Sherline CNC Lathe Systems and Packages

Complete system includes everything you need to get started in CNC machining

The 8400 CNC package (Left) includes a 4000 lathe with two stepper motors and a computer with software preloaded and a 4-axis driver box inside. All cables, keyboard and mouse are included. You supply only a monitor. The 8440 package (Right) is the same as above but includes the deluxe 4400 model lathe instead of the 4000. Accessory packages are also available, see below. Backup software and instructions on CD (not shown) are also included. Also included now is a USB flash drive (not shown) replacing the old floppy drive. (Click on photo to view larger image.)

(For physical size and travel specifications of lathes, scroll to the bottom of this page or click here.)

(CLICK HERE to go to the page on Sherline CNC Mill Systems.

NOTE: CNC Retrofit kits are available for all existing manual Sherline mills and lathes. See the CNC PRICE LIST for part numbers and descriptions.

Included with the Sherline system are the following components:

∙ Your choice of model 4000 or model 4400 lathe fitted with stepper motor mounts and couplers on the leadscrew and crosslide axes
∙ 2 Stepper motors pre-wired with plugs—no soldering or wiring required on your part...just plug and play
∙ Drivers, 6.5 amp, 24 volt power supply and cables installed inside computer box for 4 axes: X, Y, Z and A (See below for optional 4th axis rotary table)
∙ New computer* with Ubuntu Linux OS and EMC2 four-axis CNC software pre-installed on hard drive—eliminates installation headaches and compatibility problems. (Customer must supply only a monitor.)
∙ Backup CD's with Linux, EMC2 and complete instructions by Joe Martin in MSWord.doc, .html and .pdf formats. Includes free utilities to translate CAD files into g-code
∙ 1 year warranty on all components for non-production use

*NOTE: Systems without computers and CNC upgrades for those who already have a mill or lathe are also available.

NOTE: The Sherline CNC lathe system is not designed to accommodate CNC threading operations.

Potential customers include:

∙ The home shop craftsman wishing to take advantage of the ability of CNC to make identical small parts in quantity or to make shapes that would be difficult to generate by hand
∙ Designers and engineers wishing to make small prototype parts themselves quickly in their own shop
∙ The small industrial facility wishing to save money by freeing up larger CNC machines by taking production of small parts to an inexpensive and appropriately sized machine
∙ The student wishing to learn how CNC operates either for fun or for future employment using larger machines

Part numbers/Prices—CNC Lathe Systems: (Factory direct orders only*.)

PACKAGE PRICE SHIPPING WT. (Lb)
8400/8410 $2195.00 63
8440/8441 $2275.00 69

*AVAILABILITY: Because of software support considerations, the complete CNC systems with computer are available only by direct order from Sherline. Please call (800) 541-0735 during business hours, fax your order to (760) 727-7857 or contact us by e-mail at sherline@sherline.com.

**METRIC/INCH: The EMC2 program allows G-code to be used to accommodate either inch or metric dimensions regardless of the leadscrew pitch. Though most CNC systems we sell come with inch leadscrews, we do offer a metric version for those who prefer to have metric leadscrews and metric increments on the handwheels when operating the machine manually. When under computer control, either machine can use either measurement system by including the proper g20 or g21 command in the program to convert between systems.

Accessory Packages

Just like our regular lathes, CNC lathe systems can be ordered with the same selections of our most popular accessories. Items added to the above CNC lathe packages include the following items:

"A" Package

8400A and 8440A packages with chucks. (Click on image to see larger photo.)

PACKAGE PRICE
8400A/8410A $2320.00
8440A/8441A $2400.00

"B" Package

8400B  and 8440B packages with chucks and accessories. (Click on image to see larger photo.)

Chucks from "A" package above PLUS:

PACKAGE PRICE
8400B/8410B $2495.00
8440B/8441B $2575.00

Standard lathes are also offered with a "C" package that includes the 3100 threading attachment and 1270 compound slide. Although those items can be used in manual mode on the CNC lathe, there is no provision to operate them using stepper motors, so we do not catalog the "C" package with the CNC lathes. These items will still work on the CNC lathe and can be purchased separately if you wish to use them manually.

NOTE: Complete shop packages including a CNC mill, CNC lathe, 4th axis rotary table, computer, software and a selection of the most popular tools and machining accessories are also available. See the CNC price list for all your options.


More about Sherline CNC systems...

What is CNC?

CNC is short for “Computer Numeric Control” which is how a computer talks to a milling machine or lathe to control its movements to cut the part you design. The language it uses is called “G-code”, which is a series of instructions that, combined with X, Y and Z coordinates denotes direction, speeds and key points of the shape to be cut. In the past, for example, even the most skilled machinist would have a problem cutting a circle because both the X and Y handwheels would have to be cranked at the same time at constantly varying rates at the same time. The computer, however, has no trouble doing this, and a complicated shape can be cut just as easily as a straight line. The advantage of CNC beyond cutting difficult 3D shapes is that once the program is written and the holding fixtures made, multiple identical parts can be made rapidly.

Sherline puts it all together in one package including the computer and software at an amazingly low price!

Sherline CNC lathes are ready for shipment. Below you will find complete specifications on the machine and computer portions of the system. In order to control software installation ourselves and offer the customer the quickest way to plug in and get right to work using CNC without any computer hassles, we have included a new computer as part of the system. The driver board is installed right inside the computer box and the Linux OS and EMC2 4-axis CNC program are preinstalled on the hard drive. The four drivers are pre-wired and the two stepper motors have matching plugs for X and Z axes. Adding a CNC-ready vertical milling column and stepper motor can turn the lathe into a small mill and allow the use of the 3rd (Y) axis. A 4th "A" axis can be added by purchasing a CNC rotary table with 4th stepper motor (P/N 8730) and plugging it in.

Limit switches were considered but eliminated in the end because it was felt that they simply weren't necessary on a machine with stepper motors of limited power; particularly since we have provided a "hard stop" on the crosslide axis to prevent damage due to accidentally entering an instruction that would run a slide past the end of its travel. You get all of this for just $2195.00 for the 4000 lathe based system or $2275 for the longer 4400 lathe based system. In order to keep your cost as low as possible and to provide the best possible technical support, this system is only available through direct purchase from the Sherline factory at this time.

Using Linux and EMC

We are often asked why we selected Linux as the operating system and the Enhance Machine Controller (EMC) for the G-code interpretation. One obvious advantage of using an open-source software is that there is no charge, which is how we keep our package price so low. The U.S. government working through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) actually developed the EMC to help them create sophisticated military hardware, so in a way, if you've paid your taxes, you've already paid for part of it. Though not originally intended for home use, a dedicated group of users has modified and tweaked the original 6-axis program to simplify it and make it appropriate for use on a 4-axis system that can be operated by a home user in a small shop. (You can learn more about EMC at http://www.linuxcnc.org.) Since it uses industry standard G- and M-codes, writing programs for it is done much the same as any other large shop machine. That means that what you learn can be applied to other machines in the future. The newest version of EMC, called EMC2, now includes a lathe program as well as a mill program. The graphic interface is unchanged, so it is just as easy to use.

What a Sherline CNC system won't do

Beginners often ask, "Can I scan a sketch of a part and the machine will make it for me?" Unfortunately, the answer is "No." There is a lot more to CNC machining than that, regardless of which brand of system you decide to use. Considerations such as tools to be used, spindle speeds, how the part will be held, where the "home" position will be located and the order in which the cuts will be made are decisions that must be made by the operator before a part can be made. An axis driven by a stepper motor must receive instructions in a language it understands, so if you use a CAD program, the vector information of the CAD drawing format must be translated into a text format that the machine understands. This language tells the stepper motor how fast to turn, in which direction and how many "steps" to take for each move. The language your Sherline machine understands is called "G-code," and you can get your ideas from design to G-code in one of three ways: 1) You can use trig to calculate key points and write the code yourself, 2)You can use the ability of drawing programs like AutoCad® to locate key points on your CAD drawings making it easier for you write the g-code yourself, or 3) You can use a "translator" program to translate your .dxf, or .stl format CAD drawings directly into g-code. Full-featured CAD/CAM programs are also capable of outputting G-code from the CAM portion of the program after you create the drawing in the CAD portion. If you are working with a Windows CAD program, it can be run on a Windows machine, the translated G-code saved as a text file on a CD, DVD or flash drive and transferred to the Linux computer. The G-code is then opened in your EMC or EMC2 program and run. The Linux desktop looks and works almost the same as the Windows® desktop you are probably familiar with, so learning to operate within Linux should not be a major obstacle. You do not need to "learn Linux" any more than you need to "learn Windows" in order to use it to run a program.

IT WON'T CUT THREADS--It is not possible to cut threads on a CNC Sherline lathe. To do so would require an encoder on the DC spindle motor and spindle speed control in the software. This would put the price into a much higher category, and since threading is not an operation that is often required of a machine like this, we felt our customers would get the most "bang for the buck" by keeping the system simple and economically priced. Threading can still be done manually using the P/N 3100 thread cutting attachment.

We stress that potential customers need to be realistic about the difficulty of making good parts using a CNC machine. It can be quite challenging even for someone who already knows a lot about machining. If you are new to both machining and to CNC you have two big learning curves ahead of you. We have done all we can to make it easy to get started by designing a plug-and-play component system, but like learning a foreign language, there are no shortcuts to getting your faithful robot to make parts for you. You will have to do some learning and some logical thinking. It will do EXACTLY what you tell it to, right or wrong. If it receives a bad instruction it may do nothing at all, and it will be up to you to analyze the code to figure out what you did wrong. Fortunately, there is a "backplot" program included in the EMC that allows you to pre-run the part and visually see the tool path on your monitor screen to make sure there are no errors before cutting the actual part. The size and power of the machine limits how much damage can be done during the learning process. We also provide written instructions that make learning G-code both interesting and fun. If you follow them to the letter, you will be able to conquer CNC machining. If you are already familiar with CNC you will find this a very straightforward system to operate. If you are new to CNC, you will find this a great system to help you learn.

IT'S A CHALLENGE, BUT IT CAN BE DONE--We stress that potential customers be realistic about the difficulty of making good parts using a CNC machine. It can be quite challenging even for someone who already knows a lot about machining. If you are new to both machining and to CNC you have two big learning curves ahead of you. We have done all we can to make it easy to get started by designing a plug-and-play component system, but like learning a foreign language, there are no shortcuts to getting your faithful robot to make parts for you. You will have to do some learning and some logical thinking. It will do EXACTLY what you tell it to, right or wrong. If it receives a bad instruction it may do nothing at all, and it will be up to you to analyze the code to figure out what you did wrong. Fortunately, there is a "backplot" program included in the EMC that allows you to pre-run the part and visually see the tool path on your monitor screen to make sure there are no errors before cutting the actual part. The size and power of the machine limits how much damage can be done during the learning process. We also provide written instructions that make learning g-code both interesting and fun. If you follow them to the letter, you be able to conquer CNC machining. If you are already familiar with CNC you will find this a very straightforward system to operate. If you are new to CNC, you will find this a great system to help you learn.

Free software utilities and CAD programs included

Loaded on your Linux computer and also on the backup CD are a number of free utilities to make your job of getting from idea to finished part a little easier. For those who already work with Windows® CAD programs, there are several free Windows utilities that will translate .dxf and .stl format CAD drawings into the text language of g-code that EMC understands. These text files are simply saved to a CD, DVD or USB flash drive and transferred to your Linux computer, opened in EMC and run. There is even a free Windows program that will translate the outline of any TrueType font into G-code to make it possible to engrave lettering. There are also a couple of useful programs that can be opened right in Linux if you want to do all your work on one computer.

Optional 4th axis rotary table with stepper motor, P/N 8730

The P/N 8730 rotary table with stepper motor installed and ready to plug in as the 4th or "A" axis. (Click on photo for larger image.)

The Sherline P/N 3700-CNC combined with a P/N 67127 stepper motor now has a combined part number of 8730 so you can easily order a 4th axis for your CNC lathe when using an optional vertical milling column. The pre-wired plug on the stepper motor plugs right in to the "A" axis cord coming from the computer, and the EMC software has 4-axis capability as well. Should you need rotate a part to cut gear teeth, splines, radial hole patterns, etc., the rotary table will make such jobs possible. Also available among are accessories are a fixture to hold the rotary table in a vertical position (P/N 3701), a more advanced fixture that can hold the table at any angle from 0° to 90° (P/N 3750) and an adjustable tailstock that allows parts held vertically in either fixture to be held between centers (P/N 3702).

Turning your CNC lathe into a 3-axis or 4-axis milling machine

If you do intend to set up the lathe for occasional milling operations by adding a P/N 3050-CNC vertical milling column and want to use large accessories like the rotary table or P/N 3750 tilting angle table, the 6" table that comes with the lathe is a little short for this purpose. However, you can purchase a 13" crosslide table and leadscrew as P/N 4088X-CNC (4088M-CNC metric) that will give you more space and travel. Note that the long table is also 1/4" thicker than the 6" table, so it cannot be left in place when converting back to lathe operation. Changing tables is an easy operation, though, so it is still a viable option.

CNC System Components and Specifications


(Left above) A batch of computers is seen opened up on the production line ready for the installation of the power supply/driver board unit. (Middle) The power supply/driver board unit and cables are installed into the computer. (Right) A test program is run on the evaluation system in our showroom. (Click on a photo to see a larger version of the image.)


(Above) Each system is tested before shipping . Computers and machines are hooked up on this test bench and run using a 3D test program. They are checked several times at various points during the program to make sure they are running properly and maintaining accuracy. (Click on photo to see a larger version of the image.)

(Click on photo for larger image.)

Stepper motors: (3 included for X, Y and Z axes)

P/N 67127 (with plug) or 67130 (wires only, no plug)

Manufacturer/Model/Type: NMB (Minebea Co. Ltd)/Astrosyn Stepper/23KM-K035-62V (dual shaft)

Frame size: NEMA 23

Step angle: 1.8 degrees (200 steps/rev)

Voltage: 3.2 volt

Current: 2 amp

Holding torque: 9.7 kg-cm (135 oz-in)

Number of leads: 6 (plug wired for uni-polar operation)

Computer:

Processor: AMD Athlon XP 1900+ (1.2 Ghz or faster)

Motherboard: Via KT133 OEM reference board, Ethernet and sound in northbridge

RAM: 256 Mb

Hard Drive: 40 Gb

Internal drives: CD-RW and 3.5” Floppy

Current: Internal switches are set to 110VAC but can be reset for operation with 230 VAC

Installed software: Ubuntu Linux based, with real time extensions, EMC2 4-axis CNC software.

Included peripherals: Keyboard, mouse and connection cables for stepper motors (Monitor to be supplied by customer)

Stepper motor drivers/Power supply: 4 drivers installed inside computer box run off separate power supply also installed inside computer box. Power supply output: 6.5 amp, 24-28 VDC

Other features: Separate on/off switch for drivers so computer can remain powered up without power to stepper motors

Also included: backup CD-ROM with Linux and EMC, plus a second CD with the instruction manual as a PDF and/or HTML document.

Support: Unlimited machine and accessory support provided at no charge by Sherline. Linux/EMC support provided on voluntary basis by member of Linux CNC group at www.linuxcnc.org.  Additional technical support on Linux, EMC and g-code beyond that provided in the instructions is available from Ray Henry at $60.00 per hour.

Warranty: Standard Sherline 1-year warranty on all mechanical and electrical components

Options:

4th axis rotary table with stepper motor, P/N 8730:  $395.00.

CNC Control Box Only, P/N 8760: $600.00. Factory direct or by dealer order. Includes 4 stepper motor connection cables, parallel cable, 4 amp, 24 volt power supply, drivers for 4 axes, 2 CD set including Linux OS and EMC2 controller software. See P/N 8760 for details.

Stepper motors: Dual shaft motors include flats ground to on front and rear shafts to keep handwheel and coupling set screws from causing galling, six wire leads prewired to Sherline plug for direct connection to CNC driver cables. Motors are high quality name brand NEMA 23 frame size, 2 amp, 135 oz-in (8.7 kg-cm) units. P/N 67130—$65.00 (flats on shafts, 6 raw wire leads), P/N 67127—$75.00 (flats on shafts, leads soldered to Sherline connector plug and wrapped.

Sample Screen Shots from EMC

Coordinate systems offset screen. As you can see, the visual interface looks like the windows you are used to using. Both Linux and EMC are logically designed and very easy to use. (Click on photo to see larger image.)
Back plotter and auto mode screen. Here the cutter path for the little EMC penguin mascot is plotted in 3D. (Click on photo to see larger image.)
Tool offsets allow the program to recalculate tool path depending on the diameter of the cutter used. Changing tools does not require you to rewrite the program. This page is where size and length of the tools you will be using for your job are entered. (Click on photo to see larger image.)

Instructions

To read instructions for the use of the Sherline CNC system click on one of the links below:

Instrucions in HTML format

Instructions in PDF format (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

(The instructions files are about 67 pages long and just under 1 Mb is file size.)


P/N 8760 Driver box and components now available

The P/N 8760 driver box includes cables for X, Y, Z and A axis stepper motors, a parallel cable for connection to your computer, a power supply plus the Linux and Sherline EMC CD's. The photo on the right shows the components inside the box. (Click on photos for a larger images.)

Sherline machines have been available in "CNC-ready" configuration for several years for those wishing to add CNC control to their machines. See the CNC-READY page for details on the machines themselves. In addition to our complete mill systems, Sherline now offers a stand-alone driver box with its own power supply that will allow the Sherline mill stepper motors to be driven by a computer and software of your choice. The anodized and laser engraved box cover conceals the same driver board as we use in the computer to drive our CNC mill system. A 4 amp power supply is also included. The driver box comes pre-wired with four cables exiting the rear of the case ready to be plugged into stepper motors on the X, Y, Z and A axes of your mill. A parallel cable connects the box to your computer. Power to the stepper motors can be turned off from a switch on the control box separately from the computer. Also included is a two CD set that contain Linux and the EMC2 controller program should you choose to go with Sherline's system. CNC use and programming instructions are included on disk #2. CLICK HERE for more details on the 8760 driver box.

Driver box available for OEM...

The Sherline P/N 8760 driver box is available for original equipment manufacturers wishing to put together a CNC system of their own. Why reinvent the wheel? This box along with Sherline's pre-wired stepper motors makes it easy to put together a custom CNC package. Contact Sherline for details on our OEM quantity pricing and quantities. We have also left plenty of space on the top of the unit to laser engrave your logo and company information and can handle that for you in-house.


Sherline Lathe and Mill Specifications

Lathe Specifications

FEATURE

4000(4100)

4400(4410)

Swing over bed

3.50" (90 mm)

3.50" (90 mm)

Swing over carriage

1.75" (45 mm)

1.75" (45 mm)

Distance between centers

8.00" (200 mm)

17.00" (430 mm)

Hole through spindle

.405" (10 mm)

.405" (10 mm)

Spindle nose thread

3/4"-16 T.P.I.

3/4"-16 T.P.I .

Spindle nose taper

#1 Morse

#1 Morse

Travel of crosslide

4.25" (110 mm)

4.25" (110 mm)

Taper of tailstock spindle

#0 Morse

#0 Morse.

Protractor graduations

0° to 45° by 5°

0° to 45° by 5°

Handwheel graduations

.001" (.01 mm)

.001" (.01 mm)

Length overall

24" (610 mm)

32.25" (820 mm)

Width overall

7.5" (190 mm)

8.75" (220 mm)

Height overall

6" (150 mm)

8" (200 mm)

Shipping weight

24 lb. (10.9 kg)

30 lb. (13.6 kg)

Motor 90 Volt DC with electronic speed control that accepts any incoming current from 100VAC to 240 VAC, 50 Hz or 60 Hz. Click here for motor specifications.

Spindle speed range

70-2800 RPM continuously variable by electronic speed control

CNC stepper motor holding torque 136 oz-in 136 oz-in
Maximum CNC travel speed, X and Z 22 inches/min 22 inches/min

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