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Thread: Revamping/upgrading old engraving machine

  1. #1
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    Smile Revamping/upgrading old engraving machine

    Hi all!

    So about a year and a half ago now I offered to rebuild an old broken down engraving machine my dad had at his company. It's a New Hermes Vanguard V3400. It's huge, and heavy, and slow. It's pictured below.

    He gave it to me with a blown out motion controller. The PC it came with still functioned, but neither of us were intent on keeping that. I brought it back to life with an Arduino, some stepper controllers, the original power supply from the motion controller, and a Raspberry Pi for the user control, with some nice free software for doing his engraving. It took awhile but I got it done. But then... his company went bust before I was quite ready to hand it over.

    So now I'm stuck with an engraving machine that's not much use to me. What would be of use to me, however, is a full-blown CNC. I'd love to be able to build brackets from aluminum and wood, and mill out PCBs for other projects I work on. I did a few upgrades so far, my dad sent me new X and Y axis screws that he found in a box at his company, and I bought a couple 2.8 amp NEMA 23 motors. I have a few questions though.

    First, he axes are lead screws, and the nuts are entirely plastic. If I wanted to, say, mill out pieces of aluminum, would the lead screw fail? Would it be relatively easy to upgrade to a ball screw?

    Another thing. The spindle motor is in the CNC housing, and a series of belts connect it to the spindle. The belt doesn't feel very tight and it runs at a fixed, high RPM, for engraving. The big question I have is, will I need to get rid of the belt drive and mount the spindle motor on the Z axis, or can I keep it the way it is?

    Lastly, GRBL. What is the consensus on it in the community? Now that I'm not limited by my dad's requirements I'm tempted to purchase a proper motion controller, but GRBL did seem to work alright for engraving. What do other people like to use?


    I do apologize if there's write-ups on all this that I'm not missing. I'm no CNC expert, in fact when I started this project I barely even knew what the acronym stood for. But any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Revamping/upgrading old engraving machine

    Shouldn't this thread go back into the CNC router forum?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjay View Post
    Shouldn't this thread go back into the CNC router forum?
    Yeah I don't understand why it's not considered DIY, the only thing I haven't changed on this machine is the case and lead screws and spindle...



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    Quote Originally Posted by katemonster View Post
    Yeah I don't understand why it's not considered DIY, the only thing I haven't changed on this machine is the case and lead screws and spindle...
    I suspect it's because the post started out with the word "engraver." Moderators, please move to the cnc router forum.



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    Default Re: Revamping/upgrading old engraving machine

    I have one like this that I modified also. used the original power supply and the stepper driver for years, but recently changed those out also. I also removed the spindle motor and mounted a RC Outdrive motor, meant for RC airplane. Works great.



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