Retrofitting an Engraver - Part 1

August 27, 2018

I got an old Dahlgren System 300z engraver! It's a 3-axis engraver with a work area of 12" x 24" x 1.5".

dalhgren system 300z engraver

It sure isn't pretty and it hasn't been used in 10 years but not bad for being delivered to my house for $100. It's built heavy and the rails are all in good condition.

I'll be blogging on the progress of retrofitting it with a new controller and software. The plan for software is to merge some of the capabilities of Inkcut with DeclaraCAD so DeclaraCAD can do basic 3D CAM milling and engraving.

The old controller box box is rated for 500w with an intel 8086 and 65k of ram. It has separate cards for each motor driver and the spindle. The motherboard is labeled 65v and the components are rated for 100v. I'll be replacing all this with some more modern drivers and creating a custom controller for it.

dalhgren system 300z engraver

Each axis, the spindle, and limit switches are nicely separated with plugs for each.

powermax stepper motors

The stepper motors are Powermax P22NRX8 unipoler steppers with a rating of 3.3A.

powermax stepper motors

I'm unsure of the spindle motor at this point but know it's a 3 phase BLDC motor with hall sensors for feedback after doing some tracing of the pins on the driver card.

Stay tuned!