Author Topic: X45 CNC upgrade  (Read 3214 times)

Offline maury

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X45 CNC upgrade
« on: February 18, 2019, 09:02:49 PM »
I have an X45 converted CNC machine, and have Serious backlash. After having investigated the cause, I have come to the conclusion I need to replace the ball screws and and thrust bearings. The current ball screws are too small for that machine, and are worn. The thrust bearings are cheap ball bearings with only a mechanical tensionor. I have already replaced the balls in the Z axis with larger balls...

I have been investigating where to get the parts I need, but have had little success. The best option I have found is a kit from cncconversionkit.com. has anyone has experience with this company?

Their kit also includes the electronics, so I will probably replace that too, as the new motors will probably need more power. I can buy only the mechanical parts from them, and get new drivers, may even move up to Mach4 and suresteppers. any suggestions or help in thus area?

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions about how I could proceed with my upgrade, I would appreciate the help.

Thanks,
maury
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Offline steamer

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 09:51:14 PM »
Maybe Ron Ginger can chime in here?

Dave
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Offline maury

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 09:12:41 PM »
Steamer, thank you for your response.
Still looking for a source for ball screws and angular contact bearings.

maury
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Offline RonGinger

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 10:45:38 PM »
When I did the lathe build class at the CNC workshop I ordered my ballscrews from a Chinese vendor on Amazon. I ordered one first as a check, which arrived in the 2 day usual Amazon shipping. Once I decided the quality was good I ordered 20 sets directly. I was amazed how easy it was. The vendor name was Ten High Electronics and Machine.

On our second batch of screws they made a mistake in machining the end. I sent a mail message and within a couple days they agreed to replace them, and the new batch arrived in about two weeks. I was amazed at that service. I will certainly buy from them again if I ever need them.

If you buy from Amazon they are bare screws, you have to do your  own end machining.

For electronics I have usually used CNC4PC.com Arturo custom built the 14 boxes we needed for the class. We used a controller by PoKey for Mach4.

I suppose I am biased, but I strongly support Mach4. It has been shipping now for over 4 years and there are lots of them out (I dont want to offer any number because I have inside information, but I assure you, its a big number) Most are going into OEM machines and many dont even show the Mach4 label. The real market for Mach4 has been the industrial world.

Mach4 requires a motion control- a small controller board connected to the PC by USB or ethernet. This now makes Mach4 a simple PC application and laptops or old desk top boxes are fine. There are several motion devices in the hobby world, Smoothstepper, PoKey57CNC, several from PMDX.com CNC4PC sells them all, as do several other vendors.


Offline kvom

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2019, 12:42:11 PM »
I have one of the CNC mini-lathes Ron mentioned.  That said, I converted my mill from mach3 to PathPilot, and really like it.  The pulse generation is done my a Mesa card in the PC, so the mill runs more smoothly than under mach, and my rapids are faster.

Offline maury

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 03:15:06 PM »
Ron, Kvom, thanks so much for the reply. It seems most of those suppliers didn't show up on my searches. Guess I need to learn how to be a better GOOGLE hacker.

I'm working on the mechanical part first, and will look into Mach4 and PathPilot later.

I have a question about the Ten High ball screws. Are they anti-backlash adjustable? I can machine the ends, and that probably would be the best option since I haven't disassembled my machine yet and don't have the dims I would need.

maury
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Offline maury

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 09:10:12 PM »
y'all, I have my machine torn down now, and am taking measurements to figure out the details of adding the Y and X ball screws. Don't have any pictures yet, probably will next post.

I have checked out Ten High for ball screws. When I removed my old ones, I found they had 2 nuts for each screw, I assume to adjust out backlash. as opposed to the ones with 1 nut and custom size preloaded balls to remove the backlash. I was able to find any ball screws on the TenHigh site with 2 nuts. After a lot of poking around I ran across AliExpress.com. They sell ball screws with machined ends and 2 nuts. Don't know id they are trustworthy, located in China. I only ordered the Y axis screw, about $60 with shipping. Will see what I get when it comes.

Motor Questions:
I have been searching motors/Drivers/power supplies. One question is whether I should wire my motor bipolar series or parallel.
Could someone shead some light on this please?

Thanks,
maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Offline steamer

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 12:17:43 AM »
y'all, I have my machine torn down now, and am taking measurements to figure out the details of adding the Y and X ball screws. Don't have any pictures yet, probably will next post.

I have checked out Ten High for ball screws. When I removed my old ones, I found they had 2 nuts for each screw, I assume to adjust out backlash. as opposed to the ones with 1 nut and custom size preloaded balls to remove the backlash. I was able to find any ball screws on the TenHigh site with 2 nuts. After a lot of poking around I ran across AliExpress.com. They sell ball screws with machined ends and 2 nuts. Don't know id they are trustworthy, located in China. I only ordered the Y axis screw, about $60 with shipping. Will see what I get when it comes.

Motor Questions:
I have been searching motors/Drivers/power supplies. One question is whether I should wire my motor bipolar series or parallel.
Could someone shead some light on this please?

Thanks,
maury

What you want is the ball screws that Ron directed you to.   that's the way to go.

Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline Admiral_dk

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 11:34:56 AM »
The wiring depends on the motor and speed controller you hook it up with - the manual should give the info you need.

Offline maury

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 02:53:24 PM »
Steamer, thanks for the reply. I trust Ron's expertise, so I am inclined to go with the Ten High. But, the screws I removed from my system had two nuts. Backlash is the problem I'm trying to fix, so I would like to understand why it's better to go with a ball screw with one nut as opposed to one with 2 adjustable nuts.

Admiral, also thank you for your response. I have read the manuals for the motor drivers and for the motors. they have a very light discussion about the options for wiring the motors in parallel or series. The motor drivers will work either way, and are programmable for the correct current. The only indication I have been able to find balancing the two is there is a little more torque at same speed for parallel connection vs series connection. It also takes more current. Again, I'm trying to learn here and a bit more detail would be helpful. Maybe it's just the engineer in me trying to get out.

maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Offline steamer

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 04:17:18 PM »
Ball screws are generally preloaded so a second anti backlash nut is  not required.
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Offline RonGinger

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 07:39:03 PM »
I have used both one and two nuts. On the lathe class with the Ten High screws we only used one, partly for simplicity, partly low cost. They were also 'good enough'. That last one is a very scientific term.  ::)

For my own mill- a Jet knee mill, I used cheaper screws and did back to back nuts. They have been a problem, the Y nuts gets loose and it s a real bear to get into to adjust. I really should replace them now that I know a better source.

Its hard to do a real accurate measurement, but I felt like the lathe screws were in the .001 range of backlash. I think a lathe can stand more backlash because you almost always make cuts in the same direction. Mills need to be better because you are always changing direction.

All ballscrews are not all pre-loaded. Its the old pay for quality game.

Offline Admiral_dk

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 07:43:23 PM »
Well I honestly haven't experimented with these things .... but I'm guessing that it isn't that difficult to change the wires from one to the other - it might take much longer to change the parameters in the controller. For this reason alone I might try them both - unless I was so satisfied with the first try, that I couldn't care about any improvements.

Best wishes

Per

Offline maury

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2019, 05:00:01 PM »
Guys, thanks a lot for all the help. I really appreciate it. I'll try to keep the thread up to date as I progress and share what I have learned.

Since I already ordered the Y ball screw, I think I'll do the Y axis with it and see how it works. Ron, I agree the double nut version can have the problem of coming loose and needing adjustment. Also, it's a pain to re-adjust, hope the design has improved on the screws I ordered.

I also ordered the motors, angular contact bearings, and most of the electronics and boxes. So the process begins. I will be able to reuse some of the motor mount brackets, saving some time there.

The old design used a belt drive for the ball screws, with a 2:1 ratio. Since this is a fairly heavy mill, the torque increase will be welcome. I believe I can still get about 40in/min for the rapids. anything faster than that scares me, plus most if my cutting has been less than 15 in/min anyway.

BTW, a really neat find I ran across at the ball screw site is I can order new bellows for the ways, and they have sheet metal coil springs for protecting the ball screws. Javen't figured out a good way to oil the ball screws yet.

maury
"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."... Margaret Thatcher

Offline Neil-Lickfold

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Re: X45 CNC upgrade
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2019, 08:10:26 PM »
In the real world, is there a lot of difference between the C7 or C5  ball screws compared to C3 grade ball screws? Those that have made the conversions, what sort of precision is achievable with these converted cnc mills?
I have a mill and are thinking of  the cnc conversion myself, but not sure of the real world advantages for the home shop that is mainly making 1 of something.
Neil