How do I controll the CNC? Estlcam, Repetier, Fusion 360


As my parts arrived, and I am now building my machine, I need to decide, how I setup the system in my shop. Until now, I don’t completely understand, what happens after I generate the gcode.

What I know: I build stuff in CAD (I am doing this for years for my 3d printer now). I export that as DXF (I’ve done that already, to get stuff milled by a friend). Than I open a CAM Software, setup how each line is cut and generate gcode out of it (what is more or less, what a slicer does for 3d printing, just with more manual work).
And than, I see the use of repetier on the page, that seems to be used only a. control the router manually and b. send the gcode to the arduino to be processed.
Do I have to do that with repetier, or can this also be done directly from Estlcam and/or Fusion 360. If so, are that configuration-examples for those tools?



Sounds like you’re way ahead of the curve. The CAD/CAM stuff took me a while to figure out.

If you have the LCD, then you can put the .gcode file on the SD, and print it from the menu. That’s the best way to get started, IMO.

You can also use printrun/pronterface, I think. I haven’t tried that myself. I’m not sure why you’d prefer that over repetier though.

For what it is worth, Repetier “drips” the gcode to your machine, meaning the entire file is not sent all at once before cutting begins. Similar to streaming video. You may or may not find this useful. The “drip” term is something you may hear among CNC machinists who have a network of machines.
Jogging the machine with the LCD when connected to Repetier does not update the coordinates back to Repetier, you have to update with a G92. However, the LCD is updated when jogging with Repetier.
I often use both Repetier and the LCD controller during a cycle run. Running directly from the LCD does isolate the machine from the computer though. So if the PC crashes, your machine won’t.

Have done my first run with repetier. Drew the vicious logo onto paper with a pen.
I than drew 2 simple pieces in Fusion 360, that should fit together, used Estlcam, because i dont understand CAM in fusion yet, to generate gcode and than milled it with Repetier into 3mm Depron. Yay! It works, but i don’t like the workflow, bit thats mainly because my only windows computer is 2 floors up from my shop in the basement.

repetier works in Linux. :slight_smile:

Yes and on my macbook too, but I like the way Estlcam works, so I need a Windows PC around :wink:

I haven’t tried the direct estlcam features, but I have ran estlcam in wine (playon Linux). There’s a post somewhere around here for that… Then there’s virtualization, but that’s a big hammer.

I can connect my arduino to my linux machine in repetier host, but i get an “Communication Timeout” error all the time.

Using what settings? Buad rate?

Exactly those from your website, that is serial connection with 250000.

Ubuntu 16.04 with latest repetier host from their website.

Electronic is from you shop and is runng great with repetier host on my macbook. I just dont want to have my macbook in the dust all the time.

Thanks, Jens

I am just making blind guesses in the dark here, but you might want to re-flash with a lower baud rate and try again. Some MAC’s require this as well for some reason.

As I haven’t flashed it yet, because it was preflashed… What version do i use? The first on you marlin page? No changes other than the baut rate?
I am a little worried to brick the machine on the 2nd day, while it is running good with mac currently.

The computer is a really old atom cpu based machine (that i bought, because it is silent) around 2013. Maybe its to slot and i should try something faster?

If you aren’t sure maybe you should hold off. It is a very easy process once you have done it…the first time is either very easy or a nightmare. Did you get an lcd screen to run it off of then you don’t need a computer at all?

No, but maybe i should buy one. I didnt ordwr one, because my prusa has one, and i think the handling sucks :wink: i really dont like the axis controlling of it. I would sooo love a panel with direction buttons!

B16_32-LCD-112515 is the one that you flashed on it?

I do the movements by hand, but if you are interested in that there are all kinds of controllers you can hook up, even game pads.

You just disable the motors and move the rods b hand?

Yup, the steppers are off by default. Better yet, move them when it is off then power it on, zero and position set.

Went down to 57600 and now they are talking. Thanks for the hint!

That might be a little low, but if it works…

I have no idea why that is, you would think modern pc’s could use crazy buad rates. Crazy, but glad it works.

Machined some 6mm plywood this evening. Did feel the same as before, so everything is good. Thanks again for that great design of the machine and the support! You rock!