I'm David and like the title says I'm thinking of getting a D420 for building RC planes. I'll be milling balsa and ply and very occasionally aluminium. Maybe one day i'd get the laser head as well.
I think the spec i'd like to go for is using UCCNC via a ethernet connection, with a MM1000 DI. I'd also like to automatically trigger the dust extraction.
I'm a bit confused about how and where all the connections would go? Do I need the switch box, 2nd layer module and two SE2300?
It would be good if Stepcraft had connection diagrams somewhere on the website showing how things went together - or have I just missed them?
A D420 is ok for RC plane building only think twice on how big your planes will become in the future and if a D420 is than still suitable.
You want to use UCCNC (I personally don't use that) that's ok but I don't think Ethernet control is wise.
If there is a hick-up in the connection your work is destroyed.
The same as controlling the vacuum dust extraction, why automatic? You are at the machine to set the X-Y zero point and start the milling process. So what is the problem to switch the vacuum cleaner on?
And it is not smart to leave the machine unattended while milling a job, especially in the beginning when you are learning the process.
The SE2300 is good investment for the spindle, its saver and the spindle starts / stops according to the codes provide by the post-processor in the G-code or/and commands from the UCCNC software.
" Why does an issue with ethernet cause issues? Wouldn't you have the same problems with USB? "
You have a point here.
When loosing the connection whatever the course is your work is almost always ruined.
But I find that USB is more stable than an Ethernet or a WiFi connection. But its completely your choice.
Don't think a milling machine works the same as a 3D-printer, just start a job and come back after a few hours.
Yes the controls are almost similar but the rotating endmill is a killer, it can ruin your machine and even worse.
Do not underestimate the force the spindle create.