GRBL for RAMBo Mini

Hey guys!

I would very much like to use the Easel software with my MPCNC. I see there is a way to flash the GRBL firmware onto a RAMPS 1.4 board but is it possible to do the same on the RAMBo Mini?


If not, and I were to purchase a RAMPS 1.4 on Amazon, would I need any additional hardware? Or would all the same parts from the kit be used (power supply, etc.)? Also, would I need any additional drivers that maybe would have been preinstalled on the board if it came with the kit?


Thanks for always being helpful!


I am not sure about that, fundamentally if works on the ramps it should work on the rambos’s just different pin maps. Easel is a very limited software I would really really suggest you stick with estlcam. The usage can not possibly be that much easier than estlcam.

easel<estlcam<fusion360 cam.

The kit used to come with a ramps, all my suggestions still stand, with the exception of the import Ramps are just extremely terrible quality now. The last straw was the 5V reg being under spec’ed a second time, meaning adding things like an LCD was burning them out. You will end up replacing it.

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Thanks for the quick reply!

I have no doubt that easel is very limited. I’m just a total noob when it comes to all these softwares. I have estlcam but I can’t figure out how to use it. Same with all the CAD software.

I mainly plan on using my cnc for some pretty simple yet precise cuts. It took me about 3 minutes to design it all on Easel. I can’t even figure out how to make a rectangle of the other software. :frowning:

Okay I see. You are talking about two things, what we call CAD and CAM. CAD is actually designing the part, CAM is programming the tool paths.

estlcam is only for CAM, Fusion 360 does Both but is extremely powerful and very intimidating on the CAM side the CAD side is pretty straight forward.

You can still use easel for both your CAD and CAM. Once you have your design you can click Machine-Advanced-generate gcode-export gcode. That file can be used on any firmware (as far as I can tell), so you could use the LCD or Repetier.

I am not sure how stable the grbl firmware for ramps is at this point. last year is was not. if you are having a difficult time with CAD and CAM firmware is much much more difficult to try and diagnose. The CAM side I feel I have covered in some very basic to medium difficulties covered here on the site in the Info page, but CAD you might want to check out some of Maker Muses tutorials, He has them broken down very well.

If you really do not want to learn a different system, why not just get a grbl based board? I have one listed on the firmware page and there are dozens more to choose from. My machine doesn’t care what board runs it in any way. My suggestion is stay very far away from the newest versions of the Ramps imports.

libreCAD is a pretty simple program to do 2D design in. I personally found the fusion learning curve pretty steep. Eventually, I did enough CAD that I could probably learn it quick enough now, but I’ve moved on to OnShape.

Once you have the shapes designed in a .dxf file, then you open EstlCAM and choose where in the shapes you want to cut. EstlCAM is a great balance of being able to do almost everything, without 300 buttons and menus.

Keep your head up, you’re almost there.

As for the direct question, if it hasn’t been mapped already by someone, there could be a fair amount of work. The interaction with the steppers needs to be fast, and low latency, so it’s not usually just doing digitalWrite, it’s doing more direct pin management. I’m not 100% sure. But I’m guessing the Rambo will have different code than the Arduino CPUs grbl was written for. The Rambo also has digital potentiometers for controlling the current limits, which you’ll have to add. It would be possible, but it’s not just a config file away.

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Thanks for the great replies!

Ryan, I’ll try your suggestion with Easel exporting the gcode. I was of the impression that the file then required a lot of editing to make it work with another machine. At least that’s what this video implied:

I’ll also try out libreCAD as per Jeffeb3’s suggestion.

Wish me luck!


Thanks again!

He says marlin in that file but that isn’t what our gcode files look like. To me it looks good with a quick glance, might have to delete the very first g21, might not.

It might seem odd but to me the program is so over simplified it is difficult to use for me. I tried to go in and just draw a shape and export it to dxf or something similar but didn’t see an option to.

Give it a try if it doesn’t work I will look deeper but I don’t think it is a good option. You are very quickly going to want more speed and depth controls or some of your cuts are going to take hours longer than they need to. Things like v-carve that they just implemented in the paid version are and have been standard in all other cam programs.

To me this is more of a CAD issue, try out libre, fusion, or some of the other ones and see which one suits you. There is a slight learning curve in the beginning but a few tutorials should have you up and running pretty quick. It sucks at first but well worth the time to learn some basics. From there setting up a DXF cut is pretty well covered.

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So has anyone setup grbl for a mini Rambo yet?

I looked at the grbl for mega code once, and I think it would be possible to just change the ports for the mini rambo. Although there are also the digipots you’ll have to set. I thought about doing it, but I haven’t. I haven’t seen it anywhere either.

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I had a look and didn’t see it anywhere either. I think you are right, about the configuration. I was hoping someone has already done it for a quick chance to play with grbl. I think I’m just going to go right to linuxcnc. My friends Tormach mill runs a modified version of linuxcnc and I really like it.


Might be a bit late, not sure, but this may help: