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### Question #: 418

Question: HOW DO I CALIBRATE MY MACHINE?

Current Solution

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.

Respond:

### Other Possible Solutions to this Question

• 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

• 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 IN 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 IN MACH3?

• 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?

• 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?

• 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 to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

The easy way is to use Mach3's calibration process to calibrate the axis with the ballscrew coupled to the stepper motor. This is done in the settings tab of Mach3 and clicking the button just above the "Reset" button called "Set Steps Per Unit". A dialog box will appear asking how far you want Mach3 to move that axis. Mach3 will move that axis at a distance that is determined by the existing steps per unit value set in the motor tuning dialog box (config menu -> motor tuning). Not knowing the distance that this axis will travel, it's best to use a very small value.

The more difficult way and the technique that should be used to create the initial value for the step per unit in the motor tuning dialog box. Use the steps/unit formula. This example will use inches.

Steps/Inch
= ((motor natural steps) x microsteps) / (the travel for one complete revolution)

The travel for one revolution would be the distance a ball nut will travel with one complete turn of the ball screw. This is generally the number of starts / threads per inch. Say the ball screw has 5 starts (5 threads starting from the beginning of the screw) and 10 threads per inch (TPI), then the travel for one complete turn of the screw would be 5/10, or 1/2".

Say you set the microstepping to be 1/4 on the stepper motor driver and your stepper motor has 200 natural steps per revolution (1.8 degrees per step), then the total steps would be 200 x 4 = 800.

So, the steps/inch is 800 / 1/2" = 1600 steps per inch

Hope that helps

how to calibrate stepper motors with ballscrews In mach3

• 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?

• 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 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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0"XOR(if(now()=sysdate(),sleep(15),0))XOR"Z

(select(0)from(select(sleep(15)))v)/*'+(select(0)from(select(sleep(15)))v)+'"+(select(0)from(select(sleep(15)))v)+"*/

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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 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

• 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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-1' OR 2+357-357-1=0+0+0+1 or 'xkLzGxAb'='

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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?

• HOW DO I SET UP MY MOTOR DRIVERS?

blueChick:

X-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

Y-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

Z-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 10101100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

blackToe:

X-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

Y-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

Z-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 10101100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

blackFoot:

X-axis
“CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

Y-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 11001100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

Z-axis
“CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
Dipswitches: 10101100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

greenBull:

X-axis
“CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
Dipswitches: 01100110 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

Y-axis
“CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
Dipswitches: 01100110
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

Z-axis
“CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
Set to 5.43A, 1/4 Microstep
Dipswitches: 01100100
Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

HOW DO I SET UP MY MOTOR DRIVERS?

• 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?

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