"One Perfect Part at a Time"

CNC Running Again

I spent most of the late morning and early afternoon today getting the bits and pieces working again for the Taig Micro-Mill CNC setup. The configuration layout has changed since I built a new bench in a new location in the workshop. I also fiddled quite a bit with the electrical and software set-up. It is at a point where it can again do some CNC work.

The Taig Micro-Mill is still fine shape after it’s leap to the floor in the “Great Wreck (GW)”. I have the new ER 16 spindle on it now. This is a micro-mill and I intend to use it that way under CNC control.

CNC Mill

Here is the mill in place. The X-axis stepper will fit under the shelf to the right. However, the mill will be setting farther to the left in a chip pan. Also the rear wall will be covered with something more durable than painted drywall!

The power supply/controller I built is working just fine after its participation in the “GW”. I did a “dry run” using a two hour 3-axis milling program today. It was a “burn in” test to make sure all the components could take the heat and stress. It will work harder when pushing a cutter, but I feel there is enough reserve to do just about any project that will fit on the mill. The original computer died in the “GW” so I am using the computer I used to run in the home office. It is a 2.56 MHZ P4 with a GIG of RAM. It is running Windows XP Pro and SUSE Linux 10.1. Only Windows is used for the CNC. However, I am writing this while over in the Linux OS.

CNC Computer

Today I updated the MACH3 to the newest version. Then I started to do some tuning. I was running 1/16 micro steps on the 20 TPI lead screws on the Taig. That gave me a step requirement of 64,000 steps per inch. That is a step movement of 0.0000156″ My top traverse speed was about 35 inches per minute.

After experimenting I am now using 1/4 micro stepping which is 16,000 pulses per inch. Each step is now 0.0000625″, Still pretty dang small (and accurate) but now top traverse speed is a whopping 90 inches per minute!

I backed off to 80 ipm and adjusted start-up ramping for sure starts and smooth running. That is amazing performance on a 20 tpi lead screw. I can’t wait to run some projects. It may require some further tuning with a real load, bit those 200 in/oz steppers are very stout! Also that kind of high speed is not used for milling, only for quick traverse which it now does quite rapidly!


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