Convert engraver (Roland CAMM-2 PNC-2000) to mill?

Okay, I got a lead on an old engraver. It’s a Roland 20x14x1cm with a small belt driven spindle. ¬†Quite small but it might make a fun learning project for me.

Seller claims it’s working but when I went to look at it, it doesn’t. Spindle motor does not run plus the spindle belt drive is fried. I was able to power up the controller but knowing this thing is about 24 years old, I don’t think it would run on a current computer system. (Besides, the software’s not included).

Another challenge is that I’m not sure this works like a CNC machine exactly. I think it works like a printer. You set the depth and you print to it from your computer. I’m not sure about this but I noticed that there were people on the internet looking for printer drivers for this machine. If this is true, then the only real option to get it to behave like a CNC is probably to replace all the electrical with something compatible with Mach III or EMC2. Or perhaps there is some special software that will allow it to be used like a CNC machine.

I just checked the EMC2 compatibility at http://wiki.linuxcnc.org/emcinfo.pl?EMC2_Supported_Hardware and I don’t see anything from Roland listed.

Challenge: I think if I got it, I could gut the electrical and electronics and try and run the hardware off of some newer electronics.

What do you think? The machine specifications are at: http://www.e-engraving.com/machines/roland/Roland_PNC-2000.htm

Monday afternoon will be decision time for this machine!

It is a Roland CAMM-2 PNC-2000.

Update Dec 6 (pictures from my visit last week)

Not sure how clear this is but you can see that the belt is sagging. I suspect it isn’t an expensive part but it makes me wonder what else could be wrong.

Update: I was outbid at the auction so looks like I will not be able to do this project.

The bitter who outbid me was under the impression it was working as is so they will be thrilled to find out it needs a spindle belt, the spindle to be fixed and may need all the electronics replaced to act as a mill. I suppose they could have purchased it for parts if they already have the same one and it needs service too.

7 thoughts on “Convert engraver (Roland CAMM-2 PNC-2000) to mill?

  1. Hi go to rolanddga.com/jp for drivers and Dr engrave software for free. You can use corel draw (just use no fill and a .001mm outline.) and I have done a small amount of milling by using various cutters and the driver settings. Different outline colours can be used for different cutters and settings. For its small capacity it will do a lot if you take the time to explore it’s capabilities

  2. I inquired to a company that makes software that works with this machine. Here is my response:

    /////////////begin response
    WinLINE Classic V8 is US$199.00 for a single user license, with
    discounts for multiple user licenses.

    The CAMM-2 is an engraver.

    WinLINE is a Windows printer driver. It is capable of drawing 2D
    geometry, and selecting different tools on the device.

    The Windows Graphical Display Interface is a 2D coordinate system.
    Graphics programs will only ever present 2D geometry to WinLINE, not
    3D

    What design software are you planning to use?

    You could conceivably achieve a form of 3D milling, with the Z axis
    defined by the upper and lower bounds of the tool depth, by using
    different depth tools to cut 2D layers to required depths. Is this
    what you are considering, or are you thinking something else?

    I’m not sure if the PNC-2000 supports more than 1 tool. It may pause
    to let you physically change the tool when it receives a Pen Select
    command.

    If the PNC-2000 supports Pen Select, you could draw the layers in a
    CAD program using a different color line for each depth. You would
    configure WinLINE to use a specific tool for a specific color by
    specifying the selection with WinLINE’s Color Association tool.

    Some further research is required.

    Mike Kidson
    Software Mechanics
    /////////////begin response

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  4. I upgraded an engraver from late 80’s proprietary technology so that it can be used with current software technology. I used a Rockcliff 4-axis board and have been able engrave with it quite nicely. I am sure I could use it to make PCB’s.

    My engraver has < 1 inch of Z travel, and the cutters are standard engraving cutters (not milling type cutters). Unless I had a job that was very thin I would not use this machine as a mill – too much expense and hassle to overcome the Z limitations.

    • Hi JJ,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I think you’re right, the Z axis in this case it’s 10mm! Probably 9mm.

      I figure also that I will need to replace the entire electronics since it’s all stone age stuff. Then at least I can run it as a real mill (small format but a real mill).

      I was thinking of bolting on another spindle. Or making one. Like you said, the spindle is for engraving.

      I think the thing to do is bid low and try to get the machine. Too bad they say it’s in working condition. This may prompt others to bid higher.

      What to do. …. ..

      Darcy

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