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Cost to make a HF lathe cnc?

Discussion in 'CONVERTING A MACHINE TO CNC' started by awaqa909, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. awaqa909

    awaqa909 United States Steel Registered Member

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    I'm just curious, what if you had just the lathe, but nothing else. How much would it cost to make it cnc? More or less the stepper motors and all the "special" electric components. I have computers, but they're not 32 bit and don't have a parallel port, so I don't think that will work with Mach3 or linuxcnc.

    I was thinking it could be possible to get a arduino and some drivers and stepper motors that would work with it and then manually zero the machine and have a pre-written program that would have to do it all in one go.... Probably the cheapest route, but not a very good one.

    I don't own any mills or lathes, much less done any real work on them. This is just for curiosity and maybe future use.

    Thanks,
    Awaqa909
     
    Mr Mike likes this.
  2. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. Cost is usually the limitation. I think there is/are software that will control steppers directly (though you need a driver interface); LinuxCNC will I think.
    MS
     
  3. mat

    mat Germany Meistens sitzt der Fehler vor dem Gerät! Registered Member

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    I apologize for the bad language, the translation is done in Google. If someone can help with the translation from Russian into English, I will be grateful.
    I changed my guitar to electronic. For this, I used Arduino Mega 2560, the UHU servo controller and put the ball screw on the longitudinal feed. As a steering wheel, the sensors used 100 pulses per revolution. Switching the joystick direction. There is also the Fast Track Movement mode. As a servomotor used a motor with a permanent magnet and an encoder. Now I have on my machine: automatic feed from 0.01 mm / revolution to 0.3 mm / revolution (can be adjusted to any other). There are electronic stops ie. I can set the Start and End of the processing area for example, thread. Any threads, in automatic and manual mode, from 0.25 mm to 6 mm and from 6 threads per inch to 80 threads per inch. Including transverse (spiral). I can sharpen any cone. Divide the circumference to 255 parts. Soon it will be possible to process spherical surfaces. And for this I do not need to connect a computer and run programs. Although I have such a possibility. You can connect the computer and then the processing will be under the control of the program. I do not remember the exact costs, but approximately, it took me about 500 €
     
  4. TomS

    TomS Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Here are the Mach3 Minimum Recommended Requirements:
    Requirements if using the parallel port for machine control:
    • Desktop PC (Laptops are not supported) with at least one parallel port
    • 32-bit version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (64-bit versions will not work)
    • 1Ghz CPU
    • 512MB RAM
    • Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
    Requirements if using an external motion device for machine control:
    • An appropriate external motion controller (options can be found on the Plugins page)
    • Desktop or Laptop with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
    • 1Ghz CPU
    • 512MB RAM
    • Video Card with 32MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
    Hope this clarifies your computer questions. I use a UC-100 USB motion controller and a laptop running Windows7 64 bit.

    Tom S.
     
  5. cjtoombs

    cjtoombs United States Active User Active Member

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    I worked up a cost to convert my HF 13 x 40 last year. I included precision ground ballscrews (sourced surplus, not full price, but not rolled price either), gecko driven stepper motors, Mach 4 control, computer, monitor, lathe stand and enclosure. Total was about 4200 USD. I've put the project off, not so much due to cost as to time. A small lathe requiring smaller components would be cheaper, lower quality electronics and non commercial software would also reduce price. That gives you a ballpark, though.
     
  6. joe350r2

    joe350r2 United States Iron Registered Member

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    I have a question, not to hijack the post, would a USB to parallel port converter allow mach 3 to work with a laptop

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  7. DAT510

    DAT510 United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yes, I use a UC100, usb to parallel port adapter, to do that, running Mach3
     
  8. Wreck™Wreck

    Wreck™Wreck United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    This would depend entirely on what you want the machine to do and how well it will do it.
     
  9. shooter123456

    shooter123456 United States Active Member Active Member

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    If you were converting a small machine, it could be done relatively inexpensively depending on how much you can do yourself and what you want the machine to be able to do.

    For a simple conversion, you would need:

    2 Stepper Motors: $40
    2 Stepper Drivers: $30
    Break out board: $10
    Power supply: $30
    Couplers: $15 (could make these on the lathe though)

    So roughly $125 gets you the hardware for a very basic conversion. On top of that, you will likely need to fabricate mounts because factory ones will be few and far between.

    For control, I would get on craigslist and buy a computer for it. I have more than 50 in my area for $40 or less that would be suitable to run a machine. The one that runs my CNC mill is a $40 craigslist find that works very well and was easy to set up.

    From the basics, you can get really expensive really fast if you want more from the machine. You could add ballscrews for faster rapids, smoother motion, and less backlash. This could be done for $60 an axis on the cheap end, or you could easily spend $1000 on each if you wanted something super precise. If you want to thread, you will need to put some kind of encoder on the spindle so it can synchronize motion. That could be done pretty cheap, but would take some know how. You could add servos, which could be done cheap if you know what you are looking for and scour ebay and surplus stores, or you could get some for about $300/axis from teknic. The sky is the limit, but the very basics would be at least $150.
     

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