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### Question #: 350

Question: HOW DO I SQUARE MY CNC MACHINE OR GANTRY?

Current Solution

I use a standard large "L" square used in construction. I run gantry up and down with the bit along one side of the square to make the square aligned with the x-axis. I then run the bit along the other edge and if I see space from the edge of the bit to the square, I adjust the gantry square by loosening and tightening the eye bolts that hold the chain at the ends of the table. Repeat as necessary to get the desired square.

Respond:

### Other Possible Solutions to this Question

• HOW DO I MAKE MY MACHINE SQUARE?

I use a standard large "L" square used in construction. I run gantry up and down with the bit along one side of the square to make the square aligned with the x-axis. I then run the bit along the other edge and if I see space from the edge of the bit to the square, I adjust the gantry square by loosening and tightening the eye bolts that hold the chain at the ends of the table. Repeat as necessary to get the desired square.

HOW DO I MAKE MY MACHINE SQUARE?

• How do I calibrate my machine with mach3

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.

How do I calibrate my machine with mach3

• DO NEED TO SQUARE UP THE MACHINE AND IF SO YOU HAVE INSTRUCTIONS OR VIDEO FOR THIS?

The eyebolts are used in the squaring of the machine. I would use a standard carpenters square and first run the end mill along the edge of the square to first make it parallel with the long axis. Then run the end mill along the other edge with the short axis and adjust the eye bolts and chain according to the angle that the machine is out of square.

DO NEED TO SQUARE UP THE MACHINE AND IF SO YOU HAVE INSTRUCTIONS OR VIDEO FOR THIS?

• HOW DO I CALIBRATE MY MACHINE?

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.

HOW DO I CALIBRATE MY MACHINE?

• How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

It will depend on how you configure the machine to use the Laser and plasma. Is the laser on a separate gantry? That will determine the way you will connect the laser control system or if you use a typical CNC controller. The plasma will need inputs of THC on, THC up, THC down and outputs to trigger the plasma torch. I recommend the Pokeys57CNC for the plasma and you can also fire the laser with it, but you will not be able to do engraving with the laser unless you use a laser controller. If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using, or if you have the laser on a separate gantry, you can use a traditional laser controller connected to the stepper motor drivers on that gantry.

Users response:
I was planing on using same gantry, and installing plasma and laser module on z axis along the side with current router. Perhaps if it’s needed installing another z axis on current z axis. So that when I use plasma, router z will be homed and plasma z axis will be able to utilize thc.

When you say “If you use a laser controller, you will need to either build circuitry to switch the digital signals from which controller you will be using,”
If i install laser controller, pokeys and router motion card, do you mean all ( axis and router/laser/plasma) signals or just the one that controls router/laser/plasma?
I was wondering if I could jump (parallel connect) axis signals from card to card without ?
Also do you prefer ethernet card or usb?
I really do appreciate your help :) thanx again.

Buildyourcnc response:
Not a problem at all.

Remember that with all of that weight on the z-axis, you will not be able to do efficient raster style engraving.

By putting the laser on another gantry, say at the far end of the table, then you would be able to use a laser controller that controls its own stepper motors and the nozzle can have fast swing motion for engraving. With the laser on the z-axis of the spindle (like see on the greenBull), you will only be able to do vector motions for the laser.

You can also have a CNC interface and laser controller controlling the same stepper motor drivers, but you will need a few tri-state buffer chips where you can use a toggle switch for which controller has control of the drivers.

How should I control a plasma torch, spindle and a laser on my CNC machine?

• IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

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.

ur gay

IF MY COMPUTER DOESN'T HAVE A PARALLEL PORT, HOW DO I RUN THE MACHINE?

• MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

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.

ur gay

MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE A PARALLEL PORT. HOW DO I INTERFACE WITH THE MACHINE?

• ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

Yes, I will need to know more specifics of the machine so I can recommend the correct electronics.

ok I Build my CNC machine table and now need a complete set for motor and software how you can help me

• SHOULD I SELECT THE GREENBULL OR BLACKFOOT CNC MACHINE?

The greenBull can range is routing width sizes of 5 feet and 6 feet. The blackFoot has a 4 foot routing width.

Previous Solution:
The greenBull machine has a sturdier gantry than the blackFoot, so you can be more agressive with the cutting feedrate (cutting speed). The blackFoot is also a good machine, but it all comes down to the speed at which you want to produce the fabrication

The spindle is also highly recommended for it's quietness and easier cleanup (no fan blowing the dust in the air)

SHOULD I SELECT THE GREENBULL OR BLACKFOOT CNC MACHINE?

• Do you offer plans for the blackToe CNC Machine?

The blackToe machine is offered as a kit only. We do have a machine that is build form plans. The plans refer to the scratch build machine: http://www.buildyourcnc.com/cnckitintro.aspx and the one in the book "Build Your Own CNC Machine": http://www.buildyourcnc.com/Book.aspx

20

Do you offer plans for the blackToe CNC Machine?

• HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR MY TO BUILD A MACHINE?

The length of time it will take to build a CNC machine kit is not an easy answer. There may be a wide array of circumstances that limit a persons abilities to build the cnc machine kit in an efficient timeframe; however, if you have moderate dexterity and moderately mechanically inclined, you should have no problem building one of our machines within one weekend if the project has very little downtime.

HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR MY TO BUILD A MACHINE?

• Can you repair the electronics on my CNC machine?

Yes, you can send your electronics to us for repair, or retrofit to work with either Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can send us an email at customerService@buildyourcnc.com to set up your appointment.

Some of the types of CNC electronics we will consider.

- We will work on electronics from other manufacturers as long as you are ok with the Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC control software for your CNC machine or CNC router.

- We will repair or retrofit used CNC electronics.

- Some customers find that electronics are overwhelming to put together so we will finish these electronics wiring and assembly for you.

The cost for these includes labor cost for the time it takes to finish the CNC electronics repair or retrofit and for any parts that need to be replaced or added.

Here is an example of CNC electronics that we worked on for a customer:

This is the type of response that you can expect to receive after the CNC electronics are repaired or retrofitted to work under Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can see the entire work, which also shows the time involved. We also show what we were able to accomplish at the beginning of the video.

Can you repair the electronics on my CNC machine?

• I Want to design and build my own CNC wood working machine. Do you give advice and help advice to do this?

We offer as much information as possible about the design and building of CNC machines through this website and the forums at buildyourtools.com. We also still offer our "scratch build" plans at https://buildyourcnc.com/item/cnc-machine-scratchbuild, where you can order the plans and DVD to build your own machine with or without the necessary hardware components.

Our technical support staff are occupied full time assisting customers who have bought complete kits or assembled machines, and unfortunately do not have the resources to provide one-on-one advice to individuals.

I Want to design and build my own CNC wood working machine. Do you give advice and help advice to do this?

• Is it possible to order just the gantry assembly for the black toe machine?

Yes, You can order, only you need supply the information of the machine.

Is it possible to order just the gantry assembly for the black toe machine?

• Do you have a CNC machine plan available for a 4'x8' machine?

All of our machines that are offered as a kit do not have a plans option. We do have a machine that is build form plans. The plans refer to the scratch build machine: http://www.buildyourcnc.com/cnckitintro.aspx and the one in the book "Build Your Own CNC Machine": http://www.buildyourcnc.com/Book.aspx

Do you have a CNC machine plan available for a 4'x8' machine?

• I am looking for a 4'x4'x8" cnc machine kit... do you carry something like this?

Yes, our greenBull is the best machine to exhibit those dimensions. The 8" z-axis travel can be achieved by making sure that the table and bed of the machine will built with a depression that lowers the work are to the desired travel and clearance depth.

I am looking for a 4'x4'x8" cnc machine kit... do you carry something like this?

• How should I connect the E-stop to the machine?

I would recommend wiring the E-Stop to an input terminal via an NC connection. This is the industry standard. It requires a NC (Normally connected) circuit for the machine to be operational, and when the circuit breaks, the machine shuts off. This is better than having a circuit NO (normally open), open circuit that requires a circuit to be created to have the machine shut off for safety.

Having en E-Stop run through the mains line would only work for a single circuit (or use multiple E-stops, which defeats the purpose). The E-stop connected to the input terminal would shut off all machine functions.

How should I connect the E-stop to the machine?

• How do I wire my cnc electronics?

Yes, you can send your electronics to us for repair, or retrofit to work with either Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can send us an email at customerService@buildyourcnc.com to set up your appointment.

Some of the types of CNC electronics we will consider.

- We will work on electronics from other manufacturers as long as you are ok with the Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC control software for your CNC machine or CNC router.

- We will repair or retrofit used CNC electronics.

- Some customers find that electronics are overwhelming to put together so we will finish these electronics wiring and assembly for you.

The cost for these includes labor cost for the time it takes to finish the CNC electronics repair or retrofit and for any parts that need to be replaced or added.

Here is an example of CNC electronics that we worked on for a customer:

This is the type of response that you can expect to receive after the CNC electronics are repaired or retrofitted to work under Mach3, Mach4 or LinuxCNC. You can see the entire work, which also shows the time involved. We also show what we were able to accomplish at the beginning of the video.

How do I wire my cnc electronics?

• How do I adjust the gantry/router mount so it is perpendicular on a Blacktoe machine.

Simple ways to get the z-axis router/spindle mount to be perpendicular to the table, you will have to get a level. Set the z-axis in place although you will have to remove it to tighten the top screws which will hold the top router/spindle mounts on the z-axis but you will be able to tighten the lower mount without having to remove the entire z-axis.

It's not the Router that is out. It's the Z Axis, Y Axis not being perpendicular to the table. One of the problems was the double washer on the back side of the top rail V bearing. I took them off and ground down the screw head instead. Your instructions for building the Black Toe/Foot are NON EXISTENT, for want of a better word. I have buyers remorse.

It's still not perpendicular but it's closer.

How do I adjust the gantry/router mount so it is perpendicular on a Blacktoe machine.

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