Software to cut toolpaths

Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:56 am

I have a home built Opentools OX. I use Aspire & GRBL Controller.This has been very successful. I have now built a Rotary machine. I can get toolpaths generated by Aspire, but GRBL won't accept them, saying that the "A" code is unknown. Now for my dumb question. What software can I use to execute the Vectric toolpaths. The answer may well be obvious, but I can't see it. Help & advice gladly accepted.
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby ozymax » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:29 am

The way I see it, you need to find, or write a rotary post processor for that controller.
Hopefully someone has already gone down that path and will chime in.
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby KWiK » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:31 am

I wonder if it is looking for B instead of A? On your controller can you type in codes like a or b20? See if one turns the rotary. Then you also have t make sure it is turning the direction you expect.
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:06 am

Hi Gwandad

It looks like GRBL controller is for 3 axis from what I could find. However it can run a fouth axis (a) if you will add a board to your controller. See if this link will help you any: http://zapmaker.org/arduino/programming ... -mega2560/

Glenn
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:45 am

Thanks for your responses. I am red faced as the problem is that GRBL 0.9i only supports 3 axes & the controller (Xpro) supports 4 and I didn't understand what I had or what I needed. There doesn't appear to be a software solution as yet, I will have to change the controller. Any advice on that would be appreciated. I'm 75 & only took up CNC routing as a hobby last year & this is my second home build. No skills, but boundless enthusiasm, a sure recipe for trouble!
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:24 pm

Do you use Mach3 ? and if so what type of drivers are you using with your stepper motors ? Also what size motors do you have ? It will be latter today but I will check and see what driver board I have been using with my Gecko drives and let you know.
By the way you sound like a younger version of my dad, he also built a cnc from scratch in a week-end when he was your age. He used 2 x 4 for construction just to see if it could bee done. Damn thing works great, then he built a steel one also for a bigger platform.

Glenn
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:48 pm

Hi Gwandad
I am using a PMDX-122 4 axis controller ( break out board ) 4 axis and Gecko G203V drivers. I have had good results with this set-up using Mach3.

Glenn
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IMG_20150421_205518.jpg
this is what my set-up looks like
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby dbrook » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:46 pm

I have been using a BobCampbell Designs breakout board with Gecko drives running Mach3 under Windows Xp for years on my 4 axis router. Works great!

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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:34 pm

I broke the bank getting Aspire. Mach3 is out of the question. (I can't afford a divorce as well!)
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:17 pm

Hi Gwandad

Mach3 is a very reasonable $175.00, can't you pass it off as a Christmas gift ?

Glenn
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby PaulRowntree » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:25 am

What about LinuxCNC ? it is free, has many users (not me). http://linuxcnc.org/
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:23 am

I thought if I got Mach3 I'd then need a new breakout & drivers which would come to a lot more than $175! Is it possible that it would work with xPro? what about the grbl load? Than there is , probably the biggest snag, my having to learn a new system. I've just learned to love Aspire, so all I want is to be able to use the gcode output! Amid all the clever techo stuff around, it would seem that is too much to ask. C'mon Guys, help me out with a bit of do this, do that, you silly old bugger!
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby Leo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:57 pm

Yes you "MIGHT" need a new BOB to use Mach3 - but maybe not. I don't know. There are just so many configurations out there that is is impossible to know how to fix your problem. So, if you are not getting the answers you want to hear, it is not because anyone is withholding information. It is because nobody really knows the answer. All anybody can do is to recommend what they know works for them.

Mach3 has been around for a long long time and has proven itself many times over. I see very few people posting about difficulties in using Mach3. On the other hand, I see many post about the difficulty of using something like GRBL - or Garble, as I cal it.

I had trouble with my commercial machine for a few years. I was VERY frustrated with it and gave up on 3D. I did buy, Mach3 and a reputable CNC4PC BOB. I am not good at installation of that stuff so I bartered for installation. POOF - my problems went away and here I am 4 years later - never looked back.

As a rule, I look for the user friendly way out in most everything I do. Vectric, Mach3, and so on - fit the bill.

The posters here ARE in fact pointing you in this direction. So am I.

I do understand your desire to keep cost at a minimum.

I am NOT well versed in OX or Inventables

As to the OX and Inventables. There ARE people that make those machines work - so it is do-able. Perhaps on the inventables forum, of user groups, or tech support will be a better source of help.
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:40 pm

Do not be so hard on yourself, nobody considers you a silly old bugger , yet.

I would like to help you out if I could. BUT I know absolutely nothing about your system or how it works and I have spent some time online trying to find out. I have not found anything more. That is the reason I asked what size motors, drivers, and operating software you were using, so I or somebody on the forums might be able to help you. I am assuming it has drivers but do not know if it does. If your system uses drivers you would have to find a compatible break-out board and Mach3. Mach3 is $175.00 and you can buy a good breakout board for about $100.00.

But Mach3 may work with your existing breakout board and drivers if your system has them.

Why not spend a little time and explain how your system works now. I am assuming that adding the extra board to your existing system that I sent in a previous post will not work ?

Glenn
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Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:47 am

I may be wrong but it looks like if you purchase the cnc xpro controller v2 that it comes with the latest version of grbl, if so then could you not just update your grbl and changes boards to run 4 axes ? the new board cost $120.00 and you would not have to change anything else. I wonder though if you already have the 4 axis board if all you might need to do is update your grbl to latest version.

Here s a link to cnc xpro controller v2. I hope this can help you somehow.;

http://www.spark-concepts.com/cnc-xpro-controller-v2/

And here is a link for updating grbl;

https://github.com/Spark-Concepts/xPRO/ ... L-Firmware

Let us know how you make out and good luck
Glenn
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