There are a few circuit boards in the black box that comes with the CNC
- JP-3163B – Stepper motor control board, 3 channel
Some more information about these, including DIP Switch Settings
The small USB-CNC adaptor thingy arrived today,
And, I can now leave feedback for the CNC Seller ebay Bloke as all seems well!
Have been thoroughly googling just how exactly to create digital masterpieces that can be ‘realised’ with this shiny new tool of mine.
There’s a bit of a general workflow to CNC. It seems to go something like this….
- 1 – Create something in some CAD package
- 2 – export it as some filename or other
- 3 – use another software package to generate another format
- 4 – import that into yet another software package to send to the CNC
It seems that every forum, every person has different answers to different requests. There’s a myriad of hardware drivers out there, different softwares more suitable for different drivers.
Right now, I’ll stick with a generic solution to learn and see how it goes.
3D stuff -OpenSCAD – http://www.openscad.org/index.html
OpenSCAM – http://openscam.com/download.html#install – seems to be used a bit for making or simulating toolpaths
Heeks CNC – https://sites.google.com/site/heekscad/ – some sort of code producer for the CNC toolpaths – Costs 10 quid
Have spent a few days now reading up on solving the parallel port issue.
it really seems that Eight out of Ten CNC owners prefer Mach 3
Mach 3 is a somewhat antiquated piece of software it seems, I’ll figure out if it’s really worth purchasing a copy or if I stick to the lower number of lines limit for Gcode, or, well, i’m not really sure (other software maybe?)
None of my computers have a parallel port. few, if any are running a 32 bit OS. and Prices of devices to convert the 25 pin Parallel port on the controller…(shown in the pic below)
are fairly high (though perfectly reasonable) compared to the price of the CNC mechanics.
There’s an absolute myriad of controllers, convertors, power-ers, drivers, thingies and other stuff that’s been developed, kickstarted, knocked up, and sold on a whim, too much choice really.
I went the stingy route and picked up an ONTRON USB CNC Parallel convertor for just $34 AUD. My thought process was
- I have a machine that looks like it’ll work out of the box
- That machine has a parallel port
- it’ll be safer to use the machine as it was intended before attacking it further with a soldering iron and screwdriver
- Given my penchant for un-necessary teardowns (developed at a young age after discovering screws in my parents VHS recorder, and discovering screwdrivers in my dad’s toolbox) it’s probably best to buy a tested working device
- find the cheapest USB <> Parallel device I can
- if Cheapest USB device doesn’t work, then find other options (Arduino CNC Shield, GRBL, etc)
The Device I purhcased……
It was shipped within 5 minutes of buying it (somehow I doubt the French are that efficient), Fingers crossed it arrives in the next two weeks like the auction said it would
So far, a list of things I’ve discovered
- A rather large ‘old school’ torroidal transformer
- HDB-200 – 200VA
- JP-3163B – Stepper motor control board, 3 channel
- JP-1635A – Single Channel Stepper motor controller board
- TB6560AHQ – stepper motor controller chips
- JP-1482 – Variable speed spindle driver
- 57HD0401-15SB BiPolar Stepper motors
Seems there’s really no accurate information out there for this little thing. A good summary would be though ‘a bit crap’…..if you compare it to all the others available, every website suggests this is the lowest possible spec in its size. Maybe time for an upgrade 😛
From the Auction, Specifications are as listed below. Certainly does seem quite impressive for the money.
Even more so considering I saved nearly $100 off the price!
- 3020T triaxial engraving machine part parameters:
- Shape dimension：550×400*350mm
- Max.workpiece dimension：200mm*300mm＜65mm
- Work table dimension：200mm*300mm*15mm
- Frame materials：aluminum alloy 6063 and 6061
- Driving units X axis:1204 trapezoidal screws
- Driving units Y axis:1204 trapezoidal screws
- Driving units Z axis:1204 trapezoidal screws
- Sliding units X axis:Dia.13mm chrome plate shafts
- Sliding units Yaxis:Dia.16mm chrome plate shafts
- Sliding units Z axis:Dia.12mm chrome plate shafts
- Stepping motor type:57 two-phase 1.45A-2A
- Spindle motor:200w dc motor，NEW
- Principal axis collet:ER11/3.175 mm
- Spindle speed:300 ~ 8000rpm/min (PWM stepless speed regulation)
- Repeat accuracy:0.05mm
- Empty line speed:0-2500mm/min (16 subdivided driving down)
- Spindle precision:radial beat acuities 0.03 mm
- Control unit:triaxial one-piece drive + ring variable power + PWM speed
- Carving Instructions:G code/TAB files/nc file/NCC files
- Communication interface:through parallel connection with computer
- Software environment:Windows 2000 / xp
- Carving speed:0-2000mm/min (different materials differ)
- Machine weight:24KG
2 years Free warranty
- High Precision Stepping motor makes engraving more precise .
- Flexible coupling can be used for high torque transmission.
- The chrome shafts is not easy to deform,suitable for long time use.
- The reinforced and thickened machine body make transportation absolutely to be safer and longer life time.
- Cover plates reducing pollution for the screws and shafts.
- Spindle motor knob is useful for small positioning adjustment ,with steady and strong support structure.
- Can engraving much more materials by spiral flute bits,such as metal,steel,MDF board,solid wood,composite board plywood,stone
- Large 3D engraving in soft wood,MDF board,native wood,PVC,Acrylic we suggest use one or two spiral flute ball bits.
- Emergency stop button enhance security
- Can control the engraving more precise
- Mach 3 software is simple and intelligent
- Can be controlled by computer
- More steady and strong equiped with aluminum alloy frame materials
- Simple operation and installation
- With four axis(rotary axis) and tailstock
- Operating Voltage:AC110V or AC220V 50/60Hz(we also stock USA.UK.EU.AU.plugs and 110V-240V power version for the country all over the world.)
- Control unit:2.5A stepping motor driver plus adjustable spindle speed controller
- Computer connection:on board palrallel port
- Command code:G code
- Acceptable software:Mach3,EMC2
- Protection:Emergency stop button
It’s now the weekend, If I can’t have fun playing with the CNC, driving it electornicially in the manner it’s intended, I’ll have fun with the screwdriver instead.
11 Philips head screws later (yep, these Cheap CNC’s are really screwed up well)
Some things of note
The Stepper motor driver board is labelled JP3163-B, uses Toshiba TB6560AHQ drivers. Looks like it’s only a 3 channel board
There’s a smaller stepper driver board on the side labelled JP-1635A. This looks like it’s fulfilling the 4th Axis role. it’s probably not on the main PCB as most of these devices will only ever be sold as 3 Axis….why spend the extra few dollars on un-used components.
The Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Spindle driving Board is labelled JP-1482
There’s a HUGE HDB-200 (200VA?) toroidal transformer in there. centre tapped 18-36V secondaries.
Looks like there’s some googling to do tomorrow
More unboxing. This time the power supply, another three of those 57HD0401-15SB steppers. two have large adaptor things on them, one has a smaller – must be the X,Y axis and the Z axis
Layed out nicely on the dining room table
I did get quite excited now, thought I’d be CNC’ing on the weekend IF the power supply was 240V as ordered. Well, it is. However, I did see a somewhat ominous DB25 style connector, a parallel port. That’s something that i’ve not seen on a computer for a while. annoyingly, none of the computers I own (don’t ask) seem have the pre-requisite hardware to drive this thing.
A quick Google suggests that it’s not gonna be that easy and more hardware’ll be required.
Ah well, a cute little case full of Screws, bits and tools is always good for a cheer up