534,976 active members*
3,504 visitors online*
Register for free
Login
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Brand new here, Im a journeyman machinist, work with industrial cnc equipment and have done one cnc build on a purpose specific machine using Mach3.

    I’ve bought a new knee mill (microcut pbm-4evs) with the intent of converting it to cnc control.

    I’m sure this had been done a million times but I’ve come up empty trying to lurk... links are welcome!

    Ok so this machine is a manual knee mill, box ways, 50” table, 5ph 3ph motor and nmtb40 spindle.

    I’ll be getting ground ball screws (X,Y) and plan on ~1kw dmm servo motors (X,Y,Z with Z running the lead screw on the table) I also intend to make a 4th rotary axis using a 1.6kw dmm servo and brake.
    I am familiar with mach3 with ess. I’m comfortable using cad/cam and gcode editing so I’m not overly hungry for conversation programming. This is however, a “substantial” , non-hobby, build and I dont want to short change myself where the controller is concerned. I’ve read a fair bit about centroid as well but am looking for suggestions

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    4644

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Looks like a nice mill.

    DMM servos are an excellent choice, I have installed a few of them and have been happy so far. I have 4 of the 1.8KW units on my CNC lathe, been working great for the last 2 years.

    Controllers: I could write a book on this subject. But you are used to Mach3, so sticking with that would not be a horrible idea,not that I'm a fan of Mach3. The one thing I would add is a Galil motion controller, Mach3, and 4 both have a plugin for this. The reason is that it turns Mach3 into a closed loop servo system, well sort of. At least the motors are being controlled and monitored by the Galil controller and the loop is closed there, rather that just being the open loop step & direction Mach3 system. Gives you full control over the motor tuning. Galil DMC-4040 4 axis controllers are available on eBay in the US$500 - 600 range. These are real industrial motion controllers, and very easy to program using any text editor for customization if desired. (Not required when using Mach3).

    Centroid is a reasonable option, as is Dynomotion Kflop/Kanalog for a closed loop system.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11894

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Looks like a nice mill.

    DMM servos are an excellent choice, I have installed a few of them and have been happy so far. I have 4 of the 1.8KW units on my CNC lathe, been working great for the last 2 years.

    Controllers: I could write a book on this subject. But you are used to Mach3, so sticking with that would not be a horrible idea,not that I'm a fan of Mach3. The one thing I would add is a Galil motion controller, Mach3, and 4 both have a plugin for this. The reason is that it turns Mach3 into a closed loop servo system, well sort of. At least the motors are being controlled and monitored by the Galil controller and the loop is closed there, rather that just being the open loop step & direction Mach3 system. Gives you full control over the motor tuning. Galil DMC-4040 4 axis controllers are available on eBay in the US$500 - 600 range. These are real industrial motion controllers, and very easy to program using any text editor for customization if desired. (Not required when using Mach3).

    Centroid is a reasonable option, as is Dynomotion Kflop/Kanalog for a closed loop system.
    Mach3 does not work with Galil I have posted this before
    Mactec54

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    4644

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    Mach3 does not work with Galil I have posted this before
    Mach3 does not work well with Mach3. I have done 2 Mach3/Galil setups. In both cases I removed Mach3 and used my own software in the end, but it does work with the plugin. Would not be my first choice, but is not a bad starting point for one already familiar with Mach3.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11894

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    Mach3 does not work well with Mach3. I have done 2 Mach3/Galil setups. In both cases I removed Mach3 and used my own software in the end, but it does work with the plugin. Would not be my first choice, but is not a bad starting point for one already familiar with Mach3.
    Not using a Galil it would be a bad starting point, I know the person who did the Galil plugin's for Mach3 and Mach4
    Mactec54

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    818

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    ...more options

    Mesa Electronics

    spaceship

    http://linuxcnc.org/

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    11894

    Re: Knee mill conversion/ controller advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...more options

    Mesa Electronics

    spaceship

    http://linuxcnc.org/
    Yes this would be a better choice than any Galil for a first time conversion
    Mactec54

Similar Threads

  1. CNC Knee Mill Conversion (I searched.)
    By KyleH2 in forum Knee Vertical Mills
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 10-06-2012, 04:37 PM
  2. Knee mill conversion
    By evo4wrx in forum Australia, New Zealand Club House
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 09-16-2008, 04:31 PM
  3. Induma Knee Mill CNC Conversion
    By TommyL in forum Knee Vertical Mills
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-22-2006, 04:24 AM
  4. knee mill conversion
    By mtechserv in forum Knee Vertical Mills
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-04-2004, 07:30 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •