For anyone who's been following my Logan lathe CNC conversion, you might know that I picked up a mostly ready-to-go 2-axis controller from a local guy who had built it years ago, and was converting the machine back to manual.
The setup works, although as I'm utterly new to such things- and have little electrical knowledge to fall back on- it was something of a struggle to get it connected, wired and running.
Currently, the lathe is almost fully functional, and has been for nearly a year now. It still needs plenty of little detail work, but at least the electricals, and mechanical axis drives are pretty much 100%.
The main drawback is, and has been, my near-total ignorance of Mach 3, and the fact that M3 does not play well with Fusion 360, at least as far as turning goes. I can draw something in F360, even something pretty simple, but I have not yet had any luck whatsoever at getting the resulting toolpath to work in M3.
I was hoping to have more time to play with it this winter, when work tends to slow down a bit and I'm less likely to have outdoor projects in the works.
BUT... a new development has come along: Centroid, a big-name professional-level manufacturer of CNC controllers, has brought out a "home shop" CNC controller called the Acorn. It has lots of features I'm looking forward to- like direct connection of my VFD into the controller (Mach 3 can do it, kind of, if you juggle a few things, write a macro and buy an aftermarket board) connect to a modern PC through an Ethernet connection (M3 requires a parallel port- who even has those anymore?) run high-accuracy quadrature encoders, and more.
The lathe-software version is due to launch tomorrow, and I plan to pick one up as soon as I can.
The idea here is that I'd like to disconnect my current, functioning controller system, basically everything from the old XP computer (the newest M3 will run on) all the way to the plugs on the steppers, all as one unit.
And that will be replaced by a complete Centroid setup- I'll also have to get a couple new stepper controllers, but I was thinking about doing that anyway. Get away from the older MicroKinetics boards I have (which work, and are still being manufactured) and move up to a more industry-standard Gecko controller.
And as such, I'd like to start from scratch, and build a new box. The current setup looks like this:
And with the cover, it looks like this:
The enclosure is steel, fairly heavy duty, about 14-16" square, and about 4" deep. The cover has "keyhole" screw slots- loosen the four screws, slide it up slightly, lift it clear. No hinges or other latches.
I'd like to find another one, or something very close to it. Interestingly enough, I saw one just like it at the local secondhand shop about a year ago, and thought about picking it up.
Anybody have a brand name, or a general style? I've been looking up "electrical enclosures" and similar keywords for a while, but I'm not seeing anything I'd like.