View Full Version : Mach 2 or 3 with higher end toolpath software?

Corvus corax
10-24-2005, 07:02 PM
I am building a machine that is eventually going to be used for producing fairly simple, but precise parts for the company I work for. I want to make sure the software I choose will be compatible with whatever machine controller I decide on. Right now, it looks as if that is going to be Mach 3. After I get that up and running, I want to start using a high end toolpath generation applicaton, like OneCNC or the like. I need to have support for Truetype fonts for panel engraving, and I want to be able to run nested parts for production. Everything we build is made from either aluminum extrusion or plate, so for the most part, its 2D. Looking for speed, and superior finish. Any suggestions?

12-10-2005, 08:02 PM
Corvus, I carn't answer your Q cos of very little experience with such S/W but can I ask about your control ideas?

I've noted some of your plans for High speed and Ally, how do you hope to address acceleration/ decelleration issues - will your S/W be able to handle that? it must be fairly critical for you?

are you keeping weight of moving parts down to a minimum? do you need to?

I'm picking your brains/experience cos one day I hope to have a m/c for ripping into foam so speed is quite critical ! big long dangling cutters LOL and deep pockets to m/c.

all the best for your design.


Corvus corax
12-11-2005, 12:03 AM
The moving mass of the system is quite critical for any machine that needs to change directions quickly. Though I've had to shave my need for speed somewhat, I will be keeping my moving mass to a minimum, thanks to an all aluminum gantry system, and a high frequency 1 HP spindle. I will be using a rotating ball nut system for the X axis, due to the screws long length and large diameter. I have a fairly slow screw, 1 inch per 6 revolutions of the nut, and this will limit my top speed somewhat, as I'm going with the simple nature of stepping motors for this, my first machine. I am leaving room for servos if I decide to upgrade in the future.

The entire gantry, though it measures only 36 inches end to end, will only weigh about 40 pounds, fully equipped. This will keep inertial moment to a minimum, and the heavy foundation of the machine will help absorb and dissapate excess energy. My base frame will weigh 1200 pounds when mass loaded with twelve 75 pound concrete filled cylinders that slip into heavy steel tubes welded into the 6 inch I beam main frame. A 1 inch thick aluminum table rests on top of this assembly. The frame, cutting surface, and gantry are leveled and coupled to the floor via 4 magnetically damped ferrofluid filled isolation pods, each capable of supporting 1400 pounds. The main chassis resonance is kept well below .25 cycles per second. For the initial setup, I'll just use standard feet and shims, with no mass loading. :)

The idea behind all this is to make the machine capable of absorbing the little jiggles induced into the chassis by the motion of the spindle during cutting operations, to improve the surface quality of the finished parts.