you're not supposed to.
That little two-day box allows me to take one multipin from one ECM, another multipin from another ECM, and spit it out to a 3-way switch and two spindle controllers. It fundamentally allows me to control and instrument an $80k tenth-of-a-micron runout 20,000 RPM tool changer spindle OR a $2k micron-runout 50,000 RPM tool changer spindle. Or, by setting it to "zero" allows me to ignore both and run a servo as a drag knife instead. This will make the device unique in the world.
Got a buddy. He wanted a 5-years-newer version of the machine I'm starting with so he wrote a $250k check. Got a skycrane to pluck a machine tool out of an 8th floor physics lab, a trailer to haul it to North Carolina to be rebuilt piece by piece, and then shipped to him in California. Me? I'm ordering voltage converters off Amazon, six for $10. My seller tried to ship a 500lb CNC mill in a cardboard box. It spent 6 weeks in the North Atlantic because Ever Given. In a way I lucked out; when I signed the shipping contract I paid $2200 (and another $400 to replace the cardboard box - I have a phat pile of ISPM-15 wood that I use for cobbling shit). By the time the thing landed in the USA the quote had gone to $10k.
In the land of normie CNC design you would put all this shit on terminal strips (as seen along the upper edge of the servo shot). I put the high voltage on terminal strips because anything else would be deeply irresponsible. Control? Control I put on d-subs because I don't have the walk-in-closet-sized space usually dedicated to this stuff. I have about as much room as a dorm fridge.
Seven DB9s, a DB15, four DB25s, three HX12-6s and an HX12-4 control fifteen pneumatic solenoids and two high voltage spindles. The rock'n'roll shit - the actual axes on this beastie, as well as the tool changer - is a lot more plug'n'pray. Once all the hardware is connected I just need to configure it in
...and I can cut.
Note that because of the versatility of the setup the machine will have to be configured several times because, depending on what I turn on, what I turn off, what I connect and how I connect it, the machine can be:
- a 3-axis 20krpm mill with tool changer
- a 3-axis 50k rpm mill
- a 3-axis tangential knife
- a 4-axis 20krpm mill with tool changer
- a 4-axis 50krpm mill
- a 4-axis tangential knife (note that this device does not currently exist)
- a 5-axis 20krpm mill with tool changer
- a 5-axis 50krpm mill
- a 5-axis tangential knife (note that this device does not currently exist)
- a mill-turn
- a mill-turn tangential knife (note that this device does not currently exist)
...which is a configuration in Mach 4 and CamWorks each time. For purposes of programming, it's gonna show up as eleven different devices. Maybe 12; I haven't really wrapped my head around the wheel hobbing yet.
I have two or three contemporaries in the same boat. They're at "if I can't make my 25-year-old Heidenhain controller do it, I'm not doing it."
Granted, they're actually making watches
If it works? It's gonna be fearsome. It will be the equivalent of a $500k machine. But there are
for it to not work still.