March 7, 2021

KL-1212 Smooth stepper Stop after a z axis miss???

2 min read
I am in need of some help. I have a KL-1212 that I have been...

I am in need of some help. I have a KL-1212 that I have been running for a little over 3 years now (40+ hours every week). While I am overall very happy with the machine and had very few issues I start by saying that about once every couple months or so I would get a smoothStepper time out error in Mach 3. Sometimes it would allow me to just reset, start the spindle and resume carve and others it would freeze up all together and I would need to shut down all software kill the power to the CNC and then reboot it all. Consequently, I would typically have to scrap the job as most of my work is relief carving. Overall not a big issue. With that said, about two weeks ago I started having this problem almost every path that I run at some point. So as I have started now trying to determine the cause of the timeout / error I have noticed that it is currently doing right after an improper cut caused by movement (or no movement) on the Z axis… Ie the spindle is moving across the z axis and is supposed to raise at a point and it just continues going along for another inch at the same level, then machine stops and mach 3 presents the error. I guess I am looking for possible causes to this? It is not in the g-code, as I have run the same file hundreds of times with no issue in the past and it is now happening in almost every path loaded to run at random points. Is this a communication error between computer and the ESS card (ethernet connected)? I replaced the ethernet cable about 4 months ago as my original was looking pretty worn from being on the shop floor. Is it a possible software issue with Mach 3? Could and ESS card just intermittently go bad? Just ordered a new one this afternoon to try swapping it out… Would this be a Z axis motor issue? I guess I am just not sure where to look… Any thoughts or similar issues that anyone could share would be appreciated 🙂 TIA, Brad

Machine Specs:
KL-1212 CNC Router ~48" x 48" x 8.0", helical rack and pinion in X, Y axis
It has Mach3 spindle and relay control with Ethernet Board
Machine with 2.2KW Air Cooled Spindle + 2.2KW 400Hz Variable Frequency Drive, 6000-24000 RPM
NEMA34 Stepper Motor and Driver: 495 oz-in, 6A
Working Speed : 200 -700 IPM
Rapid: 500-800 IPM
X, Y, Z axis Stepper Motor Driver: High Quality Stepper Motor Driver
X, Y, Z Optical Switch
E- Stop, Z Height Probe
X Axis: helical rack and pinion

Y Axis: helical rack and pinion with 5:1 pulley reduction
Z Axis 20m Linear Rail, 20mm Ballscrew
Spindle speed: 6000 to 24000 RPM

Currently use MAch 3 and g-code generated in Aspire…

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