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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    3

    Hello and question about an old AXYZ Millennium

    Hi guys!

    I have a woodshop here in Toronto (@Sonofawoodcutter on Instagram) and I just acquired an old AXYZ CNC router from a buddy, its a smaller machine at about 40" x 40" but I understand these have a reputation for being quite robust! I am new to the CNC world, I had a Shapeoko but outgrew that quite quickly and sold it. I am beginning studies at George Brown in May for CNC Milling and I am trying to learn as much as possible! I plan to purchase a 12 x 5 before the end of this year.

    The guy that I bought it off seems to think that this machine requires an old version of Toolpath that I have in my possession on CD-ROM but requires a Windows 8 machine lol. So my question is, if I can generate the G-Code, how do I communicate this to my machine?

    There is a guy in MTL that can update the controller and install Mach 3 for $2k but I would need to ship it to and from there and I'd like to avoid that for now if possible. I hope somebody can provide some guidance, Cheers!!

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    33776

    Re: Hello and question about an old AXYZ Millennium

    By far the easiest option is to get a PC with Windows 8.

    You should be able to retrofit it yourself with a different control for well under $1000, if it uses stepper motors.

    I would not recommend Mach3, though. It's obsolete.

    I'd go with UCCNC, Mach4, LinuxCNC or Centroid Acorn.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    3

    Re: Hello and question about an old AXYZ Millennium

    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    By far the easiest option is to get a PC with Windows 8.

    You should be able to retrofit it yourself with a different control for well under $1000, if it uses stepper motors.

    I would not recommend Mach3, though. It's obsolete.

    I'd go with UCCNC, Mach4, LinuxCNC or Centroid Acorn.
    Thanks for the info! I actually ended up sending it away, it had a bunch of work done. I meant Windows 98 not Windows 8, sorry. I am hoping to have a go with it this week, cheers!

  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    33776

    Re: Hello and question about an old AXYZ Millennium

    Well, Windows 98 makes a much bigger difference.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5
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    Dec 2003
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    288

    Re: Hello and question about an old AXYZ Millennium

    I hope you don't mind a comment from outside Canada regarding this machine.I have some experience of running an older AXYZ with the stone age Toolpath software and as much as I dislike it,I would advise you to stick with it.The connection from the computer to the machine is via an RS485 interface I expect and you should find the driver on the Toolpath CD.It is slow to transfer toolpath files and most likely has a baud rate of 9600.I have never used the Toolpath software to create the toolpath as a CAM system is faster,easier and more flexible but having said that the facility to create toolpaths from an imported .dxf might be invaluable to you. I know the software is unlikely to operate with Windows 7 or newer-not sure about Vista-and works well with XP.You won't be running via parallel port as the RS485 connects via USB.One other quirk is that the Toolpath software is likely to be limited to filenames of eight characters or less-as they all used to be prior to Windows 95,and this gives a hint about the age of the core of the program.As said earlier,I don't much like the software but do grudgingly admit that it works.

    I suspect you can get an XP machine in working order for less than the $2000 it will cost to convert the machine to Mach 3.The controller the machine already has will very likely run a program without even having a computer connected as the old controller has a good number of functions within it and you can home the machine and select spindle speeds and feed speeds from the console.You can even load the programs that are stored.The other thing about maintaining originality is that tech support is likely to be easier to find than if you have a conversion done to what is a slightly less outdated control system and which is known in depth only to the person who does the conversion.

    Whichever way you decide to go,you will need data for calibrating the machine and it should be in the manual.Obviously this makes the manual a very important thing to have.Once set up the machine should be rugged and capable of good work for a long time.Best of luck.

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