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Forum Index : Other Stuff : Home Built CNC Project

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vasi

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Joined: 23/03/2007
Location: Romania
Posts: 1697
Posted: 04:14am 09 Feb 2014
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There are also a couple of free solutions but probably, none as good as Glenn's solution.

If you like to work with SketchUP, you can use a CAM plug-in for it. See here the website. On youtube you can find useful tutorials about the subject.

Also, Inkscape have a CAM plug-in ... I have to search for it... Found it. The last stable version is 1.7 - read that forum thread for the manual. You can find tutorials on the internet, as this solution is getting "old".Edited by vasi 2014-02-10
Hobbit name: Togo Toadfoot of Frogmorton
Elvish name: Mablung Miriel
Beyound Arduino Lang
 
powerednut

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Joined: 09/12/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 221
Posted: 12:15pm 10 Feb 2014
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There is also freecad, which is an open source 3d parametric cad tool.
http://freecadweb.org/

HeeksCNC is another open source solution. I've not played with it ages, but it seems to be in active development. These days it seems to do both CAD and CAM in the the one package, though I could have that wrong.
http://www.heeks.net/

Vectric Aspire 4 seems really good, especially for wood carving, shaping and 2.5d type stuff. Its supposed to be good for 3d work as well, but I've not seen it used much that way. Again, its a CAD and CAM combination, however its also pretty expensive. I think the full version runs to $2000. Vectric also has a bunch of other, more reasonably priced bundles. Cut2d (lots of people seem to like it) is about $150. Cut3d is $300. PhotoVCarve is $150. Definately check out the trial versions and make sure it will do what you want before you commit the big bucks. Check out their monthly projects too - well worth a look.
Vectric

I've also heard very good things about MeshCAM. It can apparantly handle most standard 3d model formats and does 3d machining. its got a 15 day trial, so you can try before you buy. Cost is $250.
MeshCAM at grz software

I'm pretty sure all of them have videos on youtube which would be worth checking out.


 
vasi

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Joined: 23/03/2007
Location: Romania
Posts: 1697
Posted: 11:10pm 11 Feb 2014
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@powerednut, the heeks.net points to the Google Code for the sources. I tried to compile them under Linux and failed (don't even started). Fortunately, I found the sources on the GitHub and a wiki page. The sources compiles right now (51%) on my computer, will see how it goes.
Hobbit name: Togo Toadfoot of Frogmorton
Elvish name: Mablung Miriel
Beyound Arduino Lang
 
powerednut

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Joined: 09/12/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 221
Posted: 01:22am 12 Feb 2014
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whups, should have picked up on the linux requirement from the emc2 (linuxcnc now i think?). Sorry about that.

freecad should work under linux. I'm pretty sure vectric doesn't offer a winblows version.
 
Tinker

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1904
Posted: 04:09am 12 Feb 2014
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Anybody care to explain just what 2.5d is?
I gather 2d = two dimensions and 3d = three dimensions.
Sorry,I'm ignorant about cutting dimensions in half
Klaus
 
vasi

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Location: Romania
Posts: 1697
Posted: 05:26am 12 Feb 2014
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.5D_%28machining%29
Hobbit name: Togo Toadfoot of Frogmorton
Elvish name: Mablung Miriel
Beyound Arduino Lang
 
Gizmo

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Joined: 05/06/2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 5045
Posted: 12:06pm 12 Feb 2014
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Vasi's link explains it. Basically, most CNC machining is done in 2.5d, even though the some machines will work in full 3d.

Say I wanted to machine a cube 20mm square, out of a piece of material 25mm thick. If I went down the 3d path, I would draw up the cube in cad as a 3d solid object, then use a CAM package to place the cube inside the material, at the bottom usually. Then create the cutting paths to route out the cube, a lot of g-code, and send it to the router to do its job. In 2.5d, I would create a simple surfacing operation to mill down 5mm, then another operation to cut out the square shape. 2 operations really, but a lot easier to code, less g-code, and usually quicker.

For some shapes you need to use 3d, but for anything flat, 2.5d is much much easier. Through cutting machines, like lasers, water jets, plasma's etc are all regarded as 2.5d. CNC routers, EDM's etc, can work in 3d

Glenn
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is right now.
JAQ
 
Tinker

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1904
Posted: 02:43am 13 Feb 2014
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Thanks for that info guys, I learned something new today.

I should try to learn something new every day , never too old for this they say.

klaus
Klaus
 
Bryan1

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Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1219
Posted: 11:36am 13 Feb 2014
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G'day Guy's,
Thanks for all the links for the software and they will give me something to play with. I do need to get a better computer as Mach3 does tend to hang at times.

With the shed being like a sauna this week no time to work with the cnc as other jobs had me busy and I have 23 longnecks of low wines to process into some sour mash whiskey now I got a new burner ( the bunnings cheap burner caught fire on the last stripping run and I was lucky to catch it in time).

Now I've been thinking of milling double sided pcb's and my thoughts are to drill 4 alignment holes 0.8mm and drill the holes into the base of the jig. Then use single header pins to place the pcb for milling. To do the other side just turn the pcb over and the alignment will be spot on. Also with the plastic standoff on the headers will give some air space so the drill won't drill into the jig. Also I found a couple of small strips of gorilla tape holds the pcb nice and firm when milling too.

I do need to mill a pcb up for the home switch's and other stuff so when I get around to it, I'll have a go at taking a video of the milling.

Regards Bryan
 
Bryan1

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Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1219
Posted: 11:54pm 29 Dec 2014
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G'day Guy's,
Well finally got around to finishing off the limit switch's so now all 3 axis has limits. I decided to go with just using one limit switch and milled up guides for them in my bridgeport mill.

Here is a pic of the Y axis rail where I used some brass angle iron mounted on some thin gauge steel angle.





Same with the Z axis I just some some ali flat bar.






Now with these elcheapo 3 axis controllers there is connector for using joystick and lcd panels etc. That one below the parallel port is the one I mean





I have looked on the net to try and find the pinouts for that connector with no luck so if anyone has the pinout it would be great.

Regards Bryan
 
Downwind

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Joined: 09/09/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2333
Posted: 01:32am 30 Dec 2014
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I think you will find its a DB15 socket so i would think its a standard joy stick plug input, so if you look in the back of a earlier Dick Smith catalogue you will find the pin outs for a joy stick.

Then there is also rather cheap chinese control pads to suit these boards.

It would appear they are a standard pinout to suit many different boards, so is why i suspect it to be a standard DB15 gaming port input config.

Pete.
Sometimes it just works
 
Bryan1

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Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1219
Posted: 11:49am 02 Jan 2015
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G'day Guy's,
Well got the cnc all setup to work and made up a laminated MDF board to sit snug on the machined bed. Had the original 6 holes I had drilled in so tapped them 1/4" BSW and clamped the board down. Next step was to spot drill the board for drilling 5mm holes so wrote a G-code file for it. First run along the X went fine then when moving the Y axis saw the computer go into stall mode and instead of moving 100 mm it only went 74mm and stuffed up the Y axis setting. Kept going and the next Y axis went 100mm too. So now I'm ready to get the cnc going a better computer is needed and my mate up north has an old P4 3gig gaming computer with heaps of ram he is going to donate.

As the 5mm holes are only for clamping the error won't matter and I will have to make a new clamping kit for the cnc. Now some may say tapping MDF won't hold but I did do a test and no way could I rip the bolt out of the test piece. The idea is screw the all thread all the way home then tighten a nut to ensure the stud is firm.

I did know I would have a few teething problems but eh this was madeup from scratch so if nothing went wrong it would always be in the back of the mind WHAT will go wrong.......

Regards Bryan
 
powerednut

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Joined: 09/12/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 221
Posted: 09:16pm 02 Jan 2015
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Hi Bryan, I don't know if you want to spend the bucks, but depending on your stepper motor amperage a tinyg or similair might be worth looking into. cost is about $130 US.
https://synthetos.myshopify.com/products/tinyg

It plugs into a USB port, and you just feed it g-code files. It handles all the g-code to movement stuff, which means you can use a pretty crappy computer.


I went the holes in MDF with threads tapped route initially with my spoil board as well. I found the mdf pulled up around the holes, particularly if I was doing fairly rapid cornering. that pulls on the work piece a lot.

My current spoil board has pockets the same size and shape as a 1/4" nut cut in the bottom, with a hole going all the way through. I bought a couple of 50 pack 1/4" nuts for $3.50 (at bunnings) and stuck them in the pockets with a bit of super glue. It seems to work much better.
 
VK4AYQ
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Joined: 02/12/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2539
Posted: 07:40pm 03 Jan 2015
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Hi All

I have used furniture tee nuts for the MDF board when making jigs, they are a threaded spigot that goes through the MDF with a big washer on the bottom, and to stop it spinning there are four spikes that grip into the board. I epoxy them into the board after tightening to set the spikes in place, they also work well on plywood, and do not cause any distortion of the board.

All the best

Bob
Foolin Around
 
Prime_8

Regular Member

Joined: 07/12/2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 51
Posted: 05:55am 09 Jan 2015
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you computer locked on sending Gcode ?
how old is it ?

also the controller board you pictured, if cheap means came from china cheap , you may find it has noise issues . ~ locking up , not sending proper continue codes back to PC , losing steps .

Noise as in not enough circuit noise isolation on one or more axis . what you will see is the loss of steps to even controller locking up.

adding filter caps to any DC motors near b and using ferrite chokes at the ends of long leads can help , but some of these boards actually have a 'bug' in their layout design.
the issue is not enough isolation from processing signal to the driver parts.
and this can cause the whole board to pause if bad enough .

see here :
fixing-a-chinese-made-cnc-stepper-motor-driver-board

but if it is just a old PC locking / bogging , never mind that then . LOL
i would figure linux CNC would even run on my old XP rig if i swapped the hard drive out .

oh and PS for making mounts and anchor points in MDF and such that my need to come apart later i use threaded nuts .
I even use them for lead screw nuts on my smaller table top rigs.
they look like this:
Furnature threaded nuts

or just search Google for "furniture nuts"Edited by Prime_8 2015-01-10
Old coder, and bodger of things that may spark.
 
Bryan1

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Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1219
Posted: 11:40pm 10 Jan 2015
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Thanks for the tip on using the hex inverter chip and I went and had a look at my controller board and found there are 3 of them already on the board. In the pic of the controller those 3 chips infront of the heatsink and beside the red switch's are 74HC14 chips.

I do have that faster computer home now and still need to load up Mach3 on it but with that wet weather the shed batterybank is a tad down so I'm leaving it for a week or so to get fully charged again. Anyway that computer is a 2.4ghz P4 with 1 gig of ram so it should make a huge difference.
 
Prime_8

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Joined: 07/12/2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 51
Posted: 10:11am 11 Jan 2015
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nice, and the upgrade to the pc should be a big help .

+ you may want to see if you can get your hands on some snap on/over ferrite chokes for the parallel cable . especially if it is a longer one between your rig and pc .
I used to sell them when I ran a radio shack. it solved many transient printer issues.
Old coder, and bodger of things that may spark.
 
Bryan1

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Joined: 22/02/2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1219
Posted: 10:20am 15 Jan 2015
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G'day Guy's,
Well finally got around to setting up Mach3 on that 2.4 gig computer and doing a few trials and man what an improvement, much quicker travel on the same motor tuning setting and smooth as. Anyway the existing XP operating system was that broken with old driver software creating havoc I couldn't even get acrobat reader to work or foxit reader so went and formatted the drive and put a fresh XP system in.

Did some research on cnc software and found Heeks which does look the goods on my first play with it. So got orifice 07, latest acrobat reader, notepad++ ( g-code editing) autocad 06 and few other programs installed yesterday so this computer is now ready for playing with the CNC.

I will find a clip on choke for the parallel cable too.

Cheers Bryan
 
Prime_8

Regular Member

Joined: 07/12/2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 51
Posted: 04:16pm 15 Jan 2015
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ps for quick tests try gcode-sender the simple chrome app .
it has been working so well for me that i have slacked off making my own sender program .

you can see small shot of its preview window at start here video
old early version of my test rig . as you can see in my thread I have changed mine quite a bit now , as it can hold a small bit . LOL

the chrome g code sender is real simple you cna get it here ( works on chrome books too ) google gcode-sender
more info on this sender here
it talks nice to my custom arduino firmware, but I think GBRL rigs play nice too.

i have been testing freeCAD and trying to understand heeks , i have been using solvespace to make my G code for my tests so far and a had some luck with a inkscape plugin .

I'm looking for a free and easy cam that can make 2.5 and 3d paths.
I have a feeling i will just end up making one eventually . LOLEdited by Prime_8 2015-01-17
Old coder, and bodger of things that may spark.
 
powerednut

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 221
Posted: 09:00pm 15 Jan 2015
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It isn't free, but meshcam is well worth a look and very reasonably priced:
http://www.grzsoftware.com/

cost is something like $200 I think.
 
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