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View Full Version : Baldor NextMove PCI - anyone used for CNC?



dddamian
09-13-2010, 01:33 PM
Hi all. I have successfully used one of these cards for a CNC Plasma machine, but they leave much to be desired for G-Code control. Baldor has a cheesy 2D profiler called MintNC but it is useless for 3D and G-Code interpretation. Drivers or interfaces don't seem to be available for any CAM program on the market.

Has anyone used one of these for G-Code control in 3D? Has anyone actually developed an interpreter in Baldors Mint programming language?

Baldor doesn't seem to do anything as far as developing these control cards for CNC despite the fact they are very capable indeed (up to 8 axes interpolated).

cowleym
10-13-2010, 12:45 PM
Hi

I have used 60+ of the baldor esb2 controllers for our plasma and gas cutting machines, with a PC based front end (activeX), g code, essi and dxf import etc. The esb will also handle plasma height control.

Its a nice piece of kit.

Mike

Plasma cutters, gas and waterjet cutting machines for profile cutting and special purpose cutting manufactured by Techserv (http://www.techserv.co.uk)

dddamian
10-13-2010, 04:24 PM
Hi Mark - thanks for responding. I use MintNC to run my CNC plasma (via a NextMovePCI and a touchscreen), and yeah, that combo is perfect for 2D profiles used in plasma.

I have another card and I was hoping to use it for full 3D control, either on a gantry mill or a CNC router, and it would need to do 3D interpolation. The card is certainly capable, it's on the front-end that Baldor is lacking.

Even going custom with ActiveX the control can only do 2D views, and the G-Code import function can't handle a Z-axis.

I'd just wondered if anyone had written something to interface to Mint to do actual 3D, e.g. a .mex or .mnt file. Either that or a post-processor from MasterCam to output something the card can then use....

I'm guessing it's gonna take someone writing a Mint program that will convert incoming G-codes to moves, and Baldor doesn't seem to want to do that. They're missing a great opportunity to get their Mint controllers into the CNC market on a bigger scale.

As you've noted, these controllers are very capable indeed!

cowleym
10-14-2010, 03:21 AM
Yep

I've written my own front end using labview, communicating directly with the nextmove using activeX, as a result there is no Mint programming to get in the way. most of our systems are 2,3 or 4 axis with the occasional 7 axis. I am currently building a 5 axis tube cutting machine, although in truth only 2.5 axis are interpolated.
I can read, display and follow G code, dxf etc. We use them for making big things such as aircraft carriers and structural steel.

If you are interested there is a bit more info at plasma cutting machines home (http://www.techservcnc.com)

Regards

Mike

dddamian
10-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Hey Mike - had a look through the Techserv website and the pdf for your control software - nice work!

It's been a long time since I've done much programming, so I'm not sure if I'll go the custom front-end route as you have. It's a shame Baldor and Starsmore (the developer of MintNC) haven't done much with their software since the initial release, especially in additional axes. Would love to make a true 3+ axis machine with the gear I've got.

Maybe I'll get lucky and find someone who's done a true multi-axis G-Code to Mint program, eg. take G03 X3.0 Y3.0 Z0.25 R.25 F.003 M8 into Mint and spit out the CIRCLEA blah blah that the controller will process. Then I could feed seamlessly from MasterCam (for example) to the machine and have it do full 3+ axis interpolated control.

Thanks for your insights!

cowleym
10-15-2010, 10:53 AM
Hi
Sticking in the Z moves is the next job on the list.
I find the trick with programming is to use the highest level language possible, Labview ( National Instruments - Test and Measurement (http://www.ni.com) ) does it for me.

Mike

alesper
02-21-2011, 06:17 PM
HPGL IS FREE. SOURCE CODE IS AVAILABLE FOR VB 6 BUT CAN CONVERT TO VB 2008 BY JUST COMMENTING THE ONE ERROR OUT AND IT STILL RUNS Z AXIS CONTROL IS AVAILABLE AS WELL. THE PROGRAM WILL HANDLE .PLT FILES. THE MINT COULD BE ALTERED TO HANDLE INTERPOLATED Z.

stevensea
01-01-2015, 01:42 PM
Has anyone made any progress on getting these Nextmove controllers? I would very much appreciate some tips.

cowleym
01-01-2015, 05:23 PM
Hi Stevensea

Yes I use them a lot, we have over 250 nextmove based plasma machines out there, making everything from artwork to aircraft carriers.
See Techserv Profile CNC, Plasma, Gas, Waterjet Cutting Machines (http://www.techserv.co.uk) for details, I also have some YouTube videos, search for mike Techserv.
Do you have a particular query I can help with?