MetalworkingFun Forum

Full Version: X2 CNC Conversion
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
I have three mills, from a small X2 mini to a ZX-25 mill/drill to a 60-ish Victoria U2 horizontal with a vertical head. I was thinking I should sell the mini since it wasn't getting much use. Then I thought about some items that would be easiest to make on a CNC. That's all it takes for the disease to take route.

Be warned! Don't read any further if you really don't want to get into CNC. It can be contagious.

I ordered some stepper motors, a control board, a power supply, some ballscrews and nuts, and a control pendant from eBay. Most guys doing the X2 conversion seem to choose the kit from CNC Fusion. I have a fully equipped machine shop, so I figured I could make the adapters and motor mounts myself.

I mounted the control board and power supply in a 12 x 12 junction box and added a cooling fan. This will bolt to the left side of the mill's stand.

The ballscrews came as raw screws without the turned and threaded end to take the bearing and motor coupling. I did these operations on the lathe and then milled the flats for the setscrews.

The X2 has less than 4" of Y travel, so I cut a piece of cast iron to make an extension for the ways. After it was bolted on, I milled away some of the former front of the base to allow the table to pass.

The motor mounts are welded and machined steel.

The motors I ordered are a lot bigger than needed for this size of mill. The output shafts are 14mm. I needed large couplings, so I made them from aluminum.

In order to have the centre of the work area at the centre of the table, I shimmed the head out from the column by about 13/16".

The last piece I have made so far is the bracket to attach the ballnut to the milling head for the Z-axis. The main attachment for the bracket is a press-fitted expandable shaft that locks into the hole formerly occupied by the Z-axis handle shaft.
Where is the big green button? You need a big green button for CNC!

Seriously, nice start to what I anticipate with be a very nice upgrade for your shop and a very informative post for MWF viewers.
(01-22-2013, 08:08 AM)Mayhem Wrote: [ -> ]Where is the big green button? You need a big green button for CNC!
A big red button may be better Smile
Take a look at the top right corner of the junction box in the first picture. Big red button. It will face the operator when it's all put together. A necessary exit strategy.
It's alive!

I got the motors mounted and hooked up the computer. I used the pendant to move each axis. It's smooth and quiet.

I still need to make a tray for the keyboard and mouse, then I'll try to configure the homing switches and run a simple shape. I should have it ready to go this weekend.

Still need to make an enclosure for the MachTach and find a good place for the 3-ton arbor press on the bench. I really need a bigger shop.
(01-31-2013, 11:48 PM)Hawkeye Wrote: [ -> ]... and find a good place for the 3-ton arbor press on the bench. I really need a bigger shop.


Start by covering in under the deck at the back and that will expand the footage of the shop. If memory serves me right that was 8 ft x 20 ft. Then move the laundry room upstairs, you can't get at the machines anyways so that will open that side of the room up to make it more useable, and you still had a room that was unused at the bottom of the stairs behind the laundry room, so take over that as well! See you have lots of room LOL

Oh and then too much stuff stored in the garage, so that cuts down on your shop space.

With a bit of organizing you could over double your shop space.

I know, the pot calling the kettle black! As my kids moved out, their rooms were quickly taken over to increase shop space, added benefit was that kids could not move back in as no rooms left.

I had some setup glitches, but Steve from the other side sorted them out. I think running the first cuts in wax or foam are a good idea. Most of my cuts might end up being foam anyway - fast way to make forms for lost-foam casting.


It's nice to watch it going where you told it to go. The only oops was from doing so many dry runs before the first cut. Forgot the little step about turning on the spindle first. Another advantage of foam.
Looking Good. What pitch are the ball screws? With the steppers connected directly what will the smallest movement you can make be?
The ballscrews are Chinese 1605. 5mm pitch, or 5.08 turns per inch. My advisor has me tuned down to 2 microsteps - 0.9* per step.
1/2 though resolution then, trying to decide what resolution I need for my CNC plasma project. Don't think I need anything that accurate when its connected to a torch.
Pages: 1 2