August 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm #109324
Hi Ryan. I have been playing with Grblgru the last while. The author has made a program that can simulate virtual CNC machines as well as generate and run GCode suitable for Grbl, TinyG, G2core and now more importantly GRBL Mega 5X. This last flavour of GRBL Mega 5X you may know runs on a regular Arduino Mega with or without a RAMPS board and is easily capable of 5 true axes (and maybe 6 in the future). Most of us would like at least a 4th axis. I am running on both my MPCNC and LowRider V2.
Grblgru’s author has recently adapted his program to run with Grbl Mega 5X as well as simulate a true fourth axis for now. His manual has been in German but we have been working to make an English language version. He also has many YouTube videos.
He has made many ‘popular’ CNC machine models available within Grblgru but neither of the V1Engineering machines. What is required is an STL file for each axis, then he is able to generate an animated virtual version of that machine. He has never dealt with the way your machine axes work but is up to the challenge. I was wondering if you might already have such STL versions of the MPCNC and LowRIder V2 that you might be able to share with me or directly with Grblgru? It would save me having to figure out how to retroactively design the two machines and speed up the process. If not, let me know and I’ll try to make something appropriate but not as pretty as your photos ha ha. He usually colors the different axes as you see in the attached photo for all the different types he already has. Oh, BTW the program is fully functional and Free from Grblgru.com
Attachments:August 11, 2019 at 7:49 pm #109341
That’s pretty neat. Unfortunate that it’s C# and so windows only… But.. Maybe it’s just me that cares. :/ .
It seems like the hardest part for a Low Rider or MPCNC is the length of the table and pipes varies. You almost need an openscad program to parameterize the size of the table to make the axis stls.August 11, 2019 at 9:04 pm #109347
So far as unskilled as I am I was able to get a pretty good rendering of the Lowrider V2. I can’t animate it but maybe Grblgru can. He has a whole chapter in the manual on how to make these yourself so it’ll work in Grblgru but Ryans axes move differently that most CNC machines so we will see if a moving model can happen. I’m using TurboCad. I definitely don’t have control of my layers but one day I’ll get there.
Now on to the MPCNC…
Attachments:August 13, 2019 at 6:14 am #109497
Grblgru managed to take my sketch and animate it in his program. I’ll take a crack at my MPCNC next. Might be harder to animate.
Attachments:August 13, 2019 at 11:33 am #109525
They even got my name on there 🙂August 13, 2019 at 11:35 am #109526
FWIW, I bet if you took the gcode meant for a marlin machine, it would still do a good simulation in grblgru. They aren’t that different when it comes to gcode files (most of the difference is in the status updates).August 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm #109551
Grblgru seems to be a general purpose GCode sender. I’ve loaded GCode from VCarve and it runs it just fine in the Virtual world. The program gets feedback from the Mega 2560 card and displays that beside the running GCode.
August 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm #109552
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by JeffH.
Grblgru originally designed this as a GCode simulator then started extending it from there.August 14, 2019 at 3:02 pm #109659
WHOA, How did I miss this.August 16, 2019 at 6:04 am #109811
I’ve managed to make a model of my MPCNC. It has a hole on one side of the base and a place for my 4th axis. Grblgru is planning on trying to animate it this weekend since it’s supposed to be raining in Germany lol. He’s still proof reading his English manual. I have an Arduino Mega board wired to TB6600 drivers running my Lowrider and a Mega plus Ramps card running my MPCNC. They are both programmed with Grbl Mega 5X.
His Youtube videos are very helpful, particularly the ‘stand alone 3D simulator’ for orienting you to his GUI. They are also helpful for using items like his Box generator template. This will make finger joint boxes of any size. There are a variety of modifiable dxf templates included in the program that work quite well: gears, puzzle boxes, hole grids, circle of holes (for large holes), etc.
As an instructional tool Grblgru is a great program. You don’t need a real machine to play with the CNC world since it’s all simulated for a variety of machines and lathes. It will import or create dxf and STL files as well as basic management of bmp files. He has enabled the probe function to scan and record surfaces like the side of a bowl or incline and you are able to save that as a dxf for later use. Models are scalable if needed and can be projected onto a scanned or extruded surface.
The resulting GCode is ready to use since he has included a GCode sender in his program. The GCode can be saved for editing or later use. As an option you can enable a split screen to see the GCode as it runs, and the response from the controlled card at the same time in a window just beside the GCode window.
Loads of fun for the whole family! Lol
1 user thanked author for this post.August 16, 2019 at 6:45 am #109814
Can the model of the cnc be adjusted for different sizes? Since everyone has different sized tubes, that would be quite helpful.August 16, 2019 at 8:52 am #109829
You can actually make and add a CNC model of your own for Grblgru. I wanted to make sure something of the MPCNC and Lowrider were in Grblgru so I asked him to help me get them set up. I’ll find out after the weekend maybe if there were any problems with getting the MPCNC model to animate I think the LowRider was straighforward. Colors of the components can be changed too. I haven’t tried to modify the Lowrider model in Grblgru yet (in the Beta download) because its mine! ha ha. Too bad for you…
The short answer to Jeff’s question is yes, but it requires making a custom STL model of what you want. You need 4 components saved separately as X.stl, Y.stl, Z.stl and Base.stl to import into Grblgru’s Model Manager. So start (designing) your engines Jeff.August 16, 2019 at 9:06 am #109832
Maybe someone who’s really good at openscad can make a parametric model to spit out x, y, z stls.August 16, 2019 at 9:12 pm #109882
For my MPCNC model I just drag scaled it to make it a little wider in my Cad program. I imagine the same would apply to the Lowrider model to make it wider and longer as necessary then add a name like Jeff and you are good to go ; ) I don’t think high precision isn’t necessary for a cartoon-like model, just that it moves appropriately and you can see the results of the designs you’ve made.
With a rotary axis or two it would be nice to see any potential collisions before they happen. As Grblgru points out somewhere, virtual machines have saved a lot of real machine time in the industrial world proofing a production ahead of time.
August 16, 2019 at 9:53 pm #109887
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by JeffH.
Not parametric and very rough, but loads and renders: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3814494
It looks like none of the machine types support MPCNC, which is a parallel robot in the sense that each gantry constrains the position of the Z axis but they aren’t mechanically linked in series. I would imagine it should be fairly straightforward for Grblgru to add.
I might make this model more elaborate and parameterized although I’m not sure what practical use there is in having a fancy rendering of the machine.
Also the latest 3.41 triggers a few virus warnings, so I won’t be installing it. The older version 3.38 was cleaner so I went with that one instead.
Attachments:August 16, 2019 at 9:56 pm #109890
One thing that would be hugely useful (and enjoyable as a simulation) is seeing the workpiece as the milling progresses. I know Fusion 360 has this and I saw an OpenSCAD script that can also also do it (although I suppose it is very slow).August 16, 2019 at 10:13 pm #109895
Grblgru has indicated in other forums that he uses a commercial virus scanner regularly on his work. My antivirus has never tagged his stuff so far and I’ve been downloading the Betas too.August 16, 2019 at 10:33 pm #109896
Maybe he can change something about the installer to get rid of the false positives. Here is a report that he might find helpful: https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/528d5aa4f6ee3c22a080e89e49fe42a507b8c9049b605be8637829c46b8cd030/detectionAugust 17, 2019 at 8:19 am #109922
Thanks. I will pass it on.August 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm #109978
The latest beta 3.41.6 now has a working model of the MPCNC as well as the Lowrider. It seems to move properly. He added a 4th axis at my request in the hole I made just for it. When I’m not using the 4th axis I have a larger spoil board covering the hole on both my machines.
He is aware of the installer trojan problem with false positives and trying to rectify it.
Grblgru has decided to post videos on his website grblgru.com because he can modify/update them there, unlike posting to YouTube.
Attachments:August 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm #110570
Hi Jamie. Grblgru seems to have corrected his false positive issue with the latest Beta. Turns out he was trying to make the installer more user friendly and in doing so annoyed at least my antivirus program. I’ve scanned his last 2 Betas and they are fine. That was the difference between ver 3.38 which you found to be ‘clean’ and the later ones. If you find there is still a problem with your scanner, please let me know
Meanwhile, there both working MPCNC and Lowrider models available that move properly in the latest beta 3.41.9.
I have continued to figure out parts of the program that didn’t seem to be working for me and getting them working. Just lack of familiarity with his program I guess. Soon I will be creating round objects like bowls, scanning/probing them, saving the scan data, exporting that to my CAM software for design, and finally cutting the designs on the object in the real world with Grblgru and my 4th axis. I’m nearly there with all the steps.
I also figured out how to build a useful 5th axis for my purposes so then I’ll have to figure out how to use that too. Lol
1 user thanked author for this post.August 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm #110597
Cool I will check out the latest. Also I will try importing custom mpcnc models again (not quite working in 3.41.6) and if it works I’ll make parametric mpcnc STLs via Thingiverse…August 24, 2019 at 9:02 am #110623
Grblgru has also made it possible to move the 4th axis around on the base by manipulating the position coordinates under Machine Manager. This also applies to the location of the Probe. You can change the direction the 4th axis is pointing with a 0 or 1 at the appropriate direction line.August 25, 2019 at 12:28 am #110702
I’ve managed to import mpcnc models. It turns out the A+ axis is mandatory and if the STL is missing then it doesn’t work correctly. This probably ought to be fixed because the majority don’t have a 4th axis.
I’ve updated my model on Thingiverse to be parametric, but the Thingiverse site is acting up so I don’t know if it will actually work. I can barely get preview and download to work, so I’m not too hopeful that the customizer will work.August 25, 2019 at 5:34 am #110707
Is it just me, or has TV’s reliability gone down hill?August 25, 2019 at 6:01 am #110712
Is it just me, or has TV’s reliability gone down hill?
Yep. Think they need to upgrade.August 25, 2019 at 9:45 am #110737
I’ll get a plain XYZ MPCNC design together and ask Grblgru to include it. I need a Lowrider model with a fourth axis as well so I’ll make a model for that too.
I asked him before about a variable design and he figured it was simpler to just make one for each machine type and better yet if the user could just make their own.
Having a customizable design on Thingiverse would be great for all concerned.August 26, 2019 at 1:07 pm #110895
Hi again. Grblgru has now updated his software in the latest beta 3.42.1 to have both MPCNC and LowRider with and without a 4th Axis. The other good news is he has made the machine XY sizes adjustable Woo Hoo! Jamie can save himself some effort. The adjustments can be made under Extras, Machine Manager. Scroll down to A. Others, and adjust Extension X and Extension Y with positive or negative numbers to get the size base you want. Very slick. He hasn’t made the support rails height adjustable but I didn’t ask about that. As Ryan has mentioned in the past, better to go a little down than up to keep accuracy in the Z which is partly why I made a hole in my table.
I am experimenting with post processors for VCarve Desktop to see which one works best for Grblgru. He tells me there are some tricks. So if I learn something useful I will report on that.August 26, 2019 at 1:13 pm #110899
Awesome. That’s pretty slick.August 29, 2019 at 10:08 pm #111421
I’ve made great progress with Grblgru running my Lowrider with a DIY 4th axis and carving on bowls. Grblgru is hard on my heels I think since he wants to do 4th axis stuff too as well as some 5th axis stuff. I know how I want to build a 5th axis but I have no clue how to incorporate it into what I want to do, lol.
I had to modify a VCarve Post Processor for GRBL so GRBL Mega 5X would be able to do what I want it to do: Y to A rotary, arcs and Laser.
I’ll attach a pic of my latest success
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