Retrofit cnc plasma help needed desperately

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16 May 2024 14:35 #300752 by CNC-Martin
Ok. delta drives....can they communicate with Linux cnc?

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16 May 2024 15:32 #300759 by RDA
We don’t know your budget and we don’t know how much time/effort you want to put into this. Neither we know what’s easily available for you.

I would scrap the idea of using old DC motors, hook them up with an encoder and then figure out how to control them. I mean if it’s something you want as a hobby project and something you are eager to learn, go for it. If this project has a deadline and you don’t really know what to do, forget it.
As for the drives, this will most likely mean also replacing the motors (if you don’t know what you are doing) and then it might be a pain to find a motor that fits in to the gearbox (or requires minimum to make/buy a suitable adapter flange).

I personally would probably see what is available, what is the budget and what the timeline of the project is. Based on that then find a combo of servo drive, motor and possibly gearboxes.

If you go with new drives then “easiest” is to get something that take analog speed or step dir. Ethercat could be used too but that brings another level of complexity to the project if you have not messed around with it before.

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16 May 2024 17:04 #300767 by tommylight
Old motors have incremental encoders so no need to change them, i just had to add an encoder to the Z axis as it did not have one.
I went with Geckos as that was what i had back then, they do work good but do not use power supply over 48V for them.
If i had a choice i would most probably use Mesa drives, but i have trouble procuring them here.

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17 May 2024 09:38 - 17 May 2024 09:56 #300809 by CNC-Martin
Hi RDA
A very good point, thank you for that and the same way of thinking years ago. Old scrap out new one in, pay and have support.....It never happened as the guy was just to busy and major problems could never been solved. Then the company went bankrupt. Now no support at all and the sheer arrogance of this people (except the mechanics and soft ware guys on ground) is outstanding. The only thing they can say buy an new one and pay as after 4 years this crap is outdated. And then the quality.....see the pictures....says all. Replacement...?? Nope!
I spend 8 years ago 25k EU for the kit without my time and shipping. We made some money cutting our own material but the idea to cut parts for the shops around never happened. So I have a shop machine which is the total overkill and doesn't work properly.
I would have no problem to spend this amount one more time but then I want to have a long time solution which I can not see in this environment.
With Linux cnc I see a long therm solution and the costs of the parts might offset the additional time required.
The most possible way I go now is downgrade everything to the set up as it was before - controls as tommylight did on his Messer machines - with the old motors incl gars still in my shop (original almost brand new) and Hypertherm Powermax 1650.
Fortunately the new gear boxes are standard (Stöber brand) and I adopt them within this 1. Retrofit...negligible problem compared to the other head aces. So it might be not that difficult to find a motor which fits...just in case.
I will also check other solutions as you mentioned and see what I can get.
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Last edit: 17 May 2024 09:56 by CNC-Martin.

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17 May 2024 10:05 #300811 by CNC-Martin
Hi tommylight
good news.
I have still the original Messer height controls in top condition. There is a small dc motor build in.
Can you show how you fixed a encoder to your height control motors?
Then I could buy the Mesa cards and drives and make complete test set up with all motors on a work bench in order to fiddling around.

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17 May 2024 13:24 #300830 by tommylight
I have no pictures of it, sorry.
The original motor had a shaft on the back side, so it was easy to add the encoder.
The encoder was taken from the right side of the gantry, it was used to track and prevent raking.
The issue was space as with the encoder it barely fits in, but it is doable.
This is the smaller one of the two, the bigger one has ballscrews and belt reduction, so i replaced the motor with a stepper and added a drive. The bigger one also uses the old drives.
On old motors, mind the encoder cables, they tend to brake inside the connector, and quite hard to solder in place. Luckily, only one had such issue.

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19 May 2024 00:23 #300948 by tommylight
forum.linuxcnc.org/show-your-stuff/47357...ines?start=10#257711
Accidentally had a look there and sure enough right at the end of the video you can see the Z axis motor with the added encoder, but not much help, dark, far away, etc and the youtube recommendations plastered all over...

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