New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis


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Thread: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

  1. #1

    Default New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    I totally new to linear motion and am in the process of building a drilling machine for long lengths of bar stock. We are currently using a Razor Gauge retrofitted to a Bridgeport to accurately position holes along a 10' long bar. We uses the Razor Gauge to position the x axis and the Bridgeport to locate the y axis prior to drilling. This setup as been in use for two years and works well but we are now trying to rebuild the drill around a Burgmaster turret drill so all operations can be done in one set up. I have designed a Y axis slide around 20mm bearing rails and a 16mm diameter, 5mm lead ball screw with a NEMA 23 bracket. Our current plan is to uses a DRO and hand crank to locate Y axis but I would like to know more about what would be needed to set up with a servo or stepper motor and Numerical key pad to be able to punch in the y location and have it move to it. The Y axis is only moving a 8" vise and only needs 8-9" of travel because of the throat of the drill. I have a full machine shop to my disposal and am quite competent in the mechanical side but am totally ignorant on the electrical side. I need a very basic interface that my employees can use and should not be any more difficult than punching in 0.500 and having the vise move 0.500", otherwise we will go back to turning handles.

    Here is a link of the Razorgauge we are using and I am basically looking to build a 8" travel version.



    So my questions are:
    How complected is it to design and build the electrical side of this slide with a simple numerical keypad?
    What components are needed and where can I find out how to spec and install
    How much would it cost (roughly)
    Are there anyplace or people that could set up a turnkey system If I provided the slide table?

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  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Why not contact Razor Gauge and see if they will make an eight inch travel version for you. Really all they would have to do is cut down one of their longer units. Or just buy one of their controllers and hang it on your slide assembly, they are just driving a small stepper motor on the unit shown in the video.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  3. #3

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Why not contact Razor Gauge and see if they will make an eight inch travel version for you. Really all they would have to do is cut down one of their longer units. Or just buy one of their controllers and hang it on your slide assembly, they are just driving a small stepper motor on the unit shown in the video.
    When this project idea first came about I tried talking to them and they where very unhelpful, at the time I wanted to contract them to build a system that intergraded both x and y into the same controller. They wanted $150k. I dont think they are interested in doing anything outside of their normal products. I also doubt that they would sell their control Separately.


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  4. #4

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Why not contact Razor Gauge and see if they will make an eight inch travel version for you. Really all they would have to do is cut down one of their longer units. Or just buy one of their controllers and hang it on your slide assembly, they are just driving a small stepper motor on the unit shown in the video.
    I think tiger stops Saw gear product would be a better product to scavenge parts from if the controller was compatible.


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  5. #5

    Default New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    I just saw the Sherline controller but it looks a little DIY and is not intended for industrial use. Biggest issue is it does not have absolute dimensions, only incremental.


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  6. #6
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Tiger Stop hardware would work also, not really any different than RazorGage.

    At this point you are so close to a full on CNC that you might as well go that route as far as a controller is concerned. Call it CNC-Lite, would actually be simpler than trying to merge a RazorGage with a Tiger Stop. You just need a simple 2 axis X/Y controller for positioning your part. There are a few hobby class options that would work well for this and are inexpensive. Really any system that would run a a couple of steppers. Or you could go as industrial as you want with a more expensive controller option and servo motors rather than steppers.

    From what you describe, it would make sense to load a job file with the hole pattern already plotted and then press Go. The machine would position the part at each hole location allowing an operator to perform the manual drilling operations, then would press Go again and the machine would position the part at the next hole. I run my BP clone mill this way all the time for doing hole patterns. I wrote special software that allows me to switch the Z axis to manual and run it as a 2 axis machine.

    It would be pretty easy to integrate your existing RazorGage hardware with your new cross slide system. But it would require a new controller that could be anything from off the shelf hobby class, to a custom industrial solution. The degree of automation is up to you. With that Burgmaster turret drill, all you really need to add to the system is an air actuated vice and a simple method of operating the drill to make it a fully automated system.

    Last edited by Jim Dawson; 04-25-2020 at 11:02 AM.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    At this point you are so close to a full on CNC that you might as well go that route as far as a controller is concerned.
    I agree. How often do you need to vary hole positions ? Some form of conversational control could be the answer. Is automating the Z axis a possibility ?
    btw and off topic, I operated a huge Burgmaster turret mill in a former life.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


  8. #8

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    It’s an interesting idea to build a 2 axis control using the existing razor gauge. What would be the concerns of using a home shop control vs a more industrial? My business is in architectural metalwork and every project is 100% custom so no hole patterns are used again. We design everything in solidworks and it can generate a .csv table with x and y positions. We can download the csv to the razor gauge and it reads the x position on the table. What kind of control can use a simple csv table to make the program?



  9. #9
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Since you already have the RazorGage you may as well use it. The guts of it are simple, a stepper motor driving a belt that's attached to the carriage and a limit switch or two. Running open loop I'm sure. Tiger Stop is exactly the same. You could hang a small servo motor on there, closing the loop at the drive, with a Centroid Acorn controller and have a pretty robust system. For handling the long piece of material, a push system is really the only way to go. You really don't even need a vise, a couple of air clamps near the drilling operation would be my choice.

    The tricky part will be moving the Y axis because you need to move the entire X axis assembly to keep things square, and that system needs to be 20ft long to handle a 10ft piece of material. A servo fence arrangement comes to mind.

    To the best of my knowledge there is no CNC control that will accept a csv file. All CNC software uses G code. Having said that, the G code for locating X/Y positions is almost like a csv file with a little more formatting. Example: G1 X1.25 Y1.25 vs.1.25,1.25

    Since you are using Solidworks, it's easy to export a dxf file that will import into a CAM program to generate properly formatted G code that any controller could read. A really simple CAM program like CamBam would allow you to generate the G code for a hole layout in a minute or so, just one small extra step from what you are doing now. An alternative would be a simple translating program that would convert the csv file into a properly formatted G code file, it's just some simple text manipulation, could even be done with an Excel macro.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  10. #10

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    When you say servo fence are you implying a 3rd linear actuator that moves with the x axis that is always aligned with the y axis? I was going to do this manually with a simple t slot extrusion and movable stop so that I’m only controlling y at the vise and the contact point of 0,0 at the x axis stop. Most of my hole patterns are in line so y axis is not moving much it at all for each part.

    Who would you recommend looking at for a complete kit with servos, drives and control? I think solidworks can output cam, or I might be able to make the hole table output in a g code format.


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  11. #11

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Now that you mention it I was less interested in taking apart a fully functioning razorgauge to work with this system. BUT I remembered I bought 2 10' tigerstops with broken controllers for cheap. I spent $3500 and bought a new amplifier and keypad for one and hooked it up to my saw, but just have the other 10' unit in storage. When I was repairing the last unit I tested both and the servo and carriage both work so I think it would be PERFECT to retro fit to integrated system!

    Would something like Mach 3 be a good choice for a controller to run the program? What would be a good kit to wire up a control cabinet? there are so many options out there I have now way to know what is quality



  12. #12
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    I was thinking more of a 20 ft long assembly, centered on the drill, that is the Y axis. The the X axis assembly would attach to that. But maybe it would make more sense to use a fixed fence, and simply move the drill back & forth as needed. Doesn't matter if you move the work or the drill, the result is the same.

    I like DMM Technologies servos DMM | AC SERVO DRIVE | AC SERVO MOTOR | ROTARY ENCODER

    For a control I think Centroid Acorn would do what you want. https://www.centroidcnc.com/centroid...ontroller.html

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


  13. #13

    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    I was thinking more of a 20 ft long assembly, centered on the drill, that is the Y axis. The the X axis assembly would attach to that. But maybe it would make more sense to use a fixed fence, and simply move the drill back & forth as needed. Doesn't matter if you move the work or the drill, the result is the same.

    I like DMM Technologies servos DMM | AC SERVO DRIVE | AC SERVO MOTOR | ROTARY ENCODER

    For a control I think Centroid Acorn would do what you want. https://www.centroidcnc.com/centroid...ontroller.html
    Currently I have 20MM rails with light pre-load bearing for attaching the vise if I end up moving the drill head in Y axis (easily a few hundred pounds) what size rails would you recommend?



  14. #14
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Quote Originally Posted by whetstone View Post
    Now that you mention it I was less interested in taking apart a fully functioning razorgauge to work with this system. BUT I remembered I bought 2 10' tigerstops with broken controllers for cheap. I spent $3500 and bought a new amplifier and keypad for one and hooked it up to my saw, but just have the other 10' unit in storage. When I was repairing the last unit I tested both and the servo and carriage both work so I think it would be PERFECT to retro fit to integrated system!

    Would something like Mach 3 be a good choice for a controller to run the program? What would be a good kit to wire up a control cabinet? there are so many options out there I have now way to know what is quality

    That pretty much solves your X axis hardware problem. I would just replace the motor with a new one and a new drive. You pretty much need to buy a motor and drive as a matched set when replacing servo drives. Steppers you can mix and match, but not servos. For your system, a new servo motor and drive would be <$500.

    Mach 3 would run your system, but certainly would not be my first choice. I don't think there is any ''kit'' to wire up a control cabinet, but I buy most of my hardware from Automation Direct https://www.automationdirect.com/adc/home/home

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Quote Originally Posted by whetstone View Post
    Currently I have 20MM rails with light pre-load bearing for attaching the vise if I end up moving the drill head in Y axis (easily a few hundred pounds) what size rails would you recommend?

    20mm rails should be more than adequate for a few hundred pounds. The dynamic load rating on a single 20mm carriage is 4450 pounds. With four carriages on two rails that gives you over 13,000 pounds of vertical load capacity.

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    Before you build a control cabinet this thread might be worth looking through https://www.cnczone.com/forums/mecha...77816-cnc.html

    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA


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    Default Re: New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

    My business is in architectural metalwork and every project is 100% custom so no hole patterns are used again
    Ahh...now I understand why you like your current set-up. That kind of work doesn't play to a 'regular' cnc machine's strengths. ie: repetitive work.
    It's the kind of work a cnc operator might do in MDI (manual input) instead of creating a program.
    Wish I could help but drawing a blank here.

    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.


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New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis

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New user to Linear Motion and need to set up motor for single axis