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xPRO advice for absolute novice

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by Jonathan Warawa, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Jonathan Warawa

    Builder

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    I purchased parts from OpenBuilds to construct a rig that moves a scanner through a series of compartments. This is not a typical CNC router/laser setup, and I can't use a software package with file downloSoads to figure this out. It is a large rig, and I had to purchase aluminum rail direct from China to get the 2 meter lengths I need for the X and Y.

    So, I have now hit a brick wall of not being sure how to start programming Arduino onto the CNC xPRO v3 I purchased. I have the electronics all connected with NEMA17 X, Y1, Y2, and Z motors connected to kick the tires and see if I can make anything work. I have a 24V power source connected per the Sparks website recommendation. LEDs all light up, and I can see the COMM3 port has a USB device. I downloaded Arduino 1.8.5, and it neither allows me to select port, nor select an appropriate board. All the boards are Arduino boards. Am I meant to use the CNC xPRO as an Arduino board? Which one?

    I downloaded a example file to move a motor and tried to upload it to the xPRO using the Arduino/Genuino Uno board selection (seems to be default in software). It didn't manage to upload anything.

    So now I am confused. When trying to scour the net for advice, it seems that many ppl using Arduino to run CNC are coding pins out to motor drivers to move the motors. That isn't how the xPRO is setup of course as I gather the controller and motor driver are all on one board.

    So where can a novice get some help? There are some fundamental concepts I need to wrap my mind around and I don't really know where to begin. I want to do some manual programming to set up a loop to move the XYZ through simple patterns (with a cloned Y). Where could I find example code for this that I can upload to my xPRO. Once I can start to turn the 4 motors, I can fine tune my path manually, but don't know how to get any motion.

    Please help!!!!
    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  2. marmageek

    marmageek New
    Builder

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    You have a lot going on there.

    xPRO and Arduino do different things. xPRO takes g-code (generated or programmed) and moves the axis handling all of the pulsing and driving for you.. Arduino's send pulses to drivers (or H-bridges) to move the axis. You can find a number of texts on the internet to help you with pulsing steppers (e.g. Microchip AN822). You MUST have drivers as the Arduino cannot handle the power to motors itself. You program an Arduino in C, C++, or Wiring. You program an xPRO in NC g-code. You you look on this forum, you can find references to tool chains that people use here (e.g., CAD --> CAM --> Controller --> Driver --> Motors). The xPRO sits in the (-->Controller-->Driver-->) path.

    So since you have an xPRO already, my suggestion is to talk g-code to it. Create g-code for the motions you want and use some program that talks serial and sends g-code to the xPRO to get it to do what you want. You could do this with Processing, or if with a BASH shell (on Windows, Linux, or Mac).

    2¢,
    Jon
     

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