MITERS Aerotech 3D
Usage Guide by email@example.com
- Gantry capabilities
- 20" (500mm) X-axis (manual or computer controlled)
- 20" (500mm) Y-axis (manual or computer controlled)
- 5" (125mm) Z-axis (computer controlled only)
- Control capabilities
- G-Code control language supports many motion primitives: line,
arc, spline, eliptical arc, corner rounding, etc.
- Usage Modes
- Normally a milling head might be attached to the gantry but
other heads can be attached as well.
- You can operate the gantry with your choice of:
- Manual jogging of X or Y axis. Convenient linear motion
in 2 axes.
- Computer controlled jogging of X, Y or Z axes. Linear
motion in 3 axes.
- Individual G-Code commands.
- G-Code program
- CAD diagram converted to G-Code program
- Startup Procedure and
- Clear the Gantry table of obstructions.
- Use compressed air to clean the gantry mechanicals if needed.
- Magnet Tracks
- The X and Y axis of the gantry have open linear magnet tracks
with very powerful magnets along the entire length.
- Nuts, bolts, washers and ferrous dust are powerfully
attracted to these magnets. You
can damage the gantry if you operate with an obstructed magnet track.
- Before operation inspect the length of the X and Y magnet
tracks to ensure they are free of obstructions, such as a nut or washer
which may have fallen into the track and stuck to the magnet.
- Always take care with small iron and steel parts around the
- If you are machining a ferrous metal, you must set up dust
containment measures around the machining head such as a barrier and
active vacuum. It is nearly impossible to remove ferrous dust
from the magnet tracks if you allow it to get there.
- Forced Air Cooled Motors
- The X and Y axis motors of the gantry require
compressed air for cooling. The motors can be
damaged if the gantry is operated without proper air pressure.
- Connect compressed air supply and turn on compressor.
Check pressure guage and adjust if needed. There should be 15-20 psi.
- Gantry electrical controller
- The Gantry electrical control board is located under the
gantry table. It requires ventilation and it should be kept clean.
- Turn on the gantry "Main" power switch on the power
control box. The electrical control board fans should start.
- Move the gantry head manually to your desired '0'
- Start the U500MMI program.
- Position Sensor Alignment
- The software determines the position of the X and Y axes using
position sensors. The alignment of these sensors is a bit fragile, so
you must check that the software is able to properly detect motion of the
X and Y axes.
- Move the head manually to the extreme corner of its X,Y
range. You may need to disable the axes to allow manual motion.
- Do File->Reset within U500MMI to set the '0'
location in the software.
- Move the head manually to the opposite corner of its X,Y
range, and check that the software sensed a position
change of 510 to 525mm for both X and Y axes. If not, the sensors need to
- The two sensors are labeled "Renishaw RGBX" and are found
along the X and Y tracks. The
sensors are adjusted manually by loosening with a small hex key.
They are very sensitive! They have an LED on them
which is green when aligned and red when unaligned, you
can use this to help adjust but in the end you must get
the software to show the motion properly.
- Enable the X, Y and Z axes as needed and jog each a
small distance to test. The MITERS gantry does not have a U axis.
- Always keep the power switch box handy when operating in case
you need to turn off the head and/or gantry immediately.
- Always protect people with a safety shield or goggles.
The workstation has a sliding safety shield for protecting the operator.
- Use appropriate motion speeds for the task. The gantry
can easily destroy milling bits or your piece by trying to cut too
fast. Either of these failures can cause flying debris.
- Use proper bits for the task. There are many types of milling
bits for different types of cuts and materials.
- When using G-Code, do a dry-run of your command or program to
ensure proper motion speed and action. Errors in your command or
program could easily destroy your piece, the table, the gantry head or
the milling bit by trying to move in the wrong direction or at the wrong
- Usage: General
- The U500MMI software is
the main tool provided by Aerotech for direct control of the system.
- This software allows direct jogging of the axes, single-command
G-code entry and execution, and G-code program loading and execution.
- If you drive the gantry past its operating range or any other
error is shown for an axis, click 'Fault Acknowledge (F8)' to continue
- To position the X or Y axis manually, disable them in the
software. When enabled they are locked by the motor. the Z
axis can not be positioned manually.
- Usage: Manual Jogging
- Disable the X and Y axes in U500MMI (this unlocks them).
- Jog the Z axis with U500MMI as needed.
- Jog the X and Y axes manually to set up
- Enable either the X or Y axis. This locks the enabled
- Manually jog the single unlocked axis
- Usage: Computer controlled
- Click the 'Jog (F5)' button in U500MMI to bring up the Jog
- Jog X, Y and Z axes as needed with U500MMI. You can set
feed rate etc.
- Usage: G-Code commands
- Enter individual G-Code commands in the 'MDI' command box in
U500MMI, and click 'execute' to run them.
- G-Code command reference is in U500MMI "Help" menu.
- See the sample G-Code programs such as the miters_sign.prg
- Usage: G-Code programs
- Sequences of G-Code commands can be saved in a text file.
- See the sample G-Code programs such as the miters_sign.prg
- U500MMI can load and run G-Code program files. Use
File->Load_Program or click the "Load" button. Then:
- The ''Restart' button has the following effects:
- Reload your program if you edited it in an external editor
- Check for syntax errors
- Go to line 1, but does not actually execute the program
- The "Cycle" button executes your program according to the
setting of the "Single/Auto" toggle button:
- "Single" mode: execute a single line of the program when you
- "Auto" mode: execute the entire program when you click
- Usage: CAD diagram
converted to G-Code
- Use the FeatureCAM software to convert DXF diagrams to
G-Code. You can also draw the diagram directly with this
software. This usage mode has not been tested yet.
- Recommended feed rates
- If you are unsure of how fast
you can cut, start slow.
- Maximum feed rate depends on material, bit size and speed, cut
- Typical ranges might be:
- Air test: 500-2000
- Foam: 50-500
- Wood: 5-100
- Metal: 1-25