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  1. #13
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    Default DIY regrets

    Bx3mE,
    Your running smoothie and can get that kind of speed? How? What is your max feed? Smoothieware only can do 90k steps second. Grbl-lpc clocks out to about 200k steps second. On my testing, I've already maxed out on smoothieware on servos with high encoder counts. When smoothie tries to go faster than about 200mm/sec, it stutters. I would like to know how you got yours to work.

    Thanks!!!!

    I also have a re-arm board too and use Laserweb4



  2. #14
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Quote Originally Posted by jfong View Post
    Bx3mE,
    Your running smoothie and can get that kind of speed? How? What is your max feed? Smoothieware only can do 90k steps second. Grbl-lpc clocks out to about 200k steps second. On my testing, I've already maxed out on smoothieware on servos with high encoder counts. When smoothie tries to go faster than about 200mm/sec, it stutters. I would like to know how you got yours to work.

    Thanks!!!!

    I also have a re-arm board too and use Laserweb4
    As I said earlier in the thread - I am building a Laser and dont own a dedicated laser yet. I have built 2 3d printers both running smoothie but nowhere near those speeds... I also have a Kit built Router and my experiences are from building these machines. The router has been fitted with a 8W Laser diode hence som feeling for Laser performance. The laser i am building is a 2600x1400mm workarea wich i intend to build a dual x axis for (rail + galvo) and a fast y axis swinging the galvo around. I am still collecting parts and have yet to weld the table...

    Still Learning..... :D


  3. #15
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    Default DIY regrets

    Ok I thought you may already done some testing. So far I've got grbl-lpc running on a re-arm to go 1000mm/sec smoothly on a CoreXY test machine (THK and nsk linear rails). That tops out the stepper motor speed at about 1300rpm. I'm switching over to servos to try to run faster. I've have them but haven't had time to install. I did bench test them and it looks promising. Smoothieware can not even come close to that speed without stuttering. The developers say it's a Laserweb4 issue but Laserweb4 can run grbl-lpc 5times faster. The smoothieware devs are no help and say it's not their problem. They closed the support ticket and brushed it off. I have the feeling no one there has done any real world high speed testing. It's all 3d printer users which is much much slower, most think 150mm/sec is fast.

    I thought you may of found a answer. Most of the smoothieware laser users I know have already dumped smoothie and moved over to grbl-lpc.m

    I should clarify that this is laser raster scanning over USB serial. Smoothieware has no problem doing a single line gcode high speed move. Raster scanning requires many gcode commands to turn/off the laser hundreds of times a second.

    Smoothieware can not keep up with the data flow and stutters. Grbl-lpc has no problem with hundreds of gcode lines per second over USB serial.

    Last edited by jfong; 09-29-2017 at 10:18 AM.


  4. #16
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Be careful when blaming Smoothie for the problem. Im not saying that you are wrong but there are many factors involved. I have run 350mm/s without any problems om my 3d printer with no issues related to smoothie. I think even a lot faster is possible but i dont have a setup to test it. One issue can be how the g-code is written and how the interpreter handles changes and plans ahead. Say if your gcode specifies a pwm value for each line it is likely that a plan ahead routine has a hard time handling that if there is no real change in pwm value and the optimizer has a sertaim way of handling out of band axes. Also rise and fall times on the outputs may have delays hardcoded. Some issues ofcourse can be improved by redesigned firmware but on the other hand if the expected flavor of g-code flows into the FW there might not be any issues. Any controller which you punish with excessive G-Code will likely have problems so that said i believe smoothe FW has some issues but not nessesarily all issues which are fixed by changing FW are to be blamed on the failing FW. I say this as a software developer having dealt with countless issues which are circumstensial and arise due to combination of things not handled by design. I have no relation to Smoothieware by the way...

    Just out of curiosity: when you tried running high speed with smoothie fw, did you try to remova all laser on of commands to see if it is the actual laser command whis is slow or if it is slow just because the line count per mm?

    Still Learning..... :D


  5. #17
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    Default DIY regrets

    It's smoothie serial throughput over USB. You can copy the gcode to the sdcard and smoothie will run it pretty fast up to around 400mm/sec. Any faster it will stutter. However drip feeding the gcode over serial USB stutters around 250mm/sec. This really depends on how high the resolution of the image you want to engrave. You can get it to stutter at a much slower speed if the image is complicated.

    I can reflash the board with grbl-lpc and run the same gcode program over serial much much faster.

    Copying the gcode to the sdcard every time you want to cut/raster something on the laser with Smoothie isn't a answer to the problem. The files can get pretty big.

    Once you get your laser up and running and do high resolution raster engravings with smoothie, you will quickly see the problem.

    I have no problem running simple CNC gcode at really high feed rates with smoothie. The amount of gcode sent per second over USB isn't that much and smoothie easily keeps up.

    You already calculated how fast a laser is required for a high dpi image. For every dot lasered, there is a gcode to turn on and off. (Or change of pwm value)You can quickly see how many lines of gcode are required just for one pass across the bed!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I like smoothieware features and I hope to use it for laser firmware if it can run as fast as grbl-lpc currently. It takes a long time to raster a image so every minute saved is $

    As a test I generated a simple 180x180mm 600dpi laser gcode engraving file. It was 1.8million lines long and 15megabytes in size. This is a image that would probably take grbl-lpc 20minutes to do but significantly longer for smoothieware.

    Last edited by jfong; 09-29-2017 at 11:33 PM.


  6. #18
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Quote Originally Posted by jfong View Post
    It's smoothie serial throughput over USB. You can copy the gcode to the sdcard and smoothie will run it pretty fast up to around 400mm/sec. Any faster it will stutter. However drip feeding the gcode over serial USB stutters around 250mm/sec. This really depends on how high the resolution of the image you want to engrave. You can get it to stutter at a much slower speed if the image is complicated.

    I can reflash the board with grbl-lpc and run the same gcode program over serial much much faster.

    Copying the gcode to the sdcard every time you want to cut/raster something on the laser with Smoothie isn't a answer to the problem. The files can get pretty big.

    Once you get your laser up and running and do high resolution raster engravings with smoothie, you will quickly see the problem.

    I have no problem running simple CNC gcode at really high feed rates with smoothie. The amount of gcode sent per second over USB isn't that much and smoothie easily keeps up.

    You already calculated how fast a laser is required for a high dpi image. For every dot lasered, there is a gcode to turn on and off. (Or change of pwm value)You can quickly see how many lines of gcode are required just for one pass across the bed!!!!

    Don't get me wrong, I like smoothieware features and I hope to use it for laser firmware if it can run as fast as grbl-lpc currently. It takes a long time to raster a image so every minute saved is $

    As a test I generated a simple 180x180mm 600dpi laser gcode engraving file. It was 1.8million lines long and 15megabytes in size. This is a image that would probably take grbl-lpc 20minutes to do but significantly longer for smoothieware.
    I dont doubt your numbers. For me, once i do photo engraving i doubt i will run with smoothieboard anyway but for my needs i will stick to it and smoothieware for the time beeing and when the need for faster processing arises i wil likely swittch to SmoothStepper by warp9. When running 3d printers i always copy to sdcard over octoprint... Given all the issues which have haunted me makes this more safe and reliable since PC:s tend to do whatever they like at times...
    Also grbl-lpc is still missing som importand functionallity at the date of writing: Hard limits not yet ported and Control inputs (Safety Door switches). But give both smootie and grbl some time and i think both will be better... Let time decide...
    I am im process of converting one printer to using a diode laser for testing so we will see what that experience has to teach me.... so far running the diode on the router has presented no speed issues with warp9 board but dac to pwm board has been a pain in the A... working now but not like i want it to...

    Cheers

    Still Learning..... :D


  7. #19
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Grbl-lpc is still fairly new so it's missing some stuff, that's why I would like to use smoothieware instead.

    The safety door switches is hard wired in series with the laser power "on" switch on my machine. Same with the water flow sensor. Not sure I would fully trust any external controller board with that. I have bad enough eyesight already!!!



  8. #20
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackened View Post
    What would you change about your own builds? I'd love to learn from mistakes made, best way to learn IMHO.
    My 100% DIY build and design is good enough for me right now, so currently I really don't see any mistakes (honestly) which must or should be corrected. But this is my version 2. In version one I used unsupported round rails and ordinary 12mm diameter stainless threaded rods and made my own zero backlash nuts and also used a simple DC motor as spindle, though I knew the weaknesses of that solution. I did not regret the build because I wanted to test the concept and wanted to test my own abilities to build a fully functioning and usable CNC. I knew that if it will work as expected I will upgrade within a year. While it was far from perfect, it actually worked better than I expected, so I upgraded it with ball screws, fully supported round rails, real VFD/spindle combo, new controller, PSU and the lot. Basically I only kept the frame, the steppers and the principle of fixed X-beam design. Of course, it is MUCH better now, I have more speed than I can handle and perfectly capable of milling aluminium and plastics and everything in between so right now I don't need to change anything.

    https://adapting-camera.blogspot.com
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_vrAWOz5YGX6_e3qtXg3YA


  9. #21
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    I can definitly understand "A_Camera"! Aiming for a perfect build first thing can lead to costly investments in parts you dont need. Building a machine low end and upgrading later the parts which need better performance cost you extra money but you learn a lot and you can avoid those extra unnessesarily costly parts. Personally i am a starter - a person who has a hard time to finnish things i start. and my projects pile up awaiting final adjustments and the last finnishing things. To me it is better to go all in from the beginning because picking up an budget project and make it better costs too much personal effort so i pay the extra dollar to have the better stuff from the beginning even if its over specified. To be fair my router build is still a birds nest of wires and a controller box which mever saw the lid, on the other hand its the only project ive been enjoying for over three years without dropping it. Nature of the occupation i guess

    jfong:
    I do agree with the hardwire concept for safety but there are several other things like lights, status lights, fan, circulation pump, compressor, air assist valve/solenoide, follow focus enable etc. Depends on preferences. I think we can conclute that if you are doing more than an occational photo engraving grbl-lpc might be your choice. If you are primarily doing all the other cutting and line engraving you might be better off with smoothie. Both will grow to more mature FW:s over time and who knows they might merge in the future?!

    Still Learning..... :D


  10. #22
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    A_camera and Bx3mE, I think I lean more towards Bx3mE's approach. Once I have a working device, whatever it might be, I tend to loose interest in the build and focus on using it for it's intended purpose. From that point on modifications often involve duct tape and percussive maintenance. Knowing what I'm like, I try a bit too hard to get it perfect first time. It kinda sucks some of the fun out of it, but I know long term I'll end up with a better result. I start off all excited and very highly motivated, but that wanes pretty quick and actually getting the project done ends up being a bit of a slog for me. So if I don't have certain things in my initial plan, they'll likely never get done at all.

    Glad to hear your build was a success from the beginning A_Camera!



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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    I think you misunderstood my point. I would not say my way of doing it was right for anyone else but me. The reason I did it the way I did it was that I was not sure I could build one, so I wanted to test my abilities to design and build a CNC. I was also not sure I wanted to keep it, and would not lose interest in using it once I built it. That was why I was not interested in spending a lot more time and money on it until I had answers to those two questions. Once I knew I could design and build one and would not lose interest in using it, the decision to upgrade was easy to make.

    My background is in software design, and electronics design and management, not mechanical engineering, which is why I was not sure I will be able to design and build a working CNC. My machine was not at all a success from the the beginning. It is hardly a secret that I failed in some parts of it, there are several posts about my mistakes on my blog. What I meant is that currently I am not planning to change anything because what I have is good enough for me. I simply answered one question: "What would you change about your own builds?" and the answer to that is currently nothing.

    https://adapting-camera.blogspot.com
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_vrAWOz5YGX6_e3qtXg3YA


  12. #24
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    Default Re: DIY regrets

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Camera View Post
    I think you misunderstood my point. I would not say my way of doing it was right for anyone else but me. The reason I did it the way I did it was that I was not sure I could build one, so I wanted to test my abilities to design and build a CNC. I was also not sure I wanted to keep it, and would not lose interest in using it once I built it. That was why I was not interested in spending a lot more time and money on it until I had answers to those two questions. Once I knew I could design and build one and would not lose interest in using it, the decision to upgrade was easy to make.

    My background is in software design, and electronics design and management, not mechanical engineering, which is why I was not sure I will be able to design and build a working CNC. My machine was not at all a success from the the beginning. It is hardly a secret that I failed in some parts of it, there are several posts about my mistakes on my blog. What I meant is that currently I am not planning to change anything because what I have is good enough for me. I simply answered one question: "What would you change about your own builds?" and the answer to that is currently nothing.
    Sorry if my post came across as negative towards you A_Camera. I totally agree, if your build was right for you, then of course you would have no regrets Some people may regret not spending extra $$$ on those mega steppers, others may regret not buying the cheap ones. My working background is as a machine setter/operator for sheet metal. I've worked an assortment of machines over the years. I have zero expertise on building CNC machines lol but I do have some experience on what annoys me as an operator/user. So for my build I'm aiming for fit-for-purpose, and how cheap can I make it whilst still being suitable. My hobbies in the past have given me an insight into heat exchangers so my first completed component will be the laser chiller. I'm glad to hear that your approach to the build was a positive one.



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