Warp9TD SmoothStepper board about a week ago. I just had a chance to install it in one of my CNC controllers. I mentioned I ordered it a few posts back.
The picture there did not give a good impression of the actual size of this diminutive surface mount technology (SMT) circuit board. It is small but mighty.
There is an added bonus with a bunch of pictures of the Proxxon PD400 in action. I used it to make standoffs for mounting the SmoothStepper.
I love gear action and when I saw this in a mailing from Bob Warfield (CNC Cookbook) I knew I had to check it out. Here are some links to Bob’s blog and an explanation of the software directly from Art Fenerty: Welcome to Gearotic Motion. Here is another link from Bob Warfield as he is partnering with Art to promote the CNCCookbook as well as Gearotic Motion: Announcing Our New Partnership with Art Fenerty’s Gearotic Motion.
Here is a link to the Gearotic Motion webpage. I have only just looked this over in both Bob’s and Art’s web sites, but I know I will be ordering a copy. I have seen other software that does this but this is really affordable. Even better with one of the CNCCookbook deals.
One of these days I’ll probably be posting pics of some of the gears I have made. I have no personal recommendation until I can run it and test it out. There are lots of videos and Art has a user forum so it’s definitely gotta be worth the $75 investment. It certainly looks to be way more than a toy.
I am going to make (hopefully) an improvement to my CNC operations in a week or so. I have ordered and will install a USB SmoothStepper board made by Warp9 Tech Design. Inc. into one and maybe both of my homebuilt CNC controllers. Probably the first one will be installed and tested in my original chopper controller that I am now using on the Taig CNC mill.
I have used a serial pulse generator before in that controller. Years ago I obtained the pulse card from DeskCNC called their 2nd Generation Controller Board. It is actually still installed but not connected inside the controller case. This controller worked perfectly but is proprietary to DeskCNC software. It can be seen operating in the video viewable HERE running the HB1 mill. That was more than several years ago. A hardware pulse generator makes for a very smooth running machine.
Since I am now doing very small, almost micro-machining (1/32″-“1/64” ball end mills) I am becoming more concerned about accuracy. Several articles in the CNCCookbook blog by Bob Warfield got me to thinking. Read both parts written by Bob.
Tormach CNC has a White Paper about this very subject that I recommend for your reading pleasure. Click on the link in the previous sentence. They mention the Smoothstepper for use with MACH3.
I then remembered how well I like the DeskCNC controller I gave up to use MACH3. So I investigated the currently available motion control boards. By the way, the 2nd Generation DeskCNC Board is still being produced
The Warp9TD Smoothstepper seems best suited to my needs and especially budget. It is designed expressly for use with the MACH3. There is now a LAN version board as well as the USB version.
Some other brands of these… Continue reading
The year is running out fast. I will soon have to say good-bye to 2011. This is the year (last Saturday actually) that I became 65 years old. Time enough for pondering that event, now to keep moving. Ha!
I did some machining of wax on the Taig CNC mill Saturday. I love machining wax (the hard blue kind). The wax is not good for creating real finished useful items but it makes excellent models for making molds and doing casting.
I spent the morning doing the design work in VECTRIC Aspire software. I was creating a Christmas ornament as a negative. I learned how to mirror and reverse the lettering and other “thinking inside out” processes in 3D design.
The afternoon was spent machining the design into the wax, using the Taig CNC mill. That was an adventure.
I haven’t run that machine for some time. The milling started out OK, but I got a couple of stalls and lost steps in the Z axis. The mill has never done that before so it was a surprise. I wasn’t pushing rapid travel or cutting speeds that hard either. Lifting the spindle and motor is fairly hard work.
The rapids are only set at 65 IPM and I was running about a third of that. So I ran through the software set-up and MACH3 warned me I was pushing the limit on pulses for the pulse generation frequency for which I had MACH 3 set. The Taig has twenty TPI screws so it takes a lot of very short pulses with 1/8th stepping (32,000 per inch) to get any speed from the drives.
That’s 32,000 per inch so at 60 IPM travel (keeping the math simple) that’s 1 inch per second requiring 32,000 Hz (32 kHz)… Continue reading
A local person here in Frisco asked if I could duplicate this part (the black one). I don’t usually like to take on outside projects as I have enough of my own. This part looked interesting. It is part of a tripod bracket for an expensive, but what the owner called a “toy” gun. Actually is is a very sophisticated collector item.
As can be seen in the photo the bracket had the tab broken off. It is a very nice injection molded aluminum casting but the crystallization left it vulnerable to breaking where it did.
I was going to make a duplicate by manual milling. That’s the rotary table setup in an earlier post. I changed my mind and decided to do it with CNC milling.
I had to first very carefully measure the part in every detail then make a 3D drawing in Rhinoceros (Rhino) You can see the screen capture and a couple of output pictures.
I converted the drawing to two G-Code files with RhinoCAD, one for top and one for bottom.
I did a test run in oak then made the one in aluminum. I used my Taig CNC mill running mist cooling. Overall size of the part is rather small, about 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 3/8″
I’m not setup for doing anodizing and I have never done any. I have studied the process and it can be done in the home shop. The new part really needs to be anodized like the original, but that is not my “thing” right now. That’s all I need is another skill to master. 🙂