New Machine Build Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos


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Thread: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

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    Default Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    My Saturn Arrived Yesterday!!! Time to get busy



    One of the design goals of this was to have a control cabinet that was clean with as few of components as possible, I will cover each component and the reasoning behind the choice to use it.


    The learning curve behind all of this is very steep which is why I am creating this buildlog in case anyone wants to venture down the path of making their own control cabinet. If you don't want to use the Saturn maybe say a cheaper OX or R7 openbuilds based router this electronics kit would be a nice upgrade to those units especially the R7 that many seem to run into issues ywith.


    I did a lot of research before deciding on the Saturn. The machine itself was $3500 but with all steel construction it was an easy choice over the aluminum extrusion machines in the same and even more expensive price range due to how rigid this thing is, I liked it even more than some machines being sold for $13,000. Although their website is not yet updated, the gauntry does now ship in steel not aluminium extrusion.


    The unit can be purchased with a plug and play Nema 23 or Nema 34 control cabinets but they come with steppers and after reading several positive reviews from people who upgraded those kits to the Clearpath Teknic SDSK servos I was sold and so here we are. The Clearpath servos also have the drivers built in which means less components in the control cabinet and is part of the reason they are noise immune. To power the clearpath motors I went with the Teknic Amazon IPC 75VDC wired in 220v Single Phase (Optimal but can be ran on 120), This power supply has built in noise filter as well as working with the Clearpath servos which have the driver built in to the motor. This setup is noise immune and shielded cables are unnecessary, the OEM cables from Teknic are way too pricey so I just bought some Molex connectors and Belden wire saving myself a few hundred dollars.


    A point to bring up about price, most people think oh no Servos are way to expensive when they compare a Clearpath to an equivalent stepper motor. I have to say that is just not true with Clearpath servos; there is a reason they call it the SDSK series (Step Direction Stepper Killer). You need to do an Apples to Apples comparison: 1) You need to include the cost of the drivers for the steppers 2) you do not need shielded cable for the Clearpaths 3) There is less footage of power wire and connectors $$ on the control cabinet for the Clearpaths because they are Daisy Chained together 4) you can buy a smaller NEMA enclosure because there are far fewer components in the control cabinet


    When you take these things into consideration the Clearpaths come out the clear winner pun intended


    Next up is the controller, after reading countless opinions on the different controllers and UCCNC vs Mach3 vs Mach4 software reviews I decided to go with the UC300ETH controller because it supports both Mach3 and UCCNC software. Many are transitioning away from Mach3 because it is end of life with no new bug fixes being implemented and this controller gives them an easy way to play with both Mach3 and UCCNC as they learn the UCCNC software. There is a UC400ETH but it does not have the features the 300 has and many regret going for the 400 after the fact. What about Mach4? Well it does not really have an end in sight of when it will be finished and the UCCNC software not only costs a lot less but is also actively developed and is preferred by many who have made the switch especially when using Ger21's (from CNCzone forums) Screenset.


    For the BOB (Break out Board) I followed in Ger21's footsteps and went with the MB2, it was designed specifically for the Mach3 ESS controller but is compatible with the UC300ETH (not 400) to mount the UC300ETH you will need to 3D print a offset standoff board so the mounting holes can align. The only downside is the UC300ETH is powered via 5v (wish it was 24v) so for now a 5vdc power supply is required to power the UC300ETH and a 24vdc for the MB2 (This is not the case if using an ESS board with the MB2 but ESS is only compatible with Mach3). Both Ger21 and myself have been in contact with the manufacturer of the MB2 and he has agreed to create a version specifically for the UC300ETH so by the time you do your build the 5v power supply wont be needed and your install can be even more compact. Choosing the MB2 over other boards came down to the feature set, this board has a lot of built in functionality that can reduce the number of components needed as well as price for your build, I highly recommend it.


    For DIN rail power supplies I chose the Micron Dinergy Series, these supplies come with built in noise filters (With a claim of better filtering than the competitors), again one of the design goals was a clean install with few components. They are a bit more expensive then other supplies but I did not price out what the other supplies plus cost of noise filter is so it might even itself out.


    I also wanted to incorporate a low cost windows PC (for the UCCNC/Mach3 software) inside the control cabinet so all that was needed was a monitor and keyboard on a swinging arm, for this I chose the LattePanda 2GB ram / 32GB storage. One of the things that sparked my interest with this is the Arduino co-processor, I do not yet know what I am going to use it for, maybe sensing voltage and temps of the control cabinet, or find ways to incorporate it into the CNC process but its there for me to play with as I go. I recommend buying the version without a activated windows license if you have an extra windows 10 pro license key that you can use. You can use Blackbird on the home edition but it does not do as good of a job stripping the OS to bare essentials like it does on the Pro edition of windows. With that said, by using Blackbird to strip out all the windows 10 bloat (metro apps, background processes etc) the device is very fast and responsive. Just be sure to order up a couple packs of the copper heat sinks to keep it cool so it does not go into throttle mode. The LattePanda is also powered by 5v so this might not be something you want to do if you are building out a small enclosure with the new MB2 when available. Myself and another person have put in a feature request for the next version of Latte Panda to be variable power so it can be supplied by 5vdc-24vdc




    I skipped using power distribution blocks or a ground star bar (Yes the build would be cheaper using them but my goal was clean, compact install). Instead I decided on using three level terminal blocks with P.E. ground (Phoenix Contact) which allows the ground to terminate on the same block as the power (get 4 level for 3 phase power). This keeps things tight and allows the ground to be twisted along with the power back to the source, It also means things are more compact with only one block per device. You will notice in the photo that one of the terminal blocks has a blue colored top, order these ones for any 120VAC connections, it makes it easy to identify which blocks have a Neutral instead of two hots. If using these you need to make sure that you mount your DIN rail properly since it becomes your ground bus. Don't drill and tap and do not use self tapping sheet metal screws, instead use self tapping "machine" screws, these are the only type of self tapping screws approved by code to make enough contact. There is also a press fit method but I do not have the tools for that so self tapping machine screws it is.


    The fuse holder is a J-Class Finger safe fuse holder but you can go with a standard J-Fuse holder to save cost.


    The SSR (Solid State Relay) is a 25A relay for controlling the power receptacle and switching on any devices you might need.


    2.2KW Hitachi VFD Drive as recommended by many on CNCZone and a 2.2KW Water cooled spindle from BuildYourCNC (They have settled on this one over the years as the most reliable affordable option).


    The only thing missing from the photo's at the moment is the Altech DIN Rail 15A GFCI branch circuit breaker for the 120VAC (on my enclosure this is to power a receptacle for a pond pump for water cooling but if not using a water cooled spindle you could use it to power on a router and/or a shopvac for dust collection).






    I will update this post as I continue through the build, but that is what I have for now














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    Last edited by WhiteWolf; 05-09-2017 at 09:59 PM.


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Very nice! Is the Z servo the same size as the other three? Or maybe an optical illusion?

    It will be interesting if you get more speed out of it...although 600 ipm rapids are plenty fast enough for me.

    I'm curious what you will be putting it on...the base is a project in itself.

    Ward



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    WhiteWolf,

    Very nice review and many thanks for the endorsement. You nailed the apples to apples analogy. It looks like you have really done your homework. I look forward to seeing your build.



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    nice



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Looking good , and I'm really liking your choices . I also would like to keep things minimalist in the cabinet , and also have the computers Motherboard mounted inside

    I don't actually know anything about CNC router tables , but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by sybilsurf View Post
    Very nice! Is the Z servo the same size as the other three? Or maybe an optical illusion?

    It will be interesting if you get more speed out of it...although 600 ipm rapids are plenty fast enough for me.

    I'm curious what you will be putting it on...the base is a project in itself.

    Ward
    Yes the Z is the same size the only difference on the Z motor is it is not the ehanced version because it does not need to extra resolution.


    I do not personally have any experience with the CNCRP plug in play system but here is what a person on reddit had to say about the difference:
    I'm using Teknic Nema34 clearpaths on my CNCPRO PRO4848, and it is like no other machine I've used before. The power, my god man, it's insane. I have the CNCRP NEMA34s on another machine, these are better. These motors are pretty incredible, and wiring was a cinch. Buy the Molex crimper for $50 (do NOT get an off brand crimper, you will be very sad), and spend a few dollars on getting the correct Molex fittings, the cables go together quick. My BOB is a CSMIO/IP, which I am also fairly happy with, another smooth stepper type BOB would be similar I'm sure. Auto tune was pretty straightforward, and being able to swap directions with a checkbox allows the Y axis to use the same signal to both motors. I have severely limited the speeds on these and can still go faster than I will ever will during a normal run.
    Anyways, yes these are good motors. Ask me anything, I'll share my experience and setup info if you'd like.






    For now it will remain on the pallet, Word is fineline automation will be producing stands in the near future so for me the pallet is where it sits until then.


    P.S. the off brand crimper works just fine for me, ordered off Amazon



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by TeknicTom View Post
    WhiteWolf,

    Very nice review and many thanks for the endorsement. You nailed the apples to apples analogy. It looks like you have really done your homework. I look forward to seeing your build.
    Start making some Nema 17 clearpaths for the 3D print industry and ill order a dozen.... looking to build out a multi independent head printer that needs clearpaths hint hint

    A build of this is what I am looking to do Project Escher but with linear rails and ball screws and servos. The fun part will then be adapting it so it can do both additive and subtractive manufacturing with the various heads.

    Last edited by WhiteWolf; 05-09-2017 at 08:54 PM.


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Hello Whitewolf,
    My name is Craig.
    The timing of your posting is spot on for me.
    My Saturn 4 X 4 shipped yesterday. This will be my first CNC. I just want to do something new.
    My approach will be different than yours. My control box is going to be pretty full. I bought a rotary axis and a laser to attach next to the spindle.
    I now have (5) Nema 34 closed loop hybrid motors sitting on my work bench. I will also be putting up a build thread and we can compare notes. I need to learn how to
    use this forum better first.
    I am also starting an addition to my house so my build will progress slowly.
    What kind of base are you planning to use?

    I had Nate take a photo of the machine getting ready to ship so I can plan loading it on a trailer. I live on an island and have to go get it myself from a warehouse.


    Have fun with your build.
    Craig

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos-saturn-box1-jpg  


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by yachtlover View Post
    Hello Whitewolf,
    My name is Craig.
    The timing of your posting is spot on for me.
    My Saturn 4 X 4 shipped yesterday. This will be my first CNC. I just want to do something new.
    My approach will be different than yours. My control box is going to be pretty full. I bought a rotary axis and a laser to attach next to the spindle.
    I now have (5) Nema 34 closed loop hybrid motors sitting on my work bench. I will also be putting up a build thread and we can compare notes. I need to learn how to
    use this forum better first.
    I am also starting an addition to my house so my build will progress slowly.
    What kind of base are you planning to use?

    I had Nate take a photo of the machine getting ready to ship so I can plan loading it on a trailer. I live on an island and have to go get it myself from a warehouse.
    Congrats, I planned on adding a laser and rotary axis later as well just not upfront because I am also in the middle of building out a 3D printer and Airpipe system for my compressor. I will look forward to seeing how you accomplished it.

    As far as where it sits, pallet for now Nate will be producing stands in the near future and while I have the wood skills, I do not have welding skills and would rather wait for Nate to produce a matching stand.



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Both Ger21 and myself have been in contact with the manufacturer of the MB2 and he has agreed to create a version specifically for the UC300ETH so by the time you do your build the 5v power supply wont be needed and your install can be even more compact.
    I wouldn't count on this any time soon, and if it does happen, I'm curious what the end result will be. CNC Room mentioned that it would be easiest to basically duplicate the MB2, but for the UC300ETH. My opinion was that if it didn't take full advantage of the UC300ETH, there was no point in doing it. If it doesn't utilize the Analog I/O and all 5 ports of the UC300, then imo the current MB2 would be a better choice, at least for me.


    And I don't buy into the price comparison of Clearpaths to steppers. You'll never compare apples to apples, as the Clearpaths will always be far superior to steppers. But I can put together a high quality stepper system for 1/3 the price of those Clearpaths.
    I'm using AC servos on my machine, at ±$400per axis + cables, which is comparable to Clearpaths. A 640oz stepper and good digital drive can be had for $125 per axis. And imo, the cost difference of the cables is minimal.

    Gerry

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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    WhiteWolf,

    Thanks for posting the thread. I am looking at a very similar setup, especially the ClearPath motors.

    One other question...how do the updated rack and pinion drives look to you? I know that Nate made some improvements that should be on your machine. Thanks!



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    OK, one more question...Now that the gantry is steel with welded end plates, how do you route the wires to the opposite side of the machine from the cable chain? Previously, you could fish them through the middle of aluminum extrusion or through an unused T-slot. Are there any cable attachment points? Thanks again!



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    I wouldn't count on this any time soon, and if it does happen, I'm curious what the end result will be. CNC Room mentioned that it would be easiest to basically duplicate the MB2, but for the UC300ETH. My opinion was that if it didn't take full advantage of the UC300ETH, there was no point in doing it. If it doesn't utilize the Analog I/O and all 5 ports of the UC300, then imo the current MB2 would be a better choice, at least for me.


    And I don't buy into the price comparison of Clearpaths to steppers. You'll never compare apples to apples, as the Clearpaths will always be far superior to steppers. But I can put together a high quality stepper system for 1/3 the price of those Clearpaths.
    I'm using AC servos on my machine, at ±$400per axis + cables, which is comparable to Clearpaths. A 640oz stepper and good digital drive can be had for $125 per axis. And imo, the cost difference of the cables is minimal.
    Ill reach out to him again and see what i can do, I am looking to be a US distributor for the MB2.

    Sure the servos are superior but I was merely calling it an apples to apples comparison of price based on a general class. When i look at the cost of 4 or 5 geckos x $135 to $150 a piece which seems to be the standard used in this class. plus cost of steppers, Then add the price of 50 feet of shielded wire vs 20ft of unshielded and can purchase a smaller cheaper Nema enclosure we are looking at a very similar price.

    Sure you can get cheaper steppers and cheaper drivers.... but the same can be done for servos using mechaduinos and stepper motors (elcheapo clearpath) but comparing nema 24 and 34 with gecko drivers a person is looking to spend about the same as a clearpath setup.

    Last edited by WhiteWolf; 05-10-2017 at 12:00 AM.


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by DDgitfiddle View Post
    WhiteWolf,

    Thanks for posting the thread. I am looking at a very similar setup, especially the ClearPath motors.

    One other question...how do the updated rack and pinion drives look to you? I know that Nate made some improvements that should be on your machine. Thanks!
    Ill take some more photos tomorrow



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Then add the price of 50 feet of shielded wire
    You don't need to use shielded wire with steppers. It would be a waste of money, imo. And I'm using Leadshine AM882's on my machine's two Z axes. Many people say they are better than Gecko's, and cost $60-$80 on Ebay.
    I don't want to derail your thread, so we'll agree to disagree.


    I gave Weerasak my opinion about the breakout board, and what I thought it should be. That was 2-3 weeks ago. He had just received his UC300ETH, so hadn't started on any development yet.

    Gerry

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    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by DDgitfiddle View Post
    WhiteWolf,

    Thanks for posting the thread. I am looking at a very similar setup, especially the ClearPath motors.

    One other question...how do the updated rack and pinion drives look to you? I know that Nate made some improvements that should be on your machine. Thanks!


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos-img_1395-jpg   Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos-img_1394-jpg   Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos-img_1396-jpg   Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos-img_1397-jpg  



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Thanks for posting the pics of rack and pinion drives. Do they feel pretty solid? There were some problems documented in a previous thread. Nate made some changes to both the pivot and the pinion/pulley assembly to reduce free play and backlash, so I am curious if these changes have been effective.

    Thanks!



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Is the pinion rubbing against the frame (last photo)? Ours is about 1/8" away from the frame. I think Nate is working on spacers to retrofit the first Saturn machines or deeper racks for the newer models but I'm not aware of a release date - thought it was in effect for the machines going out the door now, though.

    David

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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Watching this thread closely. My 4x4 just shows up and I was looking at building it with the clear path motors, MB2, eth300 and hitatxhincfs as well.



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    Default Re: Saturn 4'x4' My Second Build the first time with Clearpath Servos

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyFXDWG View Post
    Watching this thread closely. My 4x4 just shows up and I was looking at building it with the clear path motors, MB2, eth300 and hitatxhincfs as well.
    Congrats , I'm hoping you start a build thread of your progress

    I don't actually know anything about CNC router tables , but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night


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