CNC router/mill Testing

Okay, my CNC has arrived and I am in the process of configuring it. The manual shows how to configure with Mach III but I want to use EMC2.

I went through each setting in the manual for Mach III and then went to the corresponding place in EMC2 and changed the setting. cnc manual.

The spindle works great but when I operate the steppers they are rough in one direction. Actually the Z axis only works in one direction. I’m pretty sure it’s the settings in EMC2. The defaults are probably different than the Mach III defaults and the machine prefers the Mach III defaults.

Also, when I received the machine the spindle shaft was bent. I was able to correct this by slapping it with a hammer. I suspect that this was caused during shipping. I have opened an investigation with the courier company. They said they will come and inspect it and also the packaging to see if they are at fault or not.

January 1st, 2011 update:

I found a better manual. CNC 6040 Router Engraver System Installation Manual

This manual is for a similar machine. It has EMC2 directions in it as well.

I followed the directions in this manual and here’s the outcome:

X) Moves both ways. Very rough in one direction.

Y) Moves both ways. Rough in one direction as well.

Z) Moves in one direction smoothly.

My controller is a little different than the one in the manual. Mine doesn’t seem to have limit/home switches.

I don’t think there is a problem with the bearings or anything mechanical. All the axis move very freely and smoothly. Also, if I move plug the Z motor into the X axis it works exactly like the X axis motor.

Still a little stumped.

Janyary 1st, 2001 Second Update:

I don’t believe there are any mechanical issues. The screws are really easy to turn in both directions. I am keeping one of the motors disengaged from the mechanical of the machine as to make sure I’m sure. Earlier when I had the motors running with EMC2, when I changed the motors around from axis to axis, any problems stayed with the axis (rather than moving around with the motor).

I grabbed one of backup computers that has Windows and installed Mach III. I then used the manual that came with the router (cnc manual) since it talks about Mack III.

I went through all the step and now I can’t move any motors at all.

I know the parallel port is working since I am able to press the panic button and that comes up in the Mach III software when I press it.

I try to press the “RESET” button and also make sure the manual jog is enabled. I then press the cursor keys and PgUp and PgDn keys. The X, Y and Z numbers on the screen change but the motors just sit there.

So I’m guessing that I still have something missing from the Mach III configuration since I can no longer move the steppers.

January 2nd (just after midnight of the 1st)

I received this message from cncZone user Lanthan:

Re: 6040 from China
Hi Darcy,

I use my 6040 (from the pics in your site I can confirm it is identical to the one you got) exclusively with EMC2/Axis, and it works perfectly.
Just get your hands on the configuration manual prepared by DIYCNC, launch stepconf and copy the settings.
Just in case, here is a link to my copy of that manual.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3772847/CNC%206040%20Router%20Engraver%20System%20Installation%20Manual-ebay.pdf CNC 6040 Router Engraver System Installation Manual-ebay

This manual looks just like one of the ones I already have (the software configuration portion that is).

I think I already tried all those settings since they look the same as one of the other manuals I have.

January 3rd update

Okay, after spending a lot of time fooling around with software (assuming the machine was manufactured okay) I finally started to look at the electrical. I knew the mechanical was sound.

I phoned Micheal Grant and he suggested changing the motors around a bit and the pin configuration and we were able to isolate the issue to one of the three stepper controllers. I then took a multimeter to start to verify the connections going from the breakout board to the controller and found a bad wire. Jackpot!

CNC Router, Milling, Engraving

I’ve been wanting to get a CNC mill or router since I started the laser project. I’ve done a lot of research and contemplation about what I want and need. Here’s a great article on CNC: http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/guerrilla_cnc1.shtml

I’ve been borrowing my friend Guy’s (from the Ottawa Robotics group) a bit and I have other offers from guys like Micheal in Smiths Falls.

I initially thought of building one thinking it could save money. Micheal (also of Ottawa Robotics) was helpful in finding some parts online and with local suppliers. Guy has been successful at building one of his own.

I decided after shopping around that it might be a good idea to get a small one to start with. At least if I want to make one I can use the CNC mill to help. 🙂

Here’s what I’m looking at:

XYZ axis: 60x40x6.5cm
Driving Units: 1605 Ball Screws (20, 16, 13mm)
Machine Weight: 60KG

Here’s what the supplier quoted:

Power: 110V
Working area: 580mmX400mmX60mm
Max thickness of the material: 790mm (distance between Z axis and bottom of work station)
Work station: 750*480mm
Dimension: 900*650*450mm
6061 aluminum alloy + 6063 Industrial aluminum
Slide unit: X axis 20mm Chrome circular orbit, Y axis 16mm supporting rail, Z axis 13mm Chrome circular orbit
Stepper motor: New 2.8A two-phase 57 stepper motor
Drive unit: 1605 ball bearing linear + cased muff coupling
Spindle motor: C57 300W DC motor, used, from USA, super-low noise, speed 3000-9000, ER11 3.175 collet
Spindle accuracy: radial runout 0.03mm
Engraving accuracy: better than 0.04mm, has been tested
Resetting accuracy: better than 0.03mm
Idle load speed: 0-5000mm/min
Engraving speed: 0-2500mm/min
Control box (electrical): 3977 3-axis control box with the power supply + spindle speed regulator
Weight: 60KG

It comes with a spindle and spindle controller. I had the supplier strip all electrical so I will use my own. This saves on shipping and I was able to get it cheaper.

I realize that’s a pretty low powered spindle but I think it’s a great starting point for a hobby shmuck like me. 🙂


I may use my own steppers and controllers. I have already acquired all the parts and am starting assembly now. If I do that, I will take the electrical off this and use it with my Mantis project.

Here’s a video of the 6040.

Here’s another option:

http://romaxxcnc.com/hsproduct.html

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.