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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
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    1

    NEED HELP WITH CNC LATHE

    Hi,

    I am a mechanical engineering student and for our senior project, my team is turning a tabletop lathe into a CNC Lathe. We bought the ACORN CNC kit to create the lathe but have a couple of issues. The people we are giving the lathe to are cutting titanium with it and they want servo motors. Servo motors are expensive and I believe the acorn kit can only use stepper motors. Are stepper motors powerful enough to cut titanium? Also, what are the best places to get stepper and servo motors? Is it possible to have the CNC able to do tapping or can that only be done manually?

    This is hard because you cannot see the lathe that we are trying to turn into a CNC lathe but the name of the lathe or the company is "Techno Metal Lathe"

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1680

    Re: NEED HELP WITH CNC LATHE

    My opinion: stepper motors are useless as axis drives. If you want powerfull, acurate and energy-effective machine, take servos for axes.
    The best stepper and servos live in Switzerland.
    Every normal lathe does tapping. <- are you sure, you are studying machinery?

  3. #3
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    5103

    Re: NEED HELP WITH CNC LATHE

    Quote Originally Posted by hd641 View Post
    Hi,

    I am a mechanical engineering student and for our senior project, my team is turning a tabletop lathe into a CNC Lathe. We bought the ACORN CNC kit to create the lathe but have a couple of issues.
    The Acorn kit is fine, a good starting point. But you have a lot of engineering to do before you are ready for that.

    The people we are giving the lathe to are cutting titanium with it and they want servo motors.
    There are certainly many advantages to using servo motors, but there are many small CNC lathes with stepper axis drives. Get the recipients to kick in some extra money to buy the servos.

    Servo motors are expensive and I believe the acorn kit can only use stepper motors.
    Servo motors are typically more expensive than steppers. Acorn will control servos just fine, you only need servo drives that will accept step & direction input. Very available from many vendors. There is a good vendor list on the Acorn web page.

    Are stepper motors powerful enough to cut titanium?
    If they are properly sized for the machine and the cutting parameters are reasonable for the work, then no problem.

    Also, what are the best places to get stepper and servo motors?
    There are vendors of both all over the internet. From eBay to the vendor web sites. Time to do some research. There are many hobby class vendors out there. But first you need to develop some specifications for what you will need to run the machine.

    Is it possible to have the CNC able to do tapping or can that only be done manually?
    Of course you can tap with a CNC machine, you only need to electronically gear the spindle to the axis drive. This of course requires an index pulse from the spindle at a minimum, best is an encoder. See the Acorn documentation for more information.

    This is hard because you cannot see the lathe that we are trying to turn into a CNC lathe but the name of the lathe or the company is "Techno Metal Lathe"
    It really doesn't matter, a lathe is a lathe. Benchtop or industrial CNC machine, they all do the same job and are functionally similar.

    Extra Credit: Figure out how to convert to a CNC lathe while keeping all of the original manual functionality intact, with easy change over so can be switched between manual and CNC in the middle of a job. (yes, it's possible.)
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

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