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ruffrecords

3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« on: January 04, 2016, 09:00:21 AM »
The 3020T- DJ seems like a popular CNC machine with DIYers. They are available at a reasonable price and seem to be up to the job for making front panels and PCBs of modest size (apparently even 19 inch panels can be done in two passes). I started this thread because I am very close to opening my wallet and buying one and I would like to swap experiences, tips etc with other users. The first thing I need to know is what else do I need other than the 3020T- DJ to be able to start cutting metal?

Cheers

Ian


gyraf

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 10:52:33 AM »
That unit is probably good to go for engraving and marking frontpanels - but I doubt if it is much good at actually cutting anything in metal (being Trapezoidal Screw based).

That said, it's probably more or less the same quality as my Step-four "basic-540" - which I've had a lot of good times with..

It seems like it comes with ER11 - 1/8" (3.175mm) chuck: Buy a handful of inexpensive cutters and engravers to play around with until you get the hang of it. I break lots of tools while getting to know stuff like that. Places like Banggood has some cheap ones.

It's not clear from the description whether it comes with full software - you'll probably need something that can translate your drawings into G-code (CAM).

Last, you'll need a computer with a (real) parallel port for interfacing - and probably one running either DOS, Linux or anything before winXP, as port timing was mucked up from that point onwards..

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 01:43:09 PM »
Thanks for the comments Jakob.

I am not too concerned about the software tool chain. I run Linux and there seems to be a fairly mature and comprehensive CNC tool chain available for it.

http://hackaday.com/2013/10/12/cnc-software-toolchain-using-only-open-source-software-2/

I am not 100% sure about the parallel port aspect. I have read where others have replaced the controller with a USB based one. I saw a video of one of these being used with a UC100 USB to parallel converter so maybe that is an option:

http://cncdrive.com/UC100.html

My main concern is its mechanical capabilities. Looks like it can engrave front panels OK but I would also really want it to drill holes for XLRs, pots and so on. I saw another video where a guy made large holes in half inch thick MDF by doing 15 passes. I am not too bothered about how long it takes to make a panel so maybe this technique  is an option for aluminium panels up to say 3mm thick?

Cheers

ian

dirtyhanfri

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 06:20:57 PM »
I cut holes for meters, XLR's and IEC connectors in aluminum with it, slowly, but it works.

With depths of cut about 0.3 or 0.5mm and feed rates of 50-75mm/min it runs reasonably nice. It takes about half and an hour to complete a rack panel, including cutting and engraving in two passes.

In MDF you can go 2 or 3mm depth with a proper tool.
Working on it...

gyraf

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 02:20:12 AM »
Quote
I am not 100% sure about the parallel port aspect. I have read where others have replaced the controller with a USB based one. I saw a video of one of these being used with a UC100 USB to parallel converter so maybe that is an option:

That one is not a "standard" usb-to-parallel, but a specialized cnc motion controller with parallel pinout, only interfacing to software that recognizes it (in this case the Mach3 software). Any standard usb>parallel printer dongle will muck up the critical timing of pulses - specially with modern OS's.

But if you're planning to go with Mach3 software (which is nice indeed), the UC100 at only 80EUR is a great option for interfacing to "modern" OS's.

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 02:23:32 AM »
THanks for the replies. I am beginning to feel a little more confident about this purchase. The only other thing that puzzles me is the differences between the various versions. There seems to be the 3020T, the 3020Z and the 3020T-DJ  all at different prices but it is not clear what the differences are.

Cheers

Ian

gyraf

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 02:38:25 AM »
Looks like the 3020T- DJ is the current version of the 3020T - difference is probably the slightly faster and more powerful spindle motor - 230W/11000RPM vs. 200W/8000RPM. You'll like this upgrade.

The 2030Z seems to be ballscrew-driven as standard - more expensive, but stronger.

Found a good intro while looking: http://valky.eu/data/hardware/cnctutorial_draft.pdf

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

dirtyhanfri

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2016, 02:58:00 AM »
The T suffix indicates Trapezoidal screws, and the Z is for Ballscrews
Working on it...

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2016, 04:02:12 AM »
The T suffix indicates Trapezoidal screws, and the Z is for Ballscrews

My mechanical knowledge is small - what is the difference between them - which is 'better'?

Cheers

Ian

gyraf

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2016, 06:58:30 AM »
Trapez is simple and cheap. Ballscrew is more expensive, but transfers energy better and gives less backlash (reversal error).

Recently upgraded my machine to ballscrews - made it slightly stronger and a good deal faster for quick-moves.

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..


abbey road d enfer

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2016, 02:11:49 PM »
My main concern is its mechanical capabilities. Looks like it can engrave front panels OK but I would also really want it to drill holes for XLRs, pots and so on. I saw another video where a guy made large holes in half inch thick MDF by doing 15 passes. I am not too bothered about how long it takes to make a panel so maybe this technique  is an option for aluminium panels up to say 3mm thick?

Cheers

ian
You must keep in mind that there are about as many sorts of "aluminium" as there are days in a year. Some are notably much more difficult to mill/drill, particularly the softer ones.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
"The important thing is not to convince, but to give pause for thought." (B. Werber)
Star ground is for electricians.

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2016, 06:55:34 PM »
You must keep in mind that there are about as many sorts of "aluminium" as there are days in a year. Some are notably much more difficult to mill/drill, particularly the softer ones.

Are you saying the softer ones are more difficult to engrave??

Cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 03:55:45 AM by ruffrecords »

abbey road d enfer

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2016, 03:08:39 AM »
You must keep in mind that there are about as many sorts of "aluminium" as there are days in a year. Some are notably much more difficult to mill/drill, particularly the softer ones.

Are you saying the softer ones are more difficult to engrave??

Cheers

Ian
[/quote] Not more "difficult" because the depth of cut is small, but the cut is not as neat, which may alter the resolution of characters.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
"The important thing is not to convince, but to give pause for thought." (B. Werber)
Star ground is for electricians.

JohnRoberts

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2016, 03:24:38 PM »
I recall as a kid working in a machine shop (summer job when I was 16YO), one time I had to machine some brass parts on a milling machine (it was made out of brass for a rig that had to work in sea water).

It wasn't trivial because the tool could dig in and tear the metal if you feed the mill too fast, but simple enough that they let the "kid" do it. .   8)  I recall they made me use the "growler", and ancient milling machine with noisy gears that was right in front of the bosses lathe so he could keep an eye on me.


JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 04:15:49 PM »
I have a home brew machine that uses a $50 ebay stepper controller, I am running XP
with a true parallel port, using mach3. I use Vcarve to generate Gcode or Eagle.
I love it and built lots of cool stuff with it!

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2016, 07:02:17 PM »
I have a home brew machine that uses a $50 ebay stepper controller, I am running XP
with a true parallel port, using mach3. I use Vcarve to generate Gcode or Eagle.
I love it and built lots of cool stuff with it!

Do you also make the holes with it?

Cheers

Ian

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2016, 06:39:13 AM »
It is five months since I started this thread and I am still dithering. I have even saved up the money but I have not yet taken the plunge. I am leaning towards getting a separate PC with a parallel port dedicated to CNC machining. Any recommendation for a cheap, reliable UK source of old PCs?

Cheers

Ian

Rochey

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2016, 02:43:38 PM »
Ian,

use an arduino running a g-code converter. much much easier, and easier to isolate with a USB isolator.

/Dafydd
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com

ruffrecords

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2016, 03:36:44 PM »
Ian,

use an arduino running a g-code converter. much much easier, and easier to isolate with a USB isolator.

/Dafydd

Cool, because I already have an Arduino. Can you point me to somewhere that shows me what to do???


Edit: Forget that. I found gbrl and friends plus lots of alternative shields. Difficult to know which to choose but  this does look like a good way to go.


Cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 04:09:32 PM by ruffrecords »

Rochey

Re: 3020T- DJ CNC Users thread
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2016, 04:19:37 PM »
Expat Audio Home: http://www.expataudio.com