can muster at the time). I'll probably see how John gets on with the conversions he's doing -by the time he's done a couple he should know all the problems I'll hit.