Controller & ESTLCam

New Home Forum Mostly Printed CNC – MPCNC Advice – MPCNC Controller & ESTLCam

This topic contains 29 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Erwin Vigilia 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #105498

    Andi
    Participant

    Hey Guys,

    i just started to print and already ordered the most parts for the MPCNC. I want already for so long a CNC to help me carving Depron and things for building Cosplay Props and Parts for Remote Controlled Planes.

    However… i started reading about the Controllers and now i am totally confused. So far i really want to use ESTLCam.

    at first i wanted to buy the RUMBA + board but it seems it doesn’t work with estl cam. Then i start to read more and more and currently i am completly lost what to choose. The Rambo 1.4 Board is quite expensive and also not easily to get from Germany.

    Has anyone an Advice which electronics to choose for use with ESTLCam?

     

    Thank You!

    Andi

    #105505

    Jethro
    Participant

    Had the same problem, .

    A Arduino Uno will work with Estlcam, but the CNC shield supports only 4 Steppers, so dual endstop firmware doesn’t work.

    Check out Uncle Phil on YT, you might get a clue.

    #105531

    Erwin Vigilia
    Participant

    Go Mega and Ramps V1.4 with the appropriate driver modules if you foresee dual end stops in your future.

     

    #105549

    Andi
    Participant

    I just learned mega and ramps isn’t longer supported by ESTLCAM 11.

    i think i found a solution: https://www.arduinoclub.de/2019/02/11/estlcam-steuerkarte-mit-arduino-mega-und-handsteuerung/

    It’s an card for an MEGA to use with ESTLCam. i am currently looking for some drivers i could use.

    #105550

    Rek Lamchef
    Participant

    Why wouldn’t Estlcam be compatible with Ramps/Mega? Estlcam just generates Gcode right? If anything it should be a Marlin issue or a Repetier Host issue to filter the Gcode.

    #105553

    Erwin Vigilia
    Participant

    I believe Andi is mixing CAM with CNC controller. Estlcam (the CAM part) will work with any gcode compatible controller, the users here are living proof of that. Christian has Estlcam CNC (as in controller software), which is hardware specific and Arduino based.

    #105554

    Andi
    Participant

    theres a posting from Christian about it. as far as i understand it has something to do with the pins compatibility and GRBL.

     

    i’ll go with the above board.

    i would like to use these motors 5-17HS19-2004S1 together with TB6600 Drivers.

    But it seems i need 24v for the motors and 12v for the arduino. i could use 12v for the motors aswell but wouldn’t be 24v be better?

     

    #105555

    Andi
    Participant

    Mixing cam and controller… now i am confused.

    i thought the program itself talks to the arduino which is the controller who talks to the drivers.

    Wheres a step with the gcode?

    #105558

    Erwin Vigilia
    Participant

    Mixing cam and controller… now i am confused.

    i thought the program itself talks to the arduino which is the controller who talks to the drivers.

    Wheres a step with the gcode?

    CAM software generates the gcode, the controller translates the gcode into physical movements and functions. Christian has both in Estlcam. If you don’t have Christian’s Estlcam controller, most of us use Repetier-Host (or another gcode sender or SD card like 3D printers) to get the gcode to our controllers.

    #105562

    JMS
    Participant

    Note: Any Arduino Mega based boards are still not supported in ESTLCam Controller, probably never will be.

    So, we only use ESTLCam for generating tool paths and generating the g-code when using boards like the Rambo.
    We use other software such as Repetier Host (easiest to use, or other) as the controller software.

    If you want to go with ESTLCam as the controller also, you will have to go Arduino UNO route.

    The cheap Ramps boards have mostly been garbage for me and don’t last long. I avoid them now as much as possible.
    Go with a quality GRBL shield or board if you can. I have no recommendations at this time.

    use this as a guideline and do your research first.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=grbl+shield

    #105563

    Andi
    Participant

    JMS Sorry but thats wrong, if you have a look at the ESTLCam homepage you clearly see that the Arduino Mega is supported.

    #105580

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Andi, Christian has posted several times about not supporting it currently. He has, but not now, I assume he has not updated his page if it still says he does, it ended with V10, so maybe if you can still buy V10 it is technically supported but I can not answer for someone else’s product.

    #105591

    JeffH
    Participant

    I’ve been using Estlcam + Arduino as above Without a shield to control my milling CNC at home. It’s a great combination. I’ve just rebuilt a gantry style CNC into a Lowrider and it is working just fine. As Ryan points out in many places in his info chapters and in the forum, most people don’t bother with end stops. Dual endstops do add precision for sure but are challenging for beginners. Since I started using Estlcam to program and control an Arduino I haven’t bothered with endstops. You need to take care with a Lowrider build so that it is square and runs true especially for a big table. You also have to remember to designate where X0 Y0 and Z0 are at the start. They can be anywhere really but usually somewhere in the front left works for me. I make sure the cutout is within the material available. Sometimes that requires a ‘dry run’ without a bit if material is tight. My Arduino is controlling some TB6600 stepper drivers just ‘cause that’s the way it was wired for my gantry style machine (if the steppers run too hot I’ll change back to a shield). I run an Arduino With shield on my MPCNC. As has been pointed out, Megas aren’t supported anymore since keeping up with the many changes is too much hassle for Christian.  Estlcam can be used as software only but has many more features if you program an Arduino with it. It is quite straightforward to wire ‘plain’ endstops if you so desire but not the dual endstops as has been said above. If getting an Arduino get a genuine one as Christian suggests since many of the cheap clones can cause problems that you don’t need if just starting out.

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    #105600

    Andi
    Participant

    Well on that page https://www.estlcam.de/steuerung_hardware.php he mentioned GRBL will no longer be supported, maybe i mix things up but that doesn’t include automatically the MEGA?

    However, then i take this and if the MEGA is not working… i am kind of back at the beginning.

    So i am completly unsure what to use right now.

    I have a cr10s pro based on Marlin, also using cura and repetier host, so maybe marlin then and step back from ESTLCam… headache coming in….

     

    #105601

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I think you need to separate your comments.

    ESTLCam, is awesome and works with everything. This spit out coordinates for any machine to follow.

    ESTLCam Control, is the firmware that only works on certain boards. This would be in place of Reptier host or an LCD and Marlin or GRBL.

    If you are unsure what to buy or what does what, I highly suggest sticking with the recommended build. If you go and buy some random board that no one here uses, you will be on your own for the most part.

    #105603

    Andi
    Participant

    Your recommended Build would be Rambo 1.4 or MiniRambo right?

    The Problem is i would try Rambo 1.4 but it’s hard to get. unfortunatly from your shop it would be around 160 Euros including Shipping. On another ship it comes from China and will be delivered at the beginning of August for about 90 Euro. But a long delivery time.

    #105604

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I understand but that decision is all based on your comfort with the electronics and firmware.

    In the end, my machine is still far cheaper that any others with similar capabilities, even with the board cost and shipping. To really bring the cost down buy a hardware kit with the board, I have them heavily discounted that way and the shipping is for the same sized box. Look anywhere and see if I have ever pushed my own stuff on anyone, I honestly think this is the first time. I am having a change of heart as there are soooo many questions about not using my recommended stuff I simply don’t have the time to personally help those people anymore.

    I understand every penny counts, but you have to factor in your time and frustrations. If you look through the forums 95% of the major issues and hiccups are non-recommended setups. I want to spend more time helping people do cool things not troubleshoot some $5 import board.

    #105606

    Andi
    Participant

    Well i can understand that you also want to earn some money for your effoert and i am thankful that you do it open source.

    But i am also a bit confused, you also said the MPCNC is open to any platform not only your offered pakcages or did i get that wrong?
    I just try to find an alternative which arrives in time and sorry but 70 USD shipping for a 127 USD Board is not penny counting.

    understandable that you can’t test and now ever combination, so however. I am kinda new to the world of CNC as you might assume already and in a ver confiused phase of learning.

    However, what i found so far the RUMBA+ Board seems to be an alternative to the RAMBO boards and they are available in germany, so maybe i simply need to try… and read even more

    #105607

    Andi
    Participant

    Oh Btw as you may saw, i am not really counting pennys, i planned to go with TB6600 drivers and not the cheap ones which are recommended, also the RUMBO Boards for example ranges about 90 USD. it’s not all about penny counting its more availablilty and … well if you would send out the stuff for lets say 20USD i would order in a minute

    #105616

    JeffH
    Participant

    Ahhh, Andi. How well I remember the confusion I felt a year ago when I started learning about the world of CNC. You have mentioned in just a couple posts GRBl, Mega, Cura, CR10, TB6600 drivers, Rambo, Rumba, Marlin and more. It is all Very confusing. It depends on what you want to do in the end. Printing, Milling, drawing, vinyl cutting, glass etching, lasering, or more. Ryan’s choices of build, boards and software are made with a newbi in mind trying to ease us all into this complicated CNC world as simply and cheaply as possible with built in versatility. I have thanked Ryan in the past for his choices and based on what I learned in that process I have been able to venture more deeply into the CNC world.

    If you want a turnkey system like so many out there, you get to pay++ and don’t learn anything, But you get to Play right away. I’m sure you’ve priced out other systems. It’s all about your choices and whether you want to put in the work to learn about a bunch of confusing stuff or just get on with it. Personally I prefer to understand what’s going on so if there is a problem I can figure it out. It took me a while… and a lot of reading, and rereading, and questions. Good luck with your choices.

    PS Estlcam is similar to GRBL that’s why GRBL is mentioned in his info when pinouts are discussed. The Rambo board has the stepper drivers built in which are plenty adequate for the Nema 17s so you don’t need TB6600s at all. An Arduino usually needs a CNC shield to plug into the top of it which will need the 4 little DRV8825 drivers to plug into That. They are enough to run the Nema17 stepper motors but have to have their amperage adjusted. Ryan explains on his site…

    I have no affiliation with Ryan or Christian other than by using their products. Thanks again guys.

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    #105617

    Tim W
    Participant

    All Ryan is saying is that he cant support something he has not used and not many of us have either .  So help may be hard to get and you may become the expert with the answers for  the hardware you pick if it is to far out of the norm We all answer the questions we can so feel free to ask

     

    #105618

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    As I said, it really isn’t about me making a sale. Some are here to have a platform to experiment and learn from, others just want to make things with it. I must have gotten the wrong vibe from you, I am only trying to make it a pleasant experience for as many people as I can.

    I like to make things and learn something every time ( I hate doing the same thing 100 times)…so I tried to make that available for people as inexpensive as possible, robust, and take out all the million tiny choices, in the end have a solid platform to learn and grow with. I really hope it is obvious it is not a money thing for me.

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    #105622

    Barry
    Participant

    Also, import chinese “rambo clones” have issues.  They have swapped out parts to make them cheaper, which make them not work correctly with the V1 configured firmware.

    #105646

    Andi
    Participant

    Ryan, maybe .-) Learning things is kinda good. I am a Software Engineer since 20 years in Industry. But learning about this CNC stuff is kinda more difficult sometimes when learning a new programming language or playing around with new APIs.

    My personal GOAL for this MPCNC is to use it, not so much playing around with it and trying things. Probably i swap the Cutter with a laser sometimes but well… This is why i say i would like to have some good components, i read that the 8825 Drivers maybe good to go but it is not recommended to drive them over 1.5 amps because they can cause loosing steps.

    From my understanding the Steppers i want to use can use up to 4 Amps. this is why i want to use TB6600 to maybe be able to use the full power of them even having in mind that “their” full power may be too much for the MPCNC construction itself. But if i finished learning and got it working i probably will try to get a bit bigger so i want to reconstruct the MPCNC maybe with another system and reuse the components instead of throwing them away, so i have no problem to spent a few more bucks on better components.

    the thing about WHICH components, well you are right i am still learning and i am still struggeling understanding the difference between ESTCLAM and direct control vs “a controller” and G Code like it is the case with Marlin and Rambo/Rumba

    Still so much to learn and i am sorry, i didn’t want to upset you. Its kinda frustrating to read different infos anywhere on the net and the hint, just use the recommended and go with it, isn’t helpful because i want to understand and decide if i can upgrade some parts from the beginning. I think not everyone needs to start from the same beginning if they have different goals.

     

    #105673

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    My personal GOAL for this MPCNC is to use it, not so much playing around with it and trying things.

    just use the recommended and go with it, isn’t helpful because i want to understand

    This is exactly why I recommend just buying the recommended stuff. I hope I have made it clear why I feel they are the best choice. If you are unclear why Just ask specific questions and I will give specific answers.

     

    i read that the 8825 Drivers maybe good to go but it is not recommended to drive them over 1.5 amps because they can cause loosing steps.

    Not true of a quality board. The Rambo is properly heat sinking the DRV8825’s and have back current protection.Things like this are why I use an “expensive” board. A random board with swap-able drivers is cheaper….and typically less reliable and robust as well as not properly heatsinked (DRV8825’s have heatpipes that need to be tied into a cooling plane, the little purple boards are actually upside down and hold in heat).

    From my understanding the Steppers i want to use can use up to 4 Amps. this is why i want to use TB6600 to maybe be able to use the full power of them even having in mind that “their” full power may be too much for the MPCNC construction itself. But if i finished learning and got it working i probably will try to get a bit bigger so i want to reconstruct the MPCNC maybe with another system and reuse the components instead of throwing them away, so i have no problem to spent a few more bucks on better components.

    Why? Why not trust my at least some of my recommendations. The machine runs fine with 42oz/in steppers, I sell and recommend ~70 as overkill…and you want to double that? I chose the best board I could find, I am running the drivers at a comfortable level and put on as large of steppers that fit that so nothing is left on the table…al while balancing cost. You want to add giant heavy steppers, and in turn add more expensive drivers to run them. As stated in many pages on the site, Stepper power is not and has never been an issue. Machine rigidity is what we balance.

    the thing about WHICH components, well you are right i am still learning and i am still struggeling understanding the difference between ESTCLAM and direct control vs “a controller” and G Code like it is the case with Marlin and Rambo/Rumba

    If you just want to make things with my machine, just use the recommended course of action, You do not need to research alternative methods for everything. I have laid out what I believe to be the easiest path to making with a CNC possible without sacrificing any capabilities. Just use EstlCam to make the Gcode and repetier or and LCD to serve it to the board as the instructions say. It is literally no more complicated than that. Cristian has made a Post processor just for us so everything just works.

    Still so much to learn and i am sorry, i didn’t want to upset you. Its kinda frustrating to read different infos anywhere on the net and the hint,

    I am not upset in any way, promise. You are reading different info from different places…that has nothing to do with my machine. If something was substantially better and more robust…I don’t care about the price (….Ultimachine boards…) I will use/sell/recommend it. This is my full time job, I went to school for this, I spend a vast majority of my time in this, and do make changes when needed.

    just use the recommended and go with it, isn’t helpful because i want to understand and decide if i can upgrade some parts from the beginning.

    Break this into two parts.

    If you want to know why I use a specific item, ask. I feel like I have been explaining why I use what I use, but if I am missing something ask. I have answered these questions many times so I very well could be leaving things you want to know out. You are listing parts you have read are better, we are trying to help you understand those choices.

    “upgrade” I am trying to get this across. I do not believe there are any upgrades from my recommended, if there where why would I not sell a better machine?

     

     

    Just keep asking questions until you understand everything clearly. Do not spend any money until you are sure. As you can see there are a ton of people here that want to help. Everyone starts with a different skill set and end goal in mind.

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    #105685

    JMS
    Participant

    Don’t sell yourself short Ryan, you absolutely deserve a few bucks for all the effort you have put into this.

    It really is very easy to over-complicate this build.
    It’s complicated enough that adding in more complications just makes the experience far less enjoyable. Trust me, did that myself.

    In the end, Ryan’s kits are the ultimate option for this setup.
    There are far too many choices out there (some seriously suck), but in then end, his kits provide the best experience.
    You can make it cheaper by printing your own parts from Ryan’s free designs.

    Keep in mind that how you assemble/adjust the MPCNC and the tubing you use will determine your success in accuracy.
    Read the FAQ’s, posts and instructions multiple times. DO NOT get caught up in the minutia, which is easy to do.
    Just let the information sink in.

    Conduit or tubing will vary and be inconsistent in curves and warps.
    This WILL play a role in accuracy.

    DO NOT expect machining parts for engines accuracy, this is a hobby build.
    You can get pretty darn good accuracy out of it though, people have done it.

    Don’t over complicate this whole thing, it’s easy to do. Keep it simple is the motto.

    Ryan has put together what is the best options over all for success.

    Trust the process.

    If you really want to dig into options, start here.

    https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/topic/grbl-running-on-ramps/

    https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/forumz/software/

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    #105698

    Andi
    Participant

    where why would I not sell a better machine?

    To not make the Machine expensive.

    I read a lot about the slightly bigger CNC machines, Erika for example, TRON. I am not going with the wish to have a CNC since yesterday and maybe from these points i come a bit with better equipment.

    And regarding heavy  motors and big steppers as i said i want to reuse the components… above in the thread i mentioned the product id of the NEMA 17 motors i want to use, some with 59 NCM or i think around 86oz. So whats wrong asking to drive them with maybe 24v and up to 4amp?

    
    
    #105750

    Jethro
    Participant

    I run the 59NCM steppers on 8825’s. They’re rated 2 Amps/Phase, I did set the drivers to 0.9 Volts aka 1.8 Amps, No issues in normal operation, they run a bit hot while trochoidal milling.

    To my knowledge those are the biggest steppers (Nema 17 class) available with an reasonable price.

    I have no clue if stepper motors have their own laws, but 24V, 4A would just be 4 times over the rated specs.

     

    Oh, and to come back to the original topic, I wrote to Christian a week or two back. And he said the Arduino Mega is supported by Estlcam, but not the Ramps board, so the board Andi linked will probably work (if they claim so) otherwise you have to wire one yourself.

    On they other hand, does the Estlcam firmware supports something similar like dual stop endstops ??

    If not, what’s all the fuzz about using the Mega anyways?

     

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    #105760

    Barry
    Participant

    If not, what’s all the fuzz about using the Mega anyways?

    Shitty imports.  Ryan had to send back a thousand of them because they were all doa.  I’m still running mega/ramps on both my machines, but they’re both old.  If I ever upgrade I’ll either go with a rambo, or spend some cash for a duet.

    #105764

    Erwin Vigilia
    Participant

    On they other hand, does the Estlcam firmware supports something similar like dual stop endstops ??

    Not that I’m aware of in terms of “autosquaring” – but I believe Estlcam does traditional homing with one switch per axis.

    I’ve had good luck with the Arduino clones on Amazon which has an excellent return policy, but been bit by a few bad clones going the China express way.

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