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biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Edited for quoting since the reply ended up starting a new page

Dominoes posted:

Ayer GRBL postprocessor - works great! Had to remove one * line near the beginning, as mentioned.



Going to make a few more of these, then try aluminum.

If it wasn't for being I'd ask if someone could put that post processor for GRBL on a file sharing site and post a link here for everyone else looking to experiment with SolidCAM and their Shapeoko/GRBL machine.

EDIT #2: Make sure you recalculate your speeds/feeds and depths of cut/stepovers for aluminum, since I'm sure it will require a much lighter touch.

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 15:05 on Jun 15, 2021

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Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



It was the restrictedayerspace.net link you posted earlier.

Good call on aluminum. Of note, the speed (S setting) here was too high for the 3018, but in the case its commanded to a speed higher than its max of 1000, it goes to 1000.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Dominoes posted:

It was the restrictedayerspace.net link you posted earlier.

Good call on aluminum. Of note, the speed (S setting) here was too high for the 3018, but in the case its commanded to a speed higher than its max of 1000, it goes to 1000.

I know, I meant for folks that don't want to sign up for spam email to get it.

Have you played around with choosing "Library" for the Feed/Speed tab and then using the Stock Manager to set the material to something like what you are going to machine?

If you pick, for example, 6061 (maybe the most common grade of aluminum people machine?) in the Material under the Stock Manager, then the software will take a guess at the appropriate spindle and feed rates to use under the Feed/Speed tab as long as you have "Library" picked and have set the material in said stock manager.

This can be handy if you're experimenting and want relative starting point feeds/speeds to then adjust from with your overrides on the machine (usually a dial for the RPM and a dial for the linear feed that's in percentages--but this may vary depending on your machine).

There is a weird/painful process for enabling more material options in the TechDB (or at least, it was painful when I last did it circa 2018), but I figure more baseline data is a good thing when you're starting out (and you can always change the Feed/Speed option to Operation and put your own feeds/speeds in if you don't like the Library's guesstimate).

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Jun 15, 2021

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



I used the non-spam one. I set up the spam one too and skimmed the NC files it generates (about 2x longer than the Ayer and FANUC ones)

For the Feed/Speed tab, I've left default settings of Library, and used Polyurethane for the cut above. There are a few aluminum setting there too, including what it defaults to (I think the 6061 you mentioned? I'll use that when I try Al). I was surprised that selection is so small - eg there wasn't an ABS setting. On the materials setting for the CAD part of SW, there's a much larger material library, but it seems independent from this.

I may try the Operation setting and experimenting, especially if the default Aluminum doesn't work. Or if sending 10000 RPM to the machine that can only do 1000 (and reverts to it) messes with the feed/drill speed ratio or something.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Dominoes posted:

I used the non-spam one. I set up the spam one too and skimmed the NC files it generates (about 2x longer than the Ayer and FANUC ones)

For the Feed/Speed tab, I've left default settings of Library, and used Polyurethane for the cut above. There are a few aluminum setting there too, including what it defaults to (I think the 6061 you mentioned? I'll use that when I try Al). I was surprised that selection is so small - eg there wasn't an ABS setting. On the materials setting for the CAD part of SW, there's a much larger material library, but it seems independent from this.

I may try the Operation setting and experimenting, especially if the default Aluminum doesn't work. Or if sending 10000 RPM to the machine that can only do 1000 (and reverts to it) messes with the feed/drill speed ratio or something.

Yeah, the CAM material library is completely separate from the SW material library (for the simple reason that the feed and speed tables mean nothing to Solidworks yet, and they haven't really integrated the software yet to the point that the same material library could be used for both).

Here's a "quick" walkthrough of how to add more materials to your list (and you can go through the list of available materials and pick materials you are likely to attempt to machine and remove materials you know you never want to mess with).

https://hawkridgesys.com/kb/add-camworks-stock-material-in-technology-database

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Nice! I'll dive into that if the Aluminum settings don't work, or maybe to get a proper ABS.

Another note: It appears the Ayer post processer is skipping a drill step I have at the end that the Hawkridge (spammy one) works with.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I'd wager the Hawkridge one is going to be more well-defined and you're going to end up having more reliable code output there (since it's from a business that uses it as a "come to us for a post-processor for your other CNC needs" lure) vs. the Ayer post processor being done by a self-admitted amateur.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Did the Ayer one use a canned cycle? Probably G80-something? I don't believe GRBL supports ANY canned cycles

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Nailed it. G80.

Need to get some sacrificial plywood and smaller t-rail clamps before trying the aluminum.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

NewFatMike posted:

Did the Ayer one use a canned cycle? Probably G80-something? I don't believe GRBL supports ANY canned cycles

Could also go into the TechDB and disable canned cycle output on that side of the software (force the post to output long code for each movement).

We did that for one of the machines at work because, while it did support canned cycles, once you had a part that had more than about 30,000 holes the drip-feed code lost the canned parameters (& then the machine would just rapid to each hole location but not actually perform the drill function, serious WTF moment).

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 22:47 on Jun 15, 2021

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Ooh, that's... Fun. Since it's in the past, I guess.

I never knew you could disable canned cycles in the TechDB, that's very good to know from a post processor troubleshooting side.

Dominoes posted:

Nailed it. G80.

CarForumPoster
Jun 26, 2013
I have a high school diploma AND a hobby coin project

Now that you're sufficiently in awe, you motherfuckers shut up and let me tell you how human safety in your self driving car works in the REAL WORLD


biracial bear for uncut posted:

Could also go into the TechDB and disable canned cycle output on that side of the software (force the post to output long code for each movement).

We did that for one of the machines at work because, while it did support canned cycles, once you had a part that had more than about 30,000 holes the drip-feed code lost the canned parameters (& then the machine would just rapid to each hole location but not actually perform the drill function, serious WTF moment).

Ahh 1990s 2000s and earlier machining centers, cost more than my car, have far less memory storage.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

NewFatMike posted:

Ooh, that's... Fun. Since it's in the past, I guess.

I never knew you could disable canned cycles in the TechDB, that's very good to know from a post processor troubleshooting side.



Yep. You have select your machine then go into the operation parameters for your various drill cycles to disable it as needed. But doing this for something like your variable-pecking cycle when your machine might not otherwise support it is handy.




CarForumPoster posted:

Ahh 1990s 2000s and earlier machining centers, cost more than my car, have far less memory storage.

The machine in question was built by Anderson America (their Stratos line of machines) and set up new in 2005, but yes.

Weird configuration using a Windows PC that emulates FANUC software instead of having a proper FANUC controller setup. I hate it.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



Is every controller that lives on a timeshare OS terrible, or are there any good ones? Because Mach, GRBL, and ShopBot are ones I've tried and they are not fun compared even to PathPilot.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I'm pretty sure they are all terrible.

I briefly (through 2019) worked for a company that had HAAS machines (plus some routers that also had direct FANUC controllers on them, but I can't remember the manufacturer's name) and those things ran pretty much flawlessly with whatever code options I threw at them. Canned cycles, subroutines/programs, even some limited macro logic statements to generate hole patterns and slots/etc. based on variable values that the operator would input in a file they would edit for the variables required before running the program.

I wish I could afford to dump some money into a HAAS TM-1 with some of the add-ons that are available for it (tool probing system, "convenience package" for the tool/clamp/etc. storage, "High Speed Machining" and Rigid Tapping) , and be able to just Make Stuff.

LightRailTycoon
Mar 24, 2017


GRBL runs on an 8-bit Arduino, which is simultaneously incredible, and why its terrible.

NewFatMike posted:

Is every controller that lives on a timeshare OS terrible, or are there any good ones? Because Mach, GRBL, and ShopBot are ones I've tried and they are not fun compared even to PathPilot.

NewFatMike
Jun 11, 2015



biracial bear for uncut posted:

I'm pretty sure they are all terrible.

I briefly (through 2019) worked for a company that had HAAS machines (plus some routers that also had direct FANUC controllers on them, but I can't remember the manufacturer's name) and those things ran pretty much flawlessly with whatever code options I threw at them. Canned cycles, subroutines/programs, even some limited macro logic statements to generate hole patterns and slots/etc. based on variable values that the operator would input in a file they would edit for the variables required before running the program.

I wish I could afford to dump some money into a HAAS TM-1 with some of the add-ons that are available for it (tool probing system, "convenience package" for the tool/clamp/etc. storage, "High Speed Machining" and Rigid Tapping) , and be able to just Make Stuff.

One day we'll make it!

LightRailTycoon posted:

GRBL runs on an 8-bit Arduino, which is simultaneously incredible, and why its terrible.

Oh yeah, they all need to be fed by UGS and things like that, too. I still haven't set my 3018 up for GRBL from Mach 3, but I do have the offline controller, which I forgot about.

I've had better experiences with GRBL than Mach 3 which is bananas in its own way.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I actually like the "CNC Shark HD4" control setup (reminds me of a scaled-down version of the old dinosaur Thermwood my employer used to have with it's manual spindle dial to control RPM, no tool library, and no tool touch-off that stores tool offset value for the current tool).

Really wish I had a way to do a good semi-automated touch-off though. The stupid pendant that came with the machine for that purpose doesn't work at all (and a replacement is $100? When I have no guarantee it'll work at all?)

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 13:30 on Jun 16, 2021

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Gotcha on the Hawkridge GRBL for machines like the 3018: It inserts a G28 near the beginning, which rapidly moves to the machines 0 coords. If you're used to working in work coords, this can have consequences! (Of note, I haven't found a way to center the machine coords, so have been removing this line)

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Dominoes posted:

Gotcha on the Hawkridge GRBL for machines like the 3018: It inserts a G28 near the beginning, which rapidly moves to the machines 0 coords. If you're used to working in work coords, this can have consequences! (Of note, I haven't found a way to center the machine coords, so have been removing this line)

In between powering up and running the program, can you not jog the machine to your safe position and reset X/Y/Z to be that position with regard to G28 (assuming the machine in question doesn't have homing switches)?

Another option would be to put some X/Y/Z values after the G28 that you know will be safe relative to your actual setup.

Like "G28 Z5.0" (or any other arbitrary Z-value that would be a safe distance above your setup without causing overtravel) will just have the machine move the Z-axis to what it thinks is Z5.0 above "Z-home" position and X/Y would remain wherever the machine currently is because G28 plus an axis callout only moves that specific axis.

EDIT: That could still be a problem depending on the controller because some machines will interpret "G28 Z5.0" as "Go to Z5.0 relative to machine Zero on Z-axis" and some machines will interpret it as "Home Z-axis, then go to Z5.0".

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 13:48 on Jun 17, 2021

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



I appreciate it! The machine coords sound useful, but I'm not sure how to sync them or make them meaningful, since there are not sensors, stops etc, or any way to measure Them. And if I plug the machine to usb but not wall power, eg to simulate, the machine coords move without the machine moving, so it seems useless. When G28 runs, it tries to send the machine way out of limits.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

First thing I would do, is look for a guide on how to add endstops to your machine so that it reads and interprets homing actions correctly (since the firmware clearly has support for it enabled, but the hardware on your machine just isn't available for it to run properly).

EDIT: Like this one: https://samueldperry.com/2020/09/01/cnc-3018-pro-router-adding-endstops/


EDIT #2: Found one that may be less bullshit to implement. https://docs.sainsmart.com/article/rerey17twl-adding-axis-limit-and-emergency-stop-switches-to-a-sain-smart-3018-pro-cnc-machine

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 18:31 on Jun 17, 2021

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Oh sweet!

Trebuchet King
Jul 5, 2005

This post...

...is a
WORK OF FICTION!!



The only reason I ever edit gcode directly is when I have a swivel knife loaded instead of a cutting tool and gotta delete the line that starts the spindle---M3, in my case. This is an incredibly specific situation and if my workplace invested in newer software I don't think I'd need to do it.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Trebuchet King posted:

The only reason I ever edit gcode directly is when I have a swivel knife loaded instead of a cutting tool and gotta delete the line that starts the spindle---M3, in my case. This is an incredibly specific situation and if my workplace invested in newer software I don't think I'd need to do it.

How much money was invested in the post-processor development (assuming you ever got to see the purchase orders)?

That isn't free, despite what Autodesk might have people believe after they dumped the post-processors from HSMWorks into Fusion (back when they bought all the rights to that software and got access to the code and post-processor archives).

EDIT: HSMExpress is an option for Solidworks if you're sticking to 2.5-Axis operations and want to play around with an alternative to CAMWorks/SolidworksCAM. They also have a GRBL post-processor for download.

Here is where to download HSMExpress: https://www.autodesk.in/campaigns/hsmxpress-download

And you can run a search for post-processors here: https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts

Just select "Milling" for post Type and then select "GRBL" for the vendor.

EDIT2: Holy LOL there is a post-processor for a MaslowCNC if anybody wants to build one of those and start loving around.

Also! The post-processors are Javascript-based, so if you have an editor that will open Javascript files (Notepad++ or any other text editor that isn't an Office or Office-like product will work), you can dig into the post-processor's guts and customize things more easily.

biracial bear for uncut fucked around with this message at 10:07 on Jun 18, 2021

honda whisperer
Mar 29, 2009



biracial bear for uncut posted:

How much money was invested in the post-processor development (assuming you ever got to see the purchase orders)?

That isn't free, despite what Autodesk might have people believe after they dumped the post-processors from HSMWorks into Fusion (back when they bought all the rights to that software and got access to the code and post-processor archives).

EDIT: HSMExpress is an option for Solidworks if you're sticking to 2.5-Axis operations and want to play around with an alternative to CAMWorks/SolidworksCAM. They also have a GRBL post-processor for download.

Here is where to download HSMExpress: https://www.autodesk.in/campaigns/hsmxpress-download

And you can run a search for post-processors here: https://cam.autodesk.com/hsmposts

Just select "Milling" for post Type and then select "GRBL" for the vendor.

EDIT2: Holy LOL there is a post-processor for a MaslowCNC if anybody wants to build one of those and start loving around.

Also! The post-processors are Javascript-based, so if you have an editor that will open Javascript files (Notepad++ or any other text editor that isn't an Office or Office-like product will work), you can dig into the post-processor's guts and customize things more easily.

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=Autodesk.hsm-post-processor

Start here and use visual studio code to edit your post.

You can set it up so your post and the gcode it creates are aide by side. Click the g code and it will highlight where in the post it came from.

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biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

honda whisperer posted:

https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=Autodesk.hsm-post-processor

Start here and use visual studio code to edit your post.

You can set it up so your post and the gcode it creates are aide by side. Click the g code and it will highlight where in the post it came from.

Nice!

Here is the main application you need to use that add-on, other folks in the thread that may not have Visual Studio Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/

EDIT: I figure I'll set it up and play around with it for the Anderson America postprocessors for HSMExpress; it'd be nice to have an alternative to SolidCAM/CAMworks for when the employer decides to pour-mouth about updating software and things start breaking again.

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