Motion controller aids fine art of carpet cutting

CNC Machines International created a high performance waterjet cutter. Here's how engineers chose a controller.

05/14/2009


A high-pressure (60,000 psi) water stream CNC Machines International (CNCMI) created a high performance waterjet cutter that can precisely cut and inlay intricate logos into carpet and artificial turf.

Because waterjet cutting doesn’t generate heat, it cuts without damaging or distorting the surrounding material (as traditional methods like a die press might).hes per minute over carpet areas as large as 16 ft. x 96 ft., with a positioning accuracy to 0.010 inches.

A unique feature of the CNCMI VLF machine is that it allows a bevel cut to be specified up to 45°. “Bevel cutting is useful in carpet cutting when you want to fit a logo cutout into the base. A straight edge cut would allow the logo to fall straight through the base material,” says Stephenson .

To ensure precision and speed of their cutters, CNCMI chose the DMC-2153 five-axis Ethernet motion controller from Galil Motion Control. “We chose the Galil controller because it is feature-rich, [and] provides better performance and an improved communications interface,” said Stephenson. In addition, he says, “it is the easiest controller we’ve ever worked with.”

The DMC-2153 easily handles the motion required by the application:recision cutting. In addition to tangential motion, the DMC-2153 also handles constant velocity, slaving, and linear and circular interpolation.

As is common with computer numerical control (CNC) machines, the VLF reads G-codes to enact motion. To accommodate this, CNCMI specified the Mach3 graphical user interface from ArtSoft to translate the G-codes into motion commands for the Galil controller. The software performs all calculations for precise control of up to six simultaneous axes using a trajectory planner that feeds the Galil controller a series of linear interpolation commands that are 4 ms apart. The Mach3 software also comes with ready-made drivers for Galil controllers , resulting in significantly reduced set-up time.

– Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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