Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rotary Axis

I used my new rotary axis for my Sieg KX1 to cut a big gear ( 60 teeth, 77.5mm outside diamter ). Each side of the tooth is made with about 10 cuts, so it has many straight lines. It doesn't seem to run as smoothly as the gear which I milled around the profile.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bridgeport Repaired. Auto Spindle Off added.

I have spent 2 days fixing my milling machine.
The PC that I used to control it stopped working; the floppy drive had failed and none of my 6 spare floppy drives worked, so I guss it was a motherboard problem.
I found another old PC to run the software on. Fortunately, I found the source code for my PC control ( "Heeksatrol" ) which I wrote in about 2001. So I was able to modify it.

I took the opportunity to automatically turn off the spindle when the tool needed changing, or the program had finished running.
I looked at the relays and tranformers in the machine, but decided to simply add a RC servo to physically turn the spindle switch. I made my program output on one of the unused parallel port pins and connected an Arduino with the servo attached ( source code here ).

While calibrating the speeds, I blew some of the machine's power transistors, so I had to replace them.
Anyway, now my machine cuts metal and turns the spindle off, so I know when to jump up and change the tool. :)