I purchased a Grizzly G1007 (just a G1006 with the X axis powerfeed). Well, it's been working great, and I use it almost every day for little jobs. But now I really need a CNC setup. I use my mill at work, and there are some new product ideas I want to work on, that were slated to be pushed off until later this year (because of the expense of a pre-made CNC setup from Haas, etc). I want to get a jumpstart on development and boost my learning curve so when the big mill comes later this year, I am not green to CNC and the parts development will be further along.
So, I have this G1006 I want to CNC.
-I am going to go with (I believe) the power supply and case from Camtronics. I was planning to get motors, power supply, case, cables, connectors, and heat sinks from him. Any comments on that? I trust Dan is a good guy - heard good things.
-I have the Geckos myself - I got a deal on them from a guy on eBay. I have the G320's. It seems the 340 just has the pulse multiplier, which I dont think I need, do I???
-If I get the motors from Camtronics, I will have to fabricate my own mounting for them. If I get them from the homecnc.info site, I can get plans there too to build the mounting to get the motors mounted. The Camtronics motors are 600oz-in but the homecnc ones are 430oz-in. I'm leaning towards using the 600oz-in and just working out the mounting myself. Any comments on that?
-I need to convert to ballscrews. Which ones should I get? Do I really need to pay for ground or are rolled ok? What diameter and pitch should I get? And do all screw sellers sell the ends with the screws? How are the ends mounted??
-If I make the motor mountings myself, I am not too well versed in what bearings I need. I see people using double bearings. Why? Don't I just need a single plain old bearing where the ballscrew comes through the mount where the motor is? I'm afraid I will mis-design this part and it could be better to go with the pre-made plan.
-Do people convert the Z axis to a ballscrew or just make do with what it comes with? Maybe I could get just the Z-axis plans from homecnc and use the more powerful motors for my X and Y and make my own mounts???
-I use AutoDesk Inventor to make my part drawings now. Any suggestions on CAM software? I will be doing 3 axis machining and would ideally like the capability to go to 4 or 5 using the same software (for when the bigger machine comes and I dont need to learn a whole new package). I prefer windows based and graphical. I tried the demo of Visual Mill and liked it. I tried MasterCAM and hated it. Visual mill is a lot of $$$ though.
-What about G-Code control software? I have a PC and I can run anything on it - DOS, Linux, Windows. Is there a consensus on the best Mill control software to use? Preferably free And hopefully able to function as a DRO and also have jog keys so I can still do stuff manually.
Thanks! Any other comments or feedback would be great. I'm hoping to order up a lot of these parts in the coming week and go from there.
It doesn't appear from the site that the parts would be interchangeable, unfortunately.
- Yes, Dan at Camtronics is a good guy to deal with. His products are very good quality. I went with a nearly identical setup for my first CNC, which made it much nicer for a newbie.
- G320s will work well for you.
- I would recommend the higher torque motors and making your own mounting. It's not to difficult. If you do it like HomeCNC and myself did, you can still use the mill manually, too.
- I'm not really familiar with the ballscrew side of conversions. I know McMaster and MSC sell ballscrews. There have also been some other places listed here, as well as ways to make your own pre-loaded ballnuts. If you do some homework, you should be able to save some money here. Only you can decide what precision you need. What size/pitch you select should be determined by your maximum desired feedspeeds.
- Most of these machines have very sub-par z-axis drives. I would recommend trying yours out manually and see if it meets the accuracy you desire. If not, re-build it with a ballscrew drive.
- For CAM and CNC software, do some cruising around in the software forums. There are WAAAAY too many options to fully investigate here. For CAM, DeskCNC, TurboCADCAM, and many others will work. For CNC control, TurboCNC, Mach2, and the Linux Distro should be good. You have to decide which is best for you.
Hope it helps.
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(Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)