CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

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CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby ne(V)esis » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:02 pm

Hello there,

This is my first post. So I will start saying just a bit about me before my questions and doubts. My name is Juan Carlos and I'm from Mexico; I'm 29 years old and I've made 2 CNC machines (this is my current CNC Router Pic 1, Pic 2,Pic 3) using Mach3. In fact, I'm using Gerry's Mach3 2010 Screenset and it's very cool! I'm still working and I need some improves into my CNC Router, but I hope to make them soon.

I've just have noticed from yesterday about UCCNC software searching into Google, I really liked it and I would like to use it into my most recent project: a CNC Plasma Tube cutting machine. I've been reading the forum topics/posts and I realized that some users has been using UCCNC for differents task like 3D Printer, Plasma and Routing. In fact, the Plasma Screenset with auto THC of Vmax549, really likes! But here comes my doubts:
  • I've seen some videos (Stoney CNC - Bozso777) in YouTube from UCCNC users that have been capable to run the UCCNC software using an not powerfull 8" Tablet; the idea to use a Tablet instead a normal PC & monitor, it's driving me crazy! I mean, I love the idea!
  • Since I'm still searching for a BoB for my CNC Plasma Tube project, I would like to use the UC300-5LPT USB board, due it's via USB and the Tablet will be OK. But I'm not sure of the its maximum 100KHz, since I'm looking to use some AC Servos or some Leadshine Hybrid Servos for a good rate Rapid Movements. ¿Are 100KHz OK to reach speeds like ~20,000 mm/min (in case of the AC Servos) or ~15,000 mm/min (in case of the Leadshine Servos) or ~10,000 mm/min (in case of Nema34 Stepper Motors)?
  • Now, the Tablet that I would like with a local provider it's a Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130 with a Dock Port. The Dock Station have 2 USB 3.0 (wich it's a good option if I want to use a wireless keyboard/mouse or a wireless jog pendant), also have a HDMI and a DisplayPort connectors and finally, maybe the most important an Ethernet Port!
  • My doubt it's that if I want to use the UC300ETH or the UC400ETH boards, will be OK and without any issue using the Docking Station of the Tablet? I'm not a professional CNC user, but in my CNC Router I'm using the Ethernet SmoothStepper + C25 and my logic says that could be possible to use the Tablet + Docking Port + UCXXXETH + UCCNC, am I right or I'm wrong?
  • But, ¿why I want to use the UCXXXETH boards? 'Cause if the 100KHz of the UC300-5LPT USB board aren't enough for the rapid speeds I want to reach into my CNC Plasma machine, I can use the 400KHz of the ethernet boards.

As I said before, I'm not a professional CNC user, since I'm still under confusing about the KHz, the Kernel, etc. For example, here's a video using a Laptop with Mach3 and the UC100, reaching 800 IPM (~20,000 mm/min) and with the LPT port. So, I'm not sure if 100KHz or 400KHz are good enough for my project. I will really appreciate the help of the forum regarding my doubts to build my new machine.

Regards,
ne(V)esis
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby cncdrive » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:08 am

Hi,

Thanks for your post.

If you going to build a plasma machine then I advice to use an ethernet controller instead of USB.
You can use the UC400ETH or UC300ETH. They have the same properties, the difference is only the number of I/Os they have.
I'm advicing to use an ethernet controller is because ethernet is isolated which means there are no common ground potentials on the PC and the motion controller sides.
The communication goes through miniature HF isolation transformers which are built into the RJ45 connector in the motion controllers and also on the PC LAN cards.
Plasma generators are heavy noise sources and having isolation between the PC and the controller makes the system, the communication lines much more noise immune.

Using tablets is possible, but cheap tablets may not have enough videomemory or the GPU may be too "weak"' for the task.
The UCCNC depends more on the video card than on the other properties of the computer.
The most power and resources needed for the software is for the graphical user interface (GUI).
The computation of the motions and communication requires very little CPU power.
So, it is adviced to get a computer with a good enough graphics card, the minimum adviced video memory is 256MBytes, but if it has 512MBytes is the real safe value.
Also I advice to get a tablet with at least 4GBytes of RAM memory, especially if newer Windows version is used (e.g. Win 8, 8.1, 10.), because these themselves require a large amount of memory.
And the video card must support OpenGL 1.3 or higher. (Basicly all videocards supports that which cards where built after the year 2000.)

The kernel frequency is the max.step frequency the software/motion controller can generate.
400kHz is a relatively high value and only high end stepper and servo drives can read this high frequency, the avarage drives limit for the step frequency is only around 200kHz.
So, you should first check what frequency your drive can accept, because if it can only read 200kHz then the drive will be the bottleneck.
The next step is to calculate the frequency you need for your application, you can do that if you know the Steps per units value and your maximum target feedrate on that axis.
You can then you can simply multiply the feedrate with the steps per values and divide it with 60 to get the required step frequency for that motion.
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby ne(V)esis » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:47 am

Thanks for your advices and sorry for my late response...

Taking into consideration your advices, I'm still thinking about using a Tablet, but with 4GB in RAM as you said to avoid any issue; or maybe I can use a All-in-one PC... BTW, UCCNC has the posibility to toggle on/off the toolpath display? This is a very useful option that I've used with the Mach3 2010 Screenset, due in my CNC Router I use a mini PC Zotac ZBox nano with 2GB RAM, and when the toolpath has too many code lines, Mach3 and/or the Smoothstepper sometimes stop working properly ("ran out of data messages")...!

Anyway, some new questions/doubts has been surrounding me in this days, hope you or someone can help me again:
  • Searching in Google about UCCNC, I've read this post. How true it is? I mean, If someday I want to try UCCNC + UC400ETH into my CNC Router, how compatibles are the codes between both programs (Mach3 & UCCNC)?
  • Also, maybe the most important question, which is the best post processor to use with UCCNC, in the same case of my CNC Router if I use HSMWorks (same as Fusion 360, but integrated in SolidWorks)? I would hate to crash my machine/tools!
  • And what about my CNC Plasma Tube project? I mean, I definitely will use SheetCAM. I suppose that I will have'nt any problem, but what could be the best post processor (installed in SheetCAM) to generate my G-Codes to work properly/right way with my machine? I ask, due in the SheetCAM TNG demo (no license), has too many post-processors/variations to do specifics task and with specifics machine rigs (like THC, scriber, 2 or 3 heads, etc). As I said before, I'm not a professional CNC user, and even less with a CNC Plasma machine, I'm totally new...
  • Talking about CNC plasma machines, I've read this other post, where it is supposed that the ohmic way it's best than the floating head; but I don't have any idea about the wiring that way (in fact, just a little about floating head). And due my design of the X & Z axes will not use a floating head, so I guess that using an ohmic sensor will be the best to me, but how it is wired?
  • Finally and following some advices of a friend, told me that using a THC it's very indispensable. But I'm still not sure to use a Proma or PriceCNC THC; which it's better due both are almost the same price...? In this diagram from Planet CNC, shows a Proma THC SD with very easy wiring method, but I'm not sure if it's only for the Planet CNC products or universal usage (Although I think both functions look very similar (THC & Ohmic Sensing)...!

So far, I think those are all my doubts... Here are other pics (pic 1, pic 2) of my CNC Plasma tube project. Which It's very important to me, hope someone can help me and clear my doubts!

Best regards,
ne(V)esis
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby cncdrive » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:40 pm

I'm trying to answer your question points one by one:

- There is no option to switch off the toolpath display in the UCCNC, but the UCCNC adjusts the toolpath display frequency to the usage of the GPU.
Also it is a Mach3 defect that the plugin calls run in the same thread as the GUI, the UCCNC does not have this problem, the motion control loop is a totally separated higher priority thread in the UCCNC.
- No, that's not true. What the UCCNC does not support yet is only the G40/41/42 which is the tool dia. offsets. And I've never seen any CAM software which placed any of these codes into the output programs.
- HSMworks and also Autodesk (Fusion 360) has post processor for the UCCNC.
- A Mach3 post should work. However for plasma you will need to make minor modifications to what posts SheetCAM has. You would need to do that for Mach3 also. For example to do probing (touch off the plate) before cut start and to insert THC turn on/offs etc.
- I don't think Ohmic sensing is a too good solution, because the sheet can be rusty and if you have a watertable then you just can't sense the surface with this method.
I think a piggyback freely moving axis on the back of the Z-axis is a better solution with a switch/sensor on the axis.
- That THC controller (Proma SD) controls the THC itself, so I think it should work with any CNCcontrollers, even with ones which does not have a built in THC control function.
-
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby Vmax549 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:31 am

A couple of other things you will NOT have for your tube cutter is UCCNC does NOT do 4th axis toolpathing So you will really not have any toolpath support and it does NOT support 4th axis radius Feedrate compensation and it does not do inverse time mode so programming it will get a bit tricky. Can be done though (;-)

(;-) TP
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby ne(V)esis » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:01 am

cncdrive wrote:I'm trying to answer your question points one by one:

- There is no option to switch off the toolpath display in the UCCNC, but the UCCNC adjusts the toolpath display frequency to the usage of the GPU.
Also it is a Mach3 defect that the plugin calls run in the same thread as the GUI, the UCCNC does not have this problem, the motion control loop is a totally separated higher priority thread in the UCCNC.
- No, that's not true. What the UCCNC does not support yet is only the G40/41/42 which is the tool dia. offsets. And I've never seen any CAM software which placed any of these codes into the output programs.
- HSMworks and also Autodesk (Fusion 360) has post processor for the UCCNC.
- A Mach3 post should work. However for plasma you will need to make minor modifications to what posts SheetCAM has. You would need to do that for Mach3 also. For example to do probing (touch off the plate) before cut start and to insert THC turn on/offs etc.
- I don't think Ohmic sensing is a too good solution, because the sheet can be rusty and if you have a watertable then you just can't sense the surface with this method.
I think a piggyback freely moving axis on the back of the Z-axis is a better solution with a switch/sensor on the axis.
- That THC controller (Proma SD) controls the THC itself, so I think it should work with any CNCcontrollers, even with ones which does not have a built in THC control function.

cncdrive, thanks for your responses and sorry for my late reply, my internet service wasn't working properly for 3 days 'till today!
Regarding the ohmic sensor and the floating head, maybe I use both... Why not? Minor modifications will needed, but I guess that the result will be better.

Vmax549 wrote:A couple of other things you will NOT have for your tube cutter is UCCNC does NOT do 4th axis toolpathing So you will really not have any toolpath support and it does NOT support 4th axis radius Feedrate compensation and it does not do inverse time mode so programming it will get a bit tricky. Can be done though (;-)

(;-) TP


Vmax549, I really liked your UCCNC Plasma Screenset, in fact that's the screenset that I was thinking to use into the machine once it was ready to make some test! But now, I would like to know why (your screenset or UCCNC software) doesn't have 4th axis toolpathing? One of the things I liked about UCCNC, was precisely its design and functionality and that really surprise me! Regarding the 4th axis radius feed compensation, what does it mean or how that can affect my work/machine/cuts? Sorry if my question are too basic and I don't know the usage for that functions... Do you think that in a future those issues can be solved with newer versions? Geez, not yet started and there are already details to solve and tricks to learn! Hope you can help me guys!

Best regards,
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Re: CNC Plasma + UCCNC + Tablet

Postby Vmax549 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:39 pm

The problem with no 4th axis toolpath support is you will not be able to see what the toolpath will look like to verify it is correct.

Without 4th axis radius feedrate support you will not be able to coordinate the speed of the 4th based on surface speed with speeds of the other axis. I have created a FUNCTION in UCCNC that allows you to state teh Diameter of teh material and then it recalculates teh Steps per to be able to match feedrates of teh 4th to that of teh X . You then draw and create gcode based on a 2d XY format and UCCNC will run it as XA. IN UCCNC that means press a button and enter a material diameter and then run teh Gcode.

Also I do not think you will need anywhere near the 800 ipm feedrate for cutting. (;-)

The missing functions in UCCNC are just that they have not been implemented yet.

Hope that helps, (;-) TP
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