Refurbishing LPKF Protomat C20

I named thee Franken-Machine.

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The main idea behind this project is to refurbish LPKF Protomat C20 PCB milling machine with open source hardware, firmware and software.

The LPKF C20 machine is a PCB milling machine that creates a PCB board by milling the contour based from the PCB design. We bought this machine in 2005 and the machine has stop functioning due to faulty at controller board.

Since the machine is a close-sourced machine, the only way to repurpose the machine is to make use of the existing hardware and replacing the board controller.

Overview of Machine

Front View

  1. Power indicator
  2. X-axis motor
  3. DC Spindle Motor / Plotter
  4. Working Depth Limiter

Rear View

  1. Vacuum System Connection
  2. Serial port (9-pin) for expansion units
  3. Serial port (25-pin) for connection to PC
  4. X Motor Connection
  5. Y Motor Connection
  6. Connection for plotter head
  7. ON/OFF switch with mains connector and fuses
  8. X Motor
  9. Y Motor

Plotter Board

  1. Normally Open Limit Switches for – Y axis
  2. Common terminal for Limit Switches
  3. Spindle / Plotter +DC Supply
  4. Spindle / Plotter –DC Supply
  5. Solenoid Actuator +DC Supply
  6. Solenoid Actuator –DC Supply
  7. NC
  8. NC
  9. NC
  10. Normally Open Limit Switches for +Y Axis

Controller Board

  1. Mains EMI Filter
  2. Transformer
  3. Rectifier (GBU4D) 34V DC Output
  4. Rectifier (GBU4D) 78V DC Output
  5. Rectifier (GBU4D) 11V Dc Output
  6. Processing Unit
  7. Stepper Motor Controller (L6203) DMOS Full Bridge Driver
  8. Stepper Motor Controller (L6203) DMOS Full Bridge Driver
  9. Plotter Head Controller

Plotter / Spindle Head

  1. Shock Absorber
  2. Solenoid
  3. Working Depth Limiter
  4. Tool Changer Handle
  5. Mounting for Spindle
  6. DC Spindle Motor
  7. Vacuum Connector

  • 1 × Arduino MEGA
  • 1 × RAMPS 1.4
  • 2 × Allegro A4988 Stepper Motor Driver
  • 1 × TIP125 Darlington Transistor
  • 1 × PN2222 Transistor

View all 6 components

View project log

  • 1
    Replacing Controller Board

     The controller board was replaced with Open Sourced CNC Machine controller board called RAMPS board or in this case RAMPS version 1.4. This board mainly consist of header for microcontroller, limit switches, stepper motor driver , input supply and with polyfuse to protect against overcurrent, mosfet to drive spindle output.

    RAMPS 1.4 Overview

    RAMPS 1.4 Schematic

  • 2
    Replacing Processing Unit

     The processing unit was replace with Open Sourced microcontroller board based on ATmega 2560 chip. This microcontroller unit consist of power regulator, UART for USB interfaces, serial communications, and multiple GPIO for controller output.

    Arduino MEGA Overview

  • 3
    Replacing Stepper Motor Driver

     A Breakout board for Allegro’s A4988 was used to control the stepper motors. This board was specifically used to control bipolar stepper motor and features adjustable current limiting, overcurrent and over temperature protection and five different microstep resolutions. It is able to deliver up to 1A per phase without heat sink

    Allegro A4988 Overview

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