6 Axis CNC for the hobbist

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Centroid just announced that they have a new option AcornSix.

Depending on which software you get it is either 4+2 which in itself is not too shabby or true 6 axis CNC and all that it entails.


Who is to be the first in our group.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Not me. I already have 6 axis with the 'free' LinuxCNC.
Now the big question how many axis are you using? And if more than 3 can you post a couple of pics of the machine, I'd be interested in the set up.

On a side note why Acorn for me, aside from machine/servo/limits setup, it pretty well was plug and play. No extra learn or work for Linux, custom interfaces etc.

I can say without a doubt it was the right for me.
 
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jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
Now the big question how many axis are you using? And if more than 3 can you post a couple of pics of the machine, I'd be interested in the set up.

On a side note why Acorn for me, aside from machine/servo/limits setup, it pretty well was plug and play. No extra learn or work for Linux, custom interfaces etc.

I can say without a doubt it was the right for me.
I like that I can do power tapping with it. I don't believe MACH3 can do that.

I have paid a lot of maintenance money over the years (stopped now) for AlibreCAM with 4th axis. It was still cheaper than Fusion360 once you go past 3. I have used this small stepper controlled rotary table as either axis 4 or 5 but very rarely. Really only one project.
FourthAxis.jpg

Project #42 which still requires casting the pattern along with the cast face plate for the ER40 collet chuck mount (also to be cast) is not yet complete. However I can make the motor turn in the simulated mount with LCNC. Adding that 4th axis to it was just adding the PIN definitions for the motor driver (STMBL in this case).

D8X_5784_Plastic_Mount-1.jpg

I'd like to 'enhance' this into this sort of system.
Photo1.jpg
Or maybe just buy this setup from China. It's a lot cheaper than it used to be. Trouble is I don't quite know what I'd build with it. At least not at the moment.

Now I realize learning LCNC isn't for everyone and not all would go to the depth I have for say the power draw bar and ultimately a tool changer. To do that I added a CANUSB dongle to the PC.
And then used one of the modules I manufacture for a client, with different software to run the pneumatic cylinders and relays for the power draw bar.
DrawbarControl.jpg

The little gold box is controlled via CAN messages generated from within LCNC for automatic control and reports status plus responds to two buttons for Load and Unload. Most of the self contained turnkey systems likely won't let you add CAN bus or ModBus based hardware like the MODIO from Australia that has full support on MACH3. Mobus and ladder logic also exist on LCNC for more complex control operations.

Other than the occasional repair of something the truth is the machine shop itself is the hobby which includes machining, woodworking for patterns, metal and plastic casting and electronics.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
With Acorn there are a few that have tool changers and loader and unloaders. The new Acorn 6 has serious inputs and output options, hope CNC4PC comes up with an interface for for 6 Clearpath SDSK servos (plug and play).

I went for servos because I wanted not to lose step or have to worry about it.
 

jcdammeyer

John
Premium Member
With Acorn there are a few that have tool changers and loader and unloaders. The new Acorn 6 has serious inputs and output options, hope CNC4PC comes up with an interface for for 6 Clearpath SDSK servos (plug and play).

I went for servos because I wanted not to lose step or have to worry about it.
I like the modular approach, contrary to many LCNC people, because I can test the software, electronics and hardware without the CNC PC. Like on the bench.

From the CNC perspective it just moves the table to the tool change position clear of anything clamped on the table when it REQ for Tool #n. And then waits for a READY signal.

Now at that point it doesn't really matter if it's a carousel or a robot arm. It's a simple RQ_n, BUSY, RDY_n set of signals or messages. But then in the past I've developed software for machines that are modular but hand off parts from station to station.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
From what I understand from Centroid they started as programming CNC interfaces and became a CNC machine producer/retrofitter coming back to DYI market with Acorn. They offer different control solutions with Touch Screen being a version of there actual control system. Their flavour of G-code is supported by Solidworks, Fusion, Mastercam and others.

So learn on this transfers directly over to their machines like the one Steve Morris Engines uses.

 
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