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Acorn CNC with Clearpath Servo's update.

I've been putting the CNC to use, and does it run.

Now that I've got my head around programming in Intercon, programs are starting to flow. Working on optimizing the code after Intercon creates it.

One glitch so far and one of my servos died, luckily I haven't started using the forth one (for the 4th axis) yet so it was an easy swap. Clearpath has a 3 year warranty and they said send it back. I'll update and let you know what they did.
 

kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
Can u refresh my memory on what type of machine.
? My project cnc is still stepper based, and no ball screw, but the possibilities are there for sure...... so much potential
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
Can u refresh my memory on what type of machine.

 
@kevin.decelles

The mill is Busy Bee CT054. No ball screws, though they are under consideration to improve performance after I see how the machine wears.

I held off for years doing a conversion for several reasons, in order.

Steppers, lose step under high loads, this was a concern.
Controller, Linux wasn't interested in learning another OS and dealing with its issues, Andriod or other boards same reasons.

The choice of Centroid Acorn while more expensive definitely does have some serious advantages as the driving control software is true CNC based.

Acorn is the base 4 axis system with 3rd party add on boards (CNC4PC) which make Clearpath hook up truly plug and play.

Clearpath SDSK Servos at the onset seem more expensive, however add into the stepper interface and drivers the cost quickly narrows. The second is that while similarly rated steppers are not at the same level. A 250in oz steps is peak holding power where upon it drops off, a same rated Clearpath has full rating at 100% duty cycle and a 4x that amount at limited speed and duration.

What I've done to the mill to date,
Flood cooling
Column riser, gives me more options between table and spindle.

To be done still,
New lubrication distribution block, original one leaking a little, maybe automatic lube (consideration).
Better shielding for coolant and chips.
Rework spindle speed counter (encoder not good), going to go for simple counter Hall effect type.

All I can suggest is you understand your needs, objectives, equipment limitations and budget and choose accordingly.
 
Sorry for the delay, needed to take a pic of it installed.

This was the heaviest pc I've every turn and my first go with 4140.

It added about 50lbs to the mill which did a fair bit of dampening.

The trick was to get the ends parallel took a couple of tries.

Additionally slots and holes drilled prior to disassembling the mill. Once disassembled I discover I had to turn a recess in on end.

The bottom fasteners are using the original bolts the top are tapped in and cranked down won't adjust these in the future only the bottom if required. 7C568A1F-9217-42F5-94E1-4404C8B06BC3.jpeg
 

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Other things done to the mill VFD added along with a new motor 3 phase motor.

One other item on the list is an adjustable brace to keep the head locked in place (from rotating left or right away from vertical under x axis loads). I found over time even under manual use I saw drift. With CNC this forces will be greatly multiplied because the machine will be pushed beyond human limits.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Sorry for the delay, needed to take a pic of it installed.

This was the heaviest pc I've every turn and my first go with 4140.

It added about 50lbs to the mill which did a fair bit of dampening.

The trick was to get the ends parallel took a couple of tries.

Additionally slots and holes drilled prior to disassembling the mill. Once disassembled I discover I had to turn a recess in on end.

The bottom fasteners are using the original bolts the top are tapped in and cranked down won't adjust these in the future only the bottom if required.View attachment 22970
What length is the riser block? And was there Z dovetail for more height or do you wish you would have made it shorter at all? Did you have to modify the Z screw or nuts to allow for the increase in travel?

I think bolting the top part on solid and only adjusting at the bottom makes sense but I bet taping the 4140 was hard. I'm not sure if tapping would be easier or harder than drilling just a hole the whole length and then just using longer bolts?
 
Both knee and quill travel are the same, the advantage is that it allows you to use better tool holders and work holding. The second is taller work. I found prior to that on several occasions that i just lacked that extra inch or 2 to do what I wanted. Even on full size Bridgeports this seems to be an issue and there are risers made for them.

Tapping 4140 was easy, believe it or not drilling was worse and so was milling the slots. My belief is that work hardening is the issue, tapping does not work harden if done old school.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Both knee and quill travel are the same, the advantage is that it allows you to use better tool holders and work holding. The second is taller work. I found prior to that on several occasions that i just lacked that extra inch or 2 to do what I wanted. Even on full size Bridgeports this seems to be an issue and there are risers made for them.

Tapping 4140 was easy, believe it or not drilling was worse and so was milling the slots. My belief is that work hardening is the issue, tapping does not work harden if done old school.
On my milling machine which very very similar to yours there is "unused" Z dovetail that doesn't get used because the table hits the spindle before. I've read that others have gained a wee bit of bottom z travel by altering the bottom acme screw I believe. And I've read also some one cranked the table up off the z screw after installing a riser block.
 
Mine tops out at the top of the knee dovetail and does a hard stop. If yours has a drawer below the screw make sure its empty or you shortening the downwards travel.

Even before the alteration my highest knee position did not hit the quill. I did an alteration to the quill stop that I got an extra 1/2 of movement in the downwards direction.

Personal for me it was an overdue improve.
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Sorry for the delay, needed to take a pic of it installed.

This was the heaviest pc I've every turn and my first go with 4140.

It added about 50lbs to the mill which did a fair bit of dampening.

The trick was to get the ends parallel took a couple of tries.

Additionally slots and holes drilled prior to disassembling the mill. Once disassembled I discover I had to turn a recess in on end.

The bottom fasteners are using the original bolts the top are tapped in and cranked down won't adjust these in the future only the bottom if required.View attachment 22970

Wow that’s a riser! No wimpy hollow tube for you. The 6” solid on the lathe made me gulp a bit. Hell of a lot of metal goin around. Looks good.
 

kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
That will be one of my summer projects. Same mill. I didn’t see the exact riser height posted, can you throw out a measurement?
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Wow that’s a riser! No wimpy hollow tube for you. The 6” solid on the lathe made me gulp a bit. Hell of a lot of metal goin around. Looks good.
Yes I think that's JUST right, I've got a log of 4140 that is waiting for a bit of it to be turned I to that exact thing also. I just can't turn that big of piece on my iddy bitty lathe.

@kevin.decelles
There you go you've got someone with the exact same machine that has already made the riser to copy. ALTHOUGH I've read even with the same model of machines there can be small differences and you might not want to make the entire riser based on another's measurements.
 
Here is a video showing ACORN's parent (Centriod) doing big stuff. This is one of the reason I choose this control software (Centriod CNC12) as it is scaleable as a homebrew or into full on purpose built CNC machine.

 
I've been putting the CNC to use, and does it run.

Now that I've got my head around programming in Intercon, programs are starting to flow. Working on optimizing the code after Intercon creates it.

One glitch so far and one of my servos died, luckily I haven't started using the forth one (for the 4th axis) yet so it was an easy swap. Clearpath has a 3 year warranty and they said send it back. I'll update and let you know what they did.
How did you fair with getting a Clearpath Servo under warranty ? I have 3 Nema 34's and 1 Nema 24 from them I used to build a CNC 4 axis router/mill.I just had a good look at my picture and it was when i got rid of the Proximity sensors and set up the servos with their software to home them. It's a ongoing evolution.Fixed gantry design , the bed moves under the Z.I also use the Acorn and CNC4PC board with a 75VDC Toroidal power supply.
 

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Well, when I called no problem, just pull the info and they'll send me the appropriate documentation. Haven't done it yet too busy, plus I 3yrs from date of purchase.
 
Nice looking build by the way. I likely have about 100 to 140hrs of hard run time on the servos (the functional ones). The next upgrade is ball screws and likely higher resolution servos on 2 axis maybe 3, we'll see.
 
Well, when I called no problem, just pull the info and they'll send me the appropriate documentation. Haven't done it yet too busy, plus I 3yrs from date of purchase.
i had one give me grief, reran the setup software and it was back to normal
 
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