This guide will describe how to transport, site and setup your Denford Novamill CNC Milling Machine. Any operational features, specific to the Novamill range. 3-Axis Benchtop Training Mill w/opt 6-Station ATC. Machine Type: Milling Machine. Num. of Axes: 3. Work Support: Bed. Column Construction: Single, Column. In Part 1 of this series we took a Denford Novamill and retrofitted the control cabinet with updated stepper drivers and a BeagleBone Black (BBB). In this post we.

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Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Last Jump to page: Hi there, I recently acquired a Denford Novamill from a friend for a few quid. I’m obviously looking to get her up and running and wanted to poke you guys for some thoughts as well as record my progress here. I’ve been scouring the net for info and have already come across Denfords forum which I’ve had a good read novamil. There’s not a definite “how to” step by step guide around which was a shame considering it’s a sort-of common conversion to make.

My first decision to make is which direction to go for the conversion, my understanding is that converting for Mach3 use is a good way to go.

Not sure on that front, however I’d rather go with the most commonly used software which at the moment sounds like it’ll be Mach3. Thanks for any input: I use 5, however my machine had been upgraded to the USB controller, and came with a license.

You denfodd have to get a license for VR Milling 2 to use it. Denford will sell you a new license, however if you were to novamilo a somebody who already has a license, Denford are OK with you using licenses that came with the machine, but won’t re-issue a license to anybody other than the original buyer.

Personally, with the absence of a working license, I’d be looking at doing some form of novamilll. Basic level would be to add a basic breakout board, remove the controller board that’s the top board of the two boards at the top left of the cabinetand patch into the existing stepper drivers they’re built into the lower of the top two boardsand then patch the other denforv into the BOB, however you would need a BOB that supported 12V signals.

A more involved retrofit would be to replace the controller and stepper drivers. This could potentially give you better performance, as modern stepper drivers nvoamill far better than what is currently fitted. Final option would be redo the control box completely. The 12V control switching, although far more robust than the typical hobbyist 5V, can be a problem.

Most more industrial controllers are geared to 24V controls, so you’d most likely need to convert either up denforrd 24V or down to 5V. I say pretty good, because although they’re not as good as modern digital drivers, they’ll still be an improvement over the fitted drivers, and if you were really wanting maximum performance, you’d need to look at replacing the motors with more modern ones.


Avoiding the rubbish customer denfird from AluminiumWarehouse since July ‘ By “performance” are you referring to speed or accuracy? Speed isn’t the end of the world for me as it’s a xenford machine at the end of the day, accuracy would be more of a concern though. Cost being kept to a minimum would be preferable of course, novaimll of your options: Basic 12V BoB, remove control board, patch into stepper drivers.

Replace whole box with 5V or 24V system. Option 2 is sounding the most appealing. I’ve seen people referring to break out boards BoB all over the place but I’ve yet to find a simple beginners guide on them.

I assume there is a standard format these BoB’s come in and it’s just a case of choosing a brand? All they do is take dfnford signals from USB and separate them out into the relevant control signals?

Forgive my very basic questions, have to start somewhere! BOBs come in various forms. More advanced ones add in extra features, such as relays, V output you’ll need this for your spindle speed controlopto-isolation avoids the computer getting fried if something goes wrong with the wiring. Parallel port PP is the most basic option, but PPs are gradually dying.

So then you’re looking at external motion controllers. All those will tie you into certain software, so you might want to consider what software you’d like to run, as the software may be novami,l additional cost depending on what you choose.

Denford Software & Machines

I won’t deny it, as for a beginner, it is a minefield! Only limitation is what you’re capable of coding. Good if you like Linux or are willing to learn. Support can be very hit or miss.

Mach 3 will run indefinitely in Demo mode, with a limit of lines of G-code and no Run From Here option. Mach 4 will run with no limitations for a random amount of time before stopping generating motion. Community support for Mach3 is excellent, as it’s been around for a long time. Mach 4 isn’t quite as good, but the user base is increasing as it becomes a more mature product. There are also lots of proprietary controller and software packages, like PlanetCNC and plenty others but just had a total mind blank!

FOR SALE: for sale: Denford Novamill

I’m still running Mach3 on my little probing machine, as KMotionCNC doesn’t handle writing probing data to files, so there are pros and cons with all options. However if I was starting as a beginner now, I’m not sure what option I would take! Regarding performance, yes, it means speed. The latest drivers will accelerate motors far quicker and smoother than older drivers. Actual accuracy won’t improve, as even though modern drives will have smaller microsteps, you can only guarantee accuracy to within a full motor step.


Once again, thanks for the info: I’ll be in the US in 3 weeks time so I should probably figure out what electronics I want before then! Looking at the smoothstepper boards they appear cheaper over there isn’t everything. The options you mentioned: I’ll likely head for Mach3 from what I’ve read.

I guess I have to figure out the pro’s and con’s of each board now to understand why they are priced differently. So this is what I can see so far with BoB’s: Name – Ethernet Smoothstepper Motion control board bundle Link – https: What I can easily see is that 5V is the commonly used voltage, and I think I’m right in saying that in order to use that I’d need to pull out both the board I have circled in blue AND the board circled in red?

And then buy stepper drivers along with the BoB to replace it all? What you’ve listed aren’t really BoBs, they’re motion controllers. Some will benefit from a suitable BoB to make wiring easier.

In your photo, the blue board is the motion controller, and the red board the stepper drivers I think it also provides the analogue output for the spindle. So if you were to remove both, you’d need to install new stepper drivers.

You could either go for individual stepper drivers Leadshine of some form, or Gecko Gs would workor if you were to go the KFlop route, you could add the KStep board which includes 4 stepper drivers, as well as V inputs.

So if I were to go for the motion controller and the stepper drivers, I’d be looking at something like: Name – GX 3. Am I reading it’s datasheet right? So I’m staring at the cabinet and realise that I need to understand more before I go further Anyone fancy helping me put names to the numbers?

Thanks again for the help! That bundle includes the required adapter leads, so you’d just need a BoB.

If you do a search over on the denford forum, there’s a zip file with wiring diagrams. They probably won’t be the specific ones for your machine, but they’ll give you a good idea, especially since Denford usually used the same wire numbers for everything. At a guess, there’ll be safety guard interlock, spindle on, EStop relays. They should be marked 5 – Not sure. Looks like it plugs into the Controller, so could be some kind of novamill board. Where do the wires go? Bookmarks Bookmarks Digg del.

Searching for help, getting a Cutting ballscrews to length the New guy trying to wrap his head Need some of these done. RFQ – large steel part for cost Partial Set of Ox Router Aluminium

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