CNC Plasma Cutter UPGRADE

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This machine has been running for over a year now and I have not had one problem with it. However, I thought it was time to upgrade the software and also get rid of the outdated PC that has been running LinuxCNC 2.7. The computer has worked fine but it does use parallel ports for the breakout board. It is getting harder and harder to find computer hardware with printer ports so I decided to upgrade to the latest version of LinuxCNC. LinuxCNC 2.9 has the ability to use a Mesa 7i96 board which uses an ethernet connection instead of a printer port. The is also a configuration tool available that will easily setup the board which eliminates the need to modify .hal and .ini files in LinuxCNC. Another feature of LinuxCNC 2.9 is that there is a configuration available called PlasmaC. This also has a tool which makes configuration much more simple.

I also upgraded some of the hardware such as the power supply and stepper drivers to use a more modern approach. The old machine was using a break out board that contained stepper drivers built into the board. I also put all of the electronics in one enclosure along with the computer. This made it more difficult to make repairs if anything should stop working.

* Here is a list of the items and tools I used to upgrade the DIY Plasma CNC machine.

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