GoTorch

Discussion in 'Cutting Systems' started by ognenlev, 12/24/13.

  1. ognenlev

    ognenlev member

    Hi there!
    @SignTorch Can you please tell me,for the conversion of you're GoTorch - which breakout board did you use?
    I have a GoTorch too and i'm stuck with the software's for it! And can i ad a Z and A axis(for rotary device) to the break out board with THC or must be done something else?
    I have the machine seen's a mont already and i even cannot used,because is in inches and every drawing i have to converted from mm -to inches!
    Please if you can give me advise i will appreciated!
    I did watch you're videos on YouTube-great!
    I also posted two videos-

    Thanks in advance!
    ognenlev
     
  2. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    C11 – Multifunction CNC Breakout Board | Automation Technology Inc

    yes, but all you will have is the gantry, two servo motors, and a stepper on the Z axis,

    if you can make those work then you can add and make a 4th axis work as well

    but the problem is, if you retrofit a plasmacam, you wind up having spent $3000 on a peculiar gantry and a couple of motors and that puts you way behind to start with.

    since yours is working, it would make more sense to either

    a) sell the gotorch and start with a cheaper and less peculiar gantry to build your own system

    or

    b) sell the gotorch and get a plasmacam

    or

    c) keep the gotorch and make the best of it

    because you are within 3 to 5 thousand dollars of having a full featured plasmacam system (not counting a 4th axis)

    otherwise you are in for a real science project and will require substantial expertise and hardware and software and time to replace what is being thrown away, and in the end it won't be as nice as it was

    so retrofitting is really only a good idea if you have a totally defunct plasmacam to play with

    yes, having to spend $1000 just for metrics does suck, but retrofitting sucks more, so my advice would be try option B or C above
     
  3. ognenlev

    ognenlev member

    Hi!
    I already purchased a new cnc kit and gantry sliders-so very soon i will build a big sizes plasma machine!
    I'm also busy building a small 150W cnc laser cutter!
    But i want to make a GoTorch to run, if i can!
    First : Can i use the existing servo motors on the machine with C11 and the Gecko drives?
    Second: Can i connect Proma THC to the C11 board?
    Third: Can i connect my Stepper Rotary Device to the C11 board?
    I did calculate-if i buy the break out board,the 3 or 4 gecko drives and the power supply will cast me around $1000 -equal just to buy one software from
    GoTorch! So i can pay this money if can make the machine to run with Mach 3!
    I'm so disappointed from GoTorch,because no where in them page is said that the ""Optional software "" will cast $998 every each one ,and i did fined out after i bought the machine already,when i registered the machine on them Owners Community!!And to make the machine to work 100% i have to spend another $5000 to $6000 or more for optional software's -never!!!
    So with you're help i'm sure that i will make the machine to run perfect for much less!
    Thanks!
     
  4. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    ah, ok, that's sort of the same problem I had, I just didn't want to recommend retrofitting as the first, best solution, for most people.

    yes, you can make the gotorch run, I made mine into a router and the gantry is too light weight for that, so my next step is to revert back to the original Z axis and stepper motor and make that work, and then publish a complete retrofit guide

    yes, the motor and encoder can connect directly to the gecko servo drive as is,

    probably, I haven't connected a THC but the BOB has 5 inputs,

    the THC has 3 outputs

    that leaves one input for home/limits

    and one for height contact sensing

    so e-stop would have to be external or routed through home/limit circuit

    or you can run 2 BOBs if you need more inputs

    yes, it has 12 outputs,

    really, the problem is that DesignEdge software by Plasmacam is sub basic

    yet it is advertised as state of the art

    if not for plasmacam, gotorch would be alright

    I will try to piece together a wiring diagram and basic description for you

    But, if I were you, I would attempt to sell the gotorch and be done with it, it is not that great of a gantry

    once I make a retrofit guide, mine is going in the trash...


    keep me posted on your laser, I have the stuff to make one to, but that got put on hold along with my plasma cutting plans
     
  5. ty yost

    ty yost registered

    good morning to all
    first of all I'd like to say thank you to Gary for the PlasmaCAM retrofit information
    I have a home built table that's a little over a 2 by 2 cutting area
    I've been thinking about upgrading but I am on a very limited budget
    I'm already familiar with mach3 sheetcam and Corel Draw
    so my thought process is either picking up a used go torch or a new one expanding the table to a 4x4 and doing Gary's retrofit
    then I would essentially have PlasmaCAM brand new 4x4 table with software that I'm familiar with.
    all for about half the cost of a new plasma cam table with the design edge that I would have to get used to new software
    this all sounds good in theory but I would like to know Gary's input and find out if you ever got your automatic torch height worked out.
    I would also like to know at one point in the retrofit you said the gantry wasn't very solid I would like to know exactly what you feel the gantry lacs and if you feel that is the same on a 4x4 PlasmaCAM may be heavier gauge steel?
    the thing is I would love to have a brand new plasma cam or better yet the Samson 5 by 10 table the only problem is as I am i working with a budget so what I'm trying to accomplish is get a 4x4 table PlasmaCAM
    on a go torch budget.
    any thoughts or suggestions you have on this subject I would be more than appreciative for you to share.
    if you still have that go torch don't throw it in the trash as there some broke people who can use the parts.
    any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated thank you
    tnt
     
  6. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    First, an update, the initial height sensor is ready for action, sporting a cast resin housing, and optional panel mount controls.

    The athc is working out, but I've had a lot of catching up to do, on the electronics front, but, it's turned into a rather advanced athc/cnc monitor/controller that is not quite ready for show and tell, but it is pretty amazing.

    Now, on to your other questions:

    I haven't decided what will become of mine, I'm currently using it for testing and tinkering,

    What baffles me is why would you particularly want a plasmacam gantry if not for the plasmacam software. And why aim for a 2x2 to make a 4x4? Should be more 4x4 frames around than 2x2.

    To me, its just a peculiar design, X and Y rolls on the gear rack and on paint, Z is just some flat plate between some v-rollers with less than 2 inches travel and a weird stepper motor, etc... (and all parts come from one single source through one non-public web site).

    I mean it's ok, I guess, but without the software that it was designed for, and if you're open to retrofitting the electronics, then other brands with more conventional gantry designs would be worth considering.

    I sort of like how torchmate uses flat bar for rails, that'd have to be the easiest to make and most economical way to have an 8 or 10 ft rail. Plus, I like for the long side rails to be close to or below the top of the slats to facilitate loading.
     
  7. ty yost

    ty yost registered

    thank you for your reply
    I am definitely willing to consider anything within my price range
    in fact my original home built table is designed like a torchmate
    I do like the servo motors with encoders and I like the 321 gear ratio that PlasmaCAM
    and that one servo drives both sides of the gantry.
    do you know where I can buy similar servo motors with encoders at a reasonable price ?that could maybe be added to a different gantry
    and work with your C 11 breakout and gecko retrofit
    thank you for your time I will definitely look into Torchmate 4x4 tables and/or gantry
     
  8. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    these look good - comes with 500 cpr encoder
    Leadshine brush DC servo motor

    I used
    NEMA23 350 oz in Skewed Rotor Dual Shaft DC Servo Motor (KL23-130-60) | Automation Technology Inc

    but they're out of the encoder, so cnc4pc has the same stuff
    CNC4PC

    that is a 5oo cpr encoder which yields 2000 pulses per revolution which is good

    the motors shown are nema 23 with a 1/4" shaft, or some are 50mm with 5/16" shaft, or you can get nema 34 but those have 1/2" shafts

    before I buy any more gecko drives, most other servo drives appear to come with a tuning interface and software, which I'd like to try, the geckos have tuning pots and an oscilloscope is required to tune them accurately
     
  9. ty yost

    ty yost registered

    okay so I just got off the phone with Torchmate
    they offer a kit where I build the table and the gantry
    and what I end up with is 4x4table with no z axis or height control.
    basically what they supply are the plans some brackets stepper motors driver board gear reduction and rack and pinion and some entries level software
    all for about $5300 and do not offer servo motor option
     
  10. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    I meant shop for used torchmate if you don't find a used plasmacam, or build your own rail like torchmate, as you can see below it is a simple flat bar on top of the frame and the gantry has cam rollers riding on the top and sides of that flat bar - the gear rack is on the inside of the rail - the carriage travels on one linear bearing with gear rack on top - as far as I know, the gantry is held down with gravity, it can be lifted off easily, and it has sensors to detect lifting during operation, which only happens if there is a collision - the lift sensor is just a rolling limit switch in contact with the flat bar

     
  11. Beachcnc

    Beachcnc registered

    Look at cncrouterparts.com ..they have great parts to build your own plasma..I built a 48"x96" router using their design and parts...works awesome!!
     
  12. Lewis

    Lewis registered

    Cool. A current conversation on retro fitting a plasmacam. This machine has the first generation THC that never worked right. My plans are to put a real stepper or servo in its place. I had hoped to modify it for a router. Is the gantry the same on the plasmacam as the gotorch? I got this machine for free so I am open any practical investment. What power supply did you use?
     
  13. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    There's a whole retrofit build thread in the CNC section, with power supply specs.

    Gotorch and plasmacam (and Sampson) use mostly the same parts and gantry design (AFIK). The older plasmacams have a slightly different carriage design and smaller Z motor. I'm definitely going to be replacing the whole Z axis on mine.

    It's not ideal for routing. The springs can't hold up a 5 (or 10) pound router 3 (to 5) inches out from the centerline of the gantry tube. Been there, done that, it don't work. You might could rig a small body rotary tool in as close as possible to the gantry tube to play with, but that won't really route worth a flip...

    The build thread also shows a preliminary prototype router mounting method that has a small router bed, but it has a full-size router and it doesn't interfere with plasma cutting or rely on the router table slats for routing purposes. And replacing the Z axis will enable making that bigger and better....

    I'm sidetracked on that project, I went to build a THC for it and ended up working on a wireless touch screen pendant for Mach3, and now I've wound up having to rebuild my web site unexpectedly, but I will be getting back to it as soon as I can....
     
  14. Lewis

    Lewis registered

    Awesome just the input I needed. I had concerns on the strength of the tube. Adding a second gantry to cradle the router might be the fix. Nothing fancy but you will probably lose travel.
     
  15. SignTorch

    SignTorch Artist

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    did you eat any suspicious looking Halloween candy? put a dual gantry on a plasmacam for a router and I will personally come over and lmao
     
  16. Lewis

    Lewis registered

    HA HA. Can you swim or walk on water? Awesome info that you have provided. Most practical that I have read so far. Everywhere else the postings seem to be contaminated by the cool aid drinkers of Plasmacam. " Buy our software, pay for re-registering your machine, buy this up grade, Mine works great its your fault it fails." Yes its the candy corn talking. I will post pictures of the finished machine for your critique when done. Aloha
     

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