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Old Sun 30 August 2009, 17:48
Just call me: Bram
And another MM will be built in Belgium

Hi all,

First of all let me introduce myself: my name is Bram, and I live in Belgium. I am a 30 years old self employed IT consultant with a little bit of background in electronics. I have a strong interest in cnc machines.

About 2 years ago I started my first project: a conversion from a standard Bridgeport type mill to cnc. Back in those days I wanted everything on the cnc to be as fast and hi-tech as possible. I went for the G100 controller plus G320 drives and servo motors.
Needless to say this turned out to be a disaster, although in theory everything I did should work, it didn't. For example probing with the G100 is virtually impossible (even just using a touch plate would often break the tip of the tool), kept loosing connection to the G100 (when this happened during jog, the machine would keep on going breaking everything in its path). That project had been left untouched for over a year, but recently I picked it up again and changed to a standard parallel BOB. Now all works great, but much slower (about 2meters/minute) than what was possible with the G100 (10 meters/minute) and without all the options I had planned for it, but enough about that.

I have also a standard lathe that I will one day convert to cnc as well.

Now about the MechMate about to be built:
The reason why I would like to build a MM is because I am renovating my house and would like to be able to make all the interior doors, kitchen cabinets and other furniture myself. And maybe at later stage do some commercial work.

What I have so far (leftovers from the fist adventure)
3 x G203V
1 x G320 + servo motor
1 x G100 not sure if I want to use it though
1 x ball screw type linear actuator with about 250mm of travel
1 x 80 volts 800VA power supply
1 x 55 volts 250VA power supply
1 x pokeys55 (was/is supposed to be for a pendant for the mill)
About 10 meters of igus cable chain

I would like to reuse as many parts as possible
So I was thinking about using the actuator for the Z axis in combination with the servo drive and motor plus the 55 Volts PSU.
That leaves me with 3 vampire drives: 2 for the X axis and 1 for the Y axis.
I do not have the steppers for them yet. Would it be wise to search for motors that go with the 80 volt psu, or should I assume I will need to buy a new psu? I would like to get ungeared steppers and gear them down myself with timing belt and pullies.
Also what about the G100? Should I try to make it work, or just part with it on eBay or so? Are there other people using it on a MM?
I plan on making as much as possible of the parts needed for the MM myself including v rollers, motor mounts,...
Can anybody give me an estimate as to what to expect to spend when building the MM given the fact that I already have some parts?

Ok, I think that will be it for now, sorry for the long post, its my first
If anybody is interested I could put some pictures up here from my mill.

Kind regards,
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Old Mon 31 August 2009, 06:19
Just call me: Mike
South Jordan, UT
United States of America
The Gecko G100 is a very good unit, but it has been discontinued. I have both the G100 and the G101/102. With the proper Mach3 plugin, they work very well; however, I would not use them in a new design. Someday you're going to need a part or support. When you need that part or support, you might not be able to get it for the G100.

I would use the same stepper/servo driver for all axes and the same stepper motor or servo motor model on all axes. Mixing and matching might make for a higher performance machine, but as a builder, you're going to have to stock some spare parts or be willing to be shut down until new parts arrive. It's cheaper to have one extra stepper driver and one extra stepper motor on hand instead of having to stock two drivers and two motors.

The voltage and amps required for a power supply depend completely on the motors that you use. Select the motors first and then calculate the voltage and amps required.

Good luck on your build. You've joined the right forum! Ask as many questions as necessary. There are a lot of people here who have extensive experience in building and using CNC routers.
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Old Mon 31 August 2009, 08:22
Just call me: Doug #3
Conway (Arkansas)
United States of America

I don't want you to think that no one is interested in your Bridgeport CNC conversion. I, for one, am very interested and have been planning something similar. However, we're working hard to keep this forum strictly about building Mechmates.

Thanks for the offer though and good luck.
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Old Mon 31 August 2009, 09:58
Just call me: Bram

Thanks for your input, I think I will not use the G100 and go for an lpt breakout board, worst case i can always add a second BoB if I need more IO.


Point taken. Will post on cnczone later.


I have been playing with the design of motor swing plates, I would like them to have a 4:1 reduction with timing pulleys and belt.

In the picture you can see what i want to do.
I plan on using a 72 teeth pulley for the big one, it is just over 110 mm, so it would cover the mounting holes on the original swing plate.

And in the rounded slot I would be using something like this to tighten the belt.

I would like to machine them out of 10 mm thick alu, would this be possible or do I need to stick with the original steel plates for strength?

Just added a picture with the original swingplate on top for comparison:


Last edited by bramvh; Mon 31 August 2009 at 10:12..
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Old Mon 31 August 2009, 10:23
Just call me: Heath
Cornwall, Ontario
Have you seen This? Chopper is already working on one like it.
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Old Tue 01 September 2009, 08:36
Just call me: Bram
new design for swingplate


I must have missed that post, looks very good, and based on what I read, I came up with a different design for my swingplates.

And in 3D it looks something like this:

I really want to put in that 3rd wheel for tensioning the belt and at the same time it pushes the belt inwards to make more contact with the smallest pulley.

I will try to make a prototype this weekend. Unfortunately I will not yet be able to test it on a MechMate until that is built.

The laser cut parts are ordered today for that matter.

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Old Tue 01 September 2009, 09:31
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
Cape Town
South Africa
If you are using M1 18 000 A, then your swingplate will interfere with the heads of those screws.
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Old Tue 01 September 2009, 11:04
Just call me: Bram
Hi Gerald,

First of all I would like to thank you for all the effort you put in making the machine, and more importantly the dxf's and other plans you made public.

I see your point about the screws on the m1 18 000 A, I am going to use the car stopper (and sensor or something similar). I do think it could be easily overcome by adding some spacers between the 10 20 451 PC and the swingplate, or by just sinking (dont know the exact term for that in english, what I mean is the V shaped screwheads) the screws that go in to the car stopper.

Anyways here is another drawing now with a stepper attached and a thin 1mm aluminum sheet wraped around it so that dust and or fingers cant get cought in it.

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Old Tue 01 September 2009, 19:11
Just call me: Leo #41
Soddy Daisy , Tn
United States of America
Belt drive

Nice looking design.
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Old Fri 15 April 2016, 14:01
Just call me: Charliewhit
Hi Bram, would it be possible to come and see your mechmate? I live in Brussels and would like to make one too!

My number is 0032 496 702049. Thanks.
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