MESA recommendation please

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16 Oct 2020 09:40 - 16 Oct 2020 09:45 #186270 by whatwasIthinking
Hi, I am building a mill / metal deposition 5 axis machine and would really appreciate advice on what MESA card combination is the most reliable and flexible given our requirements.

Machine outline:
Stage1=3 axis fixed gantry with linear encoders. Stage2=5 axis. Stage 3 deposition (laser deposition head engaged via slide on front of Z axis).
First time using LinuxCNC but really like the flexibility & support etc. Built an ugly cnc lathe a while back and imported a Chinese 2x3m router recently (that needed plenty of work) so have some background - but have plenty of holes in my experience and knowledge.

Have the following components on the way or are planning for:
1) 5 axis servos - intention is to let the Servo driver deal with the servo feedback
2) External linear encoders (xyz) that I want to take priority on axis position control
3) Tool changer with basic stepper for tool carousel rotation and pneumatic or second stepper for changer position
4) Spindle/VFD. From a bit of research I like the idea of Modbus to show current ie feedback on how hard we might be pushing the spindle. Have had a good experience with a Chinese ATC spindle but may go a bit better precision if we still have $$ in budget
5) XHC WHB04B-6 6 axis wireless pendant
6) Tool height sensor, oilier, mist cooler etc
7) 1kW laser - still doing research on best control of this. Need granular control over power from g-code
8) Wire feeder & powder feed - very light on how we are going to control these but need g-code control (I guess it has been solved for FDM. Again we need granular control)
9) Inert gas control / regulation / flush
10) Future may have optical feedback loop based on melt pool - not likely for a while

From a bit of reading the 6I24-25 might be the right base card? And the 7148? but I don't have a good appreciation of what IO is required past the basics. Have run up Linux CNC on a PCIe machine and read PCIe is (arguably) superior to ethernet? Would like to keep in the mainstream as much as possible so as to maximize reliability and supportability. Likely use Fusion360 for mill. Deposition likely to be Powermill Additive & Powershape.

Appreciate recommendation on the basic MESA card/s and anything that sticks out as dumb / headed for disaster.
Cheers Pete
Last edit: 16 Oct 2020 09:45 by whatwasIthinking. Reason: to much info

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17 Oct 2020 22:10 #186395 by tommylight
From what i gathered at a glance, a Mesa 7i76E should be more than enough of a starting point and if you do need more IO you can add a 7i84 with 32 more inputs and 16 outputs.
Or just get another 7i76 (not the same thing) so you have 10 stepgens, 2 full spindle controls, 64 inputs and 32 outputs and again be able to add more of anything later. All with a single network cable to the PC.
And yes you can add a 7i85 later for glass scales or encoders.
Or 7i76E with 7i85 for 9 stepgens and 4 encoders.......
Or 7i95 .........
Well to many options, so take some time to have a look at them before you decide.
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18 Oct 2020 08:57 #186446 by whatwasIthinking
Thanks - appreciate you taking the time to help. Have done a bit of comparison, read a bit more and come to two options:

1) 7i95 $249 - has everything we need to start.
But I noticed a bit about it's relative newness and needing a bit more manual HAL setup. Is this still the case?

2) 6i25+7i77 $308 - would prefer to use ethernet, but if this is a more mainstream route then might be my safer bet?

PS if you think the attached table would be of any use to others happy to tidy it up.
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18 Oct 2020 10:57 #186450 by tommylight
7i84 does not belong there, it is an SSERIAL device with 32 inputs and 16 outputs and it is not ethernet.

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