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Topic: another cnc mill questionaire (Read 35092 times) previous topic - next topic



tried it on windows 7 aswell. did´nt work.


aha we have a result
I managed to reproduce the error
and we have a fix

it's silly windozy! :P

open device manager
find the USB COM port and change it to COM5

that should squish the buglet
do let me know how you get on

there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


YOU BRILLIANT YOU! good morning by the way. i changed to com5 (windows told me that another device is already using com5) and it works. thank you a thousand times.

i will be finishing the router today or tomorrow and i must say that i was really worried the last days when i thought "oh, i am building a router and when i am finished i don´t know how to drive it". i read about thousand threads and googled for cnc arduino blah blah until my fingers blooded but did not find one solution that i understand.

would you be so nice and provide me with some more information about the gcode interpreter _init.pde regarding how to wire all up?

just to make sure:

what i understand are the stepper controls like

#define X_STEP_PIN 7
#define X_DIR_PIN 6

#define Y_STEP_PIN 2
#define Y_DIR_PIN 3

#define Z_STEP_PIN 9
#define Z_DIR_PIN 10

what i am not shure are:

(1) endswithches

for example: #define X_MIN_PIN 14
#define X_MAX_PIN 15

do i have to connect the switches also to 3.3V, 5V or something else?

(2) motor control

is this the sleep/wakeup for the easy drivers?

(3) panic stop/reset

are these buttons and do they need some 3.3V, 5V or somehting else like the endswitches?

i would be glad if you would help me again and wish you the best possible day!!


glad to see we made some progres!!

endswitches are limit switches to stop excess travel + and- in each of x, y, z

they can be
a) ignored!
b) connected to microswitches  :(
c) connected to photoswitches  :)
d) connected to hall effect switches :)
basically whatever you have

they can be
a) logic low is good, high is bad
b) logic low is bad, high is good
there is a seting to invert them if they're working the wrong way

in order to "ignore" them to logic high

motor control is used to switch the router spindle on and off
if you're doing this manually, ignore it

panic stop/reset
is used to freeze everything (in case of an emergency)

you can just ignore it (set it to logic high)
panic reset is only checked after a panic, so you can ignore that too

hope that helps

cheers Mike
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


thank you for your kind answers. for the limiting switches i will use something like these: http://www.google.at/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fischertechnik-fans.de/Images/Tasterinnen.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fischertechnik-fans.de/html/Tipps/alternativeteile.php&usg=__cn9bRSjqhrJVgUHl2R2FSplJQJU=&h=589&w=784&sz=73&hl=de&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=B9XA--RLwVLjNM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=151&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfischertechnik%2Btaster%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dde%26rlz%3D1C1AVSW_enAT376AT376%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D513%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=414&vpy=80&dur=432&hovh=195&hovw=259&tx=87&ty=73&ei=kKIlTa3AAYSeOsvd0e0I&oei=kKIlTa3AAYSeOsvd0e0I&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0

as a noob i have to ask again: i would think that i need to go with some voltage to the switch wich then goes to a pin on the arduino in case the switch is pressed. am i right? if so, does it matter if i use 3.3V or 5V from the arduino?

another question regarding these switches is, that i thought, that these are also used to set the axis to 0. i mean before the actual cutting starts, the motors should drive the axis to for example axis-min-switch and resets the measurement of the axis to 0 to know where it is, as the stepper motors only measure relativly.


those limit switches will be fine
I would use whatever voltage you have on the Arduino
so the switch (when closed) will connect, for example, 5v to the limit measuring (max or min) pin

you can also use them as "home" switches, but the software makes no provision for that

stepper motors just o what they are told

the software can use absolute or relative positioning
the PC interface allows you to "jog" (move) x y and z manually

how are you generating your gcode?
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


oh, i see. i use http://www.vectric.com/WebSite/Vectric/cut3d/c3d_index.htm

to generate gcode. as i design my things in 3d (cinema4d) and cut3d generates gcode from 3d formats. if you know an alternative, please tell me.

the thing i´m curious now is how do i position my workpiece so that it is milled correctly? do i just place the head somewhere and then put the workpiece relative to this position regarding the settings in the "tools" "options" menu (origin x, origin y)? < confused again ;) >

is there any way to get the machine finding its 0-axes and then count "absolut" from there on?


I plan to use the limit switches as home so I'll position the workpiece, then home all the axes, then off we go
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


I'm just curious (not trying to be critical) as to why one would want to run a CNC machine with an Arduino when it's relatively easy and inexpensive to simply use EMC2? I run this very powerful and capable software on a 10 year old Pentium 4 machine I got for free so my software and computer costs are zero. The EMC2 community is very active and supportive and development of the software is constant in response to the users needs. Couldn't ask for more!


for me it was the intellectual challenge of implementing it all
you still need something that sits between EMC2, which is software, and the steppers (raw hardware)

the Arduino + EasyDriver combination provides the equivalent of commercial setups like Gecko at £ several hundred

Further most commercial software needs to use the parallel ports as all the timing is done on the PC and you can't wait for USB/serial ports to catch up

by offloading the signal generation to the Arduino, you remove this problem at a stroke

but more than all that see reason 1 above!
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


hi again, just back from working on the mill/router.

"I plan to use the limit switches as home so I'll position the workpiece, then home all the axes, then off we go". -> thats nice. would you keep me informed when you implimented this feature?

why i did not consider emc2: simply because of (1) i am an idiot, (2) because i started doing things with arduino some weeks ago, (3) because when i googled for arduino and cnc all the wonderful machines like makerbot, reprap,... came up and i thought that arduino would be perfect and (4) during googeling i stept over emc but the moment i read linux i went somewhere else.

i was and am very glad when you replied to my thread here, as you kindly provided me a good starting point for all the cnc stuff. thanks to you i will have a closer look to emc the next time - we´ll see.

have a nice evening!


Well, the intellectual challenge part I can understand, but I think you'll quickly run into the limitations. A microprocessor simply doesn't have what it takes to do the trajectory planning etc. that is required of any capable CNC machine. As for running linux, it was a no-brainer for me. I popped the live CD in, did the install, ran EMC's configuration wizard and was running within an hour. As for the extra hardware the only thing required besides the stepper drivers was a breakout board for the parallel port.
Again, I'm not dissing the whole idea of CNC on the arduino, just pointing out the deficiencies. I am in fact working on a single axis arduino controller for a digital positioning system, the reason I dove into this microcontroller business. I'll post it here when it's done.
Good luck on your endevours! I'll be watching to see what you come up with.  :)


do you mean, that if i want to use emc i can use my easydrivers and only need a parallel breakout box? could you provide me a link of such a box? as my netbook does not have a parallel port - is there a usb solution available or would i need another pc?


Yes,all you would need is the BOB. Here's the one I use: http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product_info.php?cPath=33&products_id=45. A BOB can be very simple and you could easily build one yourself also (see this site: http://pminmo.com/.
You would definitely need a parallel port however. It's a shame they are being eliminated in newer computers as they are the easiest output to deal with for external devices. Fortunately there are plenty of free or cheap cast-off computers available that will do a fine job. Another option is to add a PCI parallel port card although that wouldn't be an option with a netbook. In case you haven't found it yet, CNCzone.com is the most comprehensive site for all things CNC.

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