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Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Michael LaBombard, Mar 15, 2019.
Workbee, 1000mmX750mm , from China
Michael LaBombard published a new build:
Read more about this build...
I personally can't help you with the electronics you are using but the first question people here are going to ask is what control software you are using.
Its a Mach3 card. You didnt mention if you installed Mach3 or not.
Yes, Mach3 and lic.
OpenBuilds BlackBox 4X Documentation
Can I use the OpenBuilds Blackbox controller with Mach3/4
No, the controller runs on GRBL Firmware which is almost like Mach3, except instead of running on a computer and controlling stepper drivers via a parallel port, Grbl runs INSIDE the BlackBox itself. You simply send it GCODE over USB from our OpenBuilds CONTROL software
This provides a modern way of driving CNCs. No need for an older PC with a LPT port (USB is everywhere!), easier to setup, no wiring needed, no licence needed (powered by Free Software and Open Source Firmware)
I'm buying the Black Box anyway.
Hello @Michael LaBombard ,
Glad to see your using a BlackBox and your up and running!
If you're looking for a good software for doing some 2D-3D carving/cutting on your machine please have a look at Vectrics products - I like Vcarve Desktop for our size machines it does it all. For laser Software please have a look at LightBurn. Both of these softwares will create the gcode needed from your projects to use on your machine.
Hope this helps
Thanks, I'll take a look.
I have the lead 1010, use vcarve desktop, blackbox, and openbuilds control and now lightburn.
I'm getting my Jtech 2.8 installed this weekend and have started my trial of lightburn. I have followed lightburns tutorials on youtube for the setup but I'm wondering is there anything special I need to consider when switching from laser + lightburn to cnc/vcarve/openbuilds control and vise versa? Both are being sent through the blackbox. Will the openbuilds control grbl be altered in anyway because of the lightburn grbl because both are using the backbox or is it as simple as closing lightburn when I'm done and then opening the openbuilds control to use the CNC?
This is going to be great to have the laser attached! I have not done this myself but I would guess that it would work exactly as you say by disconnecting and closing one software and then reconnecting the BlackBox USB in another software like control for cnc it should run as expected. As I have not tried this myself and I do not want to steer you in the wrong direction for this project. I would like to ask OpenBuilds CONTROL developer @Peter Van Der Walt his thoughts on the idea as he would have a much better understanding if this is possible.
Thanks Mark! I'm really excited about getting it up and running. I to would really like to hear if Peter has any input on this. Surprisingly I haven't been able to find anything specific to using the blackbox for both and laser and CNC operations on the web. Jay from Jtech photonics was not sure about the specifics to the blackbox however his concern was that the lightburn grbl specs might force openbuilds control grbl to laser mode. I'm hoping this isn't true because they are two separate programs but could it be possible because they both are being sent through the blackbox?
Grbl settings are only stored on the EEPROM memory inside the microcontroller on your board. Its not stored in control, and not in Lightburn either.
So if you change a setting in CONTROL, and later check the setting in Lightburn, its reading it off that eeprom. Have a full read through the Grbl Wiki github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki to understand how it all works
If you have your spindle under software control:
Just check the Lightburn doesnt alter the $32 setting for you when it runs, if it does, set it back to [zero]/0 for CNC mode (See gnea/grbl and a longer explanation here: gnea/grbl )
(So its as simple as "Today I want to laser, so I start Lightburn, make sure $32=1, and away I go..." (Disconnect CONTROL, or quit it, just note both cannot connect at the same time - remember its always running in the system tray next to the clock, you can right click the icon there to Quit it)
Tomorrow comes "I want to CNC today, so let me start up OpenBuilds CONTROL (remember to quit/disconnect lightburn) and check that $32=0 and away I go!"
(Should take you a day or two to get into the habit of setting $32 appropriately
Thanks Peter for that explanation. The scenario at the bottom rally helped.
So GRBL settings are stored on the EEPROM (and I'm remembering correctly) back when I was first setting up the 1010 I believe that the X/Y coordinates were in negative and in the 1010 setup we could flip this so that is positive and easier to work with. I notice that when I started using Lightburn that the X/Y are also in the negative.
If I'm now understand this somewhat correctly its because GRBL always runs in negative and the openbuilds control has a setting correct for that. We weren't actually altering anything with GRBL like I first thought. So now I have to do the same thing with Lightburn and alter the program settings so the work space is in the positive. Thus both programs (not at the same time) should work independently of each other .....boy I hope that makes sense!
Defaults to negative (gnea/grbl ) but irrelevant, what counts is
a) where you did SETZERO and
b) what the gcode file is using relative to zero (zero can be set bottom left, center, or any other corner/spot/relative to work/relative to machine. After setting zero its all relative from there
-I get that when I load gcode and set my bit at my starting point and zero on the control that becomes zero. If I have to move the spindle around and need to get back to zero I would just hit "Work Zero" and the spindle will return at my set zero. I guess I'm confused about "Machine Zero" and when I hit that the soft limits kick in because it would have taken off through the upper right corner. I don't get why machine zero is off the grid and if I can change it.
-Should I be homing the machine every time I turn it on? Will it remember where the soft limits are based on the last homing?
-Also can I create a macro to disable laser mode? If so not sure of the command.
You CANNOT change machine zero. Machine zero is SET by Homing
All the other coordinate systems reference from it (machine zero + offset = work zero)
Absolutely, in fact, Grbl will usually prevent you from moving before you home (so when you are turning it off, something in your setup is keeping the BlackBox powered, maybe over USB - else it would have forced you already). Anytime the physical can change from what the controller knows, you need to rehome, the more the better I'd say
That is... IF you rely on fixed positions (mass production, positioning jigs, etc) .... Most of us don't bother with Homing after a while. Who cares about machine position. Every time you load stock zero is in a different position (different height, slightly different position) or even for every file/job. Easier way: DONT OVERTHINK. Forger machine position even exists. Just get in the habit of jogging or probing stock quickly before clicking Run, and SETZERO where you jogged to, before you run. Viola
"$32=0" = laser mode off
"$32=1" = laser mode on
(Note sure if Grbl needs a reset after changing it or if it applies on the fly, do test it that side)
What can I say other than thank you so much for taking the time to explain Peter! What you just said made it all click for me.
I have never fooled around with using Machine Zero and hardly ever home the machine. I would just power it up, jog to where I want zero, Hit “Zero All” creating my Work Zero and go to town. It’s that I have always noticed the “Go To Machine Zero” button and never understood why it would always head for the right corner when selected. I’m guessing that’s because when the machine is powered down its “Home location” is lost and reverts back to the “default” upper right corner.
I have seen videos where after the machine was finished with its tool paths the spindle would automatically move to a position (usually back right or left) allowing the person access to the workspace and to remove the piece just carved and that’s what I thought Machine Zero was initially. I’m guessing that’s what the two set location buttons would be for to the right of Work and Machine Zero?
Thats why we do our best to hide Machine coordinates etc from users in CONTROL. It's just too confusing! (; for a while we didnt even include switches in kits. They are great for safeties (hard limits) but then people want to home too (which introduces the user to coordinate systems and then becomes confusing!) so if you have the SETZERO workflow working for you, stick with it its perfect
No it is just not synced between real world and what it thinks machine zero should be - it doesnt default to anything (other than whats configured) so it looks random. Especially if you moved axes by hand!
use the Predefined Positions for that (they are also offset from machine position, so machine should be homed when using them): - once setup properly you can edit your CAM post to add the go to at the end of every job (;
Works same as set zero. Jog to where you want to define those, and set them
Truly Appreciated Peter! Thanks so much for your time. This has helped immensely!