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adding a rotary axis

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Dale Y, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Dale Y

    Dale Y Journeyman
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    I am thinking of adding a rotary axis to both my laser and mill machine. My plan would be to make the rotary unit something I can move between the 2 systems. I have been looking around for ideas on how to control the unit on each systems, but getting very confusing and even conflicting info. Can GRBL run this, what would be better. I know I will have to change out the controllers, but was thinking I could use the 3 axis board from the mill on the laser. What are your thought everyone?
     
  2. Anthony Bolgar

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    A rotary is easy to add to a laser. Grbl can control it, I use LightBurn as the software to generate the Gcode AND send it to the laser. LightBurn is an all in one solution. You can even do your design work in it. They have a 30 day free trial (Unrestricted) that you should check out. You can get it at LightBurn software.com
     
  3. Dale Y

    Dale Y Journeyman
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    One of the things I found online was a question of if your rotation commands are in distance, angle, or a percentage of rotation. In my laser, my plans would be to try and calculate the circumference and treat the rotation as a distance. This would however force me to remember to update the mm/rotation for each project.
     
  4. Dale Y

    Dale Y Journeyman
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    I guess I should also ask what options are out there for getting the rotational axis? What have the rest of you used?
     
  5. future_cncist

    future_cncist Journeyman
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    This video Dave has on youtube may give you some ideas .
     
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  6. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Perhaps I have been living under a stone, but I found that really interesting, and to be honest, quite logical. :)
    Why would you want 4 axes if you are only needing to work in 3. :banghead:
    To adapt the Y to A is so sensible.
    The question I would ask is, is it just Mach 3 that allows the set up of separate profiles? :rolleyes:
    future_cncist

    Thanks for digging this video up. :thumbsup:
     
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  7. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    1) Positioning, 3+1.

    2) 4 axis mill-turn is super handy; you can put features and use cutters in places that normally you wouldn't with A-Z-X, well beyond normal live-tool lathe work. That would be a process thing in the design-for-manufacturing end of things.

    :D
     
  8. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    I do appreciate the positioning aspect as shown in the video, and why we would initially need the Y-axis.
    I do feel though, that there would be many occasions where the normal, simple, lathe set-up would be more than adequate for a lot of projects. :thumbsup:
    Do you know if the multi-profile set-up is available on other programs? :rolleyes:
     
  9. Rob Taylor

    Rob Taylor Master
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    Didn't watch the video, but I think once firmware catches up, 3+x manufacturing at small scale is gonna become huge (heh). It completely reinvents the entire process.

    Stair balusters and chair legs, for instance, could be perfectly easily cut and morticed in some way with that, though you couldn't cut square ends to size without another sideways-axis to do the surfacing (or to place the tool at full DoC against the side of the workpiece for a Z move). I'm sure there's a lot of stuff where it's just a simple profiling and some centered drilling, though traditional live-tooling lathes work so well because the heads can be indexed prior to running. That's a much harder problem to solve with a single, fixed-angle live-tool head.

    Absolutely no earthly idea! I'm not sure how you'd do it through a head-sender and sub-firmware, unless it was a specifically high-axis firmware that you could leave motors plugged into, which is unusual. Generally, it would always have to be a PC controller and breakout, because otherwise you'd have to manually plug and unplug motors. So LinuxCNC most likely does, but I don't know if there's another option out there that could flip motors in-software. Maybe the 5-axis grbl port if it has additional configurations via the $$ menu (heh). It could then still be operated via a 3-axis g-code sender, as long as that sender could be configured to be rotary or standard.

    In general, if software-flipping is an option, and you have the motors always plugged in, why bother even limiting your axis options to begin with? May as well just leave it always 3+1 capable, and change your CAM when you need the extra space and have to remove the rotary.
     
  10. future_cncist

    future_cncist Journeyman
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    I sure hope that Openbuilds will consider this feature or similar as my daughter is very interested in etching bottles using a rotary method .
    Also ,I was very surprised how my building and first run of the lead machine has piqued her interest in this hobby .
     
  11. Gabriel Faber

    Gabriel Faber Journeyman
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    I combined (needs custom axle) a Rino Ondrives worm stepper with a 2" chuck from Harbor Freight to create a light duty 4th axis. It's controlled by Mach 3 IMG_20151102_195456504_HDR.jpg


    I cut these candle holders with it on my (Tall) OX
    IMG_20170827_121944261.jpg
     
  12. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Good looking jobs. :thumbsup:
    Mind you those Rino Ondrives worm steppers are not cheap. :(
    I'll have to start saving my pennies. :D
     
  13. Gabriel Faber

    Gabriel Faber Journeyman
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    I got mine for $62.50 on ebay (2015)
     
  14. Anthony Bolgar

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    They are now $250+ onb ebay
     
  15. future_cncist

    future_cncist Journeyman
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    These are fantastic !
     

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