Vitran's Bridgeport Lilian Build

10 Apr 2023 17:48 #268766 by Vitran
I am back with a new machine! Hopefully far easier compared to rebuilding a Hardinge Superslant.
The Superslant died because the X axis bearings seized then found the turcite had worn off of a lot of the ways. The machine was eventually thrown out but it was a great project. It did work for a few months and was fun to learn but was a bit outside of my skill level.

I now have a Bridgeport I got for practically nothing in a packaged deal. It has mounts for the X, Y, and knee servo motors and I have servo motors ready to go for those. The spindle has a variable speed controlled by a dial which I hope to link to do proper profile machining.
File Attachment:

My tasks are:
1. Quill Z axis drive
I am looking for a design of a quill Z axis drive. I am finding a lot of dead links and websites with emails that bounce back. I found this one supplier, but I don't know if anyone has any other quill servo mount sources
2. Automatic draw bar
A task to add to this machine. I have found several DIY kits and versions on ebay for a few hundred. Not sure if anyone has any suggestions on those.

3. Source new encoders
I have been suggested to use Not sure if anyone else has any suggestions for encoders?

In terms of LinuxCNC, what is a good Mesa-Servo signal communication?
On the Hardinge I used a 0-10V signal as that was how the spindle servo worked. One friend suggested I use 4-20mA signals. Another friend used high speed pulses where one pulse is 0.00002". I suppose I could use RS232/485, but it would be a learning to get that to work. This will govern what I purchase in the coming days.

Is there a Bridgeport LinuxCNC package already made?
I am making an assumption here. As Bridgeports are so common, I assume there is some Bridgeport design. When making the lathe, a lot of code I found was premade for a Bridgeport style machine but I don't know if people have already simplified the work needed to make an XYZ+Quill machine work.

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10 Apr 2023 23:00 #268796 by andypugh
I think that Jon Elson has a Bridgeport, probably controlled using his own PPMC cards.

There is a Bridgeport Boss config in the standard LinuxCNC demo configs that come with every install, but that is for the Motenc cards, which I am not sure are even available any more.

There are a couple of BP configs listed here: though I imagine that many of the links may no longer be live.

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11 Apr 2023 20:44 #268839 by OT-CNC
I have BP mill that I have converted from an Anilam sytem to linuxcnc. If you search under Anilam you'll find a bunch of lengthy posts.

1) Not having the quill  drive is a bit of an issue. You could run it as a 2 axis with manual quill or build your own. The Anilam Z is a bit of a weak design. Most are based on that layout.
2) Automatic draw bar, is this an R-8 spindle? You could add a quick change system instead of an impact drive. Or tormach holders with auto draw bar. Although their holders can pull under heavy cuts. I made a pneumatic draw bar for another machine and was not really happy with it. 
3) Encoders, what motors do you have? You can do your feedback off the motor encoders (if present) or the linear scales if mounted on the table. My Anilam uses 2 glass scales on the table and 1 shaft encoder on the Z screw. I have used US digital encoders. Lots of options.

Regarding the control signal, +/- 10v is what I use on my analog drives with Mesa hardware. What drives do you have? 

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11 Apr 2023 22:23 #268843 by andypugh
Another option might be to swap the spindle for a 30-taper.
(As an example, not a recommendation)

Still needs a drawbar, but doesn't have the weak little pin that plagues R8, and also needs less headroom to get the tools out.

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20 Apr 2023 19:51 #269504 by Vitran
Thanks for the info on this.
We have CAT40 holders in the shop so we want to keep what we have but I do see the appeal of what you show there.

I have not come across any drawings of the Anilam Z design. I haven't found solid info on if they still exist as a company or product line. I would like some drawings if possible.

I had used 0-10V signals on the lathe but found the control not to my liking. 4-20mA, PWM, or 1 pulse = 0.0001" is the type of control I would like to move towards to reduce noise in the signals. I am thinking the 7i76, but if the spindle needs 0-10V, I will do the 7i77 again.

I could use the encoders on the servos, but I would trust the readout of a linear encoder far more. 

Side note @Andypugh. Bossman wanted me to make a dial indicator on my tailstock. Searched for that and came across your Thingiverse files. Always funny to find the same people in different regions online.

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