Archive for the ‘CNC conversion’ Category

CNC Controller

Posted: 2011/01/22 in CNC conversion

Well today I managed to spend some more time on the enclosure.  I finished making the custom brackets to mount the Gecko CNC controller in the same enclosure as the power supply.  By doing this, the power feeds are less than 6 inches long and eliminates virtually any loss.

I really dislike having stray wires in an enclosure, specially if they carry high current.  So I encased the various power and control wires to protect them.

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Well I’m putting some old AT power supply enclosures to good use.  The power supply for the controller is too large to fit in a single enclosure so I took 2 enclosures, did some modifications, fitted some aluminium rails and things fit rather well into the new enclosure.

As you can see I kept both cooling fans, I just changed the direction of one of them to force air circulation over the power supply.

To supply power to the controller and stepper motors a pretty hefty power supply is required.  Many people opt for a standard old school non-regulated power supply, but I opted to go with something that would provide plenty of power along with regulation and thermal protection.

Taking all variables into account I decided on a switching power supply that produces 48Vdc @ 350Watts (7.4A with air cooling) with an efficiency rate of 88%+.

I found this power supply at Digikey model: FXA350048A.  It has a remote ON/OFF, power sense, power good indicators and thermal protection.

As I posted a few days back, I’m making the jump to upgrade my manual Taig mill to CNC.  One of the first thing I have had to do was to select a stepper driver and controller.  I’ve read a lot of various forums and a lot of people have very good results and comments about Geckodrive.

So I opted to get a Gecko G540 drive for my mill.

I also decided to be smart and avoid issues by ordering matching stepper motors from GeckoDrive.

So far I’ve managed to keep my Taig mill 100% North American made 😉

Well I finally succumbed to the call of CNC.  After operating my hobby metal lathe and mill for several years, I’ve now decided to convert my mill to CNC.  The aspect of creating many similar parts really got tiring on the manual machines, one, two is ok, but past that, it gets real tedious.

I have been looking at this for quite a while and have been reading various forums,  I decided to opt with Geckodrive’s drive/stepper/controller for my Taig mill… and will probably start off using Mach3 for the CAM S/S even though it only runs on windows 😦

I have received many of the parts for the conversion and will soon start the process.  I will try to blog my conversion adventures here, under the category of “CNC conversion”