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Designing Automated Equipment in 6 Simple Steps

The Vention environment contains all the necessary hardware & tools to create fully automated machines in record breaking time. This short blog post gives an overview of the different steps required to that end.

Francois Giguere Head of Automation / Mar 28th, 2018
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Designing Vention Automated Machines

The Vention environment contains all the necessary hardware and tools to create fully automated machines in record-breaking time. This short blog post gives an overview of the different steps required to that end.

Building an Automated Machine in MachineBuilder3D

STEP 1: Selecting Actuator(s)

Choose the appropriate actuator(s) for the target application. Two different types of actuators are currently offered:

Additional information about these components is available in the Vention Linear Actuators Datasheet.

Example Above: A 1440 mm timing belt actuator is utilized above.

STEP 2: Build

Build the machine around the selected actuator(s).

Example Above: Adding the necessary machine components to support the linear actuator.

STEP 3: Selecting Motor(s)

Choose a stepper motor for each actuator to enable motion. Three different models are available:

Example Above: Adding a powerful 156mm NEMA 34 stepper motor to the linear actuator.

STEP 4: Selecting Sensor(s)

Select the appropriate sensor(s) and place them on the target machine. Different sensor types are available to sense presence, motor rotation and distance.

Example: This design utilizes two inductive sensors (CE-SN-004-0001) for travel limit detection, as well as an encoder (CE-SN-002-0001), located at the back of the stepper motor, to accurately track the position of the motor.

STEP 4: Selecting the MachineMotion Controller

Add a MachineMotion controller to power and control the system. Three different models are available that have the ability, respectively, to drive 1, 2 and 3 stepper motors:

Example: Adding a single-axis MachineMotion controller (MO-SM-001-00001).

At this point, the machine is complete and requires no additional components. All automation components include the wiring and connectors.

The example machine above is simple, but there are no restrictions on the level of sophistication that can be created in the MachineBuilder3D tool. The 3-Axis linear robot below is a good example of a more sophisticated build.

MachineMotion Setup

Once the automated system is built in MachineMotion3D, the next step is to configure the MachineMotion controller and to load the appropriate application software on it.

Connecting the Automation Components

All Vention automated components ship with color-coded and labeled wiring for easy connection to the MachineMotion ports.

Girl in a jacket

The color-coded and labeled wiring of Vention Sensors and Motors

Girl in a jacket

The corresponding ports on the MachineMotion controller

Network Setup

Vention's MachineMotion controller is a physical device. It is meant to be locally hosted (i.e connected on the same local network as the client device). For this reason, some preliminary network setup is required. It is useful to note that the controller can be accessed via two distinct physical connections:

  • USB port

  • Ethernet port

Once the network setup is completed, the MachineMotion controller can be accessed via the Google Chrome web browser.


OPTION 1: MachineApps

Using MachineApps is the simplest and most effective way to set up application software for non-programmers. Pre-built apps can be loaded onto the MachineMotion controller directly from the Vention website. If an app that is not in our public library of apps is required, Vention includes the design of a free tailored app with the purchase of any MachineMotion controller.

2-Axis Linear Motion App Available on

OPTION 2: Python or Javascript Application Host

There is another option to control the MachineMotion controller. Vention provides complete Python and Javascript API's to communicate with and control MachineMotion. This option is best suited for experienced programmers who want to have more flexibility and the ability to aggregate the control of several systems together.

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