The ST/5 and ST/6 Controller ...



The controller for the ST/5 and the ST/6 CNC lathes is the DOS compatible computer. The computer selected is not critical but a faster CPU and a hard drive provide much crisper operation.

The following specifications are recommended for the controlling computer:

Computer:    DOS-PC or equal
Memory:      2 Megs
Processor:    80386 at 20 MHZ or more
Disk:            20 Meg or larger
CRT:           12 inch diagonal, color
Resolution:   640 x 400
Video:         VGA
Interface:     RS-232C serial
Mouse:        Recommended

Once the program has been downloaded into the lathe, the computer can be disconnected and used to control a robot or other work cell component.



The ST/5 and ST/6 lathes share the same software. The included software provides the following major functions:

 1. Full screen editor
      a. Automatic syntax checking
      b. Automatic formatting
      c. Pull down menus
      d. Extensive help system
 2.  Lathe operation, manual
 3.  Lathe operation under computer control
 4.  Immediate mode operation
 5.  Full tool offset compensation
 6.  Calculator mode
 7.  The equivalent of 100 typewritten pages of context sensitive help screens are available to the students instantly.
 8.  Automatic error detection, when applicable, within the editor.
 9.  Help system is active at all times.



... and the Software

The ST/5 and ST/6 lathes share the same software. The software is written by Rhino Robotics Ltd. and is designed to be used on a DOS compatible computer. You will need to allocate about 2 megabytes of disk space for the software and the programs that you will be writing.

The software is designed to introduce the beginning student to the intricacies of the operation of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines. As such, it has an immense help system built into the software. This help system consists of the equivalent of 100 typewritten pages of help screens that can be summoned at any time with the F1 function key. The help system is context sensitive so that the entire help tree does not have to be navigated every time help is needed.

The language that is implemented is a large subset of the RS-274D standard put forth by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA). This is the standard language for all coordinate machines. The dialect followed is the Fanuc dialect. This version of the standard is the world standard for controlling CNC lathes. Manufacturers in USA, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, Korea, Spain and Brazil all follow this standard. Any student who learns this standard will have no difficulty with learning to run most CNC machines. Engineers need to be familiar with this standard so they know and understand what can be done with the machines that follow this standard.


The Software Codes


The following “G” codes are supported:

G00  Rapid traverse mode
G01  Feed rate mode, linear interpolation
G02  Circular interpolation clockwise
G03  Circular interpolation counterclockwise
G04  Timed pause in program

G20  Inch mode
G21  Millimeter mode

G22  Software stroke limit on
G23  Software stroke limit off

G28  Return to home position in called axis
G32  Plain threading mode (ST/6 only)
G50  Set 0,0 position and max. spindle speed

G92  Thread cutting cycle (ST/6 only)
G96  Constant surface speed mode, G97 cancel (ST/6 only)
G97  Constant RPM mode, G96 cancel
G98  Feed spec in inches per minute, G99 cancel
G99  Feed spec in inches per revolution, G98 cancel

The following auxiliary codes are supported:

E    Lead specification in long format (ST/6 only)
F    Feed rate specification
I     X direction radius offset in circular interpolation
K   Z direction radius offset in circular interpolation
N   Line numbering
R   Radius designation in circular interpolation
S   Spindle speed specification, surface speed spec.
T   Tool and tool length offset compensation (optional)
U   Incremental movement specification, part diameter
W  Incremental movement specification, length of part
X   Absolute movement specification, diameter of part
Z   Absolute movement specification, length of part

The following “M” codes are supported:

M00  Absolute stop
M01  Optional stop
M02  End of program
M03  Start spindle clockwise (ST/6 only)
M04  Start spindle counterclockwise
M05  Spindle stop

M06  Collet air on, open collet 
M07  Collet air off, close collet
M08  Open Automatic Door
M09  Close Automatic Door

M30  End of program

M60  Handshake line to robot low 
M61  Handshake line to robot high 
M62  Wait for line from robot to go low
M63  Wait for line from robot to go high
M64  Ignore line from robot 
M65  Enable line from robot

M70  Handshake line to PLC low 
M71  Handshake line to PLC high 
M72  Wait for line from PLC to go low 
M73  Wait for line from PLC to go high 
M74  Ignore line from PLC

M86  User #1 on 
M87  User #1 off
M88  User #2 on
M89  User #2 off 

M99  Program repeat




  1. The standard ST/5 does not provide spindle speed control from the software. Only On-Off control is provided. The speed of the spindle is controlled from a knob on the lathe panel. Inability to control the speed from the computer inhibits constant surface speed cutting and thread cutting cycles.
  2. It is necessary to purchase the automatic tool changer option on the ST/6 in order to make use of the tool changer commands provided as a part of the language.
  3. A virtual lathe is provided as a part of the software. This means that instructions can be entered one at a time on the computer, and the screen displays (graphically) how the lathe will respond to the instructions when they are executed by the real lathe. This is a Rhino exclusive.


5928 State Route 128
Miamitown, OH 45041-0230
Telephone: 513-353-9772
Fax: 513-353-4040