I have been lurking the site for a little while now, and I have learned quite a bit about steppers, cnc, etc.
I am not trying to build a full fledged CNC machine, rather I am building a simple XY stage for positioning/moving samples under a high intensity microwave beam. I need ultra fine control, moving the sample at extremely slow speeds (perhaps even as slow as 1/64" per minute). Having the ability to define a particular path for the sample to travel would be ideal.
I have the two stages bolted together already, and now I need to motorize it. I figure steppers are the best way to go. I am probably going to go with reasonably high torque steppers (~460 oz/in) so that I don't run into problems and can expand the system if need be.
I have a few questions: What would be a good controller for this sort of thing? A xylotex? Or perhaps a couple geckos? What do people think of the breakout boards for the gecko's?
And what software would work? I don't need any machining features (spindle control, etc...), just simple x y control and the ability to have user defined paths. I have looked at the Artsoft Mach series, and I might be able to customize it to do something like this. However it'll be like swatting a fly with a howitzer. Also, I am under time constraints and I can't guarantee Iíll be able to pick up G-code, vb scripting, etc. before I am due to finish the thing.
Has anyone heard of using LabView to control gecko's? Our whole laboratory is driven by labview, it would be convenient to add this to our existing system.
Any ideas anyone?
Thanks for your time!
p.s. If this is the wrong forum for this post, tell me where to go and I'll move it! : )
Last edited by ymstandard; 08-17-2006 at 02:23 PM.