Vacuum Forming Machine and CNC Router Status

Some of you may be wondering what is going on with the vacuum forming table and the CNC router.  For the past few Saturdays we’ve had a small team working on both.  The CNC router now has a table that gets it off the ground and at working height.  The work remaining is to hook up the electronics and computer.  We need to find a computer first, no easy task since it needs one with a parallel port.  We might have one, but it needs attention.  The vacuum forming machine still needs a lot of work.  The cart and most of the metal fabrication is done.  The lift linkage needs a couple more hours.  Then we need to complete the oven, electrical, vacuum system, and the wood case.  Possibly two more Saturdays.  Maybe three.

The wiki entries for the vacuum forming table and CNC router has been updated to reflect the status of each.


6 comments on “Vacuum Forming Machine and CNC Router Status
  1. Rob says:

    What are the hardware requirements for the cnc router computer? Do you know what work/hardware is needed to get the computer you have running? Alternatively I may have something I could donate depending on what the system requirements are.

    • rossmukai says:

      Thank you so much, Rob.
      The router uses Mach 3 for motion controls, here are the hardware requirements from Mach 3’s website:

      32-bit version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 Operating System (64-bit will not work)
      1Ghz CPU
      512MB RAM
      Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
      Basic Computer Skills (ability to copy/rename files, browse directories, etc)

      We would greatly appreciate any help you could offer.

  2. Rob says:

    Do you have the computer that needs attention at the shop? If it’s at the shop is there a good time friday or saturday that I could come down and look at what you got? Can you email me at the address on my post with the info.

  3. Nathan says:

    Actually it is at my house. I’ve tried loading XP back on it and it installs, then gets stuck. I’ve pulled everything apart and re-seated it but it still hangs at the same point. I have a second one, but it has an onboard video controller. I have to dig around and see if I can find an old PCI card.

    • Rob says:

      Specs on the system? Poking around the Mach 3 forums and user groups the onboard video problem was only an issue with Pentium II era hardware. Other people report success running the software on newer hardware. From what I’ve read they say it doesn’t hurt to install and see if it runs with onboard video.

      If the system runs at least initially until later in the XP install process usually it’s memory problems. If the system supports booting from a USB device you can run one of the memory checkers like Memtest86+ or burn it to CD and boot that way to check memory. What kind of memory is it? I may have spare memory.

      The extra system I have is a Dell P4-2.2ghz, 1GB memory, with integrated video running XP. If you guys want to give it a try I’ll bring it down. I don’t have any extra video cards though.

  4. Nathan says:

    I was able to find an old MB with a Celeron and enough things in my parts bin to put a computer together. Still need a PCI video card but it took XP and runs with the onboard video. I’ll look into your suggestion for the other computer.

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