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  1. #1
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    Stepper voltage

    I have a Novakon NM-135 that I purchased as "not functional". What I received had stepper motors but no power supply or drivers. I believe the original power supply was likely 36 or 48v DC. I have since purchased drivers and they are capable of 110VDC. I have a 48v switching supply here but I want to get an Antec linear toroidal supply so I can eliminate any concerns with a nice clean power supply. My question is should I go for a 48v DC supply or 80v DC assuming they are both 800 watts. I'm a little concerned the stock stepper cannot take the extra voltage. I'm pretty sure they can and only low volage=higher amps should be my only concern?

  2. #2
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi,
    go for the highest voltage your drivers can handle.

    The high voltage is applied to the stepper windings at the moment of switching only, thereafter the PWM kicks in to limit the current to a safe level.
    Having the high voltage at the moment switching however 'forces' current through the winding in shortest possible time resulting in the fastest possible step
    repetition rate and therefore highest stepper speed.

    High voltage it what allows a stepper to rotate fast WITHOUT losing steps.

    Craig

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    go for the highest voltage your drivers can handle.

    The high voltage is applied to the stepper windings at the moment of switching only, thereafter the PWM kicks in to limit the current to a safe level.
    Having the high voltage at the moment switching however 'forces' current through the winding in shortest possible time resulting in the fastest possible step
    repetition rate and therefore highest stepper speed.

    High voltage it what allows a stepper to rotate fast WITHOUT losing steps.

    Craig
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I went ahead with the 80VDC PS-8N80. I am upgrading my X and Y axis steppers to 12nm closed loop nema 34s that appear to have drivers limited to 100VDC and the next step up from Antec is 105v. Gonna run the stock Nema 34 on the Z with a clone DM860 for now.

  4. #4
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi,

    I am upgrading my X and Y axis steppers to 12nm closed loop nema 34s that appear to have drivers limited to 100VD
    I would do more research on those units BEFORE you commit to buy. They have lots of torque but they have high inductance and have limited speed as a result.
    There have been a number of posts on this forum of people whom have bought these things only to swap them out for lower torque units and had a MUCH better
    outcome....go figure?

    Craig

  5. #5
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,



    I would do more research on those units BEFORE you commit to buy. They have lots of torque but they have high inductance and have limited speed as a result.
    There have been a number of posts on this forum of people whom have bought these things only to swap them out for lower torque units and had a MUCH better
    outcome....go figure?

    Craig
    Yeah I saw those who had better luck with Nema 23/4's as well. My thinking on these was not speed but ability to run the gibs tighter without stalling. Franco on youtube did some comparisons of raw stall torque and they looked quite a bit better. I figure with the extra voltage I should be able to hit regular Nema 34 speeds with increased torque and accuracy.

    If I run into trouble I may try to tune them, worst case send them back and go with a couple servos for twice the price. Besides, no more rapids in Fusion 360 without forking over 25+ a month.

  6. #6
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi,
    the extra torque is seductive but in practice it does not seem to materialize. The reduction of torque with increasing speed is so severe that its entirely
    probable that a smaller (and much lower inductance motor) will outperform its bigger brother over several hundred rpm.

    I chose 750W Delta B2 AC servos and drives for my new mill....and they eat any stepper ever made. They cost $438USD (servo/drive/cables) plus shipping...so
    yes they are more expensive, but do the sums. By the time you buy a DC supply, the stepper drives and the steppers themselves my guess is that the price difference
    is less than you might imagine. Should point out that the Delta servo drives are 230VAC input and do not require a separate supply.

    Craig

  7. #7
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    the extra torque is seductive but in practice it does not seem to materialize. The reduction of torque with increasing speed is so severe that its entirely
    probable that a smaller (and much lower inductance motor) will outperform its bigger brother over several hundred rpm.

    I chose 750W Delta B2 AC servos and drives for my new mill....and they eat any stepper ever made. They cost $438USD (servo/drive/cables) plus shipping...so
    yes they are more expensive, but do the sums. By the time you buy a DC supply, the stepper drives and the steppers themselves my guess is that the price difference
    is less than you might imagine. Should point out that the Delta servo drives are 230VAC input and do not require a separate supply.

    Craig
    Yeah I have been doing quite a bit of research on AC servos as of late. The BLDC spindle motor and controller this mill came with doesn't seem to run quite right so I have ordered a 1.5kw 3K RPM 110ST-05030. I originally tried to get a 1.8kw 110ST-06030 from aliexpress but the seller took payment, gave me some bogus tracking while he tried to find one for the price I had paid but these things are sold out everywhere right now due to covid. Finally got him to cancel it and I found a 130ST-05020/controller combo in the states for $220 and just bought the 110ST-05030 seperate for $199 shipped(I got last one in US I can find too). Sucks because back in march this same motor was $310 shipped from US.

    Almost went with a DYN4 bit it was about twice the price and I figured if the controller or motor lets me down I'll replace with a DYN4 equivalent. DYN4 wiring alone is like $80 plus the programmer for $36.

    I picked one of these up for $89 shipped with coupon:

    https://www.vevor.com/products/sewin...rvo-motor-220v

    Gonna try to run it on my 8x16 lathe, supposedly will do 4500 rpm and certain version 5500 rpm.

  8. #8
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Forgot to ask, what machine are you running the servos on? That is my dream setup but seems like a waste to throw at a 400-450lb mill with dovetails. Would like to see a Syil X7 with rails, Tormach 770 or 1100 with those Deltas as the Turcite ways might benefit quite well.

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi,
    my new mill is an own design, home build.

    It has three cast iron axis beds, 700mm x 250mm and 115kg each, with 32mm C5 ground doublenut THK ballscrews and THK HSR linear rails and cars.
    The frame is two L shaped pieces of med-tensile 32mm steel plate. Total weight 850kg.

    Travels 358mm x 358mm x 358mm, max traverse 25m/min, max cutting speed 15m/min, accels 0.25g all axes.

    It's in use but still working on details like way covers and sealing up cabinet against coolant leaks.

    Craig

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Quote Originally Posted by joeavaerage View Post
    Hi,
    my new mill is an own design, home build.

    It has three cast iron axis beds, 700mm x 250mm and 115kg each, with 32mm C5 ground doublenut THK ballscrews and THK HSR linear rails and cars.
    The frame is two L shaped pieces of med-tensile 32mm steel plate. Total weight 850kg.

    Travels 358mm x 358mm x 358mm, max traverse 25m/min, max cutting speed 15m/min, accels 0.25g all axes.

    It's in use but still working on details like way covers and sealing up cabinet against coolant leaks.

    Craig
    Nice, any photos? I've toyed with producing a granite machine with steel mounting points for rails, screw and column mounts but finding steel for fair prices after shipping and access to a machine to square everything up and add datums always put me off.

    What are you doing for a spindle motor? The HSR rails are roller not ball?

    Sent from my BE2025 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi,
    I don't get the fascination with granite or epoxy granite, they have a Youngs Modulus in the region of 50GP and 25GPa respectively whereas cast iron
    is about 120GPa....double that of granite and four to five times that of epoxy granite.

    Of all the high rigidity materials steel is hands down the cheapest for a given modulus with cast iron a close second.
    Carbon fiber reinforced epoxy can match cast iron and steels but even more costly than cast iron

    Granite and epoxy granite are useful but require huge cross sections to match steel or cast iron for rigidity.

    What are you doing for a spindle motor? The HSR rails are roller not ball?
    THK HSR are ball not rollers....rollers are another quantum leap price wise.

    I have two spindles that I have taken from my mini-mill.

    The most used is 800W 24000rpm German made by Mechatron Gmbh. I use this spindle for isolation routing of circuit boards
    and making small instrument parts in aluminum, brass and plastics. This I use daily for work purposes.

    My second spindle is based on a 1.8kW 3500rpm 6Nm(cont) Allen Bradley AC servo direct coupled to a cylindrical ER25 toolholder running
    in P4 angular contact bearings. This spindle I use for steel and stainless. It used to cause my mini-mill to start to flex despite being all cast iron and steel
    but is better matched to my new mill.

    I have a remanufactured 3kW AC servo circa mid 90's. I am making a Field Oriented Control drive for it and will eventually it will drive a BT30 (or similar)
    toolchange spindle.

    I have a low lash (<3 arc min) Atlanta Drives 19:1 200Nm right range worm reducer that will become my 4th axis in due course.

    So I have development work for months, if not years, ahead of me yet. The good news is that the mill is up and running and I am able to make parts
    for work and thereby keep the money coming in...

    Craig

  12. #12
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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi Craig & others - std modulus carbon fibre in a quadaxial laminate (quasi isotropic) will get to 60GPa and 70 if very high volume fraction. In a bending optimised laminate it gets to 80-85GPa. The fibre itself is 200GPa so even a 60% volume fraction laminate with all fibres in one direction can get to 120GPa but this laminate is very tender and will fracture easily if the load is off axis. The ideal CF for machines would be an intermediate modulus fibre and a quasi isotropic laminate. This would give you a modulus of 110Gpa and a very good shear modulus. So it would be the same stiffness as cast iron yet much much lighter.. 1500kg/m3 density and be very damp, much damper then CI.

    Some granites are very stiff and can be as stiff as cast iron. But its hard to buy granite by stiffness being a natural material it is variable. Every material can build a successful machine just need to understand the pros and cons of each. Horses for courses. Peter

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi Peteeng,
    this reinforces my contention rather than weakens it.

    I have used carbon fibre, particularly on model areoplanes and on the basis of strength to weight carbon fibre is great. For a CNC mill the mass/layup requirement, and therefore cost
    of carbon fibre, is just out of the question, even if it is light.

    With a CNC mill rigidity is everything, damping is nice but still less important than rigidity. While granite and epoxy granite can and have been used successfully,
    but only at the marked increase in cross section....and I ask again why? I'd much rather cut, grind and machine cast iron than granite or epoxy granite. I bet there are a lot
    more foundries out there than there are stone masons with the capability to cut and grind granite ultra accurately for CNC purposes.

    There is a reason that cast iron has been so ubiquitous when it comes to building machines and it still remains the material of choice. I know you are going to point
    to high end manufacturers whom use epoxy granite.......you go and buy one!!! They are eye-wateringly expensive.

    Craig

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi Craig - There is no argument that CI is the material of choice for mass produced machines, unless very high accelerations are needed then CF takes over due to its lightness. CI offers the correct blend of stiffness, dampness and manufacturability in the current manufacturing paradigm for serial production. In the future with large scale 3D printing this may change. The US army has commissioned a metal printer large enough to print metal hummer chassis' and armoured personnel carriers in one go. That sort of technology will change the way we make things...

    Small addition - aluminium may take up some opportunities as well now Megacasters are around. Someone with a megacaster and some spare capacity would make excellent large machine tool parts - Peter

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    Re: Stepper voltage

    Hi Peteeng,

    Small addition - aluminium may take up some opportunities as well now Megacasters are around. Someone with a megacaster and some spare capacity would make excellent large machine tool parts - Peter
    I watched a YouTube video of a tour of the Kern factory in Germany.....top end to beat all top end!. They use epoxy granite in the base and cast aluminum elsewhere. The contention is that heat dissipates
    throughout aluminum so rapidly that Kerns extensive machine cooling system can achieve a tighter temperature tolerance.

    The one piece of my new mill about which I am not happy is the Z axis extension arm from the Z axis saddle to the spindle. I made it out of 100 x100 x 9 RHS and welded two 20mm plates either end.
    Works fine with my wee (800W 24000rpm) spindle but starts to vibrate with my 1.8 kW 3500rpm spindle. I thought it would be stiff enough....but its not. I should FEA model it and see.
    The upshot is that it will have to be replaced, sooner rather than later. My preference would be cast iron....but maybe cast aluminum might be a better bet.

    Notwithstanding the extension arm flexure the machine is operating nicely and allows me and my business to continue as is.

    Craig

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