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Uber-Cheap 1610 CNC Mill (Engraver) ... "Rounter"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Puckdropper View Post
    If you can do the manual machining and draw in a CAD program, you'll probably take to CNC without much difficulty. The CAM layer has about 4 basic operations and you can build on those as you need to.

    I know a lot of guys build their CNC machines from scratch, but I really think a kit or prebuilt machine is a good way to get going. Now you don't have to worry about whether this stepper is compatible with that driver: you just have to connect the wires.
    You just have to worry about if the builder knew... or even cared. LOL. Seriously those little cheapo machines work, but they are like buying a 7x10 mini lathe. It works, but it needs a lot of work too.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

    Comment


    • #17
      Myfordboy on YouTube does a pretty good review on a Banggood CNC. Of course he proceeded to cast some improvements to it as well as a better motor unit, etc. If you aren’t aware of his channel (unlikely I know) it’s great to check out especially if you are considering metal casting.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
        You just have to worry about if the builder knew... or even cared. LOL. Seriously those little cheapo machines work, but they are like buying a 7x10 mini lathe. It works, but it needs a lot of work too.
        I’d say it’s far more useful than a mini-lathe

        Comment


        • #19
          Well, I have both... a cheap cnc router and a mini lathe. All you are doing is arguing about degrees. They point stands. LOL.
          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

          Comment


          • #20
            Just an action shot:



            And the result:



            Just softwood, nothing special, and I'm using one of the engraving bits it came with. The above, not counting my bumbling around, took a little over 1 hr. Once I figure out which set of numbers sets the plunge rate, that should shorten by quite a bit.

            Edit... I'm also limited in spindle speed as I'm running on 20vdc, after blowing the 24vdc brick that came with it. It should be able to handle 30vdc and I'll have that when more stuff arrives from China.

            When I ordered this thing, I also ordered endmills, collets and holder, PCboards, etc.. Of course, the mill seller decided to courier it, even though there was no indication of that on the sale site (cost me an extra $15 in brokerage fees). So, now I have the mill and nothing to chuck in it besides engraving bits, some dremel burrs, and one solid carbide endmill that I'm still too chicken to use. All those extra holes on that test print (edit... cut) should let you know why. Lots of goofs.

            But, results none the less.

            David...
            Last edited by fixerdave; 02-25-2018, 01:23 AM.
            http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
              Interesting ,but I have no idea of the size of this thing. Could you set a coke can on it and post a picture. Also to much "gargan". power brick,boost converter incscape grbtcontrol flatcam coppercam.oh yes I forgot gcode and fusion 360,the only 2 things that I have heard of.Edwin Dirnbeck
              Sorry, missed the second part of this:

              A "power brick" is just a big power adaptor, the ones you typically see powering laptops. The engraver came with a 24vdc output supply but it failed the first time I stalled the spindle motor by driving it into the work (errant G-code). I replaced it with a laptop supply, but the voltage is too low. The higher the voltage, the faster the spindle motor spins. It's rated for 30vdc. I happen to have a salvage server computer power supply that sources 56amps at 12vdc. Now, if you think about it, 56A at 12vdc is pretty useless, so the supply has sat doing nothing. But, I got to thinking... China... a quick Ebay search found a "boost" converter rated at 20A. Boost is where it pumps up the voltage, at the expense of current. Thus, if I feed 20A at 12vdc into the boost circuit, I should be able to get over 6A out at 36vdc which is more than enough. I can basically pick whatever output voltage I want, which means I can set the spindle speed. So, $18cdn and a slow boat from China. If it works, I'll probably buy another. Very useful circuit, that is. They're designed for solar power arrays... any voltage in, fixed higher voltage out.

              Inkscape is an opensource vector drawing package. Fusion 360 does text, but when I tried to make a pattern for casting, the letters were too close together for the sand to pull cleanly. So, I had to manually place each letter, which is a big pain. Inkscape allows the letters to be spaced, text wrapped along a curved path, all kinds of symbols, open-clipart... very powerful. I barely know how to use it, but I did find out how to export the SVG files from that into Fusion 360.

              GRBLcontrol is a software package the engraver came with to talk to the board that runs the mill. That board runs Grblcontroller, which is an opensource thing that runs on Arduino type single-board computers. That board converts G-code to signals that drive the stepper motors. GRBLcontrol runs on a PC and sends G-code from the PC to the controller board. Yeah, that's probably a confused explanation. I'm actually experimenting with other software packages besides GRBLcontrol as it crashed on the last G-code file I tried to get it to send. Turns out I have an old version, the new version has a different name, "Candle" (I guess having GBRLcontrol send G-Code to the GrblController board was too confusing). Anyway, Candle didn't work so I found something better, I think. GRBLpanel... Still haven't decided.

              FlatCAM and CopperCAM are applications that take the output from Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design applications and convert them to G-code so the traces can be "isolation routed." Isolation routing is a quick and dirty way to make a PCB. So, I draw a circuit in Fritzing (a Free circuit and PCB design application), export the board to FlatCAM. In FlatCAM, I tell it what I want and it generates G-code files that I can then use another application to send to the engraver. Yeah, it's an ugly toolchain, but it's free and it seems to work well enough for what I want.'

              Hope this helps, (and I'm still learning all this myself)

              David...
              http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #22
                Inkscape is an opensource vector drawing package. Fusion 360 does text, but when I tried to make a pattern for casting, the letters were too close together for the sand to pull cleanly. So, I had to manually place each letter, which is a big pain. Inkscape allows the letters to be spaced, text wrapped along a curved path, all kinds of symbols, open-clipart... very powerful. I barely know how to use it, but I did find out how to export the SVG files from that into Fusion 360.
                Another instance where CamBam actually does it better. Text is easily spaced sized, and moved as needed still in its text format. (also has plugins that allow for easy arc text or text along polyline.) I use Fusion360 mostly for adaptive 3D clearing (where it really excels). Sometimes I use Fusion and CamBam on the same project. I just import the Fusion Code directly into CB and the job it does well is done in order in a single project file. I did have to edit the Fusion post processor a bit to match my style and machine setups. I had to do that whether I paired it with CB or not. I do sometimes use Inkscape, but I was not aware it had any coding capability.
                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                  Another instance where CamBam actually does it better....
                  Well... I'm pretty committed to a free toolchain, being the cheap bastard that I am. I mean, because of work, I'm actually, legally allowed to use most Autodesk products. Inventor, AutoCAD, the HSM plugin. If I wanted to VPN in to the college network, I could run Solidworks as well. But, I'm old enough now that I'm starting to think what will happen when I retire and loose access to the above. I'd hate to be dependent on some package that costs $300/month to rent. Fusion 360 is good enough, and I'll work around its limitations with other free packages, opensource free if possible. Hopefully, the free options will keep growing for hobbyists. It's pretty awesome right now, actually.

                  Someday, when I actually figure this all out, it would be interesting to compare the output of Fusion 360 and that Autodesk HSM (High Speed Machining) plugin. It must be something as even Solidworks can use it. All the instructors insist it be there for students.

                  David...
                  http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
                    Sorry, missed the second part of this:

                    A "power brick" is just a big power adaptor, the ones you typically see powering laptops. The engraver came with a 24vdc output supply but it failed the first time I stalled the spindle motor by driving it into the work (errant G-code). I replaced it with a laptop supply, but the voltage is too low. The higher the voltage, the faster the spindle motor spins. It's rated for 30vdc. I happen to have a salvage server computer power supply that sources 56amps at 12vdc. Now, if you think about it, 56A at 12vdc is pretty useless, so the supply has sat doing nothing. But, I got to thinking... China... a quick Ebay search found a "boost" converter rated at 20A. Boost is where it pumps up the voltage, at the expense of current. Thus, if I feed 20A at 12vdc into the boost circuit, I should be able to get over 6A out at 36vdc which is more than enough. I can basically pick whatever output voltage I want, which means I can set the spindle speed. So, $18cdn and a slow boat from China. If it works, I'll probably buy another. Very useful circuit, that is. They're designed for solar power arrays... any voltage in, fixed higher voltage out.

                    Inkscape is an opensource vector drawing package. Fusion 360 does text, but when I tried to make a pattern for casting, the letters were too close together for the sand to pull cleanly. So, I had to manually place each letter, which is a big pain. Inkscape allows the letters to be spaced, text wrapped along a curved path, all kinds of symbols, open-clipart... very powerful. I barely know how to use it, but I did find out how to export the SVG files from that into Fusion 360.

                    GRBLcontrol is a software package the engraver came with to talk to the board that runs the mill. That board runs Grblcontroller, which is an opensource thing that runs on Arduino type single-board computers. That board converts G-code to signals that drive the stepper motors. GRBLcontrol runs on a PC and sends G-code from the PC to the controller board. Yeah, that's probably a confused explanation. I'm actually experimenting with other software packages besides GRBLcontrol as it crashed on the last G-code file I tried to get it to send. Turns out I have an old version, the new version has a different name, "Candle" (I guess having GBRLcontrol send G-Code to the GrblController board was too confusing). Anyway, Candle didn't work so I found something better, I think. GRBLpanel... Still haven't decided.

                    FlatCAM and CopperCAM are applications that take the output from Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design applications and convert them to G-code so the traces can be "isolation routed." Isolation routing is a quick and dirty way to make a PCB. So, I draw a circuit in Fritzing (a Free circuit and PCB design application), export the board to FlatCAM. In FlatCAM, I tell it what I want and it generates G-code files that I can then use another application to send to the engraver. Yeah, it's an ugly toolchain, but it's free and it seems to work well enough for what I want.'

                    Hope this helps, (and I'm still learning all this myself)

                    David...
                    David, thank you very much for taking the time to give an excellent explaination.I consider myself very competent in 3 axis gcode.Is there an easy way to buy this unit and input g code easily .I could write my own programs for the simple parts that I need without learning a cam program. Thank you Edwin Dirnbeck

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
                      David, thank you very much for taking the time to give an excellent explaination.I consider myself very competent in 3 axis gcode.Is there an easy way to buy this unit and input g code easily .I could write my own programs for the simple parts that I need without learning a cam program. Thank you Edwin Dirnbeck
                      The controller board runs Grbl, an opensource application that takes G-code via serial over USB and runs the steppers accordingly. So, anything that can write to a serial port can send the G-code. There are a lot of options, for simple to complex, free to fee, that do that. The ones I've looked at load the G-code file and just send it to the controller when you hit the send button. They also allow individual G-codes to be sent and the results visible in a console. That part is easy, and free.

                      If you want to write G-code sequences manually, so long as the more obscure G-code commands are Grbl compatible, which probably won't matter for the basic stuff, then getting that sequence to the engraver is a non-issue. Here's a wiki page that lists many ways to send information to the controller board: https://github.com/grbl/grbl/wiki/Using-Grbl. You can even do it with a web page.

                      As for buying it... Ebay, search for 'cnc 1610'. They're all over the place, as are the prices.

                      edit:

                      If you're used to industry standard controllers, you might like this one:



                      At: https://github.com/gerritv/Grbl-Panel (it's Windows only though)

                      It's supposed to be just like what you'd get on a typical machine... not that I'd know at this point.

                      I'm using it now... not sure if I'll stick with it but it seems best so far. The biggest negative at this point is that when I hit "connect" so that it starts working the engraver (have a hard time calling it a mill), it starts the spindle motor... very disconcerting. If I disconnect and reconnect, the spindle stops and all is well. It's just that weird glitch at that first connect. Also, once I start sending the file, I can hit that 'Hold' button and have everything stop, which is good. But, I've not yet figured out how to make the mill do something, like raise the spindle, without aborting the whole program. Probably just my ignorance at this point. (edit: seems that lock-out is by design).

                      David...
                      Last edited by fixerdave; 02-26-2018, 04:13 AM.
                      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        If anyone is serious about getting one of these... okay, "serious" is probably an overstatement. If anyone is thinking about fooling around with one of these, there's actually a page here:
                        https://github.com/gnea/grbl/issues/123
                        that has quite a bit of very useful information, information that goes way beyond the original discussion.

                        Various ways to flash the board to upgrade the grbl control version (0.9 to 1.1) and why you may want to do that. How to add limit switches (pretty simple, actually). And, why some people are having issues with running various G-code sending programs. For example, Candle wouldn't work for me... turns out they have a 0.9 grbl control board compatible version. Not tried it yet as I'm happy with Grbl-Panel above, but it's nice to know.
                        http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
                          If anyone is serious about getting one of these... okay, "serious" is probably an overstatement. If anyone is thinking about fooling around with one of these, there's actually a page here:
                          Does it have any possible practical use in a shop, besides being a "trainer"?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                            Does it have any possible practical use in a shop, besides being a "trainer"?
                            I'll answer that by comparing it to the 3D printer I bought, same basic uber-cheap approach. I bought it to learn, and maybe print some Lego for my kid. I learned a lot, discovered that Lego is particularly hard to print (features on top and bottom), and that the thing is incredibly useful for all manner of other things I never thought of. I've used to to print brackets, hangers, wheels, strain reliefs, bumpers, knobs, clamping kit for my engraver ... it's just another useful tool now. Indispensable, really.

                            Will the engraver be the same? Don't know. I've already learned a lot so it's paid for itself as far as I'm concerned. Cheaper than most textbooks for college courses. Otherwise, I figure I'll be able to use it to engrave stuff, maybe make little 3D name-blocks out of wood, even maybe fancy stuff like 3D shapes and twig letters, stuff like that. I figure I should be able to make really quick and dirty PCboards that can adapt pinouts to more breadboard friendly layouts, maybe reduce the number of dead-bug circuits I end up making. Maybe, I can get it to drill fancy hole patterns in bits of metal that I can then use for fan grilles, stuff like that. Maybe elaborate little box sides and tops that I can glue up. Yeah, not a whole lot I couldn't live without. So, basically, a toy I can learn with. But, who knows, it might end up as useful as that 3D printer. Time will tell.

                            Oh, one other thing. My 3D printer is really small. I figured that would seriously limit it's usefulness, but it hasn't. There have been a few things I couldn't print, but a surprisingly small percentage overall. Part of that is that it forces me to think small but, honestly, that's probably a good thing anyway. I'm hoping this little engraver goes the same way.

                            David...
                            Last edited by fixerdave; 02-26-2018, 06:48 PM.
                            http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Another follow-up:

                              I tried engraving some stainless steel... I managed to scratch it, but that's all. Just bust the tip off the engraving bit after I tried to feed it in more aggressively to get it to cut. The idea of using those cheap diamond burrs was also entirely ineffective. No stainless engraving, sorry.

                              I tried doing isolation routing for a printed circuit board. That did work, though nothing to scream about. I would not buy one of these things specifically to do isolation routing, but if you've got one.. it can do it. Just remember to keep your traces extra wide and over-size the pads as well.

                              It works awesome on Plexiglass:



                              I lost more detail converting the bitmap into an svg than I did engraving it. Very nice engraving... the point of which is this:



                              Pictures don't do it justice, actually. It looks awesome.

                              3 leds from a 12vdc led strip connected to a (in this case) 9vac power adaptor, all mounted in a 3D printed block hot-glued to the adaptor. Yes, a nightlight. The plex is just sitting there, with the leds shining up from the bottom... pretty neat 'eh?

                              I'm trying to get my kid into drawing different things that I can make into nightlights... no luck yet, but I'll make him a creator rather than consumer yet.

                              David...

                              P.S. 9vac because there was a box of them at work nobody wanted... who want's 9v AC? Well, I'm just running them through leds, and that 'd' part of led means diode... so it's a half-wave rectifier, and I don't want full brightness from the leds anyway. Perfect use for them.
                              http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                sweet! I think that looks fantastic.

                                For the LEDs, their individual voltage is probably ~2.5-3V for red LEDs and the resistor built into the 12V strip (usually to drop the voltage down from 12V supply to ~9V total LED forward voltage) might drop that down a little bit more. So if you ever want it brighter, remove the resistor.

                                I need to get back to my 3D printer. I have some yard work to do this weekend and I've been meaning to print a B&D>Milwaukee M18 battery adapter for ages so I can use my M18 batteries with my yard tools..

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