Separate names with a comma.
Some features disabled for guests. Register Today.
Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by lexi chambers, Nov 30, 2018.
hi all should i use mach 3 or go for grbl based ?
I vote Estlcam
With genuin Arduino Uno and 542 drivers, great bang for the $.
Estlcam is its own firmware and easy to use CAM, can try for free and license is only $59
You will need to research, decide on your needs and choose the best fit for you.
thanks gary will this work with fusion 360?
Hi Lexi, yes it will work with files made using F360... But, if you are committed to using F360 (an excellent option) then GRBL is sufficient.
F360 has modeling to CAM under one program which is nice, then you would need to use a G-code sender such as Universal Gcode sender to send the commends to the GRBL Arduino.
If you were to go with Mach3 then you would need a control board compatible with Mach 3 such as the MK3/4 board, there are many cheap Ebay (search "Mach 3 controller") options as well, but not sure of the quality.
I love using Fusion 360 and Estlcam. Since most things I cut are 2.5 D, I do not usually bother modeling in 3D. I just do a quick drawing in F360 and export as a .dxf file and load it into Estlcam. It has streamlined my process.
ahh thanks guys this has really helped going to be making jewellery with my cnc cant wait to get it going
Depends what you're going to be running and how, but grbl is a great introduction to machine control. It's relatively simple, very cheap to start, has good support, and supports standards.
Downsides are things like lack of probing, toolchanges or other canned cycles and macros (which are explicitly left for control software, grbl is purely intended as a motion control package), 3-axis-only (not often much of a downside) and some limitations on allowed g-codes. It's highly unlikely you'll run into any issues though, and if you do, there's plenty of support here and all over the web.
It's what I'll be running my laser with here shortly, and it's going to be the initial controller for the mill until I eventually convert it to LinuxCNC (which is really overkill for any OpenBuilds-style CNC machine). I'm also a Fusion 360 user (and love it!)
You'll probably need to check your post-processing on the Fusion side, since it's an industrial software it may be expecting abilities that grbl doesn't provide, but I suspect that post-processors for grbl are already available.
Mach 3 is nice if you have a little more limited technical abilities and/or really just want to get to cutting chips as fast as possible, since it installs under Windows. You do pay for that convenience, of course. It's comfortable running anything from a simple router up to a full industrial machine and can do things like canned cycles and macros, wizards/conversational programming, all that good stuff. A while ago, it was pretty much the default for anyone wanting to get the most out of their machine, but these days grbl is good enough that it's really just another option.
Your specific needs are really dependent on your specific machine, the type of objects you plan to be making, and your general technical abilities.
Another opinion. If you’re going to use F360 to do your modeling then I also suggest using the built in CAM. It is very powerful! Especially considering the price of $0! Fusion has a bit of a learning curve but if you stick to the basics it should be ok. You can always grow with the software.
I haven’t done much “artsy” stuff with F360. I only know that working with text isn’t all that fun. It can import svg files so you can design in other programs.
Other than F360 I use grbl with the Protoneer Raspberry PI shield and bCNC as a gcode sender.
I have found that I can engrave any text with F-engave, a free software. Much easier than F 360 (IMHO). Sometimes a complex .svg with lots of arc segments would create a HUGE F360 file leading to my computer sometimes idling for extended periods while it was "thinking". I recently engraved something on a work piece. I designed the piece in Fusion 360, saved it as a .dxf, cut it, and before removing the piece from the machine, engraved a logo I made in F-engrave on it. It seems like a lot, but it was easier than my prior attempt with Fusion 360. F-engrave gives you the option to engrave bitmaps or dxf files. I just enter the height of my drawing and everything else is scaled. Then I just zero where I want it to go on my work piece. Hmmm... maybe I should make a quick video. I had plans to make some coasters for my sister-in-law out of artwork her 12 year-old son did. He is an amazing artist! He does a lot of pencil drawings which are easy to engrave.
yeah i used to use solidworks but switched over to fusion 360 had a little play with the cam inside f360 and seems pretty simple for my designs i still have a lot to learn with regards to cam but im continually watching youtube for inspiration and getting there i want to buy a mechanical cnc router kit and add the controllers etc myself so if anything goes wrong at least i know where to start when looking for possible faults etc