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Question #: 165

Question: My motors are not turning smoothly.

Current Solution

Increase the microsteps on the driver. Try 1/4, then move up from there if it is still not as smooth as you want it to be.

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Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • MY MOTORS ARE RUNNING VERY HOT.

    If your motors are hot to the touch, this is normal. Current is being drawn by the motor coils as the motor moves and as the motor stays at a position. If the motor is not using the current in the coils to move (holding it's position), the energy will be translated as heat (rather than motion, sound or light). Even while moving, some of the energy will be lost as heat. Remember that energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

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    MY MOTORS ARE RUNNING VERY HOT.

  • MY MOTORS GET REALLY HOT TO THE TOUCH.

    If your motors are hot to the touch, this is normal. Current is being drawn by the motor coils as the motor moves and as the motor stays at a position. If the motor is not using the current in the coils to move (holding it's position), the energy will be translated as heat (rather than motion, sound or light). Even while moving, some of the energy will be lost as heat. Remember that energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

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    MY MOTORS GET REALLY HOT TO THE TOUCH.

  • DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

    That shouldn't be a problem. I will need the current rating for the motors. We can subtract the price of the motors. and you can add you own. If you want us to solder the cable to the round connectors and them motor, you would need to send the motors to us.

    Let me know and I can send a paypal invoice for the redLeaf without motors.

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    DON'T WANT TO USE MY OWN MOTORS FOR THE REDLEAF CNC COMPUTER SYSTEM.

  • WHAT MOTORS DOES THE BLACK TOOTH USE?
  • WHAT MOTORS DOES THE BLACK TOOTH USE?
  • WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

    If one of your stepper motors decides to stop moving and the others are moving during a CNC milling or laser cutting job, then there could be two things that could be causing this.

    - The motor found its limiting torque (usually comes with a not-so-pleasant sound). This is where the control software is trying to move the stepper motor too fast (velocity, or too fast too quickly, acceleration) and the load against the stepper motor (inertia of the machine, or the material against the end mill while milling). Recommended action is to lower the velocity and/or acceleration, and/or lower the feedrate when cutting.

    - There is a wiring issue with the wiring from the driver to the motor. This could be a loose wire, or a chafed wire (or two shorting together). It can also be a loose digital wire from the controller board to the driver. Sometimes wire ties can be the culprit. Recommended action would be to thoroughly inspect the wiring.

    It's probably not the limit switches since that would cause a stop to the entire motion of the cnc router or laser machine.

    Sometimes Mach3 will show a status when something goes wrong, but in cases where the motor is stopping due to its torque limit, then that would not be shown in the status. It's always good to check it anyway.

    Additional Information:
    I need to clarify my situation a little better after going to my shop and trying to run another program on Mach 3. About 15 minutes into the milling process all the motors (2-X axis, Y axis and Z axis)stop but the program continues to run. I stop the program and after a couple of minutes when I try to restart the program all the motors start working again. Then after another 15 minutes or so, all the motors stop again. I checked and rechecked my wiring. This has never happened to me before when running the same programs with the same setups and motor speeds. All of a sudden when I reloaded a program I successfully used before it does this. Do you have any recommendations?

    Additional Information:
    Yeah, it sounds like a more complex issue. Have you tried running in the air without using the spindle. This may be a power related issue.

    Additional Information:
    That's exactly what I did. I ran the program without the router motor on just to see if the motors would get through the whole program but they stopped working after about fifteen minutes and then I was able to start them again after about 3 or 4 minutes. I never had this problem before so you can imagine my frustration especially after ruining a couple of projects on expensive material.

    Additional Information:
    Sure. I can completely understand. Try this: disconnect all but one of the driver from power and digital connection and do the air run. Repeat this for each driver and note your findings. This will rule out the drivers causing a power failure.

    Also, is your stepper motors and drivers on a separate power circuit from the computer?

    Additional Information:
    I will try disconnecting each driver and digital connection, which will be a real pain because it will be hard to access.

    All the stepper motors, drivers and computer are plugged into the same power strip.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, so there is no power failure going on, but I believe it is necessary to test each stepper motor and driver pair individually. Hopefully that will lead to a conclusion.

    Additional Information:
    It will take a little time but I will do it and report back on my findings.

    Additional Information:
    Curious, what machine is exhibiting this problem?

    Additional Information:
    I purchased a BYCNC kit back in 2009 with an approximate cutting area of 2' X 4'. I later changed out the Z-Axis Motor and controller for a larger one and have two X-axis motors and controllers. In 2010 I rebuilt the machine out of birch plywood instead of the particle board that the kit supplied. I sent Patrick pictures to him. The machine never gave me a problem till now.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks for the update. This is Patrick by the way. I answer pretty much all of the Customer Service questions. That machine has given quite a good history.

    Additional Information:
    I love the machine and made a number of samples of my work for my e-commerce site, but I can't start selling product until I know this problem is solved because I will not be able to fulfill orders. I finally got all the electronics out of its enclosed protected area near the machine so that I test each controller as you recommended. I hope the problem can be rectified. Will let you know.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks.

    Additional Information:
    I tested each stepper motor and driver pair individually and they worked so what might be the next step?

    Additional Information:
    Did each stepper motor driver pair work for the full +15 minutes?

    Additional Information:
    Yes, I had them in operation for over 30 minutes.

    Additional Information:
    Ok, well it’s good that the motors and driver are ok. We are now down to the power supply and the breakout board as possible causes for the stop. I have a feeling it may be the power supply where with all three drivers drawing current and the power supply maybe getting too hot. Is the fan in the power supply working? You can also test to see if there is 36 volts on the power supply voltage output (V+ and V-).

    Regarding the breakout board, if you have an oscilloscope, you can test if the driver pulses are outputting, but I would consider this as a last resort after you determine if there is a problem with the power supply.

    Additional Information:
    I tested the power supply with a voltmeter and each output was registering 39-40 volts. I think the problem may be the g-code. I am using V-Carve pro to do design and output to Mach 3 Mill g-code. When I studied the g-code lines I noticed that further into the program the z-axis g-code stopped zeroing out to move to the next part of the carving. In other words both the x and y keep moving and the z just stopped working because there was g-code missing. I think something is missing when the design was converted to g-code. I noticed that when I ran a simpler project it worked without problems so I need to investigate this further.

    Additional Information:
    New Update, Its not the g-code. I started to run the long program and everything was working fine until about 45 minutes into it, all the motors stopped working (but the program was still running) and there was a high pitched hum. When I put my hands on the motors they were all trying to move but it seemed they were all stalled. I turned the power off, gave it a minute and when I turned it back on I was able to move the motors again. Could this be a power supply problem?

    Additional Information:
    It does sound more and more like a power supply problem. Did you test the power supply after the motors stopped?

    Additional Information:
    No, I did not. What should I be looking for.

    Additional Information:
    It’s good that you know the voltage during normal operation, so you have a base understood. If the power supply is the problem, the voltage will be reduced or non existent when measured after the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Also, check to see if the fan is running on the power supply when the motors stop. That may (not absolutely) be an indication.

    Additional Information:
    I'll run another test, check the voltage and fan when the problem occurs and let you know. Thanks for hanging in there with me as we try to resolve the problem.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my pleasure. This service is rarely used and is faster then email. Odd nobody uses it. Any recommendations you can give would be great. No problem using this FAQ to pose ideas as this resolution will be cleaned up later.

    Additional Information:
    It might be that people do not realize you can communicate through the sight like this because they are so used to e-mail and texting. You may want to explain this feature in the customer service section.

    I ran the program this morning and it did not take long before the motors stopped. While operating the voltages for all three motors was 46 volts, when the motors stalled (and again there was a high pitch hum) the voltage went up to 60 volts and the fan on the power supply was operating.

    Additional Information:
    So, the driver work individually, but not all together. There is a high pitch sound when the motors fail. You have noted 60 volts from the power supply and the supply fan remains on. This is a difficult issue to resolve, but it seems to me that your power supply may be bad. The 60v measurement tells me that the current dropped and ohms law tells us that is current drops, volts will rise if the resistance stays the same.

    Additional Information:
    As one last test I am going to test each driver again and let them go through the entire program because it seems that the failure can occur at the beginning or towards the end of the program. When I originally tested ach driver I let them run for about a half an hour and the program takes over an hour to run completely. I just want to make sure that it is not the drivers. I will report back when I finished but as you noted it may be the power supply but I want to make sure.

    Additional Information:
    That’s a great idea.

    Additional Information:
    I just ran the x-axis through the whole program and there was no problem especially since I have two NEMA 23 motors moving that axis. Before I check the Y and Z could having a NEMA 34 on the Z axis with appropriate controller be a problem. I used the larger motor on the z axis because the router I am using is a large 1 1/2 hp. I've run this program in the past with this set-up and have not had a problem.

    Additional Information:
    Having a, say 3.0 amp driver, driving a stepper motor that typically requires a 6 amp driver would not seem to be an issue since the driver is limiting the current draw, but the driver may not be able to handle larger coil and back EMF with the protection on the 3.0 amp driver. With that said, I don’t believe that is the issue in this case.

    Additional Information:
    I don't either because I was able to run this and other complicated programs with this set-up in the past. I will let you know on the y and z axis.

    Additional Information:
    Thanks

    Additional Information:
    I ran the Y axis and z axis separately through the entire program and there was no stopping or problem. I guess the culprit is the power supply and I'll order a new one and hope that resolves the problem.

    Additional Information:
    Yes, that is the most probable cause. Please keep me informed. Thanks!

    Additional Information:
    Received and installed the new power supply. I ran the program with the router on and it worked flawlessly. The program runs for an hour and a half and I did not have a single problem. I guess it was the power supply but I was glad to go through all the diagnostics we discussed before replacing it. I hope this power supply lasts a lot longer than the last one. Thanks much for hanging in there with me and coming up with the solution.

    Additional Information:
    It’s my absolute pleasure and I am so happy to hear that the power supply replacement solved the problem.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Y axis stop working X & Z work fine Y axis has two motors have check wiring & connections new breakout board still the same port & Pin set OK dont no were to go next David

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    my cnc plasma cutter will run out the program when cutting. what is the cause?

    Additional Information:
    The cnc plasma question shod be a separate question. Can you pise that question by clicking the customer service live menu button at the top? Thanks.

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    WHAT CAUSES ONE OF MY TWO AXIS MOTORS TO STOP WHILE THE MACH3 PROGRAM IS STILL RUNNING

  • CAN THERE BE CLOSED LOOP CONTROL WITH STEPPING MOTORS?

    I haven't delved into using encoders with stepping motors too much. From my research, you need to have a controller that can provide the closed loop control, rather than software handling that process. I have also found from my research that using encoders on stepping motors is generally used to stop the machine in the case that the motor failed to achieve the commanded position for some reason and gives the user the chance to correct and continue with the job.

    If you want proper closed loop control, it may be best to go with servos and servo controller that provide the closed loop control within the real of those two components.

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    CAN THERE BE CLOSED LOOP CONTROL WITH STEPPING MOTORS?

  • MY PARTS ARE COMING OUT THE WRONG SIZE

    In Mach3, go to the Settings Tab, and select "Set Steps Per Unit". It will ask you how far to move the machine. Before you do this, make a mark on the table exactly where the end mill is resting. You can do this by lowering the end mill until it touches the material, then spinning it by hand to cut a small dimple in the material. Then, raise the end mill to clear the material, and assign a distance to move the machine. Once the machine moves and stops, measure the exact distance that it actually traveled with a tape measure, and enter this value into the dialog box that asks how far it moved. Mach3 will automatically adjust your steps per unit for that axis to be more accurate. Do this for all axes often to ensure you are cutting accurately. The longer distances you use calibrate, and the more precise you are with your measurements, the better.

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    MY PARTS ARE COMING OUT THE WRONG SIZE

  • MY LIMIT SWITCHES ARE TRIGGERING AT RANDOM.

    Are you using shielded wire? If so, take the shield to ground. If there are any other wires in the cable that is not being used, ground those as well. The customer can also try moving the cables as far away as possible from the motor wires and motors.

    Additional Information:

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    MY LIMIT SWITCHES ARE TRIGGERING AT RANDOM.

  • MY MACHINE NOT ACCURATE

    In Mach3, go to the Settings Tab, and select "Set Steps Per Unit". It will ask you how far to move the machine. Before you do this, make a mark on the table exactly where the end mill is resting. You can do this by lowering the end mill until it touches the material, then spinning it by hand to cut a small dimple in the material. Then, raise the end mill to clear the material, and assign a distance to move the machine. Once the machine moves and stops, measure the exact distance that it actually traveled with a tape measure, and enter this value into the dialog box that asks how far it moved. Mach3 will automatically adjust your steps per unit for that axis to be more accurate. Do this for all axes often to ensure you are cutting accurately. The longer distances you use calibrate, and the more precise you are with your measurements, the better.

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    MY MACHINE NOT ACCURATE

  • MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. WHAT DO I NEED?

    If your computer does not have a parallel port, all you will need is a low cost PCI parallel adapter card (these can be found on amazon for $15-$20). If you plan on using a laptop (not recommended) you can try to find a PCMCIA parallel adapter, but many people have frequent issues with this setup. A more expensive solution would be to purchase a USB smooth stepper board. Unfortunately, we do not supply any of these adapters and cannot attest to their reliability.

    Additional Information:
    ur gay

    Additional Information:

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    MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. WHAT DO I NEED?

  • WHAT NOT INCLUDED WITH THE MACHINE?

    PC with parallel port and USB port
    20awg stranded wires for the motors - http://www.buildyourcnc.com/electronicscombo.aspx
    18awg stranded wires for power supply to drivers
    24awg stranded wires for breakout board to drivers
    (location and spacing of components varies from one person to another, so we do not provide cables/wires)
    - General purpose extension cord (cut the female end off) to provide power to power supply
    - USB cable to power breakout board
    - Parallel cable to communicate to breakout board
    - Router
    - (optional - instead of router) Spindle with power inverter http://www.buildyourcnc.com/SpindlesAndAccessories.aspx
    - (if purchasing spindle with inverter) General purpose extension cord (240v) (cut the female end off) to provide power to power inverter
    - End Mill(s) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/ProductsEndMills.aspx
    - CAD, and/or CAD-CAM software (to produce geometry, machine operations, and g-code) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - CNC control software (to read g-code and control machine) http://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCsoftware.aspx
    - If the machine does not have the table included, then a table will need to be built. The rails, chain and chain mounts are included that are used on this table.

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    WHAT NOT INCLUDED WITH THE MACHINE?

  • WHAT ARE CHINA PRICES FOR COLLETS?

    From: Milan Shah
    ACCU-FIX Precision Tools Pvt Ltd
    458, Manjusar GIDC, Savli, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
    Mobile: +(91) 7567975718

    ER 11 - STD. Precision Collet $3.61 - No 1/2" shank sizes.
    ER 16 - STD. Precision Collet $4.05
    ER 20 - STD. Precision Collet $4.27
    ER 25 - STD. Precision Collet $4.34
    ER 32 - STD. Precision Collet $4.69
    ER 40 - STD. Precision Collet $5.32
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

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    WHAT ARE CHINA PRICES FOR COLLETS?

  • I HAVE NEMA 34 MOTORS BUT NEED THE ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS DO YOU A KIT WITHOUT INCLUDED?

    If you are looking for the drivers to pair with NEMA 34 stepper motors, you can find the 6.0 amp drivers here:
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-stepper-driver-6!0a

    The other electronics to send the signals to the 6.0 amp drivers (the control board that operates with the control software) is subject to personal preference, but here they are listed:

    Our breakout board (works with Mach3 and LinuxCNC and requires a parallel port on your computer):
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay

    The PoKeys57CNC (works with Mach3 and Mach4):
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach4-mach3-USB-ethernet-Board

    Generic USB breakout board (works with Mach3):
    https://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-electronic-component-breakout-Mach3-USB-Board

    Additional Information:
    Do I need a driver for every motor or can I use one driver for all four motors

    Additional Information:
    Each motor needs its own driver.

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    I HAVE NEMA 34 MOTORS BUT NEED THE ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS DO YOU A KIT WITHOUT INCLUDED?

  • WHAT ARE THE CABLE LENGTHS FOR BLACKTOE

    The motor cables for the blackToe are as follows:

    Total 30 feet

    X - 9
    Y - 10
    Z - 11

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    WHAT ARE THE CABLE LENGTHS FOR BLACKTOE

  • WHAT ARE THE CABLE LENGTHS FOR BLACKTOE

    The motor cables for the blackToe are as follows:

    Total 30 feet

    X - 9
    Y - 10
    Z - 11

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    WHAT ARE THE CABLE LENGTHS FOR BLACKTOE

  • WHERE ARE THE ELECTRONICS WIRING VIDEOS?

    The blackFoot CNC machine kit does not include a table. The table can be made as long or shot as you need. for instance, if you are looking for a travel of 4 fet x 4 feet, then the table will need to be about 6 feet long to get the full 4 feet of travel.

    The electronics are very straight forward using the connection diagram for the breakout board that you select. Use the videos for a general idea and then use the connection diagram to verify the correct connections for the interface of your choosing.

    Yes,the USB interface replaces the breakout board, but remember that you will need to use the planet-cnc software with the USB interface.

    Additional Information:
    The electronics does accompany the cnc machine kits as long as you select the option "with electronics". There are option to purchase the machines without electronics and that would be necessary if you either have your own electronics, or you prefer the plug and play cnc computer system we call the redLeaf, or redSprout. This will also be necessary if you prefer the electronics that use the USB interface rather than the parallel interface.

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    WHERE ARE THE ELECTRONICS WIRING VIDEOS?

  • WHERE ARE THE ELECTRONICS WIRING VIDEOS?

    The electronics and wiring videos are located under the tutorials section (click Tutorials on the top menu. The Title is "CNC Electronics and Wiring". The actual link to these videos is: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/CNCElectronicsandWiring.aspx

    Additional Information:
    You will also find the electronic wiring videos for the USB controller at: https://www.buildyourcnc.com/tutorials/tutorial-Electronics-USB-Interface-Wiring

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    WHERE ARE THE ELECTRONICS WIRING VIDEOS?

  • THESE MACHINES ARE DANGEROUS, WHAT DO DO?

    These machines are inherently dangerous. Before the machine moves, the machine should be clear of any person by a dimension of at the distance of a persons reach plus a few more feet. This is the policies we institute in our shop and what is recommend to all of our customers. Treat these machines as you would treat any major power tool in the shop.

    With that said, you can certainly add some protective parts, but still keep folks away even with those installed. I would use the gantry side to do all of the mounting of the protective parts. Consider using sheet metal that you can bend and make a simple installation right on the gantry side.

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    THESE MACHINES ARE DANGEROUS, WHAT DO DO?

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