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    Default Hello

    Good day. I'm a long time member here, but mostly a lurker over the years. I've got one of the first Sieg X3 mills in the US, purchased from Lathemaster in Baton rouge, LA years ago. I've played with it manually, and thought of cnc'ing it, but have never gotten past the planning stage. Well, just for grins last fall I took a G-code class at a local community college which used Haas machines, and now, I'm hooked. I want to begin getting the X3 cnc'd.
    In looking through the web, two places seem to come up repeatedly to retrofit these mills... Flashcut and CNCFusion. I'd like to keep the retrofit as simple as possible, sort of "off the rack". What are your thoughts on these two systems, and what else might I be missing here. I know there's a lot to consider and I'd like your experiences and feedback.
    Thanks.
    mineralman



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    Default Re: Hello

    No responses yet?
    If I need to do things in a step-wise fashion, what do you all think of step one getting the ball screw kit from cncfusion and installing that for manual usage for now. Then next year getting a Flashcut retro kit complete with motors, mounts and controller?



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    Default Re: Hello

    Good luck with the project. I have a KX3. Sorry I can't give you any advice, except to say that I have found the CNC to be extremely handy on a little mill like this. The KX3 can do a lot, but requires patience... and in my house the CNC is much more patient than the operator.



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    Default Re: Hello

    Hi go onto UTUBE and watch a few vids on converting the X3 to CNC......you need to have some mechanical knowledge to do a conversion and a budget to buy in the parts.....about a grand should cover it.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by handlewanker View Post
    Hi go onto UTUBE and watch a few vids on converting the X3 to CNC......you need to have some mechanical knowledge to do a conversion and a budget to buy in the parts.....about a grand should cover it.
    Ian.
    Yeah, I've seen all the Youtube vids... multiple times. When you say a grand should cover it, what is "it"? The cncfusion.com ball screws alone cost $419, and the Flashcut kit significantly more. No, I'm not going to scrounge parts to convert to cnc. I'd rather have more a bolt-together kit designed and debugged by someone else.



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    Default Re: Hello

    Well, if you have the budget to go to a pre drilled and machined kit of parts that you just have to remove the original parts and replace with the kit bits.........you might succeed, depending on your ability to fathom out what goes where and why and then set up the computer to make the mill move.....you might still have to do a bit of machining, like drilling holes etc, to get the new parts to fit.........many have done it and succeeded, so don't be shy.

    When I said " a grand should cover it" I meant that if you bought in the parts individually from here and there on EBAY etc, and did the rework yourself, you could save money........ can't say how much as it all depends on the quality and the selling price of the parts and how far you want to go with a rework.

    Many Chinese sellers are selling components at rock bottom prices which is a lot different to buying a kit from someone who buys their parts from China and adds their mark up.

    BTW....once you've assembled the mill and electronified it with the new parts you'll have to debug it yourself unless you have someone in the know to vet it out for you......waiting is not going to make it happen quicker or at all, so get stuck in, it's an exciting learning curve.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Hello

    Ive been away for a little while but just saw your post. I have the CNC fusion kit but have not installed it yet. From what Ive read you dont want to install the ball screws before adding your stepper or servo motors because the ball screws wont hold position since they move easier. I will probably buy the electronics from automation technology and go with steppers. I still haven't decided if I want to go with separate gecko drives or the Keling digital drivers. I have cut some steel on my mill and see it could use some help so I plan to fill the base and column with epoxy granite. Part of that process will be adding a spacer for the z axis so I can get more useable travel. I plan to make that from epoxy granite and have it maybe 3 to 4" tall with and with a wider base.

    As far as controlling the machine I planned to go with Mach4 but have been looking into Linux cnc more lately.

    So my advice is to cut some parts with various metals you think you will use manually and see how the machine reacts. from there try to address what issues you can. Then plan any modifications (way lube, head counterweights etc.) you may want or need. That way when you take the machine apart you can make the necessary changes then. The G0704 has a pretty good number of conversions on here as well so be sure to read those posts for ideas. Just remember you can make a more basic part manually for whatever mod you want while the machine is manual. Then if you want to improve it after its CNC then you have that option.

    If you have any questions or want to throw ideas back and fourth feel free to send me a pm or repost.

    Major



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    Default Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by pugsly View Post
    Good luck with the project. I have a KX3. Sorry I can't give you any advice, except to say that I have found the CNC to be extremely handy on a little mill like this. The KX3 can do a lot, but requires patience... and in my house the CNC is much more patient than the operator.
    Hey tell me something, what does the KX3 use for axis plugs? Speakon connectors? 4 pin xlr? 4 pin din?



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    Default Re: Hello

    I've made a little progress, but need some specifics on the motors. So far, everyone has said NEMA 23 for the X and Y axes, either NEMA 23 or 34 for the Z axis. What about the strength of these various motors in terms of oz-in? Suggestions on how powerful they should be?



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    Default Re: Hello

    Hi, would you want to do all the work and end up with underpowered stepper motors when all it takes is a few dollars more to have more powerful ones......big is beautiful in the CNC world......a Nema 23 is still the same size mounting and it's only the length that varies.

    The Z axis will be counter balanced, probably with a gas strut, to offset the weight problem, but as it does drilling operations that want to have power.....big is beautiful too as inertia is a factor here.

    Oh......... and you also need a power supply that's adequate, and then some, for the total package, skimping here is a total disaster waiting to happen.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by handlewanker View Post
    Hi, would you want to do all the work and end up with underpowered stepper motors when all it takes is a few dollars more to have more powerful ones......big is beautiful in the CNC world......a Nema 23 is still the same size mounting and it's only the length that varies.

    The Z axis will be counter balanced, probably with a gas strut, to offset the weight problem, but as it does drilling operations that want to have power.....big is beautiful too as inertia is a factor here.

    Oh......... and you also need a power supply that's adequate, and then some, for the total package, skimping here is a total disaster waiting to happen.
    Ian.
    I'm contemplating the NEMA 23s around 580 oz-in. for all three axes. What about the power supply? How big?



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    Default Re: Hello

    Hi, You'll have to do the sums....calculate the total power in amps drawn that all the steppers can use if they were all on at once and under maximum load, then add the power consumption of the controller itself and anything else that you think will be connected to ,it.

    This is the worse case scenario.......then double that figure to give you a power supply that will not get hot when the going gets tough.

    If you skimp on the power supply rating you will regret it as it cost more to replace and more again to replace with a larger item.

    Low voltage power supplies need decent size cables to carry the current, or they will act as resistors and get hot or re4stric the power flow etc.

    Also, if the power supply is underrated, when you get a load on it will cause a ripple on the line and that will upset the controller, possibly the stepper(s) too with missed steps etc.

    This is just basic knowledge but is totally relevant to your topic.......I can't give you any specific figures as I bought a ready made out of the box mill rearing to go, and all the necessary power work was established at the design and R&D stage by the maker.

    You could get lucky if you list all the peripherals and controller type with figures for the power consumption of each etc, and someone nice will probably be only too kind to do the calcs for you.
    Ian.



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