Software to cut toolpaths

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:24 am

Firstly, Glenn, I am using the Mk2 & updated grbl. It says 4 axis, but the fine print says clone x,y,z. Pretty sneaky. I really appreciate what you blokes have done. Here is the latest from me. Firstly my wife of 51 years says she can read me like a book!(I wish the reverse were true) asks me what's going on. When I told her she just said "Go get it. Whatever will make you happy!" So now a couple of extra questions, please. Should I get Mach 3, or Mach4 Hobby Licence? I'll need a new break out box. Ebay has lots, so what would you recommend. I'm looking at http://www.ebay.com/itm/SainSmart-CNC-4 ... xyFrNRsAIM
or http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-3-Axis-CNC- ... 1276531907 type things . Not necessarily them, but in that area. Any better ideas, please?
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:34 am

I clocked the wrong box. Try this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/281877861813?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT Sorry! George
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby Leo » Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:37 pm

If you are going to go with Mach there is only one difference that became a show stopper for me.

Mach3 is completely and totally stand alone

Mach4 needs to connect to the mach server online to check the license. My fear is - not being able to connect to the server.

Now - to be honest, I really did not investigate how true that really is. I already have Mach3 and will just stay with it rather than to upgrade, as it does everything I need it to do.
Imagine the Possibilities of a Creative mind

www.leosworkshop.com
User avatar
Leo
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 2418
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:02 am
Location: East Freetown, Ma.
Model of CNC Machine: 1300 x 1300 x 254

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:45 pm

Thanks. I wasn't aware of that & my machine is in a workshop area with no signal. I fact I gave up on TinyG with my original OX 3 axis for the same reason. I tried the offline version, but I wasn't clever enough. It failed 100% on me. That's why I went to xPro! which is working fine for my 3 axis work. I'm not interested in the clever way to do things, just the simplest!!!
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby weber765 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:16 pm

Glad to hear your wife is "onboard "it makes life so much better when they are.

I am trying to understand more about your system, from what I have read it looks like the mk2 is capable of 9 axis control and that it also comes with the appropriate software to run it. Take a look at this and see if this is what you have , it also tells how to set up the software if you got it with the boards.;

http://www.robosan.com.tr/pdfs/USBCNC%20MANUAL.pdf

Also does your computer have a db25 printer port to connect mach3 to if you use mach3 ? Or is it usb connection ?

Glenn
weber765
Vectric Craftsman
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Troutman, NC
Model of CNC Machine: home built and modified Vytek rebel

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:10 pm

By the time I buy the card, the drivers, software etc, & given the state of the $A, I'm up for a lot more money than I can readily afford regardless of marital good will. I think I'll give one of the Chinese units from eBay a go. In the meantime I'm off to the sunny north for a break, to visit family on a macadamia farm. No internet access until after Xmas. I will let you know how I go on my return. Merry Xmas to all.
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:29 am

I have been very remiss not getting back. I had an absolutely magnificent Christmas with family or helping good old granddad with his hobby! Took the advice tendered and got Mach3. I also purchased an AKZ 250 controller card. Unfortunately it's been mixed with a bit of illness which has slowed me down. The controller card is USB connect so that makes life easier. Having said that, I'm having all sorts of trouble trying to make it work. I have just submitted a problem in the rotary area because even though I watched the video several times. I still can't make rounding work! It all looks so simple, but not for this little black duck!
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:23 am

Finally got myself and my machine sorted. I can round my material and have made successful rotary items from the Vectric Aspire 3d clip-art collection. I have a question re the drivers for the stepper motors. I did a very cursory search on eBay looking for drivers to handle 4 amps or so. All my previous devices had the drivers on board. I purchased 3 for around $20 each. They seem to be working quite well. I re read this correspondence & then priced Gecko units & nearly fainted at the price. Why would I purchase such expensive items when the really cheap units do the job? what am I missing?
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby ger21 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:45 pm

Geckos will typically be smoother, much faster, and last longer. And they'll replace it for free if it dies. And you can call them and they'll help you if there's a problem.

On a high performance machine, there's no comparison between a Gecko or Leadshine digital drive and your $20 drive.

IF your $20 drives last more than a year or two, consider yourself lucky.
Gerry
ger21
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Shelby Township, MI, USA

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:09 am

My entry wasn't meant to be flippant. There are OX routers all over the world running Nema 23 steppers with on board drivers such as DRV8825 with no reported problems. The drivers I bought have a much more robust Toshiba 6600, mounted on a substantial heatsink, so I would have thought reliability would be OK. I can understand large commercial devices may have different requirements, but for my home router I can't see what more is needed. I hope to learn from this Forum on this subject, as I have with everything else to get me to this point.
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby ger21 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:17 am

With the direct drive system used on an OX, the stepper motors don't need to spin very fast. The downside of direct drive is that you get pretty poor resolution. Because stepper motors have a fixed resolution, you need to spin them faster to get more resolution out of your machine.
With inexpensive drives, the maximum rpm you'll get from a stepper may be only 400-800 rpm. To get both high speed and high resolution with a stepper motor, you ideally want them to spin between 1000-1500rpm, using either screw drive or rack and pinion with a gear reduction.
It's not uncommon to get 1500 rpm from a G540, and I've heard of milling machines with 20tpi screws getting over 2000rpm reliably with a G540.
Gerry
ger21
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Shelby Township, MI, USA

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby martin54 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:29 am

gwandad wrote:My entry wasn't meant to be flippant. There are OX routers all over the world running Nema 23 steppers with on board drivers such as DRV8825 with no reported problems. The drivers I bought have a much more robust Toshiba 6600, mounted on a substantial heatsink, so I would have thought reliability would be OK. I can understand large commercial devices may have different requirements, but for my home router I can't see what more is needed. I hope to learn from this Forum on this subject, as I have with everything else to get me to this point.


Plenty of people using cheaper drives & quite happy with them, really depends what you expect from your machine, what you are doing with it & what level of support you want. The branded drives Gerry has mentioned have a lot of advantages which could be crucial if your using your machine as part of a business where reliability, speed & support are needed.
If it's a hobby machine that does odd jobs & if it breaks down there is no rush to get it up & running again then the cheaper drives may well fit the bill but don't believe everything you read about them :lol: :lol:
Lots of the cheap drives don't use Toshiba chips as claimed, they use clones which are inferior, don't have the same quality control & are much cheaper to buy. I use a few different CNC forums & have seen quite a few posts where people bought cheap drives & had problems either from the start or after a few months of relatively short use.
I use Leadshine drives because I wanted something I knew was going to last & not give me any problems, I am ok paying the extra money to give me that peace of mind as I don't want to let my customers down because the machine has broken down & spares will take weeks to arrive. On the other hand I fixed a machine for a friend not to many months ago who had done everything as cheaply as he could, maybe he was just super unlucky but the first breakout board he bought was broken when he got it & 2 of the 3 original drives didn't work, informed the seller, there were some back & forward emails & then he received another set of parts, breakout board was ok this time but again 2 out of 3 drives didn't work, more emails & photos back & forward & again another complete package turned up. This time all 3 drives were OK which was a relief :lol:
That was 3 breakout boards & 9 drives he had been sent & the seller didn't ask for any of them to be returned. Problem was all that took months as they came from China by slow boat. He then had 2 spare drives & a spare breakout board, he is now down to one spare drive as I had to replace one just recently. He has emailed the seller again but not had a reply yet.
User avatar
martin54
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 3277
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:12 pm
Location: Crossgates, Scotland
Model of CNC Machine: Gerber System 48 (modified)

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby ger21 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:19 pm

I can't tell you how many times I've seen people buying cheap to save money, and then buying a G540 when the cheap stuff failed. By trying to save money, people often end up spending more than if they had purchased quality components in the first place. This mostly applies to the cheap chinese stuff on Ebay, but there's a lot of inexpensive junk out there.
Gerry
ger21
Vectric Wizard
 
Posts: 854
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Shelby Township, MI, USA

Re: Software to cut toolpaths

Postby gwandad » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:12 am

Well I've done a lot of research over the last couple of days. I really wish I had done this before rather than after. I've purchased a set of Leadshine M542 drivers from a local CNC supply business. They make all the right noises about support, et cetera so hopefully I'll be on the right track. I couldn't afford the Gecko G540+ I don't have a parallel port. I'm using a laptop because I have to cart it backwards and forwards to the shared workshop. I had no idea how important the drivers were in the overall scheme of things, and I guess I still don't really understand it all. I still have a fair degree of confusion when I look at my ox running with a board with 4 drivers on board. It runs very well and I've turned out some really nice work. But when all said and done, it is a hobby machine. The new machine I've built, sitting beside it uses the same Nema 23 steppers, but in our 4 axis set up. I've now spent many, many hundreds of dollars over budget, but I hope it will be all worth it in the end. I really appreciate all the support I've had from this and other forums. Just as an aside a year ago. The $A & the $US were at parity. Now the $A is that $.70 at best. This means that all our imported stuff has had roughly a 50% uplift. That's hard to take.
gwandad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:16 pm
Model of CNC Machine: OpenBldOXHomebuilt&designed4thAxis

Previous

Return to Control Software related questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests