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Openbuilds control software and gerber files

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by SoRKos, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. SoRKos

    SoRKos New

    Jan 16, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hey everyone!
    I am thinking of purchasing the CNC LEAD 1010 milling machine, but i need to be sure that i can mill PCB's.
    I believe that the controller and the motors are sufficient enough for pcb milling, but i came across with some problems concerning software.
    I use KiCad to design pcbs and i created the gerber files needed.
    Firstly i want to upload gerber files to the Openbuilds control software (web-based) in order to convert them to gcode files.
    I saw that this is possible for the Openbuilds control software, but during a "test" run i made, i failed to generate the needed gcode files.
    So my first question, is it possible to use the Openbuilds control software to mill pcbs with the LEAD 1010?
    Do i have to use another software instead? FlatCam for example? Or it doesn't matter which software i use as long as i get the needed file extensions?
    The second question concerns the autoleveling feature in order to compensate the warp of the copper board.
    So i saw some techniques (BLTouch, conductivity using alligator clips) to level the CNC with the copper board warp. Are those those techniques compatible with the Openbuilds control software?
    Can i use the XYZ Probe plus for mesh leveling or i have to use BLTouch or the conductivity technique?

    Any resource or link or comment will be helpful at this point.

  2. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Project Maker Builder Resident Builder

    Mar 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Technically, CONTROL is just a Host, you may be referring to OpenBuilds CAM :)

    CAM has limited Gerber support (Tested against Eagle) so can't say for sure that the ones from KiCAD will work

    But keep in mind OpenBuildsCAM is a very beginner orientated CAM, so if you want to do it more often, there are many other CAM applications
    As explained in docs:software:overview [OpenBuilds Documentation]
    So in your example, for processing PCBs, you also again have a lot of choice to pick one that works best for you:
    I like FlatCAM FlatCAM: PCB Prototyping CAD/CAM a lot (i see you already know about it) for example, but also checkout PCB Milling - RepRap (Any workflow that support Grbl 1.1 can be used)

    Mesh levelling is not in CONTROL yet (planned feature though - see Z probe - warp compensation · Issue #62 · OpenBuilds/OpenBuilds-CONTROL ) , but again, ANY grbl host can connect to it, so you instead of CONTROL, you can use whatever Grbl Host application you like, which may have Levelling (Chilipeppr for example? )
  3. Giarc

    Giarc OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder Resident Builder

    Jan 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    The LEAD 1010 will work great. I use Flatcam for generating the g-Code and Estlcam for the surface probing prior to milling. Estlcam is not free($59), but it has great probing features and other things I like. I also like the interface and the fact I can use an box controller to jog the machine around.
  4. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder Resident Builder

    Aug 6, 2013
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