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Messages - Lob0426

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General Discussion / Re: Experience with Protoneer
« on: Today at 10:34:06 AM »
There are articles on using the Mega with a protoneer shield. You have to reassign pins in cpu_map.h. You lose some of the advantages of the mega like better clocks as you end up limiting pins. Our lasers do not need all of the pins used that are in grbl.

Cutting / Re: 3dcarving with our lplasers
« on: February 25, 2017, 11:18:02 PM »
No one has tried true 3D engraving with the lasers, That I know of, as yet.

I had the opposite, kind of, problem. I had one really tight bearing and several loose bearings when I just grabbed and installed. I was able to get much better results by the matching bearings to rods until I had the best fits overall. The extra bearings meant I did not have make compromises.

I have extra rods and bearings also. I just can't keep from fooling around with my printers! Mostly bed extensions and tuning.

General Discussion / Re: ABS without a hot bed
« on: February 25, 2017, 02:34:57 PM »
I tried hairspray and had some luck. You have to get right amount on the bed for it to work the best.

One trick I use on Blue tape is to wipe the tape down with Isopropyl Alcohol and a rag before use. This removes any oils left from your hands or the plastic. I get really strong grip after using the alcohol. The tape being slightly damp actually increases the hold. I get 10 to 15 uses out of the tape if I can avoid ripping it during part removal.

I also used Alcohol on Kapton tape. It also is good to clean the bed before applying either Blue tape or Kapton. There is not enough water in the alcohol to clean the hairspray off the bed.

Those look pretty robust. The rods are better performers than the rails in my opinion. It could probably be used for some light CNC work also.

My printrbot Play uses three bearing on the bed also. It uses only two bearings on X. The X bearings are offset. It seems to work well, but I spent some extra time tightening it all up. There was no room to add a fourth bearing. I bought extra bearings. This allowed me to find the best matches between bearings and rods. Well worth the time spent. This was especially important when I extended the bed Y dimension.

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 25, 2017, 10:14:44 AM »
I think the main thing about the firmware is that we able to have the source so we can make changes, like adding homing, or a third axis. Whether that be Marlin or grbl. Or that there is an external device like parameters that allow us to activate available features. I know everyone is trying to hide their "source" so competitors cannot copy it. But this is why we could not use the original EleksMaker firmware if we wanted advanced features. So we had to migrate to open source firmware, grbl, to be able to modify our machines.

The other problem was the total lack of documentation on the firmware, software and hardware. I know these cost time and money, but make the difference to people that would like to try one of these kits. Most will not try a project without something to go by.

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 24, 2017, 10:22:59 PM »
A redesigned RAMPS board would work. Remove the parts that are not needed. Like The extruder and heated bed components. Also the thermistor stuff not needed.

Another choice is a Mega2560 board with a shield for the A4988 and the connectors. The Mega2560 does fill the bill for current use. And the Laser kits do not need as much horsepower as a CNC setup that has a lot more stuff under control! This would give a path to replaceable electronics and easy design.

A LCD to the controller could be an upgrade but only really helps if it has a Storage card slot so the machine can be run independent of a computer.

I do not think the cost of a Win10 based controller setup is necessary. I do use a tablet to control my Laser machine. I am a fan of a "smart" solution, but cost would get out of hand really quick. It might be sold as a separate upgrade. Overall most of us bought these machines for a hobby use and low price is important. We are, in general, not trying to use them as a commercial machine.

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 24, 2017, 09:59:54 PM »
PWM's needed
Laser 1
X 2
Y 2
Z 2 (only needed if you add Z)
Stepper disable 1
So 6 to 8 Digital pins (PWM capable pins, not all Digital pins are PWM capable) plus up to 3 more for limits/home, I believe the limits/home can be analog also. On our Nano's the limits/home are digital pins. So 5 to 8 analog pins also.
6 Digital pins (PWM) minimum and 5 analog pins. 6 analog no limits and 5 analog pins plus 2 more (total of 7 analog) analogs for limits/home. If I counted them all correctly.

General Discussion / Re: ABS without a hot bed
« on: February 24, 2017, 03:01:44 PM »
There are strategies that do not require a heated bed to print ABS. An enclosed print space really helps as it keeps the "air" warm around the print. I have had poor luck with ABS even with a heated bed. Mostly this is because I have not put the time into figuring it out. 3D printing is one of those things where you need experience to get good results.

That Thingiverse post leaves a bit to be desired, I will have to see if the video gives more detail like temps!

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 24, 2017, 02:56:33 PM »
Honestly, I wonder why the Raspberry Pi or similar have not been considered.

The Raspberry Pi does not have enough PWM's to run the Laser kits directly. You would have to use some sort of Controller board in between. Also you would be sacrificing real time control! I am not sure if the Beagle Bone has enough or not!

There are better microcontrollers out there that can be adapted! Ralph, our Administrator, has adapted BCL to work with the RAMPS 1.4 board which is Mega based. I think it is for using Marlin! And ggalant571 has been working on the STM32. and as stated before I tried a Mini-Mega adapter board for the L1/L2/L7 boards. It was working with T2L but is not working with BCL. The adapter plugs into the Nano socket and adds connectors for homing. I also have a Mega2560 board with a L2 board jumpered over the top. It works well. I have not adapted it for homing switches as yet! It makes cleaner circles than the Nano board does. It has more available RAM (as well as Flash storage) so seems to run better even at the same 16MHz.

So overall we are picking at a number of alternatives to the Nano for these laser kits! One of the problems is the GRBL (grbl) is getting too large for the 32Kb available in the Nano. There is no more room for anymore advanced features to be developed. If grbl was written specifically for our Lasers machines (my amateur opinion) grbl could be smaller. But grbl is written for a wide variety of uses though mostly for CNC use.

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 24, 2017, 11:16:50 AM »
No there have been several people that have went with separate pins for homing. The single pin setup is easier as it requires less soldering, on the L1/L2/L7 boards, and the L6/L8 boards only use D9. So we chose to use D9 as the default firmware setup to accommodate the most people and their boards. But using separate pins is a better setup. It just takes more work to do and you have to roll your own firmware. Firmware wise it takes less for separate pins as you only have to modify config.h and not cpu_map.h also.

The most important future "board" change would be to move away from the Nano as it's flash size is too small for future firmware development. Again some members have been pushing development to other microprocessors that have more flash and faster clock rates. So far the successful candidates have been STM32F303(?)(same package as Nano) and the full size Mega2560 board with adapter board. The Mini-Mega has not been as successful due to some sort of timing issue.

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 23, 2017, 10:38:21 PM »
"nottingham82; We wire them in parallel to the D11 and ground"
(Most of us used D9 as that is what was "set as default" in the grbl 1.1e firmware.) But that only matters if you want to use the pre-rolled grbl firmware available from Zax.

Oh I forgot 2 of my own favorite upgrades
1. 5mm T-nuts replacing nuts.
2. Rubber feet, to stop the smaller machines from sliding all over the table! LOL

I use Home switches as they are very accurate for repeat jobs AND, it beats window licking to watch the homing sequence running! LOL

General Discussion / Re: Elekscam software
« on: February 23, 2017, 08:41:04 PM »
EleksMaker Z;

The "early" boards have faults, I grant you that. And we all know there is a breakpoint between profit and quality. I have not personally seen the newer Mana SE  boards as yet. Zax stated they are better quality and I take him at his word. If you look through this site you will see that there have been many people at work improving the machines, components, software and assemblies of these kits.

Most common upgrades:
The usual first upgrade to these machine is setting up the Laser module on PWM.
The second is firmware and software move away from the ones that are available for the kits.
The third is probably a fan or other air system to move the smoke from the Lasers beam.
The fourth is usually homing switches. (requires a move to advanced firmware and software)

And all of this, in my opinion, is due to the site Administrator, Ralph, who saw the need for a support site!

General Discussion / Re: Murphy Lives Here
« on: February 23, 2017, 10:34:40 AM »
For me they are not quite long enough - first thing I did when I got the cutter was put new rails on it and its 600mm x 900mm. But they are long enough in a pinch, just start in the middle of the bed with small jobs.

And thanks for the link.


By changing one connector on an end you can use a stock cable as an extension plus one of those for than a meter in length.

General Discussion / Re: Murphy Lives Here
« on: February 22, 2017, 07:20:14 PM »
I bought these so I would have some cables around for modding.

A bit long at 850mm but would work to get me back up if a cable fails!

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