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Topics - pilotjunky

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SmoothStepper USB / HobbyCNC and SmoothStepper - Happy Customer
« on: July 21, 2008, 11:55:16 PM »
Paid for my SmoothStepper on the July 17th, it arrived today July 21st.  As advertised, less than a weeks wait.

I have retrofitted my HobbyCNC board with the SmoothStepper, and it's now a working USB device.  I have some more testing to do, but initial high speed jogs and TP-100 Touch probe testing have proved quite "Smooth".  See the attached Photo.  Mounting location has good airflow and does not change the flow to the HobbyCNC chips.  From opening the package to complete physical implementation was about an hour.

Driver installation was very clean... as was the plugin.  I did not have to touch any of my existing Mach3 settings, it just worked.

The only "Minor" head scratcher was looking in Mach for the "Reset Device Sel..." under the Function Cfg's menu which allowed me to choose the SmoothStepper Plugin.  I may have missed it in the manual...

I'm sure there is more to learn, ie. Why I would want an external 5v power supply...  and how to get maximum performance from the device... but a great first impression.


General Mach Discussion / 3D Probe Settings questions
« on: July 11, 2008, 11:23:31 PM »

Just got my TP-100 Probe in today... seems to work great, but I have a few questions.

1.  Max Grid Increment setting...  what is the definition of this setting.  For example, if I set it to .01 if give me a point ever .01 of an inch.  But my question is, if it is set to say 1 inch for example, I assume it will put a point every inch regardless of a point being hit?  Or if hits a point between 0 and 1 inch it will record that point?   What is the recommended approach with this setting?  Does it depend on Object size?  I asking before experimenting so I don't destroy the probe in the process...

2. Probe Ball Diameter... mine is .076... what is this parameter doing?  I assume this compensates?

3. Probe Rate must rely on something else... probing seems slow any way you shake it... any suggestions or recommended settings?

4. Maximum Z height for stuck probe... what is this for, and more importantly, what is the definition of a stuck probe?

I have scanned, and the point cloud shows up in MachCloud, but I have had no luck in meshing the cloud to output to a .STL.   I can Mesh the "Prop" example, so I know I'm doing it right... but there must be some minimum point cloud settings I'm missing.

Thanks for any Advice.


Hi all.

Attached is an article I have written (and continue to tweak) , which discusses CNC right from building a small HobbyCNC Machine through using Mach3 and beyond.

Although originally intentioned as a forum thread, it sort of "grew out of control" and became the attached article.  It focuses on R/C airplane building, but covers topics applicable to many applications.

I'm sure anyone new to CNC as a Hobby will find something in this article useful.  It answers, or at least talks about many of the questions I have seen on the Mach support forums and beyond.

E-mail me with feedback if you'd like.

P.S.... I had sent to to Art for approval before posting  :)


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