So, I have this decent Bridgeport clone with x & y & quill ballscrews. It is in good shape and has a LubeSite automatic oiler. It has an ancient Bandit controller which is not working right and 3 big DC servos.
I'm looking for opinions on a good low cost approach for getting this making chips again. I am a hobbyist and am very comfortable with DIY electronics, wiring, etc. I really like what I have seen of Mach3, and I'd like to use that. I have spare PC's lying around that will ruin it.
The existing servos indicate a stall torque of 400 oz/in. I'm thinking for my purposes, big steppers will be fine. I see nema42 steppers rated at over 4000 oz/in. I think the servos are geared down, and maybe the 400 oz/in is the rating of the motor before the gear reduction?
I'm thinking that if I get pretty much the biggest steppers that will fit, and associated driver, it will work fine and not stall/slip when actually cutting.
If you search for nema42 stepper on ebay, you will encounter a 3 axis setup with 4120 oz/in steppers, drivers, and break out board. Price is < $1500. This seems like a decent approach to me, although it is all Chinese. It is all no-name. I'd rather use Gecko, ideally.
What approach would you take?
I'm curious why you want to replace the servos with steppers. If they are in working order large drives will run you $180-$259 each depending on brand, encoders if needed are $25-$100 each, once again brand specific, and a BOB ~$100. You stand to save $500 or more.