Torch Table Build Prototype 1 Completion

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See Torch Table Build for complete build of the Open Source Torch Table, featured in Make Zine:


Here is the complete procedure for Linux CNC (AKA EMC2) control of the torch table using Prototype 1's Xylotex stepper motor system.

Technical Details

  • Setup is as simple as running the Step Configuration Wizard in EMC2.

  • The only problem I had was motors not moving as expected in axis test during configuration setup. The problem was identified as an incorrect parallel port address on the initial setup window of Stepconf wizard. The default had to be changed from 0x378 (default) to 0x3BC - which I found in BIOS settings on the IBM Thinkpad T40 laptop - by hitting F1 during startup.
  • That's it. The Xylotex 8S-3 was one of the choices, so everything was straightforward, no messing around with settings. Settings take about 1 minute to fill in with Step
  • It took about 3 hours to figure the above - as I thought I fried the Xylotex by connecting one stepper motor when the Xylotex box was turned on. Fortunately, that was not the case.
  • I met new allies at the #EMC IRC chat. There are people on chats all day? Yes. It's actually useful - it's a goldmine of experience, on everything from stepper controllers to 6 axis robotic arms. EMC2 can apparently handle anything. On Ubuntu, I downloaded XChat IRC - and then connected to #EMC.

Xylotex Dies

  • A second channel of the Xylotex drive died for no apparent reason. Moving on to Gecko G540.
  • With one axis, we can do line cuts. We're half way there.

Torch Table Motion from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.


To start cutting metal, generate cut files om QCad, then see DXF to G-code Conversion Tutorial

CNC Torch Table First Fire

See corresponding blog post