Author Topic: X2 CNC Conversion  (Read 29340 times)

Offline Brass_Machine

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X2 CNC Conversion
« on: May 04, 2009, 12:44:15 PM »
Yup. Gonna start it very soon. I figure I will start a log to keep me moving in the right direction.

This plan (because I am broke) is to do this in several stages. This will document the 1st stage of that process. What I will be doing is CNCing the X & Y first. I hope to be making some parts that will pay for the other stages.

Parts list:

1. Controller will be a HobbyCNC Pro Driver board kit. Yup, will be soldering this myself. This will eventually be replace by a Gecko G540 in stage 3 or 4. As I am doind a waste not want not type of thing, the HobbyCNC board will power the CNC lathe (I am designing one from scratch). I hope to order this today:



2. I will be using 2 270 oz/in steppers for the X & Y (remember this is only an X2). They have been rated to work with the G540. Will be ordering those from Keling INC later this week.

3. I will be ordering today the misc. parts I need for the conversion. I have the CNC plans from Fignoggle so I need a few timing pulleys and belts.

4. From previous purchases, I have all the stock required to make the mounts.

5. For CAD software, I am using Alibre and will be driving it with LinuxEMC.

So in the next week, I will place the orders for parts and I hope to start on the stepper mount builds!

 :nrocks:

Eric
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 01:19:42 PM by Brass_Machine »
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 01:17:13 PM »
Good luck - sounds like a well thought out plan. I will be watching your progress with interest.

Chris

Offline Darren

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 02:55:55 PM »
Well Eric this is going to be interesting to follow....

Be sure to post the updates daily won't you  :dremel:
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 03:39:57 PM »
I just ordered the controller and the misc. bits, so I am on my way now.  :dremel: woohoo!

Eric
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Offline Bernd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 10:27:14 PM »
Nice Eric. Any mechanical updates planned for the machine, such as lead screws, new gibs? Just wondering because mine has a ton of backlash and was wondering how your going to get around that.

Will this be an open loop or closed loop system?

Bernd
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 08:54:41 AM »
Bernd,

Eventually it is going to get new screws... Whether that will be ballscrews or acme lead screws, I am not 100% sure yet. The stock nuts are going to be modified right away to allow some adjustment. They will become split nuts. I have been giving thoughts to this LEAD SCREW KIT. I am probably going to do new gibs as well... I just not sure what I am doing yet. Everything has to go by my budget which is very slim.

You have any suggestions?

Eric
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Offline Bernd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 09:14:16 AM »
Eric,

If I were to CNC my mill I would start out with getting the gibs in better shape first. There are some tight spots along both axis' of travel on my mill. I really don't like the way the nut for the table just lays in a slot. Way to much slop, in mine anyway. Also does your mill have 16 threads per inch lead screws or the 20 threads per inch. Don't know if this would make a difference when CNCing it. I think it would.

Take a quick look at my mod to the mini-mill when I changed over to 20 threads per inch - mini-mill.

It might give you some insight as to what's underneath the table if you haven't taken yours apart yet.

I think the biggest thing is to get both slides to move smoothly. Then the lead screws.

I think John (Bogs) would be a good one to ask on how improve on the gibs.

Bernd
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 09:24:59 AM »
My mill actually performs quite nicely. It seems I lucked out and got a mill that was made on a good day. I have had mine completely torn down serveral times cleaning and lubing it. It slides fairly well. The backlash isn't too bad for now... that will change shortly.

It's funny you mention the gibs. I have been researching them a lot. They guy I got my CNC plans from (and my DRO plans) has a bunch of articles up on using acetal for both anti backlash nuts and gibs. Article HERE. I am thinking about giving it a shot and seeing how it works out.

Eric
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Offline websterz

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2009, 09:28:16 AM »
Eric,

If I were to CNC my mill I would start out with getting the gibs in better shape first. There are some tight spots along both axis' of travel on my mill. I really don't like the way the nut for the table just lays in a slot. Way to much slop, in mine anyway. Also does your mill have 16 threads per inch lead screws or the 20 threads per inch. Don't know if this would make a difference when CNCing it. I think it would.

Take a quick look at my mod to the mini-mill when I changed over to 20 threads per inch - mini-mill.

It might give you some insight as to what's underneath the table if you haven't taken yours apart yet.

I think the biggest thing is to get both slides to move smoothly. Then the lead screws.

I think John (Bogs) would be a good one to ask on how improve on the gibs.

Bernd


You should definitely make new gibs for the mill. Here's a link that will help a lot.

http://www.fignoggle.com/plans/figNoggle_gibStripViseBlock.pdf
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Offline Bernd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2009, 09:39:30 AM »
Just read the write up on making the gibs. I think it would be great for a CNC project. For manual I don't like the fact that when you tighten the screw to lock the table you need to crank the screw several turns according to their write up. I would think that you would damage the accetal strip after a few tightenings. But it's only my opinion.

My machine also has other issues with the gibs. I don't think a very good job was done milling them. I think they need to be re-milled before such a fix would work on my machine.

Bernd
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2009, 10:57:34 AM »

You should definitely make new gibs for the mill. Here's a link that will help a lot.

http://www.fignoggle.com/plans/figNoggle_gibStripViseBlock.pdf

Got that one. Thats the guy that I bought the CNC plans from. Thanks!
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Offline shoey51

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 03:39:07 PM »
I like their DRO conversion for the x2
my local supplier has then but not a cheap item :bang:

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 03:48:30 PM »
I like their DRO conversion for the x2
my local supplier has then but not a cheap item :bang:

I got mine off of Ebay. May be cheaper to have one of us get them and then ship to you?

Eric
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Offline shoey51

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 03:57:02 PM »
thanks Eric Ill check out ebay :D

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2009, 04:03:38 PM »
thanks Eric Ill check out ebay :D

I got mine from this SELLER. Not the fastest shipping, but the scales were in good condition.


Eric
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Offline shoey51

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2009, 03:09:59 AM »

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2009, 03:58:42 AM »
I see you are discussing DRO scales a little.

If you want to make them a permanent thing, totally forget the linear scales you are looking at.

I have been down that road for a few years now, and a few other people I know have been there as well. For something that you want to last a year or so, then fine, but any longer than that, they can become a nightmare. Just when you are half way thru a critical bit of machining and the damned things go wrong. A tiny bit of swarf, or any mention of fluids, plus the electrical joints and batteries are another weak point, will just cause them to pop their clogs.

Don't get me wrong, for a total beginner or someone who has got no cash to spare at all, it can be a way to go, but for long term operations you should be saving your hard earned pennies a little longer and go for a proper glass scale version, rather than going for this cheaper scale system and having to replace them a little down the line.

I still used one on my mill, for reading the quill, but that is only because I know that it will be safe up on the head away from the muck and grime, plus no cable movement at all. All other places on a mill and you are asking for trouble in the long run.

John

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 08:46:26 PM »
So the controller board kit, timing gears and belts showed up yesterday. I am going to get some pictures of it all soon and do a step by step of the assembly of the controller. On another front, I got a benefactor for this conversion... A friend who has a vested interest of getting some parts made, has made a loan to get some more things for the build  :headbang:

Hopefully tomorrow, I will build the controller.

Eric
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Offline websterz

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2009, 08:56:18 PM »
So the controller board kit, timing gears and belts showed up yesterday. I am going to get some pictures of it all soon and do a step by step of the assembly of the controller. On another front, I got a benefactor for this conversion... A friend who has a vested interest of getting some parts made, has made a loan to get some more things for the build  :headbang:

Hopefully tomorrow, I will build the controller.

Eric

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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 03:12:37 PM »
Well, I spent most of Saturday cleaning and organizing the shop. I am still not anywhere near done that but who is?

I got a little time on Sunday to start building the CNC controller:

Here is the board and most of the parts. Ignore the blurries... cell phone camera!



Added a few resistors:



Then some caps:



OFC, this was done at my mother in-laws. I forgot my multimeter at home and didn't want to continue until I had tested the stuff I had already done.

Ordering some more stuff today or tomorrow!

Eric
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2009, 03:46:17 PM »
solding your own board  :clap: - once you have your cnc conversion you could mill your own pcb as well :)
What plans are you using for this conversion?

Offline spuddevans

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2009, 03:57:54 PM »
That's looking pretty good Eric  :clap: :clap:

There's something quite theraputic ( such bad spelling ) about soldering up a board. Ahh! the sweet smell of flux, takes me back to happy times studying the 'scope and picking the tiny bits of capacitor out of myself and cursing not having double checked the polarity of the elecrolytics  :zap: :lol:


I think if I ever convert to cnc I'll do it the kit way like you are doing.


Tim
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 04:33:13 PM »
The plans are from fignoggle. That is only the motor mounts etc... The controller kit is from hobbyCNC.

Eric
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Offline SPiN Racing

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2009, 10:16:18 PM »
Im not sure.. but the X2 is like a desktop sized machine is it not?
That type of CNC is not compatible with something like a bridgeport is it?  Too small?
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Offline Bernd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2009, 10:25:26 PM »
Spin,

This will give you an idea of how big it is.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini-Milling-Machine/G8689

Can't set a Bridgeport on the Shop Fox bench.  :) If you do you'll have very small peices of the Shop Fox.

Bernd
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2009, 11:38:29 AM »
Ordered some more stuff today. I ordered the steppers for the x & y, the 4th axis update for my controller, flexible anti backlash couplings, E stop switch.

Will try to finish the controller this week. I need an enclosure and power supply next.

Eric
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Offline SPiN Racing

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2009, 12:02:15 AM »
Ahhhhhhhh  (Looks for Smiley with a Lightbulb over his head)

Yes.. I see. Smaller Mill. Good for CNC machining of small intricate parts. CNC engraving.. on and on.


Will be a really nice piece to have.  Not really gonna translate to the Chinabridge very well.  :ddb:
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2009, 07:54:04 AM »
Yeah Scott... smaller mill is an understatement. Not quite the smallest you can buy, bet pretty darn close. I think it weighs in at about 150lbs or so. I can really afford anything bigger right now nor do I have the room. I know I can fit a X3 (or the new X4) perhaps a RF45 (that would be pushing it) down in my shop. I have to wait till I rebuild my garage first.

But as it is, it is big enough for now. I really don't mill anything too big.

Eric :borg:
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Offline zeusrekning

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2009, 10:19:19 PM »
Eric, Im glad to see you have started on this project. I know it has been a while comming. Good luck and I will be watching.
Tim

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2009, 10:49:30 AM »
Another package arrived yesterday. This one had the steppers for the X & Y, E stop and a coupler. The steppers are 425oz/in in bipolar 305oz/in in unipolar. Unfortunately, the controller I have is unipolar only. No big deal.



I hope to have another package come in today... fingers are crossed.

Eric
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Offline websterz

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2009, 07:54:28 AM »
Bipolar motors? Won't they be a bit moody? :lol:
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2009, 03:22:22 AM »
Eric, what are you using the way of a breakout board?

Chris

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2009, 09:03:11 AM »
Eric, what are you using the way of a breakout board?

Chris

I am using a HobbyCNC driver board. No BOB required. Just got to put it together yourself!

If I had the cash, I would have gotten a Gecko G540...

Eric
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2009, 10:41:43 AM »
So with hobbyCNC - can you drive 3 motors? or do you need 3 hobbycnc driver boards?
Chris

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2009, 10:47:49 AM »
So with hobbyCNC - can you drive 3 motors? or do you need 3 hobbycnc driver boards?
Chris

With the EZ driver you can run 3 motors... this is a driver/BOB combo. all you need at that point is motors, cables, PS and computer. The Pro board you can either get 3 or 4 axis. Again, everything is on the board. You only need 1 board.

Eric
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2009, 10:51:37 AM »
Bipolar motors? Won't they be a bit moody? :lol:

Nah. They are on lithium!   :lol:
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2009, 04:39:52 AM »
Eric

Any progress lately?

If you have time could you talk a little bit more about how you are planning on generating your g-code to ultimately run this?

Quote
5. For CAD software, I am using Alibre and will be driving it with LinuxEMC.

Just curious about your choices, is Alibre something you already own and use or will this be purchased from new - what made you go with this? Also, to drive your motors you have used LinuxEMc - is linux OS something you already use or have you decided to use this over Mach or similar for windows?

I only ask because I am thinking about this myself and I need to decide what software to go with. I think I am more confortable with windows, I do have a dual boot system with Ubuntu running but use it very infrequently - I`m certainly not as confident with linux than I am with windows. I have been using autoCAD LT 2000 and I am getting OK with this - I need to work out where I go from here to generate g-code then eventually to drive the motors.

I`m not really ready but I think now is the time to think about it and have a dabble with the software.

Chris

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2009, 11:25:15 AM »
Hiya Chris,

Haven't gotten much of a chance to work on this like I want. I am just about finished with the controller. I hope to get some of the motor mounts done this week.

Alibre... Yup own it. I have for several years. I started messing around with the free version and decided I liked it. I got the pro version for half of list and they let me make payments (good for me as the money is tight). I own ver 10 while it is now on ver 11. You should check out the free version of Alibre.

I may use Mach3 to drive the motors. BUT it costs money, it is cheap for what it does... EMCLinux however is free.

Eric
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Offline raynerd

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2009, 12:00:13 PM »
Thanks for the reply Eric - will certainly have a look Alibre trial version when I get a chance.

Keep us posted.

Chris

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2010, 09:21:24 PM »
Pulling this one out of the closet.

Finished up soldering the controller. Hooked it up for a test... fubar'd the polarity and fried the board. Soooo, since I am broke, ebay'd another CNC controller. I found a TB6560 4 axis controller for cheap. Yup, a chinese el cheapo controller. Wish I would have researched it a little more before spending the cash, but oh well.

A board like this one:



Needless to say, reading CNC zone, there are a lot of complaints about the board. I did hook it up last night and got it to work. So far so good. Will do another test shortly and video it.

I hope to get the X and Y mounts done this weekend... pictures to follow.

Eric
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2010, 09:39:14 PM »
Did a test of the elcheapo Chinese controller with the new power supply...



Seems to work OK. Eventually will be replaced with a Gecko g540. Started to work on the motor mounts, will post pictures soon of those.

Eric
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Offline kvom

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2010, 08:53:36 AM »
Here's the circuit you should be using:  http://xkcd.com/730/

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2010, 09:59:04 AM »
Here's the circuit you should be using:  http://xkcd.com/730/

That's a good one!



Eric
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Offline ksor

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Re: X2 CNC Conversion
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2010, 01:59:21 PM »
There is no value for the "arena" ... how big ?
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