My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

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Gadgetman!
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by Gadgetman! » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:40 pm

The code has a reserved block for 'Prolog'. That looks as if it was generated by the program, not added by the poster.
This 'prolog' SHOULD be explained about in the manual of the program.
I wouldn't know, as the manual isn't available as a separate download.

We're working with powered machinery that spins sharp objects at completely ridiculous speeds here. I's a pretty good idea to make certain everything is correctly set up before attempting to cut something.

If something is not understood, baffling or just vague, it's a good idea to ask first.

The job of a 'Prolog' is to set the machine up to a 'known state' that the program can work wirth.
What that state is depends on the program that generates the code.
Some CAM packages prefers Metric, others use Imperial settings. There may even be some that can use either, as long as you set it in the options somewhere.

The same file indicates that Gearotic also supports an 'Epilog', which is where you put your 'clean up code', parking the spindle in a 'safe area' switching off coolants and so on.
Weird guy...
Shapeoko 2014F: 1000mm X/Y, 300W Quiet Cut spindle, Arduino Uno/G-shield and GRBL 0.9i
15x30 drag chains, custom spindle mount, 9mm belts, 8mm endplates, 6mm motor plates.

rocket2004
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:22 pm

Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by rocket2004 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:10 am

Thanks to all for all your help.

The Gearotic program makes beautiful gears that I want to
use to build wooden gear clocks....

It has a free trial period. You can make a gear in about one minute, then pick
your tooling, then have the software spit out the g code. You can also have the gear
exported as dxf or stl.

The problem is not Gearotic, the problem is this:

As we speak I have a ten inch diameter gear with 24 teeth being make by
my Shape3. In one hour so far the Carbide Motion is about 5% done....

It will take me 10 hours to finish the gear, making passes of .05 inches at a time,
the material is .71 inches thick. Ten passes for each profile.....I am 68, at this pace
I will be dead long time before I build a clocks with 10 different gear profiles....

I have tried to cut birch plywood at many different speeds and depths, if you go
over .05 deep per pass you will have huge problems...

You cannot do anything with the Carbide Motion software once it starts
your only choices are pause or stop.

If after 5 hours something goes wrong....YOU MUST START ALL OVER AGAIN....ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!
Attachments
shape3 5% done after 70 minutes.jpg
after 71 minutes
shape3 5% done after 70 minutes.jpg (290.48 KiB) Viewed 886 times
CM.jpg
same as above
CM.jpg (290.76 KiB) Viewed 886 times

HDVideo
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by HDVideo » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:20 am

I haven't looked at your G-Code because I'm not all that good with it anyway, but understand that there are two processes going on when you design and prepare a part for cutting on the mill/router.

1. CAD - Design the part in your CAD software.
2. CAM - Describe the tool or tools you want to use, your work piece dimensions, tool starting point, speeds/feeds, etc and then generate the tool path and G-code for your particular post processor.

Sometimes these two functions (and others) are combined into one application, but often two separate programs are used. Gearotic may be a great program for creating your design, but it sounds like the CAM side of the program is not optimal. You mentioned trying Meshcam for G-code generation, but as far as I know, Meshcam is primarily a 3D program and not necessarily the best for 2D projects, which is what you are trying to make.
I've never used Meshcam so maybe it can be used for this type of work, so someone correct me if I'm wrong on that.

My suggestion would be to create your gear in Gearotic and output a DXF or drawing file that can then be input into a standalone CAM program like CamBam or something similar. Fusion 360 is a great CAD/CAM package that I use a lot that could also import your DXF file for CAM processing.

The bottom line is that not all CAM programs are the same. Some create efficient tool paths and some not so efficient. The G-code produced is simply the instructions to the machine to follow the generated tool path, speeds, feeds, etc. A good, efficient, optimized tool path is what you need and it sounds like Gearotic is not giving you that.

WillAdams
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by WillAdams » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:29 am

Wiki section on feeds and speeds for Baltic Birch: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... ltic_Birch

Sympathise about the slow cutting w/ Carbide Create --- had to kill the one job I did using it in HDPE, since it was cutting so slowly. Not sure why it doesn’t use more reasonable speeds. I asked about that, and was told they’d be improved. If it isn’t using reasonable speeds, over-ride them w/ settings which you derive yourself:

- use a suitable speed from the wiki link as a starting point
- use the technique http://www.precisebits.com/tutorials/ca ... speeds.htm (which is linked from http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... FMaterials ) to determine a suitable speed and depth of cut for your machine
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

rocket2004
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:22 pm

Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by rocket2004 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:42 am

HDVideo wrote:I haven't looked at your G-Code because I'm not all that good with it anyway, but understand that there are two processes going on when you design and prepare a part for cutting on the mill/router.

1. CAD - Design the part in your CAD software.
2. CAM - Describe the tool or tools you want to use, your work piece dimensions, tool starting point, speeds/feeds, etc and then generate the tool path and G-code for your particular post processor.

Sometimes these two functions (and others) are combined into one application, but often two separate programs are used. Gearotic may be a great program for creating your design, but it sounds like the CAM side of the program is not optimal. You mentioned trying Meshcam for G-code generation, but as far as I know, Meshcam is primarily a 3D program and not necessarily the best for 2D projects, which is what you are trying to make.
I've never used Meshcam so maybe it can be used for this type of work, so someone correct me if I'm wrong on that.

My suggestion would be to create your gear in Gearotic and output a DXF or drawing file that can then be input into a standalone CAM program like CamBam or something similar. Fusion 360 is a great CAD/CAM package that I use a lot that could also import your DXF file for CAM processing.

The bottom line is that not all CAM programs are the same. Some create efficient tool paths and some not so efficient. The G-code produced is simply the instructions to the machine to follow the generated tool path, speeds, feeds, etc. A good, efficient, optimized tool path is what you need and it sounds like Gearotic is not giving you that.
Is Fusion 360 free to hobbyist?

RobCee
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by RobCee » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:55 am

rocket2004 wrote:Is Fusion 360 free to hobbyist?
Yes it is. Hurrah!
78 Gears.jpg
Clock gears
78 Gears.jpg (272.25 KiB) Viewed 852 times
These gears were cut on my ShapeOko2, taking less than 30 minutes to complete all four. An quick overview of my process may help.

The gears were designed in Gearotic and matched to existing (warped) ones in DraftSight (my 2D CAD of choice, also free) then taken into VCarve Pro for the CAM.

Material: Baltic Birch plywood, 7mm thick
Cutter: 3.2mm single flute upcut spiral
RPM: 18000
Pass Depth: 2.0mm
Stepover: 1.28mm
Feed Rate: 1200 mm/min
Plunge rate: 300 mm/min
ShapeOko2 #3400 - Chinese 800W AC Spindle - Stiffened X-Axis - TR10 Z-Axis - Inverted Z Motor - Hall Effect Limits - Drag Chains & Custom Brackets

Auarhau
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by Auarhau » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:38 am

It's not just you. CNC totally smacked me in the face too! I have owned mine for over two years now, and I'm still not familiar enough with it to fully trust it. There is always tinkering to do, electronics to fix or software to try. It does produce great results though. But I generally have to spend a lot of time to get everything right first. So if I don't have to use the cnc I try to avoid it. I use it for things that I just cant do well enough by hand or with other tools. And sometimes when I have the time I do projects on the CNC because it's cool to play with. A CNC really shines when you have to make many of the same parts. Say you want 100 identical gears, then it would be well worth it to spend a couple afternoons making sure the code and everything is set up right and efficiently. But if you only need one, then it's quicker (for me anyway) to print a template then use a scroll saw and files etc.. Using a file or a saw might not sound like much fun, but neither is spending time frustrated on a computer. Which is more important, making a clock or playing with a cnc, or both? Many of us have playing with the CNC as a hobby in it self. But if your only goal is to make a clock, then there are other options for sure.

I would make the gears, export them to a proper CAM package (like cut 2d or Fusion 360) then make the g code there. Mastering the CAD and CAM software is key, and you have to spend time on this to get it right.
The settings posted by RobCee looks good, I would run those on my shapeoko 2 with no problems so it should be a good starting point for the SO3.
ShapeOko 2. Nema 17 74 oz·in. GAUPS shield on Arduino Uno. DRV8825 Drivers x4 . Kress 1050 FME-1. Z Acme Screw. Threaded inserts table.

RobCee
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by RobCee » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:43 am

Rocket2004, I have been re-reading your original post and have to ask a few dumb questions, I do not have a SO3 so please forgive me if some of these were part of your build process.

Have you started with the gear you are looking to create as your first project, or have you already successfully machined anything else? It would be helpful to know if you have had problems with other projects, or if this is the first.

When you built your machine, did you test it so check that you are getting the movement you expect in each direction? For example, if you jog the spindle 1" in the X direction, does it actually move 1", this can be easier to measure if the movement is greater (12" for instance). This calibration needs to have been set-up correctly for things to work well.

Secondly, do you have consistency in movement? If you jog the spindle 2" in the +Y direction, then 2" in the -Y direction, does it return to exactly the same spot? Any inaccuracy here indicates that something may be loose in your drive train. (You mentioned loose belts in a previous post - they need to be tight to hold position correctly).

Checking both of these elements is pretty straightforward in the X&Y directions, but more difficult to do in the Z direction. However, from your questions and the descriptions of your problems, I suspect that something is not quite correct with your Z-axis assembly.
You sound like a very practical person and should have the ability to check these things pretty easily. I would strongly suggest that double checking the accuracy of the motion will assist with the challenges you are facing. It is unlikely to be the software that is causing the challenges and far more likely to be something to do with the machine itself. The various CAD/CAM elements are probably clouding the issues for you at the moment.

Gearotic is quite capable of creating the gears and producing the gcode to CNC them, but the CNC in it is not particularly intuitive for a new user. Art, the creator, is a great guy and knows a lot, but the CAM side of Gearotic assumes a lot of knowledge and appears slightly slanted towards more mainstream, Mach3 based machine controllers. Having said that, it could be configured to work well with a ShapeOko2/3 with a little work on the post processors and output.

Good luck and keep at it!
ShapeOko2 #3400 - Chinese 800W AC Spindle - Stiffened X-Axis - TR10 Z-Axis - Inverted Z Motor - Hall Effect Limits - Drag Chains & Custom Brackets

Baremeg55
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by Baremeg55 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:19 pm

Rocket,

A few comments and suggestions.....

First, yes, when you touch your bit against the wood of your project, you do need to hit the Zero Z on the program. Otherwise, zero will be wherever the Z-axis height was when you switched on the machine. Same applies to X and Y.

Within Carbide Motion, you need to use the "G Code (mm) (.tap) post processor. It doesn't matter if you use inches or mm during the design phase, but Carbide Motion does require the aforementioned post processor.

As far as time it is taking to machine, you can optimize the cutting depths and speeds and improve.

For me, I think the one thing that helped me the most getting up to speed and machining things on my SO3 fairly quickly was simply using a good program....speaking of Vectric VCarve Desktop. You can download a trial version, and I highly recommend doing so. While others on the forum promote open source, to me, this can easily be translated into open frustration. I would encourage you to download VCarve, try it out making a few things other than gears, see how that works for you.

I'm a youngster of 60, began my CNC education 6 months ago, never looked back, like VCarve Desktop so much have since upgraded to VCarve Pro, and just got finished building the CNCRouterparts Pro4848. Only reason I moved up in size / capabilities is I needed the larger work area AND depth of cut over what the SO3 provides, however, note that the SO3 is definitely up to the task of cutting these gears precisely (and quicker) than you've first experienced!

joebananas10
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Re: My new Shapeoko 3 is it just me?

Post by joebananas10 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:06 am

Rocket2004
This won't be the answer to all your questions/concerns but use GRBL-Panel instead of Carbide Motion. You'll be a lot happier. BTW, if you haven't done so already, get homing switches and probe contacts.

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