Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Running x and y axes as an ensemble...

I've got the x and y axis gearmotors working as an ensemble controlled from the same 18F4610 microcontroller. The bigger, faster PIC chip let me program in some monitoring of performance and statistics generation.

I ran the ensemble in two initial modes for a 2:1 slope; the first using 100 msec motor pulses and the second using 10 msec motor pulses.

For 100 msec pulses.
For 10 msec pulses
I think a big chunk of imponderables, to use Adrian's word, about using gearmotors with shaft encoders are no longer imponderable.

I think the only real imponderable left for RepRap developers as opposed to builders is whether SDCC can be talked into creating good hex files for the 18F family of PIC chips. My own experience with 16F PIC's is that they haven't got the muscle to be used in a single board controller for a reprap. I really tried to make it happen. Perhaps some really good code god could do it, but not this lowly wallah.

Results are results, and I'm impressed. This phase of things, it's almost ideal to go our seperate ways to see what works and what dosen't.

I might start looking into grabbing a magnetic encoder and give a steady hand into replicating these results. I wrote/flashed a simple PIC to translate K-cad signals to stepper pulses, it shouldn't be hard to interface with Plaasjappie's gearmotor setup. We'd have a g-code compatible system alongside the extruders.

The torque and speed possible with 8$ servo/gearmotors vs 20$ steppers means this may be the future standard for cnc designs.
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