September 27, 2018 at 1:26 am #70501
Hi Guys, last time I posted in Advice but was advised to post in Build (5 weeks ago). After some diversions, I now finished the ‘mechanical build’ of my Lowrider 2. Had a few rabbit holes to go down and come out of but I’ve arrived now. I have finished CNC and it works with manual commands from the LCD. I can move all axes, in steps of 10, 1, 0.1 mm. Is magic!! See pic. (pic is up side down – I don’t know why … maybe forum knows I’m down under?!)
So now I want to actually make something! I’ve never done this before – no previous 3D printing or CNC experience, coming from a 3D graphic arts / modelling experience (having fun though). It seemed lots of posts quoted Fusion 360, so I downloaded it and did the tutorials, built a simple model (simple 100 x 90 mm x 12 mm piece with a 6mm deep x 20 x 20mm ‘hole’ in it. Found the CAM section and got a fair way into configuration and then fell foul of a ‘POST Processing file’ for the low rider. Did some looks at V1 forums and found 2016 post by Ryan saying he doesn’t use Fusion 360 but uses Estlcam V10. (never heard of it), but found download site for V11, but then found other posts by Ryan on V1 forums where Post Process file defined for Fusion 360. So have 2 questions:-
- now that CNC is built, do I need to calibrate it (as I am using supplied firmware from V1)? Is this firmware already calibrated? IE 10mm in LCD = 10mm in real life on the CNC? It seems to be, but haven’t tested it rigorously.
- overall – what’s a recommended software workflow? my CNC requirements are modest. I just want to cut several square holes 12 mm deep, in 12mm MDF sheet. My CNC is built for 1/4 sheet stock – 1200 x 600mm stock. do I use Fusion 360 (seems like a sledgehammer for a nut) or is there a simpler ‘CAD’ / CAM answer? (for free) I’m quite adept at Sketchup and well on way to being adept in Fusion 360. But is F360 CAM the right way to go for a simple CNC situation? Or is something else better!
thanks in advance. Martin the Aussie.
Attachments:September 27, 2018 at 1:28 am #70503
pic is right side up now?!September 27, 2018 at 1:44 am #70504
Regarding calibration, the steppers have fixed steps, the pulleys have a fixed number of teeth, the belts have a fixed “pitch”, just like the leadscrews, so if your build is square, there _shouldn’t_ be a need to calibrate. But calibration should be no problem, you can easily test if a “big square” is really square and if the sides have the right lengths…
Regarding software, the workflow that gets “most” support on v1engineering is using ESTLCam, which is more than good enough for the majority of the uses, including your needs.
While ESTLCam is not free, it’s not too costly either, and can be used for free for some time, with a nag window opening for a lengthening time (limited IIRC to 3 minutes) until you register.
Otherwise, Fusion360 can be indeed used for free, and I think is the good CAD software for now.
__MY__ recommendation would be to use Fusion360 as CAD, and ESTLCam as CAM.September 27, 2018 at 5:20 am #70507
Jeffeb3ParticipantSeptember 30, 2018 at 5:14 pm #70766
(been away for weekend). Thanks for replies guys. Very helpful pointers … back on the learning curve (which is good). I’ll come back to ya, next time I hit a flat spot on the curve.September 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm #70771
hi guys. didn’t take long – I’m at the next flat spot on learning curve. From above posts, I’ve loaded ESTLCam and followed Ryan’s ESTLCam BASICS tut. (some of the screens are different in V11 of ESTLCam, but I worked it all out.) loaded my own very simple model (a 30mm square pocket), defined a toolpath and generated my first G-code file, looked at it in Notepad – all looks good. I thought at this point I could simply save this file to an SD Card and insert card into Lowrider LCD unit, select file in LCD menu and see some action. BUT doesn’t work – I think something is wrong with LCD controller/mini Rambo. So advice please.
I insert SD card in LCD SD Slot and info screen on LCD says ‘Card inserted’, if I remove card it says ‘Card removed’. So Card is being detected. However in the menu (Prepare, Control etc) it continues to say No SD Card (would’ve thought that menu option would change). If I select SD Card option, I get new screen on LCD showing 2 options Main and ‘..’. Main is go back up a level and I assume .. is typical parent folder selection ( .. is preceded with a square character). clicking on .. option – does nothing. Repeated clicks on LCD knob gets an audible click from the mini Rambo.
I’m using a 500GB micro SD card inserted in a standard SD Card adaptor. I know card is good, can view it and save/delete files via Windows file explorer.
is my assumption on use of SD card clot in LCD correct, or must LCD Rider be connected via USB from Repetier Host to work?September 30, 2018 at 8:12 pm #70772
I’m using a 500GB micro SD card
The smaller the better, and it needs fat32. So either buy a new card or format that down not sure if it will work but I know a 16g will work in fat 32.
The files are tiny a 2g card is overkill, 500g….September 30, 2018 at 9:59 pm #70777
I couldn’t find a 2GB SD, but I had an old 32GB, and tried it. It worked. Menu option changed, file was visible. Selected file and toolpath was followed. Was a dry run – spindle motor off and no bit, but all the CNC stuff worked.
Wow I’ve got a working CNC!!! Just need to stick in a router bit, mount some wood, spin it up and cut something. Doing that now1
Thanks for prompt help.October 1, 2018 at 8:54 am #70798
High five!January 16, 2019 at 3:46 pm #84107
Hmm, the image I attached isn’t appearing for me. Any quick tips on attaching images? It is 1.5MB, so shouldn’t be an issue of size. It did seem to attach…January 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm #84110
Just trying to image uploader to help you…
If you see an attached image, it works 🙂
I’m also in Brisbane, Australia btw and happy to help with part sourcing.
EDIT: I did get a 504 Gateway timeout when uploading the 184kb image,
however on refreshing the page, it seemed to work.
Attachments:January 16, 2019 at 4:26 pm #84113
Hi Mike. I must be doing something wrong. So you just went to the ‘select file’ button below the message dialogue, selected your image and it worked? That is what I did at least. I can’t work out what to do with the >insert>image option in the menus across the top. Just says ‘source’. Maybe it’s looking for a URL. No idea.
And thanks for offering to help here in Brisbane. That’d be grand. Have you built one yourself? Where in Brisbane are you? We’re in Greenslopes.January 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm #84116
Ok, now it’s getting weird. I edited my message and attached the photo. I waited for it to upload and it all looked good. Now the message has disappeared entirely. Are posts with images moderated? #confusedJanuary 16, 2019 at 4:36 pm #84117
Take two on submitting my post with an image attached….
Nice work, Martin. I’m looking to do something similar to you – i.e. build a 1/4 sheet LR2. I’m in Brisbane, Australia. I built a frame out of aluminium extrusion that is meant to be multipurpose, which happens to be the size of a 1/4 sheet of ply. Attached is a pic of the router table I built mounted to the frame. The whole thing clips to the Portamate saw stand but is also designed with feet so I can stick it on top of my workbench. I also have an Festool MFT/3 style top I mount on it for cutting stuff . It all goes back in the shed after I’ve finished using it. Unfortunately, I’m constrained by space so have to be creative about having a portable solution.
I’m thinking I could use the frame and build the LR2 on top of the MFT/3 top. I’m guessing that it’d be easy enough to pick up the CNC assembly and store it away, right? There’s nothing tying the CNC assembly to the table, is there?
I’d love to know where you got all your bits from, to give me a head start. It can be tough here in Australia. Do you have a build list by chance? If you don’t mind my asking, what did the whole thing set you back?
1 user thanked author for this post.January 16, 2019 at 6:01 pm #84134
Haha have the exact same mitre stand, except mine has seen too much weather.
Have you ever used Banggood? Would recommend.January 16, 2019 at 6:07 pm #84137
That’ll probably work. Make sure the top overhangs the extrusion say, 2 or 3 centimeters. Need some clearance for the z assembly. You’ll need to pull the belts off the table to remove the gantry for storage, but that’s not a big deal with a smaller table.January 16, 2019 at 6:33 pm #84145
I’m guessing you’re suggesting using Banggood for the bits and pieces. I use Banggood more than I care to admit. There’s a steady stream of little packages arriving at our house from them. What about sourcing the tube?January 16, 2019 at 6:35 pm #84146
Thanks Barry. That’s good to know. It’ll be easy enough to get another top that has some overhang. A bit of 3/4″ MDF or ply should be sufficient, I assume?January 16, 2019 at 6:44 pm #84152
The tube you will definitely need to source locally, I’ve literally just got a quote from Atlas Steels today for 1.6mm x 25.4 Stainless steel tube.January 16, 2019 at 6:45 pm #84153
The img tag in the bar is for pasting in urls for images hosted elsewhere like imgur:
Just make sure you get the link to the jpg and anyone has permission to view it. In google photos, you have to share it to a public album, then open that album, then get the link to that image.January 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm #84162
How much did they quote you?January 16, 2019 at 9:40 pm #84168
Hi Stevan. I’m a little slow answering your initial blog, and I see people have already answered some of your questions. More recent dialog is about locally sourced tube. I sourced my tube from Bunnings. Comes in 3m lengths form about $16 a piece. For a 1/4 sheet LR2, a single 3m length was sufficient. Product is Metal Mate 25.4 x 1.2 3m Galvanised Steel Round Tube (I/N 1130457). You can also get in 1m lengths for about $6 ea. If you measure the OD of this pipe it is 25.5mm – the extra is the galvanizing, but this difference doesn’t matter. Gal pipe is a little rough but you can sand the rough bits off easily, and this size pipe is stiff enough for the smaller tables.
When you say bits and pieces, I’m not sure what bits n pieces you are referring to. If you’re talking about the LR2 parts, you can 3D print these yourself, or purchase them from Ryan at V1. Printing is Ok if you have lots of time, and access to 3D printer with sufficient volume. The print files are available via the V1 site (make sure you select the right variation to match the tube. I chose to just buy all the parts from Ryan direct. Cost about $750 including shipping (6 months ago – exchange rate has changed since). It was real easy to order, Ryan did great job packing every thing into single box, and it took under a week to arrive here in Oz. Assembly was straight forward, but with a few ‘ratholes’ and restarts (which I can share with you so you can avoid). one thing I found was the 611 plate (for the deWalt 611 router) didn’t suit the router I was using (a cheapie Ozito Trim router), but it was easy to make up an alternate plate out of 6mm ply using the supplied plate as a template to get the bearing bracket mount holes in the right places.
I see no reason you can’t mount your LR2 table on top of your stand. However, your suggestion of just using a sheet of MDF overhanging your stand won’t work. You need to mount the belt stops on the edge of the table, which from memory needs table edge to be at least 25mm wide. So perhaps sheet 16mm MDF with an extra strip of 16mm MDF glued along the long edges. I think someone else mentioned your table needs to be bigger than 1/4 sheet. For 1200 x 600mm work piece, table needs to be approx. 1600 x 800mm. Exact sizes can be calculated using the calculator provided on the LR2 site. This give pipe and table sizes. X dimension of table and pipe is fairly critical, to ensure sufficient clearance for Y plate travel. Y dimension no so critical so long us you match your Y belt lengths to your table.
Last comment is about packing the LR2 up, as answered elsewhere the Y belts are attached to the table, and perhaps your power feed cable too. I packed up my LR2 by detaching the belt stops from the table edge, then packing entire gantry in a purpose built box with lid. My power feed for the PCB PSU and router were contained in the same cable tidy. I simply mounted a 3 pin GPO on my table so I can unplug the power feed.
hope this info helps. MartinJanuary 16, 2019 at 11:21 pm #84174
Brilliant. Thanks Martin. I have my own 3D printer, so am comfortable with that part of it. I also already own a Makita RT0700c router, which is what I’d intend to use. I like the idea of packing the gantry into a purpose build box. Did you build the box yourself? I’m guessing out of wood?January 16, 2019 at 11:56 pm #84177
OK – its a lot of 3D printing. I think I read somewhere, 90+ hours (but yr own time is cheap vs $750 buy).
Yeap – purpose built box – need something to protect it – its not built to just throw around the workshop like a circular saw etc. Was a simple box built out of some daggy old 12mm particle board I had stacked away. Looked a bit better with some old left over paint (from previous colour scheme in house) on it. External dimensions are (approx.) 1100 long x 410 deep x 420 high (all mm). I fitted some ‘stops’ inside on floor of box against the Z rails ( on which gantry sits) which keeps gantry from moving laterally. The depth (less 2 x 12 mm walls) was measured to neatly fit the outer ‘rim’ of wheels on the Y plates, so gantry is held in place in depth direction. (and gravity holds it down in box 🙂 ).
have fun building it.January 17, 2019 at 9:47 am #84212
Thanks Barry. That’s good to know. It’ll be easy enough to get another top that has some overhang. A bit of 3/4″ MDF or ply should be sufficient, I assume?
Yep, that’ll work.January 21, 2019 at 3:32 am #84784
$39 for a full length (6m) (They don’t sell any less), think this maybe + GST though.
This is for 1.6mm x 25.4mm, they don’t stock 2mm unfortunately.
One problem for me is trying to get out during the week to pick it up.
I’m wondering if 6m would do 2x low rider builds ? ( hint hint ) Think it would depend on the Z height required.January 21, 2019 at 4:04 am #84785
Yeah, I’m all for sharing. I’m only looking to build a 1/4 sheet machine. I’ll have to check the calculator to see how much I need but 6m between us might be ok. I might be able to figure out a weekday pickup. Either myself or I could cajole my wife into it.January 21, 2019 at 2:17 pm #84856
The calculator will also give you the Z lengths you need, based on your quote ‘usable height’. My Z’s are 306mm, and I get a little over 100mm Z travel. More than sufficient if you’re only CNC’ing sheet stock. I had no science in picking 100m Z travel, I just dimensioned the Z rails to whatever was left over of my 3m pipe after cutting X rails.
Comment above says ‘ It’ll be easy enough to get another top that has some overhang. A bit of 3/4″ MDF or ply should be sufficient, I assume?‘. Just remember, edge of table top at corners needs to be thick enough to mount the belt stops. From memory, I think the stops were about 30mm in height. Dimensions might be on the web site were the 3d print files are. You could just add corner pieces under the 3/4″ top, to get sufficient thickness.January 21, 2019 at 2:32 pm #84859
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