GCode software for my setup

I have an Arduino Mega 2560 with 3 L298N H bridge stepper drivers and 3 NEMA 17 motors. The electronics are all working properly. My intention is to build a desktop 3 axis CNC using my Dremel as the spindle.

I initially thought GRBL would suffice but it turns out the latest version (0.9) does not support H Bridge drivers. Can anyone provide me with advice regarding what GCode software would be best for my setup?

Thanks in advance!

I'd recommend that you post your question on the reprap forum.

There is already very good code and very good hardware for building CNC and 3D printers.

Specifically the RAMPS board and the Marlin software

Plus PC software like PrintRun that takes GCODE and sends it to Marlin

But overall your best bet is to post your question reparp forum http://forums.reprap.org/

Will do that Roger.

Thanks

Eclectric:
I initially thought GRBL would suffice but it turns out the latest version (0.9) does not support H Bridge drivers.

There is a very good reason for this. H-bridge drivers are a very poor choice for stepper motors. You really should use proper stepper motor drivers - for example the Pololu A4988.

Proper stepper motor drivers allow the use of high voltage power supplies to get better performance from the motor. The A4988 can work at 35volts but can only drive a motor that requires 1 to 1.5 amps.

You have not given details of your motors. There are hundreds of different Nema17 motors.

…R

Also new to all this but have done a lot of reading up, even considering enrolling for proper C tuition.

So rather than starting a new thread with a similar question., thought it would perhaps make sense if I posted in this one, sorry for the hi jack Eclectric, hope you don’t mind?

Anyhow, as mentioned, I’ve done a lot of reading and even more trial and error (even fried a Mega, connected to the 5v power supply whilst uploading a sketch, spiked so bad it even fried the Multi volt power supply).

This is where I am now. Not sure which way to go and perhaps some useful assistance could direct me in the right way. Yes I should have perhaps asked for help prior, but the fact is, I did and got me… Well that’s a long story and I don’t want to whine.

Ok, so 1st this is the setup that I have:
A 4 axis cnc (home built) machine with the normal X, Y and Z axis’s and the 4th a rotational axis fixed in a paralleled fashion to the Y axis.

X, Y and Z are fitted with Nema23 1.8 deg (200 steps) 3n/m torque stepper motors and the 4th (B) axis same Nema23 but with just 1n/m holding torque.

These all have the Wantai DQ542MA stepper drivers that are 12v with up to 4,2A of output.
I have a Multi volt power supply (second one) with 48, 12 and 5v outlets.
The Arduino mega 2560 is the board that is connected to all this (was supposed to).

What I did was to obtain a Modbus sketch specifically written for cnc machining, (one that had various bugs and issues), fixed it and managed to upload it to the Arduino. Comms between the laptop and the arduino, no issues, not any that can be identified yet. Modbus turns the arduino into a slave whilst the modbus master is Mach3.

Now here is the issue, prior to this I was about to use grbl with a G code sender of sorts to get the cad drawing to the cnc to cut the piece. Did some research and was advised to rather use modbus option as it was quicker, more accurate and so on and so in, but this inherently meant more complex too.

The issue I have is the brain that needs to be compiled in Mach3 in order for it to sync with Modbus (master and slave). Not easy and not a lot of help is available.

The question really is this, should I stick with Modbus and Mach3, change and use grbl, or should I consider other software all together?

Any advice would really be appreciated!

HenkVenter: The question really is this, should I stick with Modbus and Mach3, change and use grbl, or should I consider other software all together?

I don't think these are questions for the Arduino forum. Even though GRBL runs on an Arduino board there seems to be little or no knowledge here about how to use it. Mach3 is not an Arduino product and I don't know what Modbus does.

I think you need to ask your question on a CNC forum.

...R

HenkVenter: The question really is this, should I stick with Modbus and Mach3, change and use grbl, or should I consider other software all together?

I haven't tried grbl, but from what I gather

mach3+PC does what grbl+arduino does so you'd use one or the other

mach3 would be wired from the parallel port to the stepper drivers, and since it runs on the PC it has tons of screens, buttons, readouts, leds, and speed to control up to 6 axii , on any sort of cnc machine in (almost) real time

since grbl runs on arduino, it basically just interprets gcode, it doesn't have the screens, controls, and speed that mach3 has, so it is much more limited

if you have mach3 and a parallel port, just use that, it will be a lot easier, then if you decide you need a cnc based on arduino, then try grbl, after you've gained some cnc experience with mach3 it will be a lot easier

modbus is just a light weight i/o interface to interact with mach3, it is not cut out for extending mach3 to control another gcode interpreter like grbl,