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CNC-ing the Seig X3 vertical mill.

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  • CNC-ing the Seig X3 vertical mill.

    I am getting ready to retro-fit a "Seig" X3 vertical column mill with a "bolt-on" packaged CNC in 3 axis - to have a 4th. axis for use as and when required.

    I will also fit a "Manual Pulse" system as well for manual over-ride or control if and as required.

    I will instal a new computer in my shop - just for the X3.

    I have a HF-45 vertical column mill which I will be leaving "as is" as I like a "fall-back" option "just in case" and for "old times sake".

    I have 3 CAD systems on my computer and have yet to settle on a CAM system. I need to really "brush up" with my CAD systems as it had not been used for years.

    I have and will be using Mach3 for the CNC-ing. I need to really "get my finger out" and "get a move on" with this as well.

    My "learning curve" is going to be somewhere between exponential (to several orders) and dead vertical!!

    It is "early stages" yet and I am in no hurry.

    I thought I'd throw it up on the forum/board for the info of and comment by others.

    I have bought the Seig X3 and will pick it up in the next week or so - as I said, I am in no hurry.
    http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pro...stockCode=M153

    I was going to go for the Sieg Super X3 but was advised to stick with the X3 - which I did. Details of the Super X3 are at:
    http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pro...stockCode=M155

    There were several options as regards machines and the CNC retro-fit "bolt-on" packages.

    The first was "Syil" (recently re-named "Toolmach") as it was established in OZ and was a full "turn-key" set-up. It is full "stepper" set-up.

    http://www.toolmach.com.au/home.php

    http://www.toolmach.com.au/product.p...age=1&featured

    I was led to believe the machine was a "Seig" but apparently not - it seems that Seig will not supply them and the "Syil" is an "in-country" (China) copy of the Seig. Syil had supply problems and was on the other side of Australia to me. The costs were too high and was not certain of support or spares supply - so I gave it a "miss".

    The one I "went" for (and am awaiting a formal quote/offer to place my order) is at:
    http://www.cnckits.com.au
    http://www.cnckits.com.au/details.html#Kits
    http://www.cnckits.com.au/images.html
    http://www.cnckits.com.au/pricing.html

    This is a full stepper drive set-up.

    The developer is "local" to me - only about 2 hours (maximum) drive and provides full technical and parts support.

    It doesn't get better than this.

    Two other options that I have been made aware of - one by a member of this forum, the other by "poking around" are:

    http://www.rlberg.com/CNC.htm

    This is in the USA (sincere thanks to the member who sent me the link and comment).

    This too has been developed "from the ground up" on a Seig X3 mill. It is a "servo" motor system. I thought it was brilliant but I prefer "stepper" to "servo" - not because one is better than the other but because - as a complete novice in this field - I am more "at ease" with "steppers".

    The next was a mix of "stepper" and "servo" from that brilliant Japanese machinist - Mr. Ashimura - at:
    http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/53...cnc_system.htm

    For those that may not know of or have not seen Mr. Ashimura's web site - you have really missed something special - check it out at:
    http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/index-e.html

    Why the hell am I doing this to myself at my age - you may well ask, I've asked myself often enough. I just wanted to "have a go at it" - that's all. I'd like to know a bit more about it from a complete novice's ("dick-head"??) point of view from a "learn-by-doing" approach I suppose.

    Well there it is folks.

    I hope it is of some use - to me and others who might read this.

  • #2
    Great stuff 'Tiffie. I got into 2-1/2D CNC routing for cutting out my r/c aircraft parts almost 10 yrs. ago and loved/hated it. The software at the time was very user UN-friendly but I did get it working. I'd really like to convert my X-3 (great lil' mill by the way) but finances won't allow it.

    I'd seriously think twice about the 3MT spindle in the one you've linked to though. R-8 is much cheaper to tool up with. Isn't that what your other mill has already?

    Milton
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

    Comment


    • #3
      And off we go!!

      Thanks Milton (DickeyBird).

      Thanks heaps - I feel better already!!

      At 71 I am short of time!! So its in with both feet - "now or never" and "all or bugger all"!!!

      I picked the 3MT as it is on my HF-45 and my 3-in-one mill spindles - for which I'm pretty well "tooled-up" and "ready to go".

      I have adaptors for my ER-32 collets as well - so it all "fits".

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks like a very tidy package Mick.
        You will have to license the Mach 3. The demo version is very limited (about 100 lines of code IIRC)

        I use Mach 3 on the router and am well pleased with it.
        With Vcarve, it is all too easy to generate files with tens of thousands of lines
        Just got my head together
        now my body's falling apart

        Comment


        • #5
          Done and dusted

          Thanks Lin.

          Licence for Mach3 is "done and dusted" - about 2 days after I tried it. It has been sitting around ever since!!

          I liked that work of yours on V-carve - very nice indeed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you had an input from John Stevenson?

            He makes X3 CNC kits and whilst the dollar rate probably wouldn't make it an attractive proposition to buy one from the UK his experience might be useful?
            http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalo...-X3-Small-Mill

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by oldtiffie

              The first was "Syil" (recently re-named "Toolmach") as it was established in OZ and was a full "turn-key" set-up. It is full "stepper" set-up.

              I was led to believe the machine was a "Seig" but apparently not - it seems that Seig will not supply them and the "Syil" is an "in-country" (China) copy of the Seig. Syil had supply problems
              Naughty, naughty - name change to be very close to a Tormach ? of which it isn't in the same league.
              Use of the X4 name to imply it's still in the Sieg stable ?

              Short term they will get away with it, long term it will hurt them.


              The one I "went" for (and am awaiting a formal quote/offer to place my order) is at:
              http://www.cnckits.com.au
              http://www.cnckits.com.au/details.html#Kits
              http://www.cnckits.com.au/images.html
              http://www.cnckits.com.au/pricing.html

              This is a full stepper drive set-up.

              The developer is "local" to me - only about 2 hours (maximum) drive and provides full technical and parts support.

              It doesn't get better than this.
              That looks a nice kit Mick, well made, correct specs for components and better still you will have the all important support which is worth more than anything else.

              I get asked for CNC kits to be supplied out of the UK but flatly refuse on the support issues.

              .
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



              Comment


              • #8
                Update.

                Originally posted by John Stevenson
                Naughty, naughty - name change to be very close to a Tormach ? of which it isn't in the same league.
                Use of the X4 name to imply it's still in the Sieg stable ?

                Short term they will get away with it, long term it will hurt them.
                .................................
                ...................................

                That looks a nice kit Mick, well made, correct specs for components and better still you will have the all important support which is worth more than anything else.

                I get asked for CNC kits to be supplied out of the UK but flatly refuse on the support issues.

                .
                Thanks John.

                Geezuz you DO have a sharp eye!! I never spotted the pseudo Tormack or pseudo Seig with the X3 bit.

                I don't have to tell/remind you where I go the info from re. Syil which on relfelction seems just as close to Seig. Thank you sincerely - I'm still shuddering at the close call.

                I emailed Arc Eurotrade re. supply of a Manual Pulse Generator which was on their web site when it was discussed on here recently. It isn't on the web site now and a search on the site yields a "nil" result.

                Any idea why? Any help will be appreciated. I asked the developer here (who is a user of his own stuff and makes his stuff on the CNC-ed X3) and he said that the MPG with a USB connection will work with Mach3 and his package. I am getting him to install/provide the 4th. axis.

                He is in the middle of developing a CNC-ed "Vertex" 6" rotary table as the fourth axis. I have a "notional" order in for one.

                He is as slow as ........ getting the quote out, but I will give him a reminder this week.

                Interestingly, he said that the X3 is better than the Super X3 for CNC-work as he said that re-setting/re-tramming the head is a PITA and the X3 is ideal and had lots of "grunt". All that he has had to do in over 3 years of development and production work is to replace the drive belt.

                He also said that the rolled ball-screws are all well within tolerance and do the job fine and that ground ball-screws cost big $ and cannot be justified.

                He said too that the computer should have a "bare-bones" XP or W2K OS - and no MS OS "upgrades" nor should IE be fitted. Minimum/nil "back-ground" applications installed or running either.

                Others who read this may appreciate and hopefully will explain or advise. A new computer is not expensive. I asked about using a lap-top and he said that while it would work, one of the problems was that Mach3 requires a parallel port dedicated to Mach3 and that ideally the parallel port should be on the main/"mother" board and not on an IDE card (which will work). The reasons against the lap-top as I recall was that they usually don't have a parallel port and require a conversion card which is far from the optimum arrangement.

                I notice that Arc EuroTrade have a PDF file for getting the Seig X3 ready for CNC-ing. I must remember to down-load it.

                Again, many thanks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I did notice the "toolmach" thing, but kept me gob shut thinking it might be a typo, or just confusion.
                  If it is the case, that is very naughty indeed!
                  Can anyone clarify this please?

                  I'm well aware of (and have been drooling over) the Tormach mill for a couple of years.
                  Just got my head together
                  now my body's falling apart

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The main problem with the PC is that if you have lots of programs loaded then windows will keep on doing its 'thing' with all the loaded components and not concentrate on your cnc program. The more dedicated controller you have then better the control of the cnc operation will be.
                    In some respects the old dos was much better than any form of windows will ever be.
                    I would even go so far as to say turn any automated windows functions you can especially the screen saver as windows will be forever checking for keyboard activity so it can activate the saver, some have even said it is better to get a PC without an onboard video controller.
                    Not sure waht effect the more modern duo or quad chips would have on the effects as your cnc package will not use the extra processor.
                    Perhaps Evan would know!
                    Peter
                    I have tools I don't know how to use!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mick, just noticed the part of your post relating to using a lappy to drive your machine.

                      The answer is a qualified "maybe".
                      Trouble is , most lappies use 3V logic on the parallel port, whereas most stepper drivers expect 5v logic.

                      I get away with using my old HP lappy to drive the router because I'm using PMDX drivers, which are designed to accept 3v - 5v logic.

                      You will have to check the drivers provided with your conversion, re voltage/logic levels.

                      Hope I have not further muddied the turbid waters for you mate
                      Just got my head together
                      now my body's falling apart

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Naughty boys!!

                        Originally posted by Swarf&Sparks
                        I did notice the "toolmach" thing, but kept me gob shut thinking it might be a typo, or just confusion.
                        If it is the case, that is very naughty indeed!
                        Can anyone clarify this please?

                        I'm well aware of (and have been drooling over) the Tormach mill for a couple of years.
                        Try this Lin.

                        http://www.syil.com.au

                        Then this.

                        http://www.toolmach.com.au/home.php

                        (More than?) a "bit rude" - as you say.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "site is underconstruction.."

                          Yup
                          Just got my head together
                          now my body's falling apart

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "ToolMach Quik Tooling System"

                            Now where have heard something like that before?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              C&C qualified tooling?
                              Just got my head together
                              now my body's falling apart

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