Noob Questions Part 1 of Infinity ;-)

New Home Forum Mostly Printed CNC – MPCNC Troubleshooting – MPCNC Noob Questions Part 1 of Infinity ;-)

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 3 weeks ago.

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    Phil Kelly

    OK, so I DID create some chips, but only in Foam and only with “Pen” CAM code generated from ESTLCam, just run with my spindle instead.

    I’m running into several issues, but I think a few questions might get me on the correct path.

    1. @Ryan: should I increase the length on my 4-corner leg tubes?  They seem rather shorter than I would expect–Instructions say 3-4″ usable height, and corner pipes should be that – 0.5″, my corners at most 2″!  I presume you did that to make it easier to pack for trips–if so, where did you get the stainless steel tube, as I’d like to get the same?
    2. @Ryan, I presume I should go ahead and update the Marlin in my board, as it was programmed before 3/31/2019, and it looks like you did an update on 4/27.  Do you agree?
    3. When, if ever do you use the Custom Command, Reset All coordinates?  I’ve been using that to set my “Part Coordinate” X0, Y0, Z0, and I’m wondering if that is wrong.
    4. Is it safe to upgrade CNC.js and Octoprint versions from that included in the base V1Pi image?  I know both have been updated and for some reason, CNC.js keeps crashing on my Pi.  Perhaps I should just go get 0.16.0? @jeffeb3 ?
    5. I’m using Fusion 360 to do my CAM generation (Yes, I know most of you are likely using ESTLCam, but as I do all my design work in Fusion, I’d really like to do my CAM generation there–I’m using the Post processor linked from the bottom of  Milling Basics: .   Assume this for all remaining questions.  Also, for those who aren’t @Ryan, I’m using the Dual-end stop machine.
    6. I’m not setup for a Z-probe (in Hardware), but I’m thinking I should be as it appears in the demo for the Dual-end Stop firmware, and my CAM generation seems to expect it.  Is that correct?
    7. None of the gcode commands seem to pop-up any prompting messages on the display to indicate z-probe connect/disconnect or Tool change messages–do you just have to have all that memorized so that you know when to do what?
    8. My machine seems to want to drive the Z-axis through the bottom of the board at the start of my program–I’ve tried to examine the g-code by hand to see if I can understand why, but I haven’t found a cause yet–are there any “common mistakes” that Noobs make that causes such behavior (I’m using a DW660) spindle. (Maybe my short corner legs??)
    9. Are there any full video walk throughs of taking a simple part in F360, generating the Gcode and then actually taking it to the MPCNC, placing stock, ALL the button presses and the screen display?  I’ve been trying to JUST use the text display and knob and without prompts or some other clues, I don’t seem to get my coordinates setup correctly.

      I think that’s enough for a first post in this thread ;-).




    2) I doubt there’s a huge difference.

    3) That’s exactly what it’s for. Move the tool to the origin and set the origin with that.

    4) You can update them. 0.16.0 doesn’t have a auto hotspot version, but its been working fine for me.

    8) You can post the start of your gcode. The most common mistake is probably not setting the Z origin right, so it thinks the origin is somewhere lower than it is. I set my origin to be the top of the workpiece and that’s where I reset my origin on the machine (but I don’t have an LCD, so I just send a G92).


    Phil Kelly

    I’ve attached my g-code, and I’m correcting my @Ryan tag to be @vicious1 as it should have been :-).




    1- I love that size. If you need more room for thick material you can swap to what we call a drop table. Basically an adjustable height hole in your table. 1/8″ endmills only have about 3/4″ usable teeth so you only need 1-1/2″ throw. Shorter =much easier to use.

    2-Maybe wait I am super close to another update, your version is good the current version has a junction deviation issue.

    6-You don’t need to, but it is simple to add one. couple pieces of wire, an alligator clip, and something thin and metallic, metal tape is my go to.

    7-Not sure with fusion, in estlcam I kinda add my own comments to the code. Usually you would keep a list as you should only have one, two changes at the most.

    9-If you find a good one link it. There are plenty on making the Gcode but after that most get fuzzy. I highly suggest you get the hang of all of this with estlcam so we can tell you exactly what is wrong, fusion there are a few hundred too many setting to actually help with. After that moving to fusion will be much easier.


    Phil Kelly

    OK!  We’ve made SIGNIFICANT progress!

    1. I did try running ESTLCam and generating g-code.  I’m not sure I could reproduce what I got, but here’s the result:
      I’m not much of a fan of the raster-style CAM it did, and it has the weird run over the ramp up and down.  This is what it SHOULD look like:
      This MAY have been because I had to stop the job early–it had done the interior and was digging around the sides and was going to end up hitting the red plastic stop on the 1/8″ single-flute upcut (clearly I don’t know how to setup ESTLCam properly).

      So–here’s the first question–for 3/4″ and larger stock that you want to “cut-out” at the end of a job, what endmills do you suggest (@vicious1 or others)?  The 1/8″ 2 Flute Carbide Long or perhaps just the Carbide Single Flute Long?

    2. OK, so I decided with the success from above with ESTLCam, I’d revisit Fusion360 CAM, and I regenerated the G-code and BAM crashed the spindle straight into the bed before I could even get to the little reset button on the controller board!  BUT–I FIGURED OUT WHY!!!  It was the z-probe!!!  I didn’t have one connected (as I mentioned previously) and it was just trying to drive it till it got a connection, and it never would!  I didn’t catch this earlier, because this part is NEVER simulated!!!  I went back to the post-processor and combed through the code and found 2 options in DIYCNC_Common.js:  toolChangeZProbe: and probeOnStart: — I set both to false (and now that I look back, maybe I should set probeUseHomeZ: to false??).
    3. And similarly, I tried (& failed) to find the instructions on which pins to use for Z-probe (I think I can handle the ground pin!), but which pin is for the probe line?

      So, now the results:
      I was VERY pleased with this result.

      I’m sure there will be more questions, but that’s enough for one post!

      Oh, one last thing–I removed the “quick change” tool less bit change stuff on the end of my DeWalt DW-660 and I really prefer using a wrench and the single button!   Now I need to find a dust collection shroud to print for it!  Any recommendations on a model I should use (1 1/4″ hose on my vac)?  (OK, I DID slip in one more question!).

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    The good one is amazing! The first one looks like you used an STL file? Unfortunately it is easier to use a DXF and use the pocket command with islands in estlcam. You just need to keep track of the depths.

    As for the bits, the cheaper one has a longer flute for thicker material but the more expensive one lasts a lot longer for me.



    You use Z_min end stop connection, S and – (don’t connect to + unless you have plenty of fuses!) for your Z probe. It doesn’t matter which is connected to your bit and which is connected to your plate.


    Phil Kelly

    @vicious1 — 🙂 Well, yes, I did use an STL file–that seemed obvious to me at the time (remember–we MET at a 3D printing meet-up!)–STLs and OBJs are the standard!


    So, now I’m a bit confused on using ESTLCam at all–do you ONLY use it with DXF files and never with a solid-3d part/mesh?

    @billsey  — OK, the z-min pin makes sense, but I was really hoping for a link to the wiring instructions, and I think I found the right diagram for my unit (note–I purchased this unit assembled–so I didn’t do the wiring!).




    Stl’s are typically only used if you are making a curved surface, DXF’s and pockets are far far faster if it is just multiple depths.

    So this is not 100% accurate but if you look up 2.5D that is what this is considered, but a curved surface is sometimes called 3D milling.

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