4-Axes Taig Micro Mill Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Conversion
Last updated on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 05:42:44 AM Mountain US Time Zone

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4-Axes CNC Micro Mill, Pre-CNC Baseline, Mach3 Interface,
Path Tracing Tool
, Involute Gears, Z-Offset Gauge Animation, CNC Bench

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4-Axes CNC Micro Mill

Baseline configuration for the 4-axes, CNC-converted, Taig mill.
A 25MB video of a
circular pocket milled in machinable plastic.

There are different methods for measuring backlash.
For the Taig mill, check the lead screw adjustable nuts for tightness.

The nuts that hold the couplers must also be snug but
over tightening will damage the bearings. Sometimes, gently

tapping the coupler with a rubber mallet before tightening,
helps. Loose couplers are a very common cause of

excessive backlash. Then, lubricate the lead screws,
ways, & move the axes multiple times prior to the check.


For a CNC machine put a 0.0001" indicator in the spindle.
Using your controller, set the increment to 0.0001" &
continue to bump it until you load the indicator 0.003.

 Then reverse the motion & bump it 0.0001" increments
in the opposite direction until the indicator reads 0.002.

Count the total number of times you moved it
0.0001" to get the 0.002" reading & subtract 10.

The remaining number is your backlash in 0.0001.

For a manual machine, turn the crank until
it reads zero on the dial & zero the indicator.

Then reverse the crank until the indicator moves.
Reading the dial will give you the backlash.

Pre-CNC Baseline

Pre-CNC Taig Mill with a DRO, ER-16 spindle &
12" travel table. The DRO has since been

removed for the addition of the CNC system.
The
X-axis lead screw motor was removed.

Mach3 Interface

Original Mach3 Screen Set.

More books on CNC machining.


Mach3 main screen showing among many
other things, the DROs. 
Mach3 setup tutorial.
Clean, high resolution screen sets & the MPG
can remain displayed without covering the

Mach3 panel. Pressing the tab key toggles
the Mach3 Mill Manual Pulse Generator or

MPG mode ON & OFF. There are several errors:
Tab indicators not "lighted", spindle

spelled wrong in numerous locations, & the
Simple Run tab has mirrored DRO information.

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

  

 

 

 

 

 
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Path Tracing Tool

Original spring-loaded 3/8" shank ink pen cartridge
holder for tracing tool paths on paper. Its diameter &

length clears the spindle's through hole. The cartridge body is 7mm.


Cap held on using three, 2-56 set screws.
The pen tip is tapered so it loosened slightly when depressed.

It worked better than expected but a new design is
used that has a constant-diameter tip for greater accuracy.


These are traces of end mill radius off-set paths.


See the updated tracing tool design.


ABS plastic machines well using
2-flute carbide end mills at 5500 RPM.

Involute Gears

0.021" thick brass involute gears.


Involute gear animation.


A 4.000" height, Z-axis tool length setting gauge (USA).

Z-Offset Gauge Animation

Z-axis offset animation showing an end
mill being set at 4.000" above the vise bed.


A 3.000" height offset gauge.


An adjustable, brass, over-travel stop was added so
the needle can only turn less than one revolution.

 
Needle-based, Z-offset gauges set the mill more
quickly & accurately than illuminated or digital types.

All critical surfaces of the parts, including the round post
ends, were precision surface ground for high accuracy.



Animation showing a 2.000" tool offset height being set
on the Taig CNC Z-axis using the MPG in step mode.

 

 

 
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Circular pocket. See the Turner's Cube
or an example of multiple circular pockets.


Hexagonal pocket for a die.




CNC produced 13 x 19.8mm cut-outs for five, front
rack-mount (aluminum) panel snap-in rocker switches.

CNC Bench
 

Pre-CNC bench preparation (above). To reduce their
exposure to swarf, the
μATX computer, breakout board box, &
stepper motor controller are tucked up underneath
the bench on a high shelf. The shelf has a 1.5-inch gap

 along the back for ventilation & cords. The bench's
side & back have been closed off using " particle board.

The board makes a sturdy mounting surface for
the shelf brackets & further stiffens the bench.

The large hole for the wires is below the shelf
surface in case any debris enters from the back.

 Steel anchors attach the bench to the concrete wall.
The (blue) wired WAN from the house router is to the left.


The MPG added an additional E-stop.
Its springy cord needed a strain relief clamp.

Both fans blow air outward. Have not seen
any swarf on or inside of the electronics.

Everything is running at cool temperatures.
Installed a green LED for the breakout box power.


The CPU, LCD, opto-isolation, safety charge pump, &
pendant interfaces are protected by a computer monitored

 uninterruptable power supply (UPS) while the stepper motor
control circuit is protected by a standard surge protector.

 

  

 
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An upgraded Back-UPS ES 550 having
computer monitoring software connected via a USB.

 
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Rotate-to-unlock style E-stops were installed to the left &
right of the mill. The pendant has an E-stop button, too.

A compact quartz halogen goose-neck magnetic-base
lamp (
manual) is attached to a metal plate screwed to the
bench. Stepper motor cable routings. To the right, they
enter underneath the bench edge to reduce swarf entry.

Task Light

Halogen task light.
I used several electrical box
covers
to give the magnet a good base to grip.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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4-Axes CNC Micro Mill, Pre-CNC Baseline, Mach3 Interface,
Path Tracing Tool, Involute Gears, Z-Offset Gauge Animation, CNC Bench

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