What really works????????????????

Now that I have my MPCNC machine completed, I have learned basic proficiency in Estlecam and purchased Estlecam I am told that Estlecam has flaws that keep it from functioning properly and it is unlikely that it will be fixed. (Z axis issues)

Now it is recommended that I dump Estlecam in favor of Fusion 360. Unfortunately I am not familiar enough with this product to make it play with the RAMPS controller and I have been unsuccessful in my search for supporting documentation specific to this application. It appears to me that the Fusion 360 solution is still an early “work in progress”.

Does a solid working software solution for MPCNC exist?

If so could someone please give me some detail regarding what is working for them?

If not, should I replace the RAMPS controller with a GRBL controller or maybe I should look at buying the Xcarve controller and using their Easel software?

What really works?

Thanks

S.

You can use estlcam you just need to slow down your rapid moves to the z axis maximum. I have been using it this way the entire time. I have just made my first cut with fusion last night on the LowRider. Estlcam is fine, just adjust your settings. Fusion had the exact same problems until we all fixed them, Estlcam on the other hand is not open to those kind of tweaks ond the creator is not going to change anything anytime soon. We are all working very hard on the best solution and right now it is fusion.

Fusion 360 is not a work in progress, it is much more full featured and we have seriously revamped the post processor. The issue you are going to have is many more options. There are hundreds of videos for fusion CAM on youtube. It has to be the most documented CAM out there.

I am doing my best to get tutorials up but really it is not much different. You set your home point and chose your process, work your way through the tabs.

You do not need to use estlcam or fusion, you can use any CAM software out there. I am just offering my opinion on what is the best bang for your buck. Any other machine will have the exact same issues except you might be locked into there software. Very large machines have to use proprietary software and you need to hire an operator that has been trained for years in it. some small machine on use web based software. With this machine you can use any of them.

You can use easel now if you chose you do not need a different machine.

Grbl does not change very much on the gcode end of things. But if you want you can plug a grbl board in I have a tutorial on how to do it on the site.

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Ok, If I understand what you are saying, reasonably good results can be had from Estlcam if: “you just need to slow down your rapid moves to the z axis maximum”.

The only place I have found to change this is in the tool list. Is there somewhere else I should be making adjustments to feed rate?

Can you recommend a good starting point for Z axis feed rate? I am trying to cut cedar and poplar with 1/8" & 1/4" end mills and similar size 60 & 90 degree v bits. Max depth of cut as been 4mm total depth?

So this one: http://www.cam-fusion.com ?

I looks free. And can you import .stl, .dxf etc ?

Thanks,

Free for hobbyists.

Well… I had high hopes for getting things to play well today…

I changed my feed rates to match the numbers used in the tutorial. Then took a plaque layout that is 5.5" x 16" and contains 3 lines of 20mm tall Times New Roman text carved inside using a 1/8" 60deg V bit.

This same project took around 30 minutes to carve with the settings I was using previously. With the new feed rates set Repetier Host tells me that it is going to take 27 hours to carve 3 lines of text on a 5.5" x 16" plaque.

WTF have I done wrong now?? Please tell me that, in order to get a reasonable carve, it is not going to take me 27 hours to carve 3 lines of text on 5.5" x 16"…

Nope it should not. Are you using the carve function or and stl?
Did you watch my carve video? That should give you an idea of how long it should take

I am using the “carve inside” text function. I am not sure what “stl” is.

I carved this same plaque five times previously. Each one took 25-40 minutes depending on feed rates. One of them turned out ok. The other four failed due to Z axis issues.

When I changed the feed rates to match the Estlcam tutorial the ETE went to 27 hours.

I gradually bumped feed rates up until the ETE dropped to about three hours and ran it. It turned out ok with just minor Z axis issues.

I have watched several of the videos. Not sure if I am missing something but I would not expect my particular sign to take the same time to carve as the examples in the videos. Size, complexity of design and feed rates should all affect job time.

At the feedrates that you are having success with, can you “guestimate” how long you would expect a 5.5" x 16" plaque with three lines of 20mm Times New Roman text 3mm deep carved inside?

I don’t think that I was having issues with X&Y feedrates previously. I did change all of the feed rates to match the example and that yielded the crazy run time. Would it be advisable to bump my X & Y feedrates up significantly, set my Z feedrate low and then gradualy bump my Z feedrate until issues present then back it off a bit?

You are seeing that we are using different units right? I use mm/s, your last screenshot was mm/m that is a factor of 60 different.

I have only used estlcam and it has been fine I have had no ivissues with the Z axix. This video on the CAM is fusion was interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4bMAIEFCYU&t=0s

Hi,

I’ve just uploaded beta version 9.037 with support for individual feeds for X/Y and Z.
This should hopefully solve the issues with Marlin.
(Make sure to download version 9.037 – not 9.018 and start “Estlcam V9 beta” not “Estcam V9” if both versions are installed.)

Please let me know if it works as desired. And if someone sends me a settings file I’ll include it as preset with one of the next updates (I can’t test it myself as I don’t have the hardware and software).

Christian

Looks great! Thanks Christian.

Looks good all lines have a speed that looks correct. I ran a test cut (with no actual cutting
) on a machine with RC8 and it works!

Christian- I know you said you had no plans on changing this just a week ago so whatever changed your mind I’m very glad it happened. Thank you so very much from all of us! I have included my .pp file. I’m not sure what is all in it but It should be correct.

MPCNC.zip (452 Bytes)

I changed my settings to mm/sec before changing the feed rates to match the example.

Thank you Christian for the update!! I am downloading it right now.

Can anyone suggest a good starting point for the new settings?

Thanks Everyone!!

Steve

You can use my .pp file, or just make sure you have “f” checked to repeat on every line, use 2100 for xy and 500 for z. MAke sure your plunge rate does not exceed 8.4mm/s and you should be golden now.

For wood cuts start at 3mm depth of cut, 13mm/s xy, 3mm/s plunge z, 45% stepover. That should get you going after some test cuts you can adjust accordingly if your machine can handle it.

I have searched about and have not found any good details on the .pp file other than it is a “post processor” file.

How do I apply yours and what does it affect?

No wonder I am having the confusion regarding feed rate and run time… I went back to the tutorial and copied the feed rates from there. I set xy at 15 and z at 3. A far cry from xy=2100 and z=500. I can see varying feed rate based on a number of variables but the difference between 15 and 2100 tells me that I must not be understanding something.

Ok… I reread your reply again and wonder what I am missing:

“use 2100 for xy and 500 for z” or “13mm/s xy, 3mm/s plunge z,” ???

Please use small words and type slowly as I am obviously impaired this afternoon…

“Big numbers” are in mm/min and “small numbers” are mm/seg. Just mutiply or divide by 60 to convert between them.

The pp file is 2 post above yours. Christian is the genius that made ESTLcam. He asked for it. Hopefully it will be in the next release and you won’t have to touch anything. It is the settings I use in estlcam. Did you download the new one?

It is looking like you might need to take a step back and start again. Walk through my tutorials at the end of the assembly page. Start with using a pen and make some drawing, learn exactly what all the speeds do. before you try and strap a powerful machine on there spinning a carbide blade at 30,000rpms.

Your feeds and speeds will always be different, depending on machine, material, spindle, blade, age of blade, required accuracy, ect. I purposely do not give a list of “this is what you should use”. I have videos with the speeds I used, and the walk throughs all have the speeds I use in the screen shots. (the first one you saw is the ESTLCAM webpage, the blurry one you initially got your speeds from)

I will put up a screenshot but you need to understand with every update things change.

“use 2100 for xy and 500 for z” or “13mm/s xy, 3mm/s plunge z,” ?????????????????????????????

The first two are your travel rates for the new estlcam use these in the boxes under the “f” command, the next set are your bit speeds as shown in all of my screenshots in the walkthroughs.

Use these settings, https://www.v1engineering.com/estlcam-basics/
I will add a screenshot of the settings to that page in the next few minutes.

I am getting the impression that I am headed in the wrong direction… The more I fool with feed rates the worse it gets.

When I used: 13mm/s xy, 3mm/s plunge z the machine moved so slowly I had to gauge by feel if it was actually moving. The movement was almost imperceptible. So, I started bumping it up until I got to 800mm/s xy, 20mm/s plunge z. Now it moves pretty slowly while moving on the clearance plane and blazes away at scary speeds when the cutter is engeged in the workpiece.

Please double check all your settings from the page I just linked. Marlin needs mm/m I use mm/s for the tool speeds. Like I said before I believe you have this wrong. I just updated that page for you all the setting should be there now.