2.5 ft^2 build coming along

This is my first big 3d printing project. I’ll add some more pics this weekend.

Looks good, I like that green. Every time I see nice colors makes me think I need some new official colors.

Made some progress. Used a 32in card table with a piece of plywood for the top. I ran out of pipe so I printed the old legs and used them instead, and spilled some ABS cement while attaching them (gives it character). Today I mostly did wiring and I think I finally got it all working, so look forward to some more pics tomorrow!

Regarding using Repetier-Host, I’m very familiar with using it for my 3d printer, but I’ve never used it for CNC. Do I need to somehow invert my models or is there a way to set it to just cut around an object?

Also what is the easiest way to cut the surface level? Thanks!

Almost done.

Repetier is just the control software if you aren’t 3D printing, https://www.v1engineering.com/estlcam-basics/ . EstlCam does the heavy lifting for milling. if you watch some of my videos I include the settings I used.

To level the whole surface just make a 3D square the usable size of your cutting area and only mill it in .5mm increments until the whole surface has been cut.

Well, I discovered another reason not to use ABS. Assembly was tight but with the help of a knife I was able to make everything come together. But the bearings were tighter against the rails than they otherwise would have been, which was causing the drivers to overheat and the motors to make high pitched noises. Using my dremel I sanded down the rails tonight and now everything is moving much more smoothly. I think once I put it to use the bearings will set and it will roll even better.

I’m going to redo my wiring this weekend because one of the motors seems to be a little out of sync, and then I should finally be ready to make the first cut.

Here is a new pic with the new wiring. I’m getting a high pitched sound from the motors, but when I press the reset button on the ramps board it stops. Plus the stepper drivers are getting pretty hot for a machine that should be sitting still. Any suggestions?

If it isn’t moving turn off the power. If it is moving the drivers will get really warm but shouldn’t get too hot. If you got it from me they should be set just fine. I don’t currently use a fan on my drivers. You can always turn down the drivers but please you a voltmeter so you can see what you are doing. They are extremely touchy.

I tried carving some wood today. It seemed to start off okay but then it randomly started dropping my Z axis. I killed the job, reset everything, and ran it again. It dropped the Z axis again, but at a different point. It’s not something in the g-code telling it to do this. Could it be a driver overheating issue? I have a multimeter and I can 3d print a plastic screwdriver for adjusting the voltage. Any idea what I should set it to? These are the motors I am using:

Having never done this before I’m not quite sure how to proceed. Turning the screw is straight forward enough, but where should I be measuring the voltage to see the result? As always your help is much appreciated, thank you!


Check out this video tutorial on adjusting the drivers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89BHS9hfSUk . Make sure you use the correct equation for the driver you are using DRV8825 or A4988. The video is a bit slow going but helpful. The nice idea in it is to use a metal screwdriver and alligator clips to measure the current set voltage.


That’s exactly what I needed to know, thanks SteveC!

Hmm, my motors make the same high pitched sound (never heard my 3D printer make this noise). I also used green like yours initially, but I decided after I had it together that it just didn’t feel sturdy enough for me (some of the blocks had started to crack a bit) so I reprinted in polycarbonate and am putting it back together now.

I really like the strength of the PETG i got at Microcenter for around $18/Kg

I gave my stepper drivers a 90 degree turn to the right and that dropped the voltage from 1.6 down to .7, and lo and behold the high pitched noise stopped and the motors still work. Looks like I might finally get to make that first cut tomorrow!

The motors were slipping and it was losing its position so I put the voltage back up to 1.0. It was looking so good last night that I left it running, and when I woke up this morning the basement was full of smoke. I guess I’ll need to figure out how to mount the shop vac to it in order to handle the sawdust. Incidentally I also learned that our smoke detectors aren’t working.

Holy cow! I am too scared to let mine run by itself, weird things happen with robots handling power tools. Did the part come out alright?

With your drivers that high do you have a fan on them or no?

No, I don’t have a fan on them. I didn’t even think to check because at .7 I could touch the heatsink without burning myself. What do you have yours set to? I’m trying to carve a relief of the Last Supper, and it was only halfway through the rough when it stopped. I think I might just start over.

I send them out at .7v, because I feel much higher than that and they could get too hot and do a thermal shutdown. 1V is okay but I think you probably need a fan on them at that point.

Mine are at .7v right now. If that isn’t enough power you might want to loosen the middle bolts on all your moving parts to free it up a bit.