I am looking at the Sieg X3 and thinking of buying one. I would want to convert it. I have been doing alot of reading but I find it all a bit confusing. Is there a guide that I could start with or something like that.
There has got to be some good introduction to CNC around, I know I've seen some written. Try a google search.
Can you specify what is most confusing? I found the electronics to be the most confusing at first, they were down right intimidating.
In a nutshell though, here is how the electrical stuff works.
You have three motors that replace the handles, typically these are stepper motors. HOw you choose to mount these onto your machine is your choice.
Each motor has its own circuit called driver.
Each driver interfaces with computer typically through parallel port (same cable some printers use, the one with 25 pins).
Software produces the necessary electrical pulses for the drivers to drive your motors.
All your drivers need DC voltage, so you need a device which converts the AC into DC, called a power supply.
Hope this explains the bare basics of how it works. By the way, the X3 is an excellent candidate for CNC. My conversion is underway now. It just went a few steps backward, but should be going many more steps forward soon enough.
There are many facets to cnc, so I would recomment to start looking in three different areas. First is the machanical area. Look at the industrial hobbies webpage, because they will show you exactly how to setup a cnc thar is very simular to yours, it's just larger(yours is 325lbs and theirs is 900lbs)
Second area is the electronics, which is the power supply and the controller. I will attach a pdf which will show the power supply, and will recomment that you go to the Mach3 website and download the demoversion of Mach3 along with it's user manuel and read through how to set up the controller.
The third area is the drive system (drivers and stepper motors) and would recomment going to the gecko web site amd downloading the stepper motor basics manual.
I will see if I can also attach these.
This will be a good place to start.
Well, Some reason it wouln't let me attach the files. Look around in the last couple of post in the Industrial hobbies forum for the power supply PDF that I posted two or three days ago, and download stepper motor basics from the gecko web site.
also you need to look at programming software for G-code.You should start downloading software Demos to try.You will need either a cad package for drawing and a cam package for G-code or a cad/cam system.This is an area like the other three that needs to be explored.You can go from free to 20K in price.So you first need to understand the issue of G-code,wireframe drawing and solids for 3d before you buy anything
You have come to the right place. There are a lot of knowlegable and helpful people here.
Ask lots of questions and read responses to others peoples questions.
I pesonally believe that the X3 is a good starting out machine for CNC conversion.
My sugestion would be to go ahead and get the X3 and start to build up your tooling and confidence using it manually.
All the while researching and learning about CNC options.
One path you could follow is there are a few companies making CNC conversion kits for the X3.
Options include from just ballscrews and motor mounts to the whole shebang.
Well, the "controller" Syil speaks of is primarily relays. That is, you would use a relay to turn on your spindle or turn on a flood coolant. Syil will sell you everything you need to CNC your X3. In my opinion though, the drives are overpriced at 150 a piece. For that, you might as well buy Gecko Drives.
Syil did say that they were able to control the RPM of the spindle through the g code program. Can this be done wioth just relays?
I'm also very new to this, I just ordered my first CNC mill
Relays can turn things on and off, but generally can not control gradation.
In order to control the RPMs you either need to replace the Sieg board with your own or you can add a daughter board that sits between the controller and the control keys and tricks the Sieg board into thinking that the user has pressed a key. The feedback on the actual spindle RPM could be done in a similar way by intercepting the signals that ultimately update the LED. I'm not sure which method Syil chose as I have not received my unit yet. There is a big thread on the Syil conversion here I have purchase a 4axis CNC converted SIEG SUPER X3 from "SyiL"
What surprised me the most is how quickly the numbers add up. For a CNC conversion unless you are nickeling and diming and doing parts yourself it seems that you will spend somewhere upwards of $2000 on top of the price of the mill -- and that is before the extras like a 4th axis -- I'm sure someone smarter, better informed and more gifted than me would be able to do it for less.
I did do some research on the DIY route for a plasma table (also 3 axis). Just the electronics would cost about $1000 (depending on the motors, drivers and breakup board) on top of that I would have to add the mechanical parts... which means the plasma table itself, the ballscrews, mounts, enclosures, etc. So that too, would add up to about $2,000 + sweat and tears -- which for a noob like myself would surely be plentiful.