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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > LittleMachineShop > LMS 3900 partial cnc build go back to manual?
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  1. #1

    LMS 3900 partial cnc build go back to manual?

    I am proud new owner of an used LMS 3900 mill.

    craigslist find, the mill has e240 stepper motor installed on the x and another stepper on the y. the a axis has an aluminium bracket with what looks like motor mount perhaps.

    no electronics or other cnc stuff came with it. I would like to have cnc capability, but not essential. is it best path to go back to manual and purchase (or make) handwheels or go forward with cnc and purchase stepper motor drivers and associated electronics.

    can I do this with some of my ardunio stuff?

    I am old school Bridgeport guy and this is first mini mill for me.

    I am mainly going to use this mill for learning more about mini mills,facing aluminum pieces, doing cuts in wood etc
    .

    any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. what is the cost range I may be looking at for each option?

  2. #2
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    Re: LMS 3900 partial cnc build go back to manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by systemwiz View Post
    the mill has e240 stepper motor installed on the x and another stepper on the y. the a axis has an aluminium bracket with what looks like motor mount perhaps.
    I'm not sure what a e240 stepper motor is, possibly nema 24 size? Normally on a mill "a" is a rotary (4th) axis and a vertical axis is "z". If the machine came with a rotary that's a nice bonus.

    no electronics or other cnc stuff came with it. I would like to have cnc capability, but not essential. is it best path to go back to manual and purchase (or make) handwheels or go forward with cnc and purchase stepper motor drivers and associated electronics.
    I have a decent size manual mill as well as a couple of smaller cnc mills. Manual mill with a DRO covers the most common milling operations. CNC shines when the geometry includes arcs and angles. The type of work anticipated will decide whether cnc is worth the effort. With the number of cnc conversions done on these mini-mills there must be a world surplus of hand wheels
    can I do this with some of my ardunio stuff?
    Uhm..maybe. Also Grbl may be of some interest. If you dabble in arduinos you'll find a cnc conversion pretty straight forward. Electricity and me don't get along.

    Some pictures would help people answer. Unfortunately you need some posting history to allow attaching photos.
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

  3. #3
    thanks for the help. that is why I couldn't post pictures! yep I think manual with DRO is the way to go. fun little project. the table cleaned up like new. i dont think it's just the hand wheel i need. where the stepper motors engage there is a round part with 2 half circle raised parts on it that engage with the steppers. took closer look and the control box in back is actually the cnc controller, so I have more of it than I thought I did paid 200 bucks for it all. with collects and some tooling

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