CNC retrofit with a Buildbotics CNC Controller

This project demonstrates retrofitting an old CNC Mill with an ultra-modern, Open-Source CNC Controller

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A Dyna Myte CNC 2400 milling machine was donated to the Robot Garden maker space in Livermore, California. This machine was originally built in the 80's and things were done a bit differently back then. RG made a valiant attempt to restore the machine with a new controller, but, in the end, the unique demands of the Dyna were too much; until a Buildbotics CNC Controller solved the problem. The finished retrofit really demonstrated the power of the Buildbotics controller.

I created a new Youtube video that shows exactly how to Retrofit a DynaMyte 2400 with a Buildbotics CNC Controller. Follow this link to view it:

Our Kickstarter Project went live today (September 1st, 2017) .  Check it out!

Check out our blog post: Retrofitting the Dyna Myte 2400 with a Buildbotics CNC Controller

A non-functional Dyna Myte 2400 milling machine was donated to the Robot Garden makerspace in Livermore, California. The Dyna Myte 2400 was built in the 1980's and its retrofit presented some unique challenges.  Robot Garden was unable to get it going in a previous retrofit attempt.  The machine sat in storage until it was revived using a Buildbotics CNC controller.

Robot Garden was delighted when Buildbotics offered to revive the Dyna with their new Open-Source CNC controller. The Dyna retrofit demonstrates some of the power and flexibility of the Buildbotics controller.  For instance, the stepper motors on the Dyna only provide 27 ounce-inches of torque.  The original machine compensated for this low torque by providing a 10 to 1 gear ratio between the motor and the axis ball screws.   Given the 2.5 mm pitch ball screws, the machine head would only move by 0.25 mm for each complete revolution of the motor.  In order to meet the published jogging speed of the machine (30 IPM), the stepper motors had to turn at 3000 RPM. The controller had to provide over 5000 steps per second to minimally meet that goal. This was a breeze for the Buildbotics controller which is capable of over 200k steps/sec.  Performance was further improved with 1/32 micro-stepping.  The resulting 160k steps/sec yielded smooth, reliable operation.

Buildbotics also supplies a cable set that made interconnecting to the existing motor and power supply a snap. An enclosed I/O breakout box was used to connect to the existing spindle controller and the limit switches. Finally, a couple of shelf brackets from the local hardware store provided a nice mount for the controller.

This previously unusable Dyna Myte 2400 is now a solid CNC mill with modern features and should provide great service for years to come.

The Buildbotics controller generates its own steps and contains a web server, so you don't need to dedicate a PC; and you can configure and control it across your local Ethernet using a web browser.  Eliminating the PC cuts costs and saves space.

The Buildbotics CNC controller can operate on voltages from 12 to 36 DC and supply up to 6 amps of current on each motor, but no more than 25A total.  Smooth S-curve acceleration and deceleration allows machines to operate without sudden changes in acceleration which cause jerk.  The ability to provide local jogging control with an inexpensive USB gamepad and to monitor cutting remotely through a USB web camera is also really handy.

The hardware and software for the controller are completely Open-Source and work directly with CAMotics.  CAMotics is an Open-Source simulator, GCode viewer and CAM software.  After simulating designs, CAMotics allows its users to connect directly to the Buildbotics CNC Controller and upload GCode programs. CAMotics will follow the cutting operation in real time.  This lets you easily see where the machine is in the cutting process an how long it should take to complete.

This range of performance and features  make the Buildbotics controller ideal for controlling a variety of CNC machines.  Buildbotics has demonstrated control of several different CNC machines including the OX, the Taig Mini-Mill, a 6040 CNC, an engraving machine, a LASER cutter, and a sizable DIY CNC.

You can get your own Buildbotics CNC controller and support this great Open-Source project through the Buildbotics  Kickstarter campaign starting September 1, 2017.  In the meantime, check out the Buildbotics Website for more information.

Check out the instructions below to see exactly how to perform this retrofit.

  • 1 × Dyna Myte 2400 CNC Mill This was the broken CNC Mill that needed to be upgraded
  • 1 × Buildbotics CNC Controller The new Open-Source CNC Controller from Buildbotics
  • 4 × Buildbotics pre-made cables Buildbotics pre-power cable and three pre-made motor cables.
  • 2 × Shelf brackets Two 9"x6.5" shelf brackets for mounting the CMC Controller to the Dyna

  • 1
    Safety Note

    Do not disassemble any part of the Dyna Myte 2400, or make any modifications to the machine unless it is turned off and unplugged from the AC source.

  • 2
    Remove the old touch panel

    The touch panel was already removed on this unit.  If yours is still there remove the panel and the mounting bar from the machine.  Then, cut the multi-conductor cable that goes from the touch panel to the driver board, and remove it.  Save the grommet as this perforation will be used for power wiring.

  • 3
    Mount the Buildbotics CNC Controller to the side of the existing control cabinet.

    Attach the controller to the side of the original control enclosure using two 9"x6.5" right angle shelf brackets from the local hardware store.

    You'll need to drill some holes in the side of the existing control enclosure.  Then attach the brackets to the side of the enclosure and attach the Buildbotics controller to the bracket with appropriate nuts and bolts.

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