Welcome to Our Community

Unlock hidden features. Sign Up for Free Today!

Newbie looking for some help...

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Bill Smith, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope I'm posting to the right area.

    I've been bitten by the CNC bug and have spent about a month reading, searching, and watching videos until I'm getting blurry eyed. I'm in the sign business and can see areas where a CNC Router could allow me to offer additional products. I've been working with computers since 1962. I taught computer education at the high school and community college level for more than 32 years. I have experience with Adobe Illustrator, SignLab and other 2D software.

    I've watched complete builds of the OX over and over and believe I'm capable of doing the build. I'm impressed with what looks like a very strong, substantial and well designed machine. I want to build one so bad I'm getting a rash.

    A friend of mine purchased a Shapeoko 3 recently, assembled it and is just getting a feel for it.

    Here's my dilemma... I would prefer to have an OX with maybe a 1000mm capacity. But, the Shapeoko 3XL comes with all the electronics and, what I gather, is basic proprietary CAD/CAM software to get up and running. Basically all you need is a computer to get started.

    I'm certainly willing to purchase more powerful CAD/CAM software once I become more experienced and find the need. I've downloaded and tested several 2.5D product's trial versions already and feel comfortable that any of those would meet my needs.

    I understand that the OX is a "mechanical" package. Once I've built the machine all I can do is sit back and say "Man... what a beautiful machine" and then dust it off once in a while. What I'm trying hard to find is an "electrical package" that will allow me to have a usable OX to connect to my computer.

    I don't feel qualified to locate, let alone wire/connect compatible Arduinos, grbls, Tiny-Gs, Chillipepprs, power supplies, controller boards and the list goes on.

    So, I'm asking if someone could give me guidance to close the gap between a great mechanical machine and a USB port on my computer. This would allow me to order the OX instead of the Shapeoko 3XL.

    I'll put a stamp on this and send it off hoping I'm not asking the impossible.

    Thanks for your attention.
     
  2. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks to those who viewed the post.

    Maybe OpenBuilds should offer an "electrical package"... just a thought.
    Might make a few more sales possible.
     
  3. Giarc

    Giarc Master
    Builder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    114
    I see you have been bitten. Well, welcome to the cure. Openbuilds is an awesome place to hang out. I stumbled across it while laid up on the couch after a work related injury. Painful, but well worth it :thumbsup:. It gave me a lot of time to surf the internet and learn about CNC.

    Prior to Openbuilds (and all the links to various builds and electronics videos folks post), I knew nothing about CAD/CAM, CNC, stepper motors/drivers, etc... I have no engineering background due to a stunted math lobe in my brain:confused:. I am more of a reverse engineer;). What I did have was a father that utilized me as slave labor (at least that is what I thought when I was a kid), so I learned that I can do pretty much whatever he, I mean I, put my mind to (most recently with enough Youtube videos). I thank him every chance I get, because it has saved me close to $100,000 in my lifetime if I add up all the kitchen and bathroom remodels I have done and the number of plumber/electrician calls I never had to place.

    As for electronics, I was a little familiar with Arduino boards and had played with them a bit but had very little electronics experience. Most of what I learned was from Openbuilds University and Youtube. If you review a few builds, you can easily put together your own electronics package with 4 DRV8825 drivers, an Arduino board and a CNC shield (for under $50). For a more robust system, use DQ542MA Stepper Motor drivers from Openbuilds with the Arduino. I upgraded and love it. A good resource for hooking an Arduino up to the DQ542MA Stepper Motor drivers was posted by Kyo and is here: C-Beam cnc

    As for CAD and CAM, Sketchup/ Sketchucam works great for making 2.5 D items and if you have been playing with Sketchup, then it is really easy and quick to use. For more powerful CAD/CAM software for making 3D objects Fusion 360 is free. I have not done much 3D sculpting with it, buit I have made 2.5 D items where multiple cutters are used with Fusion 360. There is a learning curve, but it is an interesting one.

    I believe they are close to doing this if I am not mistaken. WIN A CNC CONTROLLER PACKAGE! [Closed, Winner TBA]
     
    Kyo likes this.
  4. Kyo

    Kyo Master
    Staff Member Resident Builder Builder

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    382
    Hello,

    I am sure with our collective minds we can get you up and going no matter your choice in electronics. :thumbsup: Sometimes the hardest step is just getting started. I listed a few options in another thread not to long ago. Here.

    For the most complete all in one package.
    @Ryan Lock (ooznest ) OX kit Is a excellent kit option. It comes complete ( without router or spoiler board) and uses the X-pro V2 controller. I have used the X-pro before and can recommend it..

    The router I use is a Dewalt 611 in the Openbuilds 71mm router mount with a 3d printed shim ( I am happy to make you a shim at no cost if you don't have a 3d printer just cover shipping ). This has been working well for me. But you do have other options. I also can recommend the collet set from think and tinker. Here.

    If you don't mind picking your own electronics ( not to bad once you get going ); Check out the newer Openbuilds dq542ma drivers That I used on my last build. They are very solid drivers..
     
  5. snokid

    snokid Veteran
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    66
    really depends
    that Shapeoko 3 is a grbl based controller, many of those to pick from.

    a electronics package is pretty simple....
    motor's, driver(s), power supply
    openbuilds parts store sells all of them.
    on my ox I have a cncxpro 24volt power supply and it runs along no complaints...
    Is it the "best"? nope, but it also doesn't cost an arm and a leg either!!!

    Bob
     
  6. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Giarc, Kyo & Bob...

    I can't thank you guys enough for the replies. I see that the three of you all replied Sunday night within 48 minutes of each other. WOW... must have been some serious vibes out there in the ether. :)

    I have zero experience with the electronic devices you've mentioned. In all my searching I don't think I've seen a schematic that shows the connections between the OX and a computer. I don't have a handle on the order of devices. Arduinos, Tiny-Gs, controllers, power supplies, drivers, Chillipepprs and now I'm seeing I also need to know about Smoothie boards and Geckos??? :nailbite: What's next? Frogs? :)

    I've been checking the links in your replies and I thank you for them, but I guess I'm going to need someone to take my hand and say; you're gonna need one of these and I recommend this one, then you're gonna need one of these and I recommend this one, etc. Then once I get that part through my think head, that's when I'll need to know where each wire goes. :nailbite:

    When I said Newbie, I really meant Newbie.

    In my readings, I can't tell if the Ooznest Kit has to be ordered from across the pond or is available through distributors here in the states. Their system looks very interesting and I had considered them seriously if it's available here.

    So, if you haven't given up on me yet I'll continue looking and reading and hoping I can convince myself I can go with the OX.

    By the way. Fusion360 is one of the packages I've downloaded and been trying out. DraftSight and Cambam as well.

    Again, thanks for the replies, ideas and links.

    All the best to you.
     
  7. snokid

    snokid Veteran
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    66
  8. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,102
    Likes Received:
    405
    Bill, if you're looking for kits here in the untied states consider smw3d.com. Rather than the nice written documentation that ooznest includes however, they provide a series of videos on the assembly process. You can scan through them prior to purchase to get a better idea of the process if desired.

    Or you can just do it the old fashioned way and stick build it with parts from the Openbuilds store. You'll still need a set of plates to bring it all together and a listing of suppliers can be found at the beginning of the Ox thread.

    Either way, don't miss out on the Black Friday offers as they are definitely worthwhile. Just remember to start early as demand is generally fairly high and quantities do tend to run out.
     
  9. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Rick. I had been to SMW3D before and looked at the R7 videos. However, I failed to see the "kit" link. Looks very interesting. They offer the option of adding a TinyG and a link to get Chilipeppr.

    Am I correct in understanding that the XPro V2 or the new V3 can be substituted for the TinyG through another site? If so what else might I have to add? If so, what would most folks choose?

    An example from reddit.com says... "The xPro has better motor drivers while the TinyG has better software capability." and "The xPro uses the ATmega328 while the TinyG uses the ATxmega192. The later being about twice as powerful."

    I have no idea what an ATmega anything is or what good microstepping is. :(

    So, if you can help me here, maybe I'll be able to make a semi-educated decision.

    Thanks again.

    Bill





     
  10. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Bob. I checked out that link. Good Lord! That is some list.
    I should be careful what I ask for. :)

    When I make up my mind I'm certain I'll be returning there.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Bill
     
  11. snokid

    snokid Veteran
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    66
    Bill
    Don't worry too much about what ATmega chip is on the board, what the board does isn't very demanding.

    one thing to note. both of those two boards don't have replaceable driver chips if you burn out a driver then you have to buy a whole new board.

    a board like this while you can replace the drivers is a little more to set up at first.
    Arduino CNC Shield – 100% GRBL Compatable | Protoneer.co.nz

    any controller you will have to hook up the 4 motor wires for each motor and a power supply.

    While buying a kit get's you everything in one box choosing the parts from the parts store isn't that hard either. then all you need to order is side plates.

    I did my ox from a kit, no regrets
    Bob
     
  12. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,102
    Likes Received:
    405
    It's hard to give decent recommendations on the electronics without knowing more about your situation and what you intend to do with an ox. First off, what do you plan to use it for or make with it, what kind of projects? Will it be mainly for wood, plastics, foam, aluminum... what? (And no, don't say all of the above, the keyword there is "mainly". Percentage breakdowns are also acceptable.) Will the projects be for fun or for profit?

    Second, how often do you plan to use it, how much time do you see spending with it? I'm guessing somewhere between occasionally and setting up a cot and mini fridge next to it.... Basically is this something to fill a need (making parts, etc.) or is this something you intend to fully immerse yourself in for a while?

    Finally, what is your budget for electronics and for software? My world is limited to tinyG's and freeware but if I could afford it, I would have probably gone with the Gecko G540 and Mach3. Its hard to define your options without knowing where you fit into the spectrum.

    Rick.
     
  13. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Bob. Excellent point. Your link was valuable. I'm not trying to do a build on a shoestring. If I decide to do a build and once finished the machine has problems, I want to know that it was because I did something wrong, not because I used the cheapest parts. The information on your link shows quite a nice looking board. I've seen the name in a number of articles but don't know enough to pass judgement.

    At the bottom of your link I see that they were in beta testing in 2013. They were asking for and receiving a large number of beta testers. Is the current board popular over others among builders?

    Thanks again,
    Bill
     
  14. snokid

    snokid Veteran
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    66
    I have used many boards including cncxpro and the protoneer... Really no difference in use.....
    of those two boards cncxpro you install use a gcode sending program to send the file to the board and it works....
    on the protoneer board you need to install grbl on an Arduino board then its ready to use.
    both of those boards are limited to how much current you can driver the stepper motors with. (more current=more holding power)
    Gecko's and mach3 can handle much more current but it comes at the price.

    coming from the sign business I'm going to take a guess that you would be cutting/engraving plastic/wood....
    any of the controllers will handle that no problem... but if want a opinion get the protoneer board, better cooling and replaceable driver chips...
    also take a look at c-beam based ox machines, not that belt driven is all that bad but less to go wrong if you are counting on the machine to make money....
    Bob
     
  15. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Hey Rick,

    Guess I should have been more complete in my original post. As I said, I'm in the sign business. I run a small sign shop that offers vinyl lettering on metal, plexiglass, wood and PVC blanks. We letter windows, vehicles, boats, airplanes, you name it. We use an 24" x/y plotter/cutter.

    I can see a use for a CNC for engraving in aluminum, plastic, wood, HDU, PVC & MDF blanks. I can see cutting/routing HDU PVC & MDF blanks in shapes such as sheilds, plaques, scrolls etc.

    I don't see much need in the area of creating parts. I only have one item I would like to create in the way of a part and that is the elbow shaped pressure handle in my x/y vinyl cutter. I'm on the third one from the manufacturer and the first two have both broken at the same exact spot because the damned thing is made of plastic! When I complained after ordering the second replacement, I was asked "What would you have us do?". I said "MAKE IT OUT OF METAL!". I'm pretty sure I can do the CAD/CAM work to create another one, but that's about all I see in the way of making parts.

    As for price range I feel from all I've read that I should be able to get a good, sturdy, accurate system, (mechanical, electrical and software) in the $2,000 to $2,500 range.

    As to "why" I want a CNC... In addition to some use in the sign shop, I think it would be fun to do the build. I'd like to play with it. Show it to friends and educate my 12 year old grandson who is in a robotics club as well as robotics classes in his school. I think I'd be using it several times a week. That could be more depending on what I find might work at the sign shop.

    Thanks a million for your interest and reply.

    All the best,
    Bill
     
  16. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    214
    Have a look at this guys video from Planet CNC. It's a good video and he explains things well. :)
     
  17. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    250
    Have you watched the OX build videos?
    See the first post here
    OpenBuilds OX CNC Machine
    it has the 2 build videos and those videos not only build the machine, but also walk through connecting the motors and X-Pro and USB etc.

    What you need
    • 4 motors
    • the X-Pro
    • USB cable
    • 24 volt power supply
    • GRBL-panel software
    • some wire to connect the motors and PSU to the X-PRo, the motor wires are not always long enough.
    No electronics knowledge is actually needed, you are just connecting things together, and the Xpro is pre-programmed (but even programming an Arduino is just paint by numbers anyway)

    (seems I typed this yesterday but never sent it. weird...)
     
  18. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW! What a video. One of the best produced and edited videos I've seen. Thanks for taking the time to post. It was very informative and easy to follow.

    Thanks again.
     
  19. Bill Smith

    Builder

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey David,

    Thanks for the reply. I've watched the build videos multiple times. They gave me a good sense of what's involved in the mechanical part of the build. That's why I said earlier that I feel I'm capable of that part of the build. My biggest concern is the electrical part. A number of posts here have helped me in the decision making process and I thank all who have helped.

    A great bunch of folks here. Greatly appreciated.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    The OpenBuilds Team is dedicated helping you to Dream it - Build it - Share it! Collaborate on our forums and be sure to visit the Part Store for all your Building needs!
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Support Open Source FairShare Program!

    OpenBuilds FairShare Give Back Program provide resources to Open Source projects, developers and schools around the world. Invest in your future by helping others develop theirs!

    Donate to FairShare!