We were asked to assemble an easy plug and play controller box for one of our SharpCNC customers.
This gave us a great idea!
Why don't we provide an Australian designed and built CNC controller unit that works straight out of the box with any SharpCNC mill or other 3/4 axis CNC mill?
The SharpCNC FAT Controller project
1). To offer a durable and robust CNC control platform that is plug and play and easy to use.
2). We aim to develop a control system to be suitable to running in many tooling configurations including; Plasma, laser and 1.5kw Spindle operation at the flip of a switch.
3). Provide 2 controller options to our customers: 1.5kw Spindle and Plasma/Laser OR Plasma/Laser only.
Some considerations we are addressing
We have listened to our customer feedback and through our own research and development we aim to overcome the issues that can be encountered when working in a typical 'Machine Workshop' environment.
Here's some things we're working on:
Eliminate EMI issues associated with plasma torch operation by using high quality shielded cables, ferrite sleeves and metal screw in connectors.
Providing sufficient cooling to our electronics while eliminating any swarf build up entering the unit.
Mitigating any possible issues with machine vibration or sudden unexpected G-Forces on the enclosure, some solutions we are implementing right now are; using screw on connectors and are presently designing a full circuit board solution for ultimate stability and consistency.
✔ Easy selection between Plasma/Laser or Spindle options for total versatility.
✔ Running on the stable and open source GRBL platform.
✔ Illuminated switch on the front let's you know when the unit is powered on.
✔ Spindle control by G-code
✔ 80mm IP55 cooling fan and dust resistant air vent.
✔ 4 x TB6600 Drivers to safely drive the large steppers in our kits at full operational power.
✔ Emergency Stop button for safety.
✔ 24 volt 16 amp power supply built in. (Higher voltage options coming soon!)
✔ Screw in connectors (Where required) for durability and peace of mind.
✔ Extremely rugged IP55, 2mm thick, powder coated steel enclosure.
✔ Multiple over-sized earth points for electrical safety.
✔ Quick and easy IEC single phase power connector with master On/off switch.
What's happening next?
We have already begun development of our circuit board and hope to have these powerful little controllers ready to go by December this year!
Here's some more snaps of the progress on our customers Spindle & Plasma enclosure: