I figured I would go ahead and start a build thread.
I recently purchased a gently used Compact 5 CNC that was at a tech school. The machine appears to have seen little use and I discovered why: The push buttons and switches appear to have corrosion on the contacts over years of no use, so trying to use it, let alone program it, would be very difficult.
Link to current pictures of lathe: EMCO Compact 5 CNC Lathe
The machine has a lot of dust and a bit of surface rust, nothing that can't be cleaned up easily. Taking of the rear cover was a shock: You could eat out of it:
The overall goal of this upgrade is to make this as user friendly as possible. I am not a practicing machinist but I understand the concepts involved. Plus where I work, I have a few seasoned veterans that are willing to guide me into my new endeavor learning G-Code and machining principles.
Before purchasing the lathe, I had been doing a lot of reading. Between here, the EMC web site, Artsoft, Hobbycnc, and CNC4PC I've learned a lot.
So here's a breakdown of what I want to accomplish:
- Replace existing steppers with newer steppers that are a bit more powerful. It appears the current NEMA 23 steppers are 60 oz, 9v and about 2 amps. I have some 100oz steppers that I picked up for a song that I should be getting any day now.
- Completely bypass existing electronics to be able to use a stand alone dedicated pc to run the lathe.
- Clean and paint lathe to make it more presentable.
- As it did not come with any tooling, I am exploring QC tool change posts from Little Machine Shop in probably the AXA size. Still unsure exactly what will fit though. Maybe this Quick Change Tool Post Set by A2Z CNC
- Would love to find an automatic tool changer to use.
- Mach3 or EMC2 - Big decision there.
So far Here's where I am leaning for electronics:
- Per Arturo's suggestions at CNC4PC I will be using a HobbyCNC PRO Chopper Driver Board Kit
- probably a C11 - Multifunction CNC Board
- A C3 - Index Pulse Card for spindle speed control.
- Try to utilize existing power supply for stepper power if at all possible.
So, as you can see I think from the conversion aspect I almost have all of my ducks in a row. Currently the only thing that a bit blurry will be the spindle speed/direction control.
As I side note: I was going to post the build over in the Yahoo group for this lathe, but since you have to join the group and search engines don't search the group, posting here will get more exposure and hopefully help more people out.
I also take constructive criticism pretty well so if you see a direction that I should be looking into, post up.