I have really enjoyed my x-carve and it has performed well for me for a few years. I really enjoy the ease of using Easel and I have become proficient with it. I had the good forturne of being given a large, industrial CNC machine that has a stronger spindle, and ballscrew drive on all axis. Would it be feasible to move my X-carve controller over to it and continue to use Easel? The new machine even has a vacuum hold down system on it so that would be nice. Since it is just three stepper motors, can’t I just plug them in an change some parameters (the table is a 4’ X 4’ table and it has 10" of Z travel) and make it work just like the original X-carve table? Thanks ion advance for the help.
Presumably yes, but there is a couple issues. First would be the spindle. Spindles work differently then a router. The spindle requires a VFD to control the spindle speed.
Next would be what the power requirements of the new or larger steppers. While the voltage may be the same the amperage could be much higher which may be beyond the capability of the controller.
I suggest you research and post the required specs of the new machine and that will be the absolute deciding point.
All good comments Robert. here is a photo of the stepper motor specs. 6.3 amp. What are the limits of the X-controller?
4 amp drivers, so it will not just work without considerable modifications.
X-Controller: Technical Information
Note: While the X-Controller has separate drivers for 4 stepper motors, the X-Controller is not 4-Axis because it runs Grbl only. Grbl is only a 3 axis controller.
● Built in Grbl 3D carving controller. No external controller like Mach 3/4 is required.
● 3 axis design
● (4) 4A stepper drivers (Y axis has 2 ganged drivers for X-Carve-type
● Microstepping (Full through 1/16th)
● Easy current adjustment via large, well-marked potentiometers
● Automatic idle current reduction independent for each axis
● Internal 24V 400W power supply for stepper motors
● Large internal heatsink and integrated cooling fan keeps system cool at all
● Spindle speed control (0-5VDC PWM or 0-10V)
● Noise-filtered inputs for 3 axis home/limit switches
● Noise-filtered input for Z probe/touch plate
● 2 digital outputs to control external items like vacuums and coolant systems
● All inputs and outputs have their own ground terminals for clean and easy
● Labeled connections
● Rugged latching E-Stop that kills all power
● Feedhold, Cycle Start and Reset (Motion Cancel) buttons on front side
● All electrical interfaces use large, detachable terminal blocks
● USB connection
● Heavy aluminum chassis with mounting holes
● Temperature: 0-40C
● Humidity: 0-90% (non-condensing)
The short answer is no. Those motors ( nema 34s) can’t be driven with the X-controller and it’s power supply. You might need a separate PSU for each motor and probably 48V.
Did this machine come with a controller? Which one? I’d say just learn to use it with your easel generated gcode. If you REALLY wanted to run Grbl, you could. But to get the most out of your machine, you want something different.
Using g-code from Easel is a great idea. I’ll give that a try. This is what’s in the box on the large machine.
Those are some hefty drivers! Can we get a full pic of the machine?
What’s the PC running? Mach3?
Not sure what it runs on. I was given the machine so I’m trying to figure out a way to use it. The paperwork says the spindle is 3 phase but I’m trying to figure out if the driver can be switched to single phase 220V. It’s a 4hp spindle. It also has a vacuum pump and tank below.
May be cheaper to get a phase converter.
There must be an id plate for the entire machine showing the power requirements. The spindle being 3 phase does not mean the entire machine is 3 phase. The vfd would handle the spindle phase conversion as it’s low voltage.
What does the id plate say. Normally located where the power enters the machine.
Here’s the name plate. Do you think there is a single to 3-phase converter that I can use with this spindle?
XCFDP AC 220V/4KW 6HP Variable Frequency Drive,20A VFD Inverter Single Phase to 3 Phase Frequency Converter for Spindle Motor Speed Control(Single-Phase Input, 3 Phase Output) Amazon.com
I have the paperwork for that one. From the model number it says it accepts 3-phase input only.
Well, in that case, yes they’re available. I’m sorry but I don’t know if the one you linked would be adequate.
Those drives take step/dir input so yes you could build a GRBL based arduino uno to control it.
But that’s like putting a pinto dashboard on an f250.
GRBL is a low cost low featured way to control a budget build.
There are better matched controllers for that machine.
You may want to look up the specs on the VFD as well some that are designed for 3ph input will still work with single phase input at a lower output.
You may need to get a bigger VFD to use single phase input for that spindle, but you can use single phase input on VFD designed for 3ph input.
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