MF70 CNC Conversion

If there's an article in SERVO that you would like to discuss, this is the place!
msimpson
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MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:54 am

Please use this forum to post your comments or questions for the MF70 CNC conversion series.

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:58 pm

break-in video on the MF70 CNC Conversion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dm9ICKwBWTw

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:00 pm

Using a SmoothStepper controller I was able to use my Surface Pro 2 tablet to control the MF70 CNC.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ly9VpUopoNQ

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:03 pm

I'm still looking for a small project for an article using the MF70 CNC. I was thinking of some sort of gear reducer or wheel drive system for a small bot much like the PBOD.

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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:23 am

I just added a little starter project for those that decide to build the MF70 CNC.
http://www.kronosrobotics.com/cube

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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:11 am

Just finished a very cool project using the MF70.
Here I am milling polymer clay:
http://www.kronosrobotics.com/polymer

fragnet
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by fragnet » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:35 pm

I would be interesting to see a project on how to use the CNC to make prototype PCBs.

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:19 pm

I wont be covering it in this series. It is involved enough that It would need a series of its own. The MF70 is certainly well suited for making small PCB boards. You need to use a V-bit and they are not readily available for a 1/8" collet unless you order them from a specialist company like Precise Bits.

joemcder
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by joemcder » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:55 am

After reading your series, I bought an MF70. A very useful little machine. I'm eager to follow up with your CNC conversion but I have a few questions.

Parallel ports went extinct with the Dodo birds but apparently the CNC crowd never got the memo :smile:
I assume the Smooth Stepper USB goes between the computer and the SainSmart CNC TB6560. Is this correct? Why does the Smooth Stepper have a 2nd Parallel port? Where does that go or do I ignore it?

I noticed some discussion of Mach3 plugin compatibilty. That always makes me nervous. Do I use the latest versions of everything? What versions are you using.

The page on milling polymer clay was fascinationg!

Joe

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:36 pm

Yes I use the latest version of mach 3 and the plug-in. You will also need to install the smooth stepper drivers. I always recommend the parallel port if you can get hold of a mother board or machine that has one. They make hookup simple and somewhat fool proof.

USB ports do not work for controlling a CNC. There is too much latency. With the smoothstepper you off load the control to the smoothstepper. It then uses a parallel port to control the CNC via the driver board. (TB6560). This does add complexity and can cause issues as well. When controlling the speed of the MF70 spindle with a PID controller can be very difficult to get working through a smoothstepper.

The extra port on the smoothstepper is for controlling more things. Just ignore if for now. If I get around to adding a rotary axis for the MF70 project, the extra port will come in handy.

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:59 pm

For you guys that have been asking, I have completed the first book on the MF70 conversion. I'm calling it "Building the KRmf70 CNC". I will be selling the book on my web site for now, but it will eventually move to Amazon and other online retailers.

You can get more information here:
http://www.kronosrobotics.com/mf70

The support page for the conversion featured in Servo Magazine can be found here:
http://www.kronosrobotics.com/mf70servo

joemcder
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by joemcder » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:32 pm

I've set everthing up as descibed in the Servo articles. I tested all connections for continuity. The 24v is present and the red LED's are lit on the Sainsmart3 board. I'm running Mach3 on a Dell running Windows XP with parallel port. The port driver is installed. I checked the devices screen. Mach3 messages "Driver initialization successful".

When I conduct the first Mach3 test in your instructions, the stepper motors do not respond. In fact they remain cold as does the heat sink on the driver board. Obvious the board is not sending power to the motors. I rechecked all switch positions.

Any suggestions on how to proceed? The limited docs with the board are not very helpful.

I do not see much activity on this forum. Is there another location I should be accessing?

Joe

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:08 pm

This sounds like a Mach 3 issue and the parallel port pulse engine is not operating.

1. You have to be using a true parallel port. It can not be a usb to parallel port converter.
2. You have to make sure the parallel port settings in XP matches those in the drivers and config (Ports and pin settings) Mach 3 defaults to LPT1 (0x378) If the printer port built into your system is not using that address you will have to change Mach3 to match it.

The board (and board settings) I recommended with the config file I provided will engage the motors if Mach 3 is talking to the parallel port. For MAch 3 configuration and hook up you can go to CNCZone (mach3 section) or directly to the mach 3 site forums.

Most likely its your port settings as the symptoms you describe is what happens when they do not match.

joemcder
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by joemcder » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:13 pm

1. You have to be using a true parallel port. It can not be a usb to parallel port converter.
I am using a true parallel port. I even installed a 2nd PCI port which has a different address.
2. You have to make sure the parallel port settings in XP matches those in the drivers and config (Ports and pin settings) Mach 3 defaults to LPT1 (0x378) If the printer port built into your system is not using that address you will have to change Mach3 to match it.
The address setting in the Windows device settings for LPT1 matches your value and Mach3

Some port connection exists to the Sainsmart3. When I push up/down arrows the Y-axis Red LED blinks but the motor is not energized. The blinking LED means that some signal is passing thru the parallel port. The X-axis LED does NOT blink on right/left arrows.

The second PCI parallel port produces EXACTLY the same symptoms (after changing the address in Mach3)

Joe

msimpson
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Re: MF70 CNC Conversion

Post by msimpson » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:30 pm

One thing to make sure is that the built-in port has an EPP mode. This setting is normally set in the PC's Bios. In my books this is the first thing I tell the readers to look for when choosing a machine. Older machines did not support EPP and this may not have a parallel port that will work with Mach3.

As for the add-in card, not all are compatible. I have purchased several cards from Amazon and only hand full of them work.

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