Congratulations Chris for this discussion. It is very interesting and very informative about a new perspective in this market!
I discussed with Fred yesterday as I am tempted by the characteristics of this 7130.
Fred offer turnkey solution with KND or GSK or Siemens. In my case I design with Fusion 360 and then use Mach3 to run the G-code. I would not mind using whatever controller that can drive nicely and smoothly my g-code. I do not know these KND GSK Siemens controller but what is appealing is that the machine may run not too long after I receive it. The question : do you think one of these CNC package installed by Fred can be a success ; if so is there one that may be a better choice?
Edit : I use Fusion 360 ; there are post processors available for Siemens (many), one is available for a GSK, and none for KND. ; the Siemens option is above 2000$ more than KND.... Now I do understand the route Chris took.
When purchasing the machine I was informed that the low cost Chinese systems did not offer smooth arc m movements but rather small lines to make up the arcs, this was unacceptable for my application. Whether I was misinformed or not I don't know as that was difficult to determine through conversation with Fred, he insisted that it wouldn't do true arc interpolation. So be sure you get what you need in the control system!
Hang in there Chris. LinuxCNC has a steep learning curve but it's totally worth it! I would echo what others have suggested in focusing on getting the basics going first before you dive deeper into Path Pilot / the ATC. There's help out there. Get an IRC client running and join the chat rooms. Mesa's after sales support is terrific too.
Hi i would propose to get the machine run using close to Standard config with Mesa Card and linuxcnc if you get the drives Limit Switches and spindle to run the translation to pathpilot is done in an Hour ... atc wise i might be able to help doing an Box which behaves As an atc control from pathpilot Point of view means it has USB and some Relais done ...