I am presently looking at purchasing a 1995 VMC 760/22 with an DX-32 controller. I have never programmed that type of controller as I am more familiar with Fanuc. How much different is it to program? I have heard a lot of negative comments about the controller.
The DX-32 controller came in several packages. Some were PC based and some were computer in a box (CIB) based. The PC based ones are much more user serviceable via off the shelf PC parts.
The DX-32's are ALL based upon the use of a BMDC (Bridgeport Machines Digital COntrol) card. It is the 'back end' brains of the device. The beauty of the card is that it pluged into an ISA slot in a PC and the same card will run a mill, lathe and/or a VMC when you feed it the right software. There were some supplemental BOB cards that helped do other things (ATC's, coolant pumps, etc) but a pretty well configured 3 axis system could be operated without too much gingerbread.
Frankly, it is too bad that the system was never made available as an aftermarket device. It is a very nicely integrated "single card/PC interfaced/software driven" system. And it ran up to a 4 axis machine with a 386/486/pentium 133 DOS PC.
In its day, the BMDC card was real pricey. But, in today's dollars, the chips are pretty much dirt cheap and, asside from the board layout costs, the card could be put together rather inexpensively from essentially "surplus" IC's.
Negative comments might include exhorbitant service costs - EMI is pretty much the sole supplier of service. Anyone with a monopoly can charge what they want. Performance wise, the system is well documented and a great G and M code compatible CNC system suitable for most hobby and many industrial applications.
It might be quaint or inadequate for 4 axis mold work but not everybody will do things that sophisticated. We did some fancy 3D work on an Extrak using a 2.5D milling machine even though many folks said "you can't do that". Being engineers, we didn't know any better and did it anyway.
We also got it to mill cam lobe grinding masters well enough that high RPM racing engines couln't tell the difference 'tween what it did versus what a CNC master cam grinding machine would do. If anyone complains about the accuracy of a DX-32 system, our experience shows that errors are more likely the result of machine iron gremlins (tuning, slop, gibbs, etc).
When properly tuned, the DX32 system will prescribe motion that is as accurate as it needs to be. Whether or not the "iron" can support it is something eslse entirely.
I worked on Mazaks, Hass in G-codes and I had no problem at all getting used to the DX-32 on my Torq-cut 22. The only thing that it's hard to get used to is the colors of the graphical interface... hew that's ugly :P I also have the DX-32 on my cnc lathe (PowerPath15) and it's also nice to work with, interface is mutch nicer on this one
I am currently learning how to use the BridgePort 760/22. I am currently facing the problem while setting up the Workshift. Is there any manual about it (The manual that came with the CNC doesn't explain clearly the setup)? Currently, I do not have any problem with X and Y, but I have a problem with the Z. After setting up the G54, the machining works well with the X and Y axis, but not with the Z axis. No matter which coordinate I enter for the Z, the CNC always starts at the same Z position (Offset from the part to machine). What is the problem?