PwnCNC's ATC System FAQ
This document covers all of the awesome features of our PwnCNC’s ATC System.
More Information on PwnCNC's ATC System
It has been a full year since we started development on our most anticipated product yet. A fully automatic tool changing spindle system for hobby level CNC machines like the Onefinity Elite. The wait was well worth it considering how much engineering and features we've been able to pack into it.
First… Why are we calling it a “system”? Our Spindle Systems and ATC Systems are not DiY “kits” like you’ll find on Amazon. They are fully flushed out products with no DiY components at all. They are fully plug-n-play systems that provide you with industrial style features for your hobby and semi-pro CNC machines. All while backed by an American small business right here in Northwest Arkansas. Now… onto the fun stuff.
ATC System Anatomy
So we're all on the same page when it comes to the various components, here's the anatomy of our new ATC System:
There are three main components to our ATC System:
VFD: You’re no doubt familiar with our VFD and the feature-packed enclosures we’ve designed over the past few years. We’ve recently switched to v5 enclosures for all spindle systems without any price increases. The v5 enclosure is required for ATC’s but not to worry; if you have one of our spindle system, buying the ATC Upgrade does include a free v5 upgrade for your current VFD no matter which enclosure version you’re using today.
Our VFD Enclosure v5 is packed full of features like never before and they include:
Plug-n-play braking resistor port means attaching one is super easy which will make your spindle will come to a stop faster.
Removable Manual Override switch allowing you to move it along with the VFD’s keypad to a more convenient and accessible location.
Updated panels which are precision machined from Aluminum and anodized a beautiful black.
Ability to add carbon filters right behind the intake and outtake grills. (filtering carbon material available on Amazon)
New RUN relay port which is vital for letting the Pneumatics Enclosure (PE) know when the VFD is in a running state and thus disable the MTC Tool release button when it is.
Pneumatics Enclosure (PE): Most of our design and engineering has been focused on making the best and compact pneumatics enclosure that pairs perfectly with our VFD and ATC motors. Our PE is so advanced that there are several patent-pending parts we’ve designed to bring this to life. The heart of our PE includes a dual relay attached to solenoids. The first relay/solenoid pair controls the Motor’s tool-drawbar as well as dust removal. The second is available for a future accessory or hook it up to a tool-setter to help clear the top before a tool measuring operation.
ATC Motor: We’ve worked closely with G-Penny, our spindle motor manufacturer, to develop a brand new ATC motor design. They’ve redesigned their currently available ATC motor to include several features we’ve specifically requested. The ATC motor comes in 1.5kw 110v or 2.2kw 220v options. Both are water-cooled and 80mm in diameter, so they fit perfectly into any 80mm spindle mounts of nearly every CNC machine on the market… if your machine doesn’t have an 80mm mount, we have designed one which is available separately.
Combining these three awesome products with the various cables, tubes, and other parts of our ATC System, you can easily see that an insane amount of engineering has gone into making our ATC System the best on the market.
Also note that we continue to work very closely with Onefinity to offer simple plug-n-play control ports on their Onefinity Elite machine; like the GX12 6-pin Spindle port we developed last year and was included prior to them shipping machines the trend continues with the upcoming ATC port. Stay tuned for more information on this to be released later.
Our ATC Systems include all the components necessary to have a fully functional ATC on your hobby or semi-pro CNC machine.
ATC Motor in either 1.5kw 110v or 2.2kw 220v both are water-cooled 80mm capable of holding ISO20/ER20 tool holders
Pneumatics Enclosure (PE) and power cord
VFD / Enclosure v5 and power cord (a free v5 upgrade is included for existing spindle system owners)
(4) ISO20/ER20 tool holders, (4) 3d printed racks, and (4) collets with more of each available in our web store
Spindle-Power and Motor-Sensor Cables between Motor and VFD/PE (respectively)
Air-Tubes between Motor and PE
Light up Manual Tool Change Button
MTC-Safety wire to run between VFD and PE
Air-Tube between PE and your Compressor with a standard quick-change connector included
PE Control Cable ran between PE and CNC Controller
Sold Separately due to the many options available for the various brands/machines we support are the following items:
Cooling System which our current options include a Pond-Pump or Chiller, with coolant tubes of either Silicon or Superthane
VFD Control Cable run between the VFD and the CNC Controller
Air Compressor capable of supplying 90-100psi/0.62Mpa of dry air
Braking Resistor, Extra ISO20/ER20 Tool Holders, and so many more accessories are also available in our store.
The PwnCNC ATC System will be available with either “full” or “upgrade” options.
If you do not currently own one of our spindle systems, then you’ll need to purchase the Full ATC System.
We thoroughly believe in rewarding our loyal customers, thus if you currently own a PwnCNC Spindle System, then you’re eligible to purchase our Upgrade ATC System at a great discount.
Note that upgrading requires you to send in your VFD for upgrading to the v5 enclosure. It takes approximately 1week to schedule and perform the actual upgrade. Send in your vfd as soon as possible to avoid any delays.
Why a Pre-Order?
We are a growing small business and although we’ve been able to stock up on more than 400 of our standard Spindle Systems ahead of Black Friday sales this year our ATC Systems are a lot more expensive. We have made it a priority to stock up as soon as possible, but upon launch we’ll have all ATC System components minus the actual ATC Motor. Thus all ATC System orders are considered Pre-Order since we’ll be ordering your actual motor from G-Penny upon purchase. We’ll prepare all parts of your ATC System during the 4-6 week manufacturing time and will ship everything out upon arrival and testing of your ATC Motor.
Upgrading and your path to an ATC
If you’re one of our loyal customers, we truly appreciate you coming back and considering your upgrade to our newest ATC System. Because of this we believe it is important that you fully understand how our upgrade path works. From your current spindle system, we’ll be reusing several components including the cooling system, control cable, VFD (regardless of the enclosure version), the VFD’s power cord, as well as the spindle’s power cord. Because we’ll be reusing so many parts, we’re able to offer a deep discount compared to purchasing the full ATC System. Note that if you’d rather sell your current spindle system to someone, you’ll need to purchase the full ATC System.
How to take advantage of our upgrade path?
Purchase the ATC System Upgrade from our website when it becomes available for pre-order. We’ll immediately place a manufacturing order for the most expensive component… the ATC motor.
Note that all other components have been purchased in advance and they're just waiting to be paired with the motor of your choice.
During the 4-6 week waiting period, you’ll want to find a time when you can stop using your current spindle system and send in your current VFD for upgrading. We feel that this waiting period should give you plenty of time to schedule a week that you can be without your current Spindle System to receive your free v5 Enclosure upgrade. We’ll upgrade your VFD asap and ship it back to you good as new.
Note that if you cancel your “upgrade ATC System” before your motor arrives but after we’ve upgraded your VFD… We’ll refund your “upgrade ATC System” payment minus the price of our “VFD Enclosure Upgrade to v5”.
Once your new ATC Motor arrives and is properly tested/validated, we’ll pack it up along with your PE, additional cables, tubes, and other accessories and get them shipped out to you ASAP.
Lastly, when your new ATC System arrives, you can install it with the help of our online resources and videos. If you have any questions, we’ll be standing by to help you via [email protected]
What if I'm buying the Full ATC System?
If you purchase our full ATC System, this will start the 4-6 week waiting period. There is nothing you need to do as once your motor arrives and is tested/validated… we’ll pack up your entire ATC System and get it shipped out to you ASAP.
What if currently I have a 110v Spindle but want to move up to a 220v ATC?
Purchase the ATC system voltage that you’re interested in. Upon receiving your VFD for upgrade, we’ll swap it and ship you back a v5 220v. Note that this will mean your current spindle system is unusable since a 220v VFD cannot power a 110v spindle motor. Be sure you make other accommodations for using your CNC machine unless you’re willing to wait the full 4-6 weeks for us to receive your 220v ATC motor.
When will I receive my new ATC System?
After purchasing, we will immediately place an order with our motor manufacturer which starts the clock. They will manufacturer and ship the actual ATC motor which typically takes 4-6 weeks. During this time we will be preparing the rest of your system. Assembling your VFD (if this is a full ATC package) or waiting for receipt to upgrade your existing VFD. We'll also be hard at work putting together your Pneumatics enclosure and other components of your new ATC System.
Note that the 4-6 week timeframe is how long it takes for the Motor manufacturer to produce and ship your motor. Depending on the number of ATC Systems ordered, it may take longer for us to process orders as we are still a small business, but know the wait will be well worth it.
Can I use a router during the waiting period?
Yes, we have an 80mm to 65mm reducing shim you can purchase separately. This shim allows you to remove your spindle motor and insert a 65mm palm router in case your not able to endure the v5 upgrade downtime.
When is the soonest I can order?
Pre-Orders will be available on Black Friday, November 24th. We are very excited to for this date to arrive. Please enjoy family and friends during Thanksgiving and come visit our website on Friday to purchase your new ATC System.
Tell me more about the safety features?
Our ATC system is a lot more complicated than our spindle system is. There are various sensors within the motor itself to determine if the draw-bar (ie tool lock) is open or closed as well as if the tool is present in the motor or not. These allow the Masso controller to make certain decisions during the tool changing process and pause the machine if something doesn't "look" right.
Ex 1: When the VFD is not in "run" state (ie vfd is blinking), this signal is passed to the PE allowing the MTC button to become operational. When the VFD changes to run state, the MDC button is disabled. This is done because we don't want someone accidentally dropping a tool out of the motor when it's spinning at all.
Ex 2: When a tool change (M6) is triggered, the Masso will return the current tool it's holding to it's rack and retrieve the designated tool (Tx) from its rack. If there is no air-pressure in the system, when the motor attempts to drop the current tool, the draw-bar will not retract and thus trigger an alert in the Masso which pauses the system.
What gets run to the ATC motor?
Both of our ATC motor options are water-cooled and 80mm spindles. They require (2) coolant tubes, (2) air tubes, Spindle power cable (similar to our current Spindle motors), and the Motor Sensors cable. These can be ran in a variety of ways. As our team each receives an ATC system for additional internal testing, we will document the various ways of running these.
Tell me more about the tool racks?
There are just as many tool-rack ideas as there are dust boots on the market. We are working diligently to offer as many options as possible so you can find the perfect tool rack design that fits your workflow and workstation needs. We already have two simple tool-rack designs made, but will be exploring other ideas. One of those ideas will utilize the popular "fork" style racks which mount and allow the tool-holder to snap into position. This type of rack is perfect for folks who've mounted their machines vertically. Other designs will also be explored and all of them will, of course, be made available in Maker Files for you to print yourself. If you have ideas, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we're happy to explore the idea with you.
How many tools will be supported?
Each CNC controller is different, but the Masso supports upwards of 99 tools... far more than can actually fit reasonably on your cnc's bed. Extra ISO20/ER20 tool-holders will be made available on our website as well as tool-holder racks of various types as well as maker files. Our ATC System will come with (4) ISO20/ER20 tool-holders by default. In the video that accompanied this announcement we demonstrated our Elite Woodworker with 10 tools positioned front-to-back on the left side of our machine right behind our tool-setter.
Does your Spindle motors and ATC motors support CCW?
The release of our v5 VFD Enclosure comes the default programming for CCW or counter clock wise rotation control. With our v4 VFD Enclosure, it is possible but requires a simple programming change to make this work.
Note that CCW is pretty much useless on woodworking spindles. Pretty much the only use-case we've discovered is adding threads which no one really does in wood.
If I already have the v5 enclosure, can I get an additional discount for not having to upgrade the VFD?
You've technically already received the additional discount. What I mean by that is we purposely locked in the price of our spindle systems even though we added all of the new v5 features. For those customers who received a v4 or earlier enclosure, they paid the same as you did for their spindle system. For this reason they'll get the free v5 upgrade included with their ATC upgrade purchase. An additional note is you won't have the required down-time that they will have to endure by shipping their pre-v5 enclosure back.
Does the ATC take up any bed space?
Short answer is yes. We've developed simple static tool holders that require 3" of capacity. If lined up along the left or right side, it'll take approximately 3" of X capacity. If the holders are lined up along the front or back of the machine, it will take up 3" of your Y capacity. Unfortunately these static tool racks require some of your X or Y capacity depending on how you arrange them on your bed. That said, we are deep in development of alternative tool racks one of which moves the tools into position during tool changes and removes them when not.
We're considering this a living document and will add additional QnA's as we receive them.
What's the price?
If you're purchasing the full ATC System, our introductory pricing is as follows:
2.2kw 80mm 220v ISO20 Full ATC System is $3700
1.5kw 80mm 110v ISO20 Full ATC System is $3600
If you are already a proud owner of a PwnCNC Spindle System, then you're cost will be:
2.2kw 80mm 220v ISO20 Upgrade ATC System is $2900
1.5kw 80mm 110v ISO20 Upgrade ATC System is $2800
Note that for those upgrading, you will be reusing many of the components in your current PwnCNC Spindle System. Most notably is the VFD, wires, etc.
Please arrange to send us your VFD for upgrading to v5 as soon as you can after ordering the upgrade package.
Send your VFD to us at the following address and include your upgrade order number for reference.
PwnCNC - Order #
225 Grant Pl, Suite C
Lowell, AR 72745
It will take approximately 1 week to perform the actual VFD v5 upgrade. After upgrading it will be shipped back to you asap. You can reinstall your newly upgraded VFD v5 and continue to use your current spindle system as we await delivery of your ATC Motor *.
* Depending on the upgrade you choose. If moving from 110v to 220v, for example, you will be down until your full ATC system arrives.