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ESTLCAM V9

Discussion in 'Control Software' started by Anthony Bolgar, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. Anthony Bolgar

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    Has anyone used Estlcam before? Pros and cons of it? I am interested in any advice the community has to offer.
     
  2. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hi,

    I'm the programmer of Estlcam - if you have any questions I'd happy to answer them here.
    Or just give it a try - the free version offers full functionality www.estlcam.com
    (It will just start to display a nag screen after a while before saving files - otherwise there are no limitations)

    Some videos about Estlcam: Youtube...

    Christian
     
  3. Anthony Bolgar

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    If I use GRBL 1.1, can I still use the Z axis touch plate feature? Also, does Estlcam support the SMoothieboard? Thanks in advance.
     
  4. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hi,

    • Estlcam uses its own firmware and can run on Arduino UNO, Nano and Mega2560.
    • It cannot control GRBL itself but offers GRBL 0.8 / 0.9 and Ramps 1.4 compatible pinouts.

    • Smoothieboard unfortunately uses a very different processor so Estlcam is not able control it directly - but you can still use Estlcam to create the CNC programs for it.
    • I'm not sure about touch plate support on GRBL / smoothieboard though - as far as I know there is at least some basic probe support but automated edge finding and alignment should be quite unique to Estlcam at the moment and will only work if you use compatible hardware so Estlcam can control the machine itself:





    Christian
     
    David the swarfer likes this.
  5. Anthony Bolgar

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    The machine I wanted to use ESTLCAM on is a purpose built CNC router (most of the hardware for it donated by Openbuilds under the fairshare program) used for testing the LaseWeb/CNCWeb open source software (GitHub - openhardwarecoza/LaserWeb3: Open Source Laser Cutter / Engraver software. Supports gcode, svg, dxf, stl, png, jpg, bmp) which supports either GRBL or Smoothieboard. I have a CO2 laser set up with smoothieboard for testing the laser portion of the software, and set up the CNC machine with GRBL to test the CNC CAM portions of the software. But until the software matures, I wanted something to use daily, and your software fit the bill. I guess since yours is GRBL pin compatible, I could just have 2 UNOS, one with GRBL and one with your firmaware, and just swap them as needed. I really like the way you approach the CAM functionality, and I have to say, your automated edge finding and alignment is a feature I instantly fell in love with.

    Can Estlcam control a VFD spindle via PWM? Also, are there any pendant options available to do things like jog using joysticks or home axis', pause/resume jobs etc?
     
  6. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    • Estlcam offers PWM in the "GRBL PWM" and "Estlcam" pinout setting.
    • You just need a PWM to analog converter to connect it to a VFD (can be as simple as one resistor and one capacitor if your VFD supports 0-5V signals like most cheap chinese VFDs do)
    • It also supports Xbox360 controllers to jog the machine manually (but you need the genuine ones from Microsoft for Windows - most cheap clones will not work)
     
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  7. Mike Piechowski

    Mike Piechowski Journeyman
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    A bit late to the party, but I use and like Estlcam. So far, I am only running my C-Beam with it, and so far, the errors and issues have all been my own fault.

    As far as CAM, it seems easy to use and creates code that makes for an accurate part from my machine, about all I can ask for there. I've done a V-carve or two, but most of the work has been 2.5D cutting of aluminum plates. I've had no problems interfacing with my Arduino-based GRBL controller in the Protoneer Pi CNC Hat, I have not tried the Estlcam control software yet because of how I have my router set up. I use BCNC running on a Pi3 as a Gcode sender, the Pi also runs a keyboard, mouse and monitor for the machine console.
     
  8. Northernboy

    Northernboy Well-Known
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    I was testing Estlcam the other day but homing goes the wrong way for my machine. Is there a way to reverser the homing direction for X & Y axis?
     
  9. Mike Piechowski

    Mike Piechowski Journeyman
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    If it is all backwards, I think you just need to check the "reverse direction" box in the USB CNC Controller setup. Otherwise, I don't see a setting.


    [​IMG]
     
    #9 Mike Piechowski, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  10. Northernboy

    Northernboy Well-Known
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    That will reverse the direction of the axis which was good. It's the homing I need reversed. For my X axis my limit switch is mounted on the right side and with the existing program it moves to the left when homing.
     
  11. Mike Piechowski

    Mike Piechowski Journeyman
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    Yeah, I don't see a solution for that.
     
  12. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hi,

    Estlcam expects the switches at the left / front / top positions.
    Maybe I'll make this customizable in future - but at the moment this is the only possible configuration.

    Homing in Estlcam is optional - you can also use the machine without homing (none of my own machines have switches anymore).

    Christian
     
  13. Anthony Bolgar

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    Thanks for all the information Christian. And keep up the great work, I really like your software.
     
  14. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hi,

    I just added a new video showing a fast and precise way to zero workpieces without expensive touch probes or edge finders:



    There are also new beta versions of Estlcam available with some interesting new features.

    Christian
     
  15. Anthony Bolgar

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    Great idea for the edge finding!
     
  16. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    Finally a use for that roll of aluminum tape I have had laying around for the last 12 years. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Marvin U Pagaran

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    can't connect my arduino uno with grbl shield. already followed estlcam video still not moving
     
  18. Jon57

    Jon57 New
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    Can I jog each axis from within this program
     
  19. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hi,

    have you tried changing the "Invert stepper enable signal" checkbox?

    Christian
     
  20. Christian Knüll

    Christian Knüll Journeyman
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    Hello,

    yes - there are several options to do this (mouse, keyboard and xbox360 gamepad)

    Christian
     
  21. McNulty

    McNulty New
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    I have a big new CNC machine, sitting idle at present, fitted with Mach 3, lots of fortepiano building experience, none digital, and my feeling is that estlcam will provide full manufacturing and surface modelling capability. Is this correct? Any roadmap would be much appreciated.
     
  22. ekonom2210

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    Hello,
    I use (I rather try) Estlcam 11.
    How can I unlock the machine after the limit switch has triggered?

    Damian
     
  23. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    I'm not familiar with Estlcam but mostly the limit switches, when triggered, short circuits to the ground which tells the program that a limit switch was triggered. You will have to move the axis that triggered it away from the switch and reset the program (that's how it works on Mach3, anyway). What I did is I have installed two momentary switches on my machine (only one of them has to be pressed since they are connected in series) that disconnect the ground from the limit switches and therefore enable me to reset the program and move the axis away from the triggered limit switch. I have to do all this while constantly pressing that momentary switch. It's a pain to have to press it all the time while doing it but I prefer this way since using a toggle switch may cause me to forget to reset it and/or have it switched by mistake and remains unnoticed by me.
     
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  24. ekonom2210

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    Thank you for your reply.
    I'm using your solution. I'm looking for software solutions in estlCam - for example "reset" and "unlock" in GrblControl.

    Damian
     
  25. ekonom2210

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    I just found a solution to my problem.
    If the limit is triggered, press F11 and move the axis (in Estlcam).

    Damian
     
  26. Gaou²

    Gaou² Well-Known
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    Guys i need some more infos as i am thinking of purchasing it . So does anyone know if it is working with g540?

    Secondly except the pwm that is a way to control a vfd spindle, can it control the spindle by the modbus ?
     
  27. Giarc

    Giarc Master
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    I can't answer your questions except to say it is free to download and try it to see if it works with the G540.
     
  28. Gaou²

    Gaou² Well-Known
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    for furure user no it cant work with g540 as it is .
     
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  29. Techvette

    Techvette Journeyman
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    Quick review:

    I've been using EstlCAM for a few months now, and it's amazing - this makes the other controller software I've used look terrible.

    The most important feature, for me, is the ability to pause a program, move the machine around - say, if you broke a bit or lost some steps somewhere and need to re-home it - and have the program pick up where you left off. EstlCAM will move the tool to the correct location for the next instruction before starting to cut again.

    There are some eccentricities that take a bit of getting used to, but they're minor, especially relative to the functionality offered by the application.

    I'm surprised Christian doesn't charge more for this. It's a great program. (I'm using this with a CNC xPro v3 on a 1250x1000 diy machine.)

    My only real complaint, if you can call it that, is that it can be challenging to get a model out of Sketchup and into EstlCAM. But, that seems to be the case with Sketchup and most other CAM solutions. (You can export from Sketchup to STL and load the STL into EstlCAM, though.) I've been using DraftSight - basically, free AutoCAD by SolidWorks - and it works great for most tasks.
     
  30. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    I would love to see more videos in English. :(
     

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