Inventables Community Forum

Gcode generation questions

Hi, I’m so new that I haven’t managed to make my first proper engraving yet.

I have a few problems and questions that I would appreciate some guidance.

Info:
CNC: Sainsmart 4030 pro 500 x 500 mm
Board: PCB, 1 copper layer, total thickness of 1.6 mm
Board size: 300 x 300 mm
Cut depth: 0.1mm

Problem 1:

I do my designs in SketchUp then save as PNG.
I import into Easel to generate gcode and then I’m using Candle to mill (as I could not figure out how to use the z probe with Easel for the moment)

The process was taking for ever, going like 100 times around a circle shape!!! Ridiculous!
I then used ncviewer to try and find what was going on. The simulation showed that the gcode generated by Easel was causing this behaviour.

Question 1: Any reason why Easel is telling the cnc to pass "a million times " to make a basic 0.1mm depth circle? I’m happy with 2 or 3 passes max.

Problem 2:

I imported the file again and this time I run the simulation. it estimated 96 hours!!! I’m trying to mill about 50% of the copper in the above PCB.
Question 2:
Is this normal in this cnc world? I might as well just cut inside shape path , paint protect the copper shape and use chemicals to eat the remaining copper away. This cnc part takes 20 minutes to do this.

Problem 3:

The z probe zeroing is not well explained in Easel. I should have command buttons in the screen to lower the z axis to touch the based of the probe.

Question 3: is there any guide to use z probe with 4030?

Question 4: Any guidelines, references on parameters, speeds, feed, nccode techniques to mill drawings in blank PCBs? (I’m not using GRBL PCB files, just drawings).

Thanks
Pablo

You may want to post the first 20 lines of gcode for us to take a look at.

I assume the tip diameter specified for the gcode generation is very fine, and since stepover often is given in percentage (like 5%) a lot of paths are needed to clear the area.

Think ant sized miniature lawnmower for a golf course.

1 Like

The stepover was set by default to 40%. Could this be the reason?

Sure, that would be highly appreciated. Here are the first 1000 lines, which do the same, just pass around a circle many times.
G21
G90
G1 Z3.810 F228.6
G0 X165.712 Y45.150
G1 Z-0.100 F228.6
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G1 X153.792 Y56.373 F254.0
G1 X153.384 Y58.107 F254.0
G1 X153.430 Y60.235 F254.0
G1 X153.867 Y62.008 F254.0
G1 X154.649 Y63.902 F254.0
G1 X155.597 Y65.692 F254.0
G1 X158.130 Y69.096 F254.0
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G1 X161.060 Y71.186 F254.0
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G1 X166.632 Y73.176 F254.0
G1 X170.626 Y72.978 F254.0
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G1 X177.757 Y69.177 F254.0
G1 X178.927 Y67.823 F254.0
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G1 X153.874 Y62.008 F254.0
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G1 X170.626 Y72.968 F254.0
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G1 X176.434 Y70.154 F254.0
G1 X177.751 Y69.171 F254.0
G1 X178.921 Y67.817 F254.0
G1 X179.686 Y66.442 F254.0
G1 X180.304 Y65.098 F254.0
G1 X181.464 Y61.753 F254.0
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G1 X157.113 Y50.425 F254.0
G1 X155.832 Y52.088 F254.0
G1 X154.991 Y53.616 F254.0
G1 X153.832 Y56.393 F254.0
G1 X153.445 Y58.107 F254.0
G1 X153.491 Y60.235 F254.0
G1 X153.928 Y62.008 F254.0
G1 X154.690 Y63.881 F254.0
G1 X155.637 Y65.672 F254.0
G1 X158.170 Y69.076 F254.0
G1 X159.658 Y70.342 F254.0
G1 X161.080 Y71.146 F254.0
G1 X162.797 Y71.942 F254.0
G1 X166.632 Y73.116 F254.0
G1 X170.626 Y72.917 F254.0
G1 X172.516 Y72.292 F254.0
G1 X174.279 Y71.446 F254.0
G1 X176.417 Y70.120 F254.0
G1 X177.717 Y69.137 F254.0
G1 X178.887 Y67.783 F254.0
G1 X179.652 Y66.408 F254.0
G1 X180.270 Y65.063 F254.0
G1 X181.413 Y61.753 F254.0
G1 X181.984 Y58.543 F254.0
G1 X181.617 Y56.916 F254.0
G1 X180.729 Y54.072 F254.0
G1 X178.014 Y49.792 F254.0
G1 X176.919 Y48.770 F254.0
G1 X175.546 Y47.678 F254.0
G1 X174.536 Y47.085 F254.0
G1 X172.126 Y46.039 F254.0

So I copied your file to mach3 and ran it. It just goes around the same circle and only goes downward the first time. I wonder if you have multiple copies of the circle on top of each other? I think 40 lines are one circle and then it repeats itself, but the numbers aren’t quite exactly the same for each pass.

You might want to try another Cam program and see if you get different results. If you saved it as a DXF format, you could try CamBam. That’s what I use.

Can you share the Easel project?
File–>Share–>Share with Link–>Save

Well, I dont, I’m just using sketchup. I will try CamBam.

Thanks

I will send shortly

The project you shared, its huge for a 30deg V-bit is specified with a depth = 0.1mm.
Simply wrong tool for the job.

  • How wide is a 30deg V-bit cutting when its only engaging 0.1mm of material?
  • How small is the stepover when its set to 40%? (actual width)

Using a V-bit for the size of this PCB as shown in Easel is ludicrous :slight_smile:
With a feed rate of 254mm/min it will take days…as you have found out.

If the PCB size and shape are correct, try specifying a 3mm straight bit and bump feed rate to 750mm/min, check simulated time difference. There isnt anything in the design that require the fidelity of a V-bit.

Thanks Haldor for the feedback!
I will keep in mind.