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Thread: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

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    Question Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    I need some help selecting steppers and the electronic components for my 3 axis machine.
    My problem is that I do not have much of a clue what the various specs on Bangood mean (or anywhere else for that matter).
    OR what I actually require.
    My machine is roughly based on the Solsylva design, X and Y travel 600mm, Z travel 300mm.
    The lead screws will be M8 x 1.25 pitch (for now) hopefully directly coupled to the motor shaft using spider shaft couplers.
    (No step up/down belts or "flexible ally couplers").
    I intend using an UNO and Win7 PC to drive everything at this time so advice on what best to use along with the UNO would be appreciated.
    As noise will be a problem I would love to use a high wattage spindle motor and belt drive an ER32 collet holder spindle to keep noise levels low AND so that I can use off the shelf tooling with indexable inserts.
    Exotic max IPM feed numbers are not important and the material being cut will be various woods but later I would like to upgrade to proper multi-start lead screws.
    But this is for another time.
    I will probably have to start out with a router and bring the speed down to get it quieter, and of course the M8 threaded rods.
    So what would be the most cost effective motors (listed on Bangood) to use?
    What UNO "shield" should I use or should I use separate "stepper driver units" and if so, which ones?
    (I presume that using "stepper driver units" will mean that a "shield" is not necessary)
    One day, when I am feeling REALLY BRAVE maybe moving over to Mach4/Linux will be considered but not just now.
    I have had CNC shop experience (Victor 2000 with Fanuc controllers) but the "home grown" scene is totally new to me.
    Looking forward to finding out what everybody thinks.
    All the best and thanks.

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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Addendum: Advice on a power supply to pull all of this would also be appreciated.



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Off hand, I'd say you are heading the wrong way. I have a long "RepRap" 3D printer background so I have used the arduino controllers and drivers for some time. To use them for a CNC mill is a needless complication. You can run Mach3 (or 4) on win7, while I went ahead and setup a linux PC and run LinuxCNC.

    Common CNC power strategy, Breakout board to driver to motor and power from power supply to driver to motor. This takes the main power away from the circuit board.

    The arduino mega with a RAMPs shield directs the power thru the shield which holds very small drivers. These drive NEMA17 steppers, no more. My NEMA17s overheated in seconds driving a small CNC table I put together. Arduino, RAMBo, Gen7, all the same system. For comparison, my Sherline uses NEMA 23s.

    I'm not sure which "stepper driver units" you mean. I went to the Solsylva design site and took a quick look at the unit you reference and it states it calls for NEMA 23. I just went thru this on my Denford/Sherline rebuild. Forget the Arduino. I used a cheap asian CNC Break-out board, asian drivers and a 24v power supply. Cheap, off the shelf, common. Around $125 US, if I remember right. Motors will run you more. I use linuxCNC because it is free and does the job. You'll need a parallel port but not much power. I bought an old tower for $50 to run it.

    I've seen full electronics and motor kits at stepperonline for about $250. If I had needed motors, I probably would have gone with a set. Buying separately did not seem to save much money.

    Hope that helps.



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Hi CaptnBlynd - thanks for the reply.
    The thing is that although I have had experience in a commercial CNC workshop, I have never actually built one of these "home" machines before.
    In the start things like speed will not be of major importance as it will be part of a learning curve made difficult by a very limited budget.
    I'm aiming at machine design, rigidity and stability and once I have developed and proven that, I should have funds available to upgrade motors etc.
    I have decided to go with multi-start lead screws and if the motors battle too much then I'll put in a 2:1 or maybe even 3:1 belt reduction system to help them "survive".
    The possibility of a dual motor setup on the X axis is also there if needed.
    And I will be conservative with the maximum rapid speed settings.
    As far as Arduino goes, I already have an UNO so its just the shield I need to buy.
    I'll probably be driving everything using a laptop - my "work" box is due for replacement later this year so it will have to do until then.
    That means no breakout board for the time being...
    As far as Linux goes, I have only ever experienced pain with that OS.
    That is not to say I love Windows, it is just that it is a little bit less painful ;>}
    Also, Mach4 is VERY pricey - I will probably have to shell out $2000 or so for the "Industrial" version (Mach4Hobby is $200 but I'm wondering just how "crippled" it is) at some time or other as my machine has been designed so that the material mount surface is removable and then I can put in an A axis.
    At that point it is definitely bye bye Uno.
    I noticed that they don't give maximum line count limits on Mach4.
    Mach3 is 10,000,000 limit which at some point or other "may" be a problem as g-code tends to be somewhat long when you are milling a 2 meter log 500mm diameter which is where I am hopefully headed.
    Have you had any experience with LinuxCNC?
    If I can save the $2000 I will be able to afford better steppers or maybe even servos sooner.
    All the best..
    Aubrey



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Mach4 industrial is nearly identical to the Hobby version. The extra cost gives you Fanuc Macro B and phone support, but not really any other features.
    And Mach4 and Linux CNC aren't the only options.

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (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: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Thanks Gerry - But just how good are the others? I have heard horror stories...



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    You haven't heard any about Mach4??

    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (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: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    This kit will be ok too for Solsylva design, X and Y travel 600mm, Z travel 300mm.

    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...3-axis-nema23/



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    You haven't heard any about Mach4??
    To be honest I have not looked yet - I'm busy getting my toes wet at this point.
    But I do know that Fanuc industrial controllers can drive you to drink, especially if the supposed tech support people don't know what they are doing.
    Ever seen a runaway on a Victor 2000 ? Its NOT pretty - OR CHEAP to repair....



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by automationtechinc View Post
    This kit will be ok too for Solsylva design, X and Y travel 600mm, Z travel 300mm.

    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...3-axis-nema23/
    Looks like a nice kit!
    And the price is not too bad at all !!!
    Any idea as to the transport costs to South Africa?
    Could not find any info on your site.



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    Default Re: Stepper Motor and Electronics Selection Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by automationtechinc View Post
    This kit will be ok too for Solsylva design, X and Y travel 600mm, Z travel 300mm.

    https://www.automationtechnologiesin...3-axis-nema23/
    Do you guys offer a similar setup but with 4 stepper motors? I'm building a Root CNC 3 kit which is designed for 2 stepper motors on the Y axis.



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