to take full advantage of the new gecko drive G100 you need to install encoders on your motors. This system will sense in impending stall and coordinate the remaining two motors to slow down and keep your position.
I used the Maxnc Pro software and a PC to replace the original BOSS 5 controller on a Bridgeport
knee mill. It works great for what it is, the only
thing it lacked was feedrate override on the fly.
I upgraded to Maxnc Deluxe and added the digitizing probe. In my opinion the price is right.
I have recently bought their mini mill with the
closed loop system and this little machine is impressive. I'm trying now to enterface the closed
loop software to my Bridgeport. I must add at this time I paid more for the mini mill, metal only, than I did for the Bridgeport.
I tried this back in 2003 and yes the travel dial is where I mounted the encoder. If you take the back cover plate off the motor you will see you can not attach it there very easy.
The main advantage would have been speed ( Same resolution.). I have broke many tools but never stalled the original steppers to the point of missing steps. I never got it to work good with the original drives. It was going to take a redesign of the stepper drive to accept the PWM drive signals from the MaxNC CL software.
I started using Mach software with the original drives and liked it so much I did not pursue the MaxNC CL anymore.
It would be nice to see a stepper/encoder drive that would accept step/direction signals and interface with standard steppers. This must not be an easy task. Of course digital AC drives with matching motors, Yaskawa of course, would do the trick!
It's not really that easy to use an encoder with a stepper, since your positioning authority is probably not as fine as the encoder resolution. It's analogous to having a servo motor and a linear scale on the same machine -- you have to use advanced techniques to make it improve things any.