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WorkBee CNC build - My honest opinion, tips and help

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by T4Concepts, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Ryan Lock

    Ryan Lock Veteran
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    @T4Concepts I haven't used Cut3D. But i imagine it the same as the others. All their programs have a good toolset for CAD functionality built in. It won't replace a dedicated CAD program, but is definitely good enough for a lot of jobs. You can then use their CAM tools to setup your toolpaths. In the same pane, you need to save as G-Code. For post processor, just use the standard G-Code mm .tap. Then open this file in UGS and send to the machine.

    The post processor isn't the software that sends the file to the machine. There is many flavours of G-Code. Using a post processor is basically just saying which G-Code format you would like. Vectrics standard one, works perfect with GRBL.
     
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  2. jeffmorris

    jeffmorris Well-Known
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    There is post processor for GRBL in latest versions of programs released by Vectrics. The post processor for G-Code adds code that's not compatible with GRBL. The first line of code is the one that's not compatible with GRBL.
     
  3. spandadk

    spandadk New
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    I can't remember through the comments whether you looked at Cut3D for a specific reason, but to chip on the software options, i've started using Fusion 360 which has both CAD + CAM and seems to have no limits on what you need to do. It's even free if you're a hobbyists/start-up/enthusiast.
    Exporting GRBL compatible g-code to work in UGS is no problem at all either,- atleast had no issues in the small tests i've done.
     
  4. fwm891

    fwm891 New
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    @spandadk - thanks. I'd looked at Fusion 360 before but didn't think I would qualify for the 'free' usage. Seems I might having gone further through the process. I've downloaded the trial which I should be able to convert to free use once the trial period is over. Proper bells-n-whistles.

     
  5. Ryan Lock

    Ryan Lock Veteran
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    Thanks for pointing that out, i will look into that. Admittedly i haven't updated my version for a while.

    Ryan
     
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  6. Antonio Pereira

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    Finally a great topic about woorkbee, the information about this CNC is starting to appear.

    I build a 2200X1700mm CNC, and yes i get some deflection in Y Axis, but since this machine is going to just cut plaint sheets of PVC, Wood and Acrilic, is not a major problem. Due the weight and size i made some upgrades... I changed the Y Axis plates to 4mm Stainless steel (add even more weight, but avoid some X axis defletion) and added double belts, just to avoid to much stretch.I will change the corner plates to 6mm Stainless steel, and i will use a 0.8kw Air Cooled, for now im using router like makita.

    For software i'm using ESTLCAM, i didn't get the GBRL to work :|

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/cUtY55AcrzrDEuk13

    Thanks Ooznest for creating this machine ;)
     
    #96 Antonio Pereira, Mar 28, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  7. Ryan Lock

    Ryan Lock Veteran
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    @Antonio Pereira Ooo large machine you have built. We would love to see some pictures! Thanks for the kind words :)
     
  8. Antonio Pereira

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    [​IMG]

    First tests cutting MDF 2mm deep cuts 3000mm/min

    [​IMG]

    Z-Axis View

    [​IMG]
    4mm Stainless Steel Plate

    [​IMG]
    Back View and all the dust mess :D
    [​IMG]

    Tidy Cables (I hate seeing cables too much in view and disorganized.)

    [​IMG]

    Aviator Plugs and Cnc Shield from Protoneer

    [​IMG]

    First Draw (pen was to loose )

    [​IMG]

    Checking for Squareness

    [​IMG]

    Doble Belt "Hack"

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/wmLVSUo7Kesz3oha2

    Best Regards
     
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  9. Ryan Lock

    Ryan Lock Veteran
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    Thanks for pictures, great to see one built from scratch! I like your double belt hack :thumbsup:
     
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  10. MadeinAmman

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    Thanks T4 for posting your build. Hands down this has been the best information I have found regarding the setup of a WorkBee machine. I'm a two week old newbie to CNC. Surprisingly enough I ran into almost the exact same issue that you did during my build.

    First time around, I didn't completely read the manual but rather looked at the diagrams. Needless to say I ended up redoing the build from almost scratch. Lesson learned: READ THE MANUAL FIRST at least as you are going through the build but better yet before you even start. I got stung by the Z-axis limit switch also but instead of build a platform like you did to get under the frame, I simply tilted it up and crawled under it and used my head to hold up the frame while trying to screw in that tiny thing. It didn't go as easy as I thought it would but I eventually got it in. I'm currently awaiting a new AB-Nut-Block from Ryan as the one provided with my kit would barely let the Z-axis lead screw turn at all. I had to disassemble the X-axis to take off the X-carriage assembly (to get to the AB-Nut-Block). It would be a lot easier to replace the AB-Nut-Block if the nyloc nuts were embedded into the Z plate assembly (on the side where the two assemblies join together) so that you could screw in the M5 low profile bolts from outside the assembly. The two assemblies had to be taken apart in order to take off the AB-Nut-Block. I'm sure there is a reason for the current configuration... just thought I would share my thoughts. Thanks again for posting... I cant wait to get the AB-Nut so that I can resume where I left off in your post :)
     
  11. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Hi MadeinAmman,

    Glad you found my build thread informative, my main aim was to demystify the assembly process ................ not that there's much to it, it's pretty straight forward really, specially with those fantastic assembly manuals that Ryan supplied ( when fully read and understood! ). Sometimes it is much easier to have seen somebody else build one prior to attacking theirs. So you're aware of any pitfalls if they exist.

    I had the exact same issue with my nut-blocks, so tight that even with my cordless drill attached to the ACME lead screw, I still couldn't drive the lead screw through them! Loads of squirts of silicon didn't help either! But with Ryan' after sales service being second to none, I had replacements the following day via Fedex ................. and I'm in the middle of nowhere in central France!

    I should be in the position of posting an update in the next couple of days, it's been a bit busy round here ;) Hopefully you'll also find my update interesting :thumbsup:


    TURK
     
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  12. MadeinAmman

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    Hello Turk,

    Well I got my 750x1000 WorkBee up and running but I really need your help or some pointing in the right direction. About the only thing I can do at the moment is "home" the machine. I'm currently using Sketchup, StechUcam and UGS but when ever I try to run gcode I get some out of range/limit error or cant run code in alarm mode. Perhaps a stupid question but after I home ($H) the machine do I need to move it before running gcode. Thanks
     
  13. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Hi MadeinAmman,

    Happy you got your WorkBee moving mate :thumbsup: those first steps are always nail-biting aren't they ?
    I'm by no means an expert, but I would suspect that you have your GRBL setting still set to defaults. Depending on what orientation you have your 750 x 1000mm WorkBee, you would need to 'tell' it it's maximum travel limits. As an example, in the Ooznest 'Full Kit Assembly Manual' ( Apendix B ) ( Page 60 ) there's a list of the recommended GRBL settings for a 750mm x 750mm WorkBee screw driven cnc ( belt driven may be different ).

    So my X axis is set to $130=550, and my Y axis is set to $131=520 those set the maximum allowed travel on those axis'. Probably why your machine thinks it's 'going out of bounds'. I don't know off hand what the max limits are for a meter long axis, could be as much as 950mm. Take a look at Ryan's website, I'm pretty sure I saw the machining dimensions on there for a 1000mm x 1000mm a while back. I may be wrong here, but I also believe that those dimension are the actual locations of the limit switches, they all basically define the actual cutting limits available without the gantry crashing against the sides of your cnc. If it helps at all mate, I've also got some YouTube videos of my WorkBee and how I set things up ......... try searching YouTube for "WorkBee CNC - My first GCode".

    Have you read the part of my build that explains the 'Homing' positions ? I got all confused reading in other places as no one had actually mentioned that there are two types of 'Homing' positions, so I decided to clarify for newbies. MPos and WPos, so once your cnc is 'Homed' ( the maximum limits ) you then 'Home' your work piece. You set that WPos ( Work Position ) on every job.


    If I've got any of this wrong guys, please feel free to jump in and rectify as needed. After all, this is still a guide for newbies and I'm still learning this stuff as I'm going along :D


    Let us know how you get on MadeinAmman :thumbsup:



    TURK
     
  14. MadeinAmman

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    Hello Turk

    Thanks for your reply. I literally had 20 different websites opened in my browser when I got your reply. Mostly Youtube videos. I haven't really found one place that explained the next steps after building a WorkBee machine but I did get bits and pieces over that last few days that started coming into shape. Yes, Im starting to see the light.

    In response to your comment, yes I had set up my machine according the appendix in the manual. I watched your video numerous times to get my head the two "homes". Initially it's not that intuitive but once you understand it, it seems so simple. Theoretically I understood the two homes, I just didn't know "how" to set the work position until I saw Schematix's "How to Home a CNC Mill and Setup Milling Stock Home Position".

    Yes, I didn't "reset zero" after repositioning the router from my machine home. I feel embarrassed mentioning it now but only do so to help anyone else new to CNC.

    The second problem was that I didn't move the router position over enough to the left of the X-axis.

    With those two things (and my finger on the power switch), I was able to run my first gcode... now I need to find a Sharpie marker ;)

    Thanks Turn, I think I'm going to write up a step-by-step tutorial of how I got my 750x1000 WorkBee to actually run its first gcode. I'm so happppppppppppy!!!
     
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  15. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Congratulations mate, well done :thumbsup:

    I found 'Schematix' tutorial for his custom made OX-Metal to be very informative also, that's why I thought it a good idea to include his How-To's in my build thread.

    The information is out there, just not all in one place ( probably why you had 20 odd web pages open all at once as I did when I was researching! and then you have to be able to understand what they're talking about ...............
    in my case at first, everything was going right over my head o_O the issue is, most how-to's are written by people who understand what they're talking about, to the rest of us ( newbies ) it may as well be Greek! :(

    Any chance of seeing a nice pic of your working WorkBee ? :D



    TURK
     
  16. MadeinAmman

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    Hey Turk, after getting it to work, I took some time to build a place for it in my shop. I didn't have room in the actual shop so I had to divide the office at the back of the shop in half. I'm still working on it (as well as the rest of the shop) but here's what I have so far. I put a window in the dividing wall so I could watch the machine at work from inside the office :)

    MiA_WorkBee.jpg
     
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  17. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Very nice mate, I like it :thumbsup: The WorkBee looks quite nice all in black.
    Nice setup as well ........................ what you planning on making ?



    TURK
     
  18. MadeinAmman

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    Thanks Turk. That's a good question. At 52, I finally had my mid-life crisis. I've always wanted to have a shop and I thought it would be mostly wood projects. However, after seeing and building Jeremy Schmidt's incremental table saw fence and 2x72" belt grinder, I think I'm hooked on steel fabrication. I will definitely be using it for wood projects (for both home and the shop) but I can see getting into aluminum and plastic also. We'll see what happens. Probably use it for my new DIY website (ie madeinamman.com) also. What are you using yours for?

    By the way, I think Aspire and Mach3 may be my next move ;) Im starting to feel more comfortable with CNC.
     
  19. MadeinAmman

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    And it all started with your post.... thanks!!!
     
  20. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Well, I'm now 55 and been building stuff all my life and always wanted a workshop, guess I've had a 'mid-life crisis' all along :rolleyes:
    'Mid-life crisis' is a phrase women use to describe men that 'Have seen the light'! :ROFL:

    I'd be careful looking at Mach3 mate for your WorkBee, I've read that it's not compatible with the X-Pro controller. But having said that, I'm pretty sure some people have found a work-around. The Aspire software is superb, though quite expensive. Also worth considering is 'Cut2D' & 'Cut3D' from Vectric > Products - Whats New - Cut2D V8


    My WorkBee will only have light duties, as I'm really not expecting to work with steel or Aluminium. I'm using mine for designing and profiling automotive headlight parts. The initial design will be formed using tooling foams such as PU foam. And the final parts 'machined' ( profiled ) out of ABS plastics, such as the images below.

    Polyurethane foam buck - Currently I'm making these individually by hand >>

    30_IMG_1857.jpg


    Also, the machining for the headlight mounting positions, are also done by hand. I think in order to gaurentee accuracy a cnc machine is the answer :thumbsup: >>

    28_IMG_4300.jpg

    I've still got quite a bit to do to my WorkBee, customise it for my purpose, which means raising it to give a deeper cut depth. Working on that right now, but it also means you need to find the appropriate milling bits for the task at hand.


    Thanks mate :thumbsup: But then again .................. I don't know if I want to be responsible for you spending all your hard earned money! :D
    Glad that my ramblings did help you out though ;)



    TURK
     
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  21. MadeinAmman

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    I didn't know that but thanks for the heads up.
     
  22. Ryan Lock

    Ryan Lock Veteran
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    Hey, just to confirm the xpro isn't compatible with mach3
     
  23. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Thanks for the confirmation Ryan :thumbsup:
    I thought I'd read that somewhere in my research, as I was originally looking at Mach3 for my WorkBee. I did read an article that a guy had managed to get it to work with his X-Pro CNC, but he had an absolute mare with it!
    ....................... best not even go there! ;)

    Thanks for the extra bits btw mate, no doubt I'll be back for more as I'm now a life-long CNC addict :D



    TURK
     
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  24. BigBee

    BigBee New
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    [QIUOTE="Antonio Pereira, post: 66718, member: 95536"][​IMG]

    First tests cutting MDF 2mm deep cuts 3000mm/min

    [​IMG]

    Z-Axis View

    [​IMG]
    4mm Stainless Steel Plate

    [​IMG]
    Back View and all the dust mess :D
    [​IMG]

    Tidy Cables (I hate seeing cables too much in view and disorganized.)

    [​IMG]

    Aviator Plugs and Cnc Shield from Protoneer

    [​IMG]

    First Draw (pen was to loose )

    [​IMG]

    Checking for Squareness

    [​IMG]

    Doble Belt "Hack"

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/wmLVSUo7Kesz3oha2

    Best Regards[/QUOTE]
     
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  25. BigBee

    BigBee New
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    Sorry fingers clicking wrong buttons. Wanted to ask T4Concepts whether they are using an Arduino Shield with DRV8825 drivers, if so what GRBL settings they used ?
     
  26. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    'They' ? .......... they who, BigBee ? the guy who managed to get CNC X-Pro to work with Mach3 ? It was something to do with different drivers and installing various shields. Was well beyond my understanding though! o_O

    Nice BIG machine you got there :thumbsup: can I ask, why does the MDF fray like that ? Is it down to the type of milling bit you're using ? I would of thought that a nice clean crisp edge were possible on MDF, as it's pretty dense stuff. I'm hoping to machine some 'bucks' for mould making eventually, so a nice clean finish is very important, it would certainly negate the sanding stages.


    TURK
     
  27. BigBee

    BigBee New
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    Sorry !! I'm not very good in communicating in news groups, put it down to grey cells as I'm now in my 80's. When I said 'they' I was not being dis-respectfull, I did know whether they were male or female and did not want to cause offence. I have a 'Workbee' 750 x 750 using an Arduino shield with 4 DRV8825 drivers. I am trying to find out the GRBL ( $ listing ) setting for this config. So far every one refers and quotes to the xPro which is different.
     
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  28. MadeinAmman

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    Hats off to you BigBee... I hope I'm still tinkering with my CNC machine in my 80's. Did you ever find the answer to your question? Not that I understood it but just curious.
     
  29. MadeinAmman

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    Hello Turk. Just thought to let you know I posted a tutorial on my website to hopefully help newbies answer some of the same questions that I had when I first got into CNC and to hopefully to help avoid having to spend a week on the net trying to figure out how to use their new CNC machine (although that just may be part of the learning process). In any case, if interested you can check out Running your first gcode after assembling your WorkBee CNC machine.
     
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  30. T4Concepts

    T4Concepts Journeyman
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    Nice how to video Amman and thanks for the tip :thumbsup:
    Strange how you didn't select the inner cuts for the letter 'O' and the 'E' ........ yet they were detected in the GCode !? I followed a different tutorial and had to select the inner cuts, otherwise only the outer paths are detected and GCode generated. I may have to have another look at that.

    @BigBee - No need to apologise my friend :D I understand what you're saying, and I would also say that it's quite difficult nowdays to even determine gender just by looking ! :rolleyes:
    I don't know anything about the Ardiuno sheild, but if I happen to find a good article I'll be sure to let you know :thumbsup:


    TURK
     

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