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Author Topic: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.  (Read 2654 times)

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Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:17:39 PM »
So, since my last series of questions, I've succeeded in getting Mach3 and LazyCam to communicate things to the CNC machine at the correct size... and that's good.
I'm creating DXF files in Corel. I open the DXF in LC. I post to Mach3. I hit the "Go" button and the machine does everything it should... I guess, but what I want doesn't seem to be the same thing.

For a brief review, all I want to do with this machine is put a "V-bit" in the spindle and engrave lettering in pieces of wood.
Here are some things I'm having trouble with:
1. On the DXF files I'm exporting from Corel, how do I define the material size? Say I've got a chunk on mahogany that's 6" X 12" and I want to engrave a couple of words on it, dead center. I've tried page size, converting the 6" X 12" rectangle into a "border", I've tried opening a "New" file in LC, defining the parameters for the material... but as soon as I try to open the DXF within that boundary, the new file disappears and the DXF opens without the boundary. If I define the boundary using a rectangle, the machine routs the rectangle.
2. Say I'm using a font like Times New Roman. i use the "Contour" menu in Corel to establish layers for engraving, which I understood to define the "steps" required for the machine to cut the thick and thin strokes of the lettering at different depths (maybe I'm wrong). I can see the outlines of the layers when I open the DXF files in LC, but when the code is posted to Mach3 and I run it, the router just cuts the boundary lines of the layers, and cuts them all at the same depth. It doesn't recognize the line as a boundary... it routs the line.
3. I've tried the "Text" function in LC, but, like the DXF files, the machine doesn't cut the center of the lettering, it cuts the outlines.

I'm using a profile cloned from the "Mill" for Mach3. "Turn" didn't make sense to me so... well, y'know.

I cant find any information in the manual for defining material size, setting a "home point", 0/0 point... even when I look at the screen and see that Mach3 is starting dead center on the graphic, and I manually move the spindle to dead center on my chunk of wood, bring the spindle down til the point touches the surface, hit the "Ref All Home" button so everything is at "0"... when I hit the start button the spindle moves to some strange and exotic location before it drops and starts the routing process... nowhere near where my mathematical, Type A mind thought it was going to go.

Thanks for your patience.
Frank

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 03:23:11 AM »
Hi Frank,

Quote
I cant find any information in the manual for defining material size, setting a "home point", 0/0 point... even when I look at the screen and see that Mach3 is starting dead center on the graphic, and I manually move the spindle to dead center on my chunk of wood, bring the spindle down til the point touches the surface, hit the "Ref All Home" button so everything is at "0"... when I hit the start button the spindle moves to some strange and exotic location before it drops and starts the routing process... nowhere near where my mathematical, Type A mind thought it was going to go.

It’s all good but don't hit the "Ref All Home" button just Zero each DRO's then hit  "Start".


If you are using a "V" bit then you may wish to consider V-Carving for your lettering. There are many commercial softwares that generate the correct Gcode for doing this but there is a free software that may also be of interest to you - http://www.scorchworks.com/Fengrave/fengrave.html
It does a pretty good job and I have used it for some quite large signs with great success.

Hope this helps,

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 11:06:29 AM »
Tweakie... you rock! The F-Engrave software seems pretty straight forward. I'll let you know how I make out. Thanks again. Frank

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 11:22:35 AM »
I think you will find F-Engrave very easy to use.

This was a test in MDF and a sample in Oak.

Tweakie.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2015, 02:41:20 PM »
Those look good. I like the program, and I like how the options are in plain English... and, so far, the machine is doing what it's supposed to, and that's very good.
If I can pry a little more... my CNC machine (along with the initial "setup" provided in broken English) seems to be geared toward milling metal parts... so it's very slow. I've tried "overriding" the feed rate in Mach3 (main screen), but it doesn't seem to change how slowly the machine is moving. My spindle is manual, so I have an external On/Off switch, and a knob to regulate the speed. is there something in the "Config" menu that'll change the speed of the X/Y motors?
Also, my spindle motor has a 1/8" chuck. The only V-bit i can find is 1/4" dia at 90 degrees. I've seen chamfer bits that are 1/2", but they have the guide at the bottom so you can't use them for engraving. Are there any larger diameter V bits available... and also ones with a more shallow angle so it doesn't have to cut so deep to get a wider stroke?
i can't find any. I have some for my manual router, but they're 1/4" shank.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 01:55:02 AM »
Hi Frank,

Towards the beginning of your Gcode there should be an F*********x command (eg. F600) change this (and any other repeats of the F*********x command) to a higher value and save the changes. Check that you specify a high enough feed-rate in the CAD/CAM software that you use to create the Gcode.

If your spindle only has an 1/8" chuck then, unfortunately, you are limited to the available cutters that you can use. Also your spindle motor may not have sufficient horsepower to drive a larger diameter cutter.

Check out ebay for "V groove cutter" there should be lots to choose from, including different angles (not 1/8" shaft though).

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.
Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 10:35:04 AM »
By "cad/cam software" do you mean F-Engrave? Since I've tried that, I don't think I'll be using LC anymore.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 11:02:53 AM »
Yes sir F-Engrave.  ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline ger21

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 03:08:52 PM »
If you type F###, the forum doesn't think you're talking about p-o-r-n. ;)
Gerry

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Re: Defining material, 0/0 point, etc.
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 05:10:24 PM »
I was wondering about that. Tweakie mentioned F********x a couple of times. I was about to call my therapist.