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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Design and Production of Numerical Controller and Servo Motor System Specifically Used in Computer Numerically Controlled Milling Applications

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 07/01/2010
End Date 06/01/2011
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 09/25/2010 02:24AM
Keywords mill controller


  Jens Munk, Todd Petersen

Student Researchers
  Bjorn Olsen


Electrical engineering students at the University of Alaska Anchorage currently rely on hazardous and inefficient etching processes to create printed circuit boards (PCBs), a required activity for the Bachelor of Science for Engineering, Electrical Engineering major. Students use dangerous chemicals in a light proof room to remove copper coatings from PCBs they have etched by hand. Computer numerically controlled (CNC) mills are commonly used to produce PCBs. They allow for greater accuracy, precise circuit paths, can be used at relatively cheaper costs and contribute to a safer environment by eliminating chemicals from the PCB process. The proposed project involves the design and fabrication of a three axis CNC desktop mill controller, which translates computer code into mechanical motions, and a servo motor system to actuate
the various axes of the mill.

The goals for the CNC mill controller and servo motor system include designing/fabricating an efficient electrical control system, programming computer software which will allow for computer-controller interface, and designing/fabricating a servo motor system to provide precise mill axes motion. A small team of electrical engineering students will research current controller systems and utilize this information to construct a controller capable of providing motion commands from a computer to the mill, and ensure it is also capable of multiple transports (as the intended mill is a desktop model to be used in various locations for instructional and project use). This controller must also be programmed to interpret G and M codes, which are commonly used milling codes produced in computer aided design (CAD) software systems. This team will also investigate current servo motors, purchase and implement
models capable of providing the extremely precise motions necessary for the CNC mill.

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