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    Default Questions on 6040z machines...

    Hello all,

    Looking at a 6040z cnc machine for my Dad. I am not new to cnc but new to this forum and new to small machines. I have seen many for sale with a few different options, so i will list my questions and anybody that can help i greatly appreciate the answers...
    Thanks in advance!!!

    So i have seen them sold without Mach3 control software,Is this needed to run the machine?

    I am looking at the one with the rotary axis, (Opinions...) is it worth it to buy, being we will only be doing home type projects???

    I use Vcarve Pro and i am wondering if i can use this software to create my files with?

    Knowing Vcarve does not allow you to create 3d models, is there a shared file source for these type of files to teach Dad.

    If Vcarve is no suitable for this machine, What are my alternatives to generate cut files with...? (3d modeling and rotary axis capable) ( all opinions and options welcome...)

    Biggest question.... If we get a 6040z (ebay or Amazon) how to we figure out who to contact for tech issues or other problems? Ebay has a couple of sellers offer 60 day warranty.... I didnt see much in the Amazon listings...

    Any other options as to where i can buy one safely that would offer better customer service? (Including Ebay and amazon sellers...)

    Thanks for looking and again all answers are much appreciated...
    Cyberave68

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Questions on 6040z machines...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberave68 View Post
    Hello all,

    My comments for what they are worth.....More experienced folk will be along soon....

    Looking at a 6040z cnc machine for my Dad. I am not new to cnc but new to this forum and new to small machines. I have seen many for sale with a few different options, so i will list my questions and anybody that can help i greatly appreciate the answers...
    Thanks in advance!!!

    So i have seen them sold without Mach3 control software,Is this needed to run the machine?

    Mach 3 is one option and probably the most common. You need 'something' to run the machine. If a 'pluggin' is available for your Motion Card, Mach 4 may be an option. You will have to find out before you buy. Worst case, is you can buy a new Moion Card fairly cheaply, if you have to.

    I am looking at the one with the rotary axis, (Opinions...) is it worth it to buy, being we will only be doing home type projects???

    I bought one and haven't used it yet. Mine is a little 'weak'. They are a bit more chunky these days. '4th axis is another steep learning curve for your Dad, I think. He will have a lot to contend with before he ventures to a 4th axis. You can always get the 4th driver and buy the axis later if you want....just MHO

    I use Vcarve Pro and i am wondering if i can use this software to create my files with?

    Yes...not problem. Again, quite involved to learn on. I bought Cut2D 3 years ago and still have not out grown it yet. Its a cheaper upgrade to VCarve Pro later, if he wants.

    Knowing Vcarve does not allow you to create 3d models, is there a shared file source for these type of files to teach Dad.

    pass.....

    If Vcarve is no suitable for this machine, What are my alternatives to generate cut files with...? (3d modeling and rotary axis capable) ( all opinions and options welcome...)

    Biggest question.... If we get a 6040z (ebay or Amazon) how to we figure out who to contact for tech issues or other problems? Ebay has a couple of sellers offer 60 day warranty.... I didnt see much in the Amazon listings...

    I would not count on any tech support. No-one seems to get much once you pays your money. You are better off asking around here. Plenty of good lads here to help out..

    Any other options as to where i can buy one safely that would offer better customer service? (Including Ebay and amazon sellers...)

    Maybe, if you use a business that imports to the US and then sells on Ebay......just a guess.......

    Thanks for looking and again all answers are much appreciated...



    Cyberave68
    Steve



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    Default Re: Questions on 6040z machines...

    Cyberave68,
    All Chinese machines are fairly close to the same.
    Even different sizes or styles are the same, it seems like one company is making all of the internal components, and several others take these parts and package them.
    Over time they are improving things, but do not do alot retroactively to make sure people who have already bought a machine are taken care of.
    If you really want to get to know how these things work, Chinese machine is best way to do it because you will get alot of experience.

    You will need some kind of control software. Mach3 is generally the best way to control it. There are others like EMC or grbl. Each has ups and downs. I have tried the linux version and Mach3, have stuck with Mach3.
    If you use Mach3, you will need a very specific computer, check the requirements very carefully. I bought an old Dell computer with 64bit software and it would notwork, had to buy a 32 bit version of windows.
    You will want as quick of a process on it as you can get and as much RAM as windows version will allow. Also will likely need to shut down as much of windows as you can and dedicate it only to CNC.

    I have the 4th axis, but have not done anything with it yet. Want to get a good grip of x/y/z before going to the A axis. I think it will be worth having even if I only make a baseball bat or something like that.

    I wish I had V-carve pro, pretty sure you need a separate program to do 3d models though, has been a couple months since I compared them. Hoping with this years tax returns wife will allow me to get better CAM software. IF you go onto their website pretty sure they have a compare feature to see what each program they have does.
    You can use V-carve to make Gcode, not sure what you mean by "my files". Any Gcode will work on this tool, just need to make sure you have the distances set up the same on both. If machine is set up as mm, will need to draw, or create toolpath in mm.

    As far as support, if you buy from generic Chinese maker, you will pretty much get none. Even in their "warranty" period you will get no support. Your support will likely be mostly from the good people on these forums who have suffered the same issues as you will. If you want guarantee's you will have to pay 3-10x more and buy one from the states. I called and talked to many builders here in the states, they wanted so much it would not have been possible for me even to get into CNC at all. With the Chinese machine you might end up needing to replace all of the electronics, but will be able to get into CNC, and at a lower cost still.

    Just to give some perspective, here are a couple things that have ran into that had to be corrected.
    1) The spindle would not turn when connected to computer.
    Solution ended up being pin 17 had to be set up as an enable pin. The instructions did not say anything about this, they only listed to set pin 1 up as pulse width. Someone from these forums had it as an issue too is how I found the solution.

    2) The VFD for the spindle works, but I have to set the speed opposite of what desired speed is. For example, if I want max speed of 24000 rpm, have to set it to 2000 rpm. If it is set to around 22000 rpm it spins pretty slow and cuts out, there appears to be a minimum speed. Note: for what every reason, likely related to pulse width, settings from 0-2000 or 22000 to 24000 the VFD does not spin, or hits max and does not go any further.
    Solution: This has not been corrected yet. I just made a chart of where to set the speed for where I want it to be and put it in the G-code. Have a feeling it has something to do with the direction signal on pin 1 for the pulse width. Will eventually address, but looking at other issues now.

    3) Had the x axis randomly start going the wrong direction. Sometimes it would go the correct way, sometimes it would go the wrong way.
    Solution: Cable was bad, replaced cable and it is working fine now. Ended up replacing cables on x, y, and z axis for similar issues.

    4) Z axis did not seem stable.
    Solution: Have found the table is not very flat, and clamping down items in the t-slot grooves cause the levelness of the table to change. Have been going through possible solutions in my mind, but will likely put a solid piece of 3/4 inch plywood underneath the t-slot pieces. Will bolt the t-slot parts in several places to make sure they cannot lift.

    5) The most difficult yet; the x and y axis are drifting now. Since I have been doing more and more complex things, the axis have now been drifting. with 30 minutes of milling, I get about 10cm of drift on both y and x axis.
    Solution: Have not fixed this yet. It is likely occurring only during smaller moves. I can hear the motors make noise when they do moves of less than 0.010mm at a time. Pretty sure this is what is causing it. Have done alot of work improving the grounding, testing different velocities and accelerations. Nothing seems to help. Have also added some capacitors to the servo board to make sure power is not seeing noise on the driver. Thinking next steps will be to change the 5V power source from the factory provided one to a more stable one I bought on Amazon. Might be able to limit CAM software to hundredths precision rather than thousandths, still trying to figure out what to do. Have read up that other people have had similar issues and made it work by changing the signals from a positive to negative reacting signal, have not figured out how to change that on the drivers for my machine yet.

    Note that the people that sold this to me have pretty much done nothing to help at all.. Once they got the money and a review they were done. I even gave them a good review.
    Pretty sure to get a good repeating machine I will need to replace most if not all of the electronics parts.
    This is a bit backwards, but I am kind of glad this thing is a POS, it is a challenge and you are guaranteed to learn.
    For me it has been worth it, would not have been able to even try and get into CNC if it were not for the Chinese machines costing a fraction of what is asked for by American or European builders.
    Cliff



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Questions on 6040z machines...
Questions on 6040z machines...