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  • TNA
    replied
    Yes, the vacuum table is a full 4'X8'. The pump is loud, but holds quite well. The welded base is substantial and well made, the gantry is solid. I suspect the Precix company chose marginal electronics, although, these look well made and the wiring, drivers and other components are well laid out in a separate floor standing box. I suspect the Rich Auto Handle is just an unfortunate match for the rest, or perhaps faulty.

    I looked yesterday at Haas code I had run successfully a few years ago in both the Haas and Precix thinking I might have stripped tool change commands out before running it in the Precix, but in so far as I can see, I hadn't changed anything. I'll try running that code again.

    You're right about it basically being 2.5, probably intended for panels and signs, however, after considerable trial and error I was able to set find and set the Z axis to run through multiple cycles at the correct drop down per cycle, otherwise, it was limited to a single depth. The maximum Z travel is only 12". Given the machine was bought to mill boat hull components for testing designs, this machine was not a great choice. However, we can increase the travel in Z if needed.

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  • aarond
    replied
    I do understand your post concerns but this is basically a 2.5 axis machine, G and M codes don't vary much in that respect. If you have any stock programs you can probably look through them for any outlier codes but I doubt you'll find any. A retrofit is a viable option but hammers make poor fly swatters, especially when you have a fly swatter available. Assuming this is going to be used in a primarily learning environment the chances of getting into odd incompatible post commands is relatively minimal. I'd recommend generating some G code from some of the free software options (most likely what your students will be using) and let 'er rip. It does look like an awesome machine, I agree for sure, fill 4'x8' sheet capacity right?

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  • TNA
    replied
    The Precix has a Rich Auto "Handle", which is essentially a small computer for setting up and running G-Code. It is supposedly a "universal" G-Code reader. I've run tool paths I generated for the Haas on the Precix. No one else has run it though, so I don't know that it will run G-Code generated through another CAM program using a different "post processor". I've had to reload a given tool path each time I try to run it, although, it appears that the Rich Auto handle should save it. The transfer is done using a USB stick/drive. The loading problem seems intermittent, but may also be dependent on setup choices. Given the awful manual translation, and absolutely no technical support from Precix, it's hard to figure out. I suspect the solution is to scrap the electronics, including the stepper motors, and retrofit a new breakout board, drivers and motors with a well documented reliable system and user interface.The physical machine itself is well built and solid, the electronics and the Precix company are the problem.

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  • aarond
    replied
    You say the software is proprietary but will it not run a loaded G code program?

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  • TNA
    replied
    I started this thread a few years ago under a different user name, and want to revive it as the Precix is still collecting dust rather than making it. I was told ther is money to replace it, so perhaps there is money to upgrade the electronics rather than buy an entirely new machine. I have had it running occasionally, but loading and running G-Code seems unreliable, even when generating the code in the same CAD/CAM system. I read somewhere the Precix machines are inconsistent and given to breakdowns, so new electronics and whatever effort is required to make it over into something worthwhile and reliable seems sensible.

    I think NEMA 34 motors make sense, I haven't removed any of he motor covers for a few years and don't recall what size motors are currently on the Precix. It might also be worthwhile to use a closed loop system. If running this machine would also be used for motion control instruction, so having an example of a closed loop system makes sense.

    Some faculty and students use Solidworks, one uses Rhino, another Fusion 360, and I use KeyCreator and Key Machinist. We have a Haas CNC machine in the Machine Shop and I haven't found anything yet too complex to design and mill using KC to generate tool paths. This includes many double waveguides with complex surfaces. Given the variety of design and tool path software used a generic G-Code reader makes sense for the Precix. I'm currently working with Synthetos's Tiny-G, and perhaps it would suffice for running G-Code to stepper motor drivers. It has eyelets for Step, Direction, Ground and Enable, as I recall, as well as connections to run small stepper motors directly. Other perhaps better G-Code readers that make loading and running tool paths less complicated would be welcome though.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

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  • Zephyr
    replied
    OK TN,send me details and we shall see. It looks like a substantial frame on the machine so that's good. If the controllers, software, motor drives are orphaned, though, I can tell you that the best way to bring the machine to reliability is to replace these items with stock stuff. It's really not very expensive. Many machines, even presently operating ones, go through this to eliminate unique problems with outdated/unsupported wares, hard and soft.

    Even then, though, one person who thoroughly understands the machine will be necessary to keep it going. As a former vocational educator, I understand the challenges.

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  • TN Allen
    replied
    No need to apologize, your comments seem entirely appropriate to the discussion, and may well help others avoid expensive disappointment. And thanks for offering to help, I'll send the details I have at present, and find the others next week when on campus.

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  • Zephyr
    replied
    My apologies for the above post in your thread, directed more at folks considering a table than your problems with the Precix. I'll be happy to try to assist you, if you would pm me details of the problems you are experiencing maybe we can get that thing running. Details, motors, controllers, controllers, software.

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  • TN Allen
    replied
    Sounds like good advice, based on solid experience. I suspect that unfortunately the decision to buy Precix was made based upon cost rather than quality, unfortunately also, there sems to be no one on campus who can readily sort this out, despite it being an engineering school. I suspect we'll save what we can, and either pay to have the controller modified and for a user interface, or put in the time on the "large learning curve", which may be the best choice in the long run, as then we can offer students an opportunity to also learn the technology. From what I've read on CNCzone just this morning, Precix should be avoided. I'll look at Mechmate.

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  • Zephyr
    replied
    I would strongly encourage anyone considering a CNC router to look into building one from parts. Here's why. There's a large learning curve in learning the hardware and software involved in using and maintaining a table. It's all jake until something goes pear shaped, then it's time to troubleshoot.....or pay someone else to do it.....or hope that the company you purchased from is willing to help troubleshoot. When you are in the position of having a broken table, and you will experience this, if you've built it from the ground up fixing will be doable. I've helped numerous folks try to get up and running again in the middle of production....flimsy Chinese tables, flaky controllers, inadequate wire gauges.....hopeless for true repeatable reliable precision. YMMV of course there are exceptions.

    Here's what I built. 6' X 20' capable Mechmate design with a 5 KW industrial spindle. It will turn a large aluminum plate into precision parts, plastic, wood, whatever. I've got about $10K into it, to buy the equivalent would easily be ten times that. Of course this is overkill for most but easily downsized, I'm most likely going to build a miniature version to fit in the cargo bays of a motorhome. Cnc zone, as others have mentioned, is a good place to start, Mechmate has a web site as well. They are many others, and other designs as well. No matter which way you go you will have a lot of time wrapped up in the effort, might as well end up with a good piece of hardware as well.

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  • TN Allen
    replied
    Thanks Roman, I'll try that forum. I've stayed out of this problem until now as it is another person's project. But I'll have students this fall who will need to use the Precix, and we need to solve the problem soon.

    It does seem to be well built, and they bought a vacuum pump and dust collector as well.

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  • r-carpenter
    replied
    Have you tried posting the question on CNCZONE forum?
    You could get CNCRP controllers and rewire the machine. Quite a few CNC companies run their machines of off the PC. Mach3 would be the software.
    It looks like a well build machine with heave duty linear bearings. Spindle looks like Chinese knockoff of HDS. https://ugracnc.com/index.php/online...0v-24000-rpm-s

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  • TN Allen
    replied
    This belongs to the college where I teach. Though new, it is so far inoperable, and the supplier is unresponsive. It seems to be well made, mostly from China. The instruction manual is not much help. I've been told the software and electronics are proprietary, and Precix as a company may be failing.

    I'd like to see it operating so students and faculty can put it to work. I'm thinking that may require a new user interface and controller, if we can't find a way to use it as is.

    Any suggestions will be well appreciated.

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  • kenrhodes
    replied
    I dont have any experiance with them but you might want to con cider some of the stuff over at cnc router parts. They get great reviews.

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  • TN Allen
    started a topic Precix CNC Router

    Precix CNC Router

    Does anyone have experience with Precix CNC routers?
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