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Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by RV6APilot, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot New
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    Hello all from beautiful South Carolina, USA. Just gathered everything I need to build
    a WorkBee 1010 with one exception. Software. I am very familiar with Solidworks and Fusion 360
    but am boggled by the different CAM software choices out there. What are the preferred
    choices out there. I no very little about Mach3 and almost nothing about GRBL. I have multiple
    controllers. I have a Gecko G540, as well as a Protoneer CnC Shield V3.5. I am a retired Army
    guy who retired 23yrs ago and the spent 20+yrs in Corporate IT. I will video documenting my
    build and sharing what little I have learned from the additive building hobby of 3D printing.
    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Master
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    Welcome to the forum.
    What controller are you using for your workbee? Fusion has cam capabilities built in and there is very likely a post processor available for whatever controller you are using - there are post processors for grbl. I don't use either the Gecko or the Protoneer, but others on here do and will undoubtedly chip in with their favoured control software. If you are familiar with Fusion 360 it is unlikely you will need other cam software - you just need something to send your g code to your chosen controller. Have a look at what the Openbuilds control software can do (it's free!).
    Alex.:):)
     
    Mark Carew likes this.
  3. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    Welcome! Can you clarify this? You say that you got everything except software. Does this mean that you bought a controller with it as well? i.e. BlackBox or xPro CNC board. I'm assuming no since you mention that you already have the Gecko and Protoneer but we need some clarification so we can advise appropriately.

    For the CAM side, you can use Solidworks or Fusion360. You'll just have to make sure you're using an appropriate post processor. We can advise on this once you determine which hardware/software route you're going to go.

    From what I understand the Gecko is a great setup. You can even use it with an arduino running grbl if you dont want to shell out the $175 for mach.

    For the Protoneer, which drivers did you put on it? Do they have enough power for the motors? Speaking of, what motors did you get with the kit?

    Personally, I think Mach is overkill for these cnc routers. I'd go with a grbl based system running OpenBuilds Control.
     
  4. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot New
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    Thank you for the Welcome Alex and Shawn.

    I have 2 controllers that I can use. I have the DRV8825 drivers on the Protoneer This will be driven via an Arduino Uno R3 board.
    I have 2 other Chinese based Mach3 controllers that can connect to the G540. I would like to keep this as cost effective as
    possible so would prefer to us the GRBL based board.
    For steppers I have 2 sets to choose from. 175oz Nema 23's and 269oz Hi torque Nema 23s will most likely use these.
    The power supply is a Meanwell 24v 350w. I do have 240v run to my shop on a separate panel.

    I will definitely be giving the OpenBuilds software a try. I just looked at the cost of Mach3 and well.. I would rather spend that
    money on good end mills and my table/enclosure.

    Thank you again.
     
  5. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    The DRV8825 drivers are under powered, even for the 175oz motors. You can use them, however. You can use an arduino with the Gecko which is probably better: g540, mach 3,4 or other?

    Since you're going grbl based, then use the following post processors

    For Fusion: swarfer/GRBL-Post-Processor Here's how to use a custom post in fusion: How to install a Personal (local) Post Processor in Fusion 360 CAM | Fusion 360 | Autodesk Knowledge Network

    For Solidworks (note, I haven't used this personally, but I believe its the one you want): CAM Post Processor - CARBIDE 3D SHAPEOKO

    The good news is that OpenBuilds Control makes things pretty simple. You dont need to know much about grbl since there's a built in config for your machine but it does help to have a basic understanding of the configuration settings. The interface is in Metric. It might be a bit annoying at first, but you'll get use to it. I use fusion and model/cam everything in imperial, then have the post processor create the g-code in Metric. (metric gcode is mandatory btw).

    For the mechanical build side of things, the build videos are good. I've been meaning to post a FAQ for some common things that come up during/after a build but in the meantime, here's a list (not complete).

    How to adjust wheels. This seems to be frustrating to people who are just starting out with these types of machines. The OpenBuild video shows adjusting them after the machine is fully assembled. However, its easier to get them pre-adjusted before. Here's a video on that. Go to 27:00 minute mark



    And another video showing after fully assembled.




    You'll need to calibrate your steps. You can get very close with the built in fine tune wizard in OpenBuilds control. Its located in the Grbl Settings tab next to parameters $100, $101 and $102. If you need more accuracy, you need to cut a square, measure and do come calculations:




    You may notice that your lead screws will be tight in the nut blocks. This is common. Just attach to the end of a drill and run them through the blocks a few times. Also pick up a can of dry silicone spray. I use the WD-40 brand. Just make sure its Dry

    There's things that are missing from this list, but I'm out of coffee. Start a build thread so we can help you through specific issues as they arise.
     
    Mark Carew and Alex Chambers like this.
  6. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Resident Builder Builder

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    If you're wanting to stick with the Protoneer shield you might take a look at the TB67S109 drivers. These are the same drivers built into the BlackBox and should provide sufficient power for the larger nema 23s. And I say "should" because I can't offer any practical experience with them. I bought a set for my current build but then the BlackBox came along so they've been pushed back to a future build.
     
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  7. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    Good info. I didnt know you could add those. They weren't listed on the protoneer site that I could find.
     
  8. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot New
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    Wow.... Thanks a bunch guys. I had no idea that the DRV8825 was not powerful enough. I was given this board and
    drivers so hmmmm..... Looks like a Blackbox is the way to go for simplicity. Have to go look at the parts store....
     
    Mark Carew, sharmstr and GrayUK like this.
  9. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot New
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    Well, I have decided to use the Gecko G540 for my Grizzly lathe and mill and will make this easy
    so I just ordered the Blackbox along with a couple of bits and bobs that I thought would be nice
    to have. Now to download software and start learning before the Blackbox arrives.
     
  10. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    Well, unless uou have something to connect the software to, theres not much you can learn
     
  11. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    Actually, you can connect to that arduino board
     
  12. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot New
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    @sharmstr that is exactly what I have done.
     
    #12 RV6APilot, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    sharmstr likes this.

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