Posts tagged CNC / Machining

CNC TouchScreen Prototype

Prototyping New CNC FlexIO Program

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CNC TouchScreen PrototypeI have been working on a new version of my FlexIO program for quite some time new, which has a lot of new features in it including use of wXwidgets for the GUI interface, better accuracy, and even more tools & control for the operator using it. This week I have finally began connecting stepper motors to it, and doing some real motor experiments.

There have been other significant improvements to the program as well, especially on the controller side. It is still using the Parker 6K4/ZETA4 Combo, only now with the new code the communication between the hardware and the controller is much more effective. It also does not need such a high end PC to run, as now there is no DirectX requirements, there doesn’t need to be any high refresh rates. This was a problem with the MicroATX computer used on Joshua, and a problem of the old program anyways. We all do crazy things when we have very little time to complete a project 🙂

Now that the new program is going through the final paces of it’s hardware testing, I hope to have this finished and out of the way within the next couple of weeks. I have a lot of other projects building up that I need to work on! Click on any image to see an enlarged version.

In the above picture: On the left are 3 ZETA83-135-MO Parker stepper motors, each connected to a ZETA4 controller box (the 3 stacked units to the right of the motors). These are then connected to the Parker 6K4 controller box (the large box to the right of the ZETA4 units, with 4 red LED’s on the top) which controls the motor’s movement. The 6K4 is then connected to the PC via an RS-232 connection, which receives instructions from FlexIO. During the development process, laying the motors out flat like this is a good way to test the motor communication & the programs ability to switch between motors and steps accurately and smoothly, without damaging any real hardware in the event that a problem might occur.

Screenshot of the current program interface for setting up the cable being processed:

FlexIO V3 Screenshot - 06/13/2011

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Upgrading / Tearing Down Another CNC Bender

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So, I started working on the teardown for my latest CNC Bender upgrade today. This is a Seven Associates long bender, currently equipped with an AT6400 controller, Windows 95 PC and lots of other vintage goodies. If all goes well, after installing the new equipment this next week or so, this puppy should be up to par in about 2 weeks time.

This machine will be called “Sir Clive”, after the great Sir Clive Sinclair who invented the ZX Spectrum, on top of many other great little gadgets. Stay tuned for updates about it’s progress, and more!

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