ATC KL-1313 conversion & Gary Campbell Acorn conversion...!!

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Wacky Riggers
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:55 pm
Acorn CNC Controller: Yes
Allin1DC CNC Controller: No
Oak CNC controller: No
MPU11 & GPIO4D -w/ 3rd Party Drives: No
CNC12: Yes
CNC11: No
CPU10 or CPU7: No
CNC Control System Serial Number: none

ATC KL-1313 conversion & Gary Campbell Acorn conversion...!!

Post by Wacky Riggers »

Wacky Riggers is a marine rigging company primarily serving the competition bass boat market throughout the southeast. We do a good bit of custom one-off marine parts mainly from HDPE sheets (Starboard). These parts are very visible on our installs, so we need to have very high-quality final parts.

Late in 2019, we decided it was time to replace our aging Shop Bot system. Our goals were to improve our production time, accuracy, and particularly our quality of cut. We had managed to limp through for several years using the old Bot but as our business grew, we knew it was past time for a replacement.

In late 2018, we had added a small CNC mill for limited production and prototyping of aluminum parts which really opened our eyes to what having real precision and quality cuts really meant. Having always been in the Shop Bot camp, let’s just say that the REAL world of CNC became more evident and we started to realize what we didn’t know.

Queue the unending cycle of research… After reading everything I could find and almost pulling the trigger on a couple of replacement CNC routers, I happened to reach out to a knowledgeable resource via the Shop Bot forum that suggested I speak with Gary Campbell. I had read many of Gary’s posts over the years across various forums and following the advice given, I did exactly that and contacted Gary.

The main suggestion I had been given was to consider one of the Chinese CNC routers as a starting point, remove everything that was substandard, and using the bare-bones iron give it to Gary for a complete makeover using Centroid Acorn controllers and electronics. Well…it’s a pretty large investment to simply take at face value so I literally bugged Gary to the point he was ready to come south to North Carolina and…. well…you get the picture.

The more I read about Acorn and the more I talked with Gary, it became clear that this was the direction I needed to go. Gary, having worked for Shop Bot for some years, already knew that I was going to need a lot of hand holding and fixing of my Shop Bot brain – a task he continues to this day!

We decided to use an ATC KL-1313 (48” x 48”) as the base machine as it had excellent reviews (except for the controller, etc) and had it shipped to Gary’s shop in upstate Michigan. It began a series of photo exchanges, updates, conversations, etc. over about 30-45 days as the machine turned into a REAL industrial grade machine.

Shipping to our location was the most challenging part of the whole process…. well…if you don’t count having to cut out the side wall of our shop to get it inside. Once inside, the setup was quick and very easy following the excellent documentation provided by Gary.

Loading the ATC with tools, we attempted our first trial cuts where EVERYTHING we knew from the Shop Bot went out the window. Amazingly and with Gary’s documentation and help, we cut something on the very first try. The speed and quality were literally 1000 times better than anything we every got on our Bot. It was obvious that this was a dead-on the money, high speed machine, with serious rigidity and weight. It was also obvious that we did not have a clue what we had been missing all these years. This machine moves so fast that it can be scary!

The ATC alone has changed our entire workflow as now we no longer worry about minimizing the number of tools it takes to do the very best job possible. The cut quality is almost perfect and rivals anything we have ever seen on $100K machines and the accuracy is well within a few thou which is way more than we will ever need but it makes a difference more than you might guess.

Gary has been there every step of the way and gone out of his way to make sure this project was a success. The combination of Centroid products coupled with Gary’s expertise and support has helped us keep up with our growth as a company and has made this entire project a 10 out of 10 experience.
Posts: 3595
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:23 pm
Acorn CNC Controller: Yes
Allin1DC CNC Controller: Yes
Oak CNC controller: Yes
MPU11 & GPIO4D -w/ 3rd Party Drives: Yes
CNC11: Yes
CPU10 or CPU7: Yes
CNC Control System Serial Number: none

Re: ATC KL-1313 conversion & Gary Campbell Acorn conversion...!!

Post by cnckeith »

thanks sharing your experience! Please post some more photos of the machine and what you are doing with it. thanks, Keith
Need support? READ THIS POST first.
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Answers to common questions: viewforum.php?f=63
and here viewforum.php?f=61
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