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### Question #: 351

Question: HOW DO I MAKE MY MACHINE SQUARE?

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 SQUARE MY CNC MACHINE OR GANTRY?

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 SQUARE MY CNC MACHINE OR GANTRY?

• 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 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

• 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.

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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.

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

• 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?

• [410] what I need to buy to make this work on my GreenBull machine and the redfly?

Since this 4th axis already comes with a stepper motor, you will need a driver and some cable to connect to the driver from where the 4th axis will be placed. If you have extra space in the redFly electronics enclosure, you can fasten the driver there. You will also need some wire to connect the driver to the breakout baord.

[410] what I need to buy to make this work on my GreenBull machine and the redfly?

• 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?

• 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?

• I want to increase my travel speeds. Can I change the lead screw to make my machine quicker?

Changing your lead screws from a tight to a lose lead will definitely make your machine move faster as long as your stepper motors can handle the new torque that the lead screws will impose.

Here is an example of a speed change from one lead screw to another:
- Existing constants in the example: Stepper Motor steps 200, microstepping 1/8 making the total steps 200 * 8 = 1600.
- New Lead Screw: 1/2" 5 starts, 10 TPI = 10 / 5 = 2 turns per inch

Old lead screw would achieve a steps per inch of:
1600 / (1 inch / 13 turns) = 20,800 steps per inch (You can also express the calculation as 1600 * 13 = 20,800 steps/inch)

New lead screw would achieve a steps per inch of:
1600 / (1 inch / 2 turns) = 3200 steps per inch

You can see that the new lead screw requires far fewer steps to get to the same length of travel. If you maintained the same velocity for both examples, the new lead screw would travel the same distance 13/2 = 6.5 times faster. So, if your velocity was say 10 ipm, your new velocity would be 65 ipm. That would translate to far fewer burned edges and longer end mill life!

Just remember, confirm that your motors will be able to handle the new lead screw. You will need to reduce the steps/inch causing the motor torque to increase quite a bit, so you should be fine.

I want to increase my travel speeds. Can I change the lead screw to make my machine quicker?

• 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 can I make my memory better?

Use Transcranial direct current stimulation. This technique is used by DARPA and the military to better identify enemy military vehicles. The person in control of a drone, or UAV is given this tDCS and the identification becomes enhanced. This excites the savant features of the brain.

How can I make my memory better?

• 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.

• WHAT ELSE DO I NEED 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.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED WITH THE MACHINE?

• HOW MUCH MDF IS USED FOR THE BOOK MACHINE COMBO #1

Three 24" x 48" sheets of mdf is used for the book build or the combo #1 plans and kit.

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HOW MUCH MDF IS USED FOR THE BOOK MACHINE COMBO #1

• 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

• MY MACHINE CUTTING THE WRONG SIZE PART

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 CUTTING THE WRONG SIZE PART

• CAN I GET DXF FILES FOR THE UPDATED PARTS OF MY MACHINE?

Yes, the customer will need to sign our NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) form and send it back to us. We will then send the dxf of the specific updated part of the machine.

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CAN I GET DXF FILES FOR THE UPDATED PARTS OF MY MACHINE?

• 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.

MY MACHINE NOT ACCURATE

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