Ive gone through set up and did the homing sequence, no problem there. My question is how do you home the machine during normal operation? Every once and a while when you hit carve it will give you the button to home but not always. Is there a way to do it otherwise?
When you refer to “homing sequence” I believe you are referring to referencing your machine to machine zero. Z moves all the way up to the switch and stops. X moves all the way to the left switch and stops. Y moves all the to the front of the machine and stops.
In most CNC machines this is only done once as long as the machine does not fault in some way and loose the reference. This can be from a axis loosing steps. the machine hitting a hard stop and loosing reference.
Once you have your machine referenced you would next set up a fixture such as G54, G55 etc. This is where you place your material on the table and move the spindle to X zero and Y zero. This can be at any of the 4 corners of your material or any place on the material that you have set up your G code as X0 Y0. You then set this as 0,0 in your fixture. Now you have to set Z zero. There are several ways to do this but one of the easiest for the person just starting out in CNC is to jog the spindle down until it just touches a piece of paper you have measured the thickness of. When you can just pull the paper out from under your cutter and the material you then know that the z axis is the thickness of the paper above the material. Set Z zero. Now move the spindle up and off the material. Move the spindle back down to 0. Now move the spindle down the thickness of the paper. Again set Z0.
You now have your G54 fixture set to X0,Y0,Z0 You are now ready to run your Gcode program. If you are doing more than 1 of the same part you can set up some stops so each piece of material will go into the machine in the exact same location on the table. Then all you need to do is run the first part. when the job finishes just move the Z up enough to get the part out and a new part in. Move the Z back down to just above the material and hit run again. You do not need to move the spindle to X0,Y0,Z0 before you run the program for a second time the control soft ware should know where it is and move to the start point of the program.
There is no gcode command entry in easel. Once the machine homes the only way to get back there is by pressing arrow buttons which is far from exact. If homing sets x and y 0,0 points how do you get back there quickly in easel?
I am not an easel user. I was working from control software such as Mach3 and LinuxCNC. It would appear that you have very little control of the machine and your Gcode using easel. If there is not a way to set the amount of jog when you press one of the arrow buttons the developers of easel need to fix that ASAP. Your jog arrow should have 2 modes. Continuous where as long as you have the button pressed the axis will move at the feed rate you have entered. Step where each press of the button only moves the axis a set amount again that you have set. normal is 1" .1" .001" and on good machines down to .0001"
Easel also need a MDI (manual data input) screen where the user can set feed rate (F30) A G word as G1 G0 etc. By setting you feed rate and then set the machine to G1 you can then enter X0 and enter and the machine will move at the feed rate to X0 again Y0 moves to Y0
It appears that the developers are trying to make easel a 1 program does all and that may not be the best way to go.
On my CNC mill I use 3 different programs each designed to do one thing. First a CAD for drawing my part, next a CAM for generating tool paths and Gcode. Then to the machine controller in my case Path Pilot on a dedicated computer that runs the Gcode and sends commands to the milling machine.
When I receive my X-Carve it will be set up to run on a dedicated computer that runs LinuxCNC to control the machine.
easel does have a place where you set the amount of jog. it doesnt really help to be able to change that when you dont know where you are on your x and y
maybe im not understanding what the homing sequence is supposed to do. i just want a quick way to get back to 0,0 when im not there besides using the arrow buttons and trying to guess. i thought sending your machine home sends it to the switches on the x y and z and this is 0,0,0. is that not correct?
Does easel not have DROs (digital read out) for X,Y,and Z so you know where the spindle is in relation to your 0,0,0 If not this is something that the developers need to correct.
As I said there is machine zero and fixture zero. If easel does not support these then this is something that the developers need to address also.
I looked very briefly at easel and it took only minutes for me to know that I would not be using it. The work I will be doing with my machine would not even start to work with easel.
I generally think of home as machine home where the homing switches or reference switches are. Does easel always set the Gcode it generates to start at machine 0.
yeah i dont know
Any progression on this front? I noticed that the “Home my machine” option doesn’t show up in the carve menu for me either. Seems kind of useless to have homing switches if you can’t home your machine through Easel.
i just unplug the USB cable and then plug it back in before each project or each time i carve and need to home. that way the homing option comes up. only way i know to do it
Weird, I’ll have to check that out. Now to figure out my carving over Y0 issue and I’ll be good to go.
Dave, I’m in the same boat. I have yet to get my XCarve up and going yet, but my past years of experience with my current CNC is just what you described. My tool chain is: DraftSight CAD > Cut2D CAM > Mach3 Machine Control. I’m having to get used to the idea of this all in one GUI method and also the fact that I have very little control over the machine. I get that they want to make the software as easy and seamless as possible for everyone getting into this, but when you have experienced CNC in the “Traditional” path, it’s hard to go backwards to a simplified method.
Use something like Chilipeppr or UGS if your coming in from Mach, the rest of your tech stack doesn’t have to change.
I discovered last night that if I skip the homing sequence altogehter, ie; set the spindle at my chosen datum position and zero out the UGS, when i hit “return to zero” it always goes back to that position.
Workpiece zero and machine zero are the same location.
A work-around for homing to the machine to 0, 0, 0 in Easel, is to open a new Easel file and run the machine setup which lets you run the homing sequence. This is helpful to get x and y reliably back to the same location every time.
Since easel doesn’t offer control of x and y other than during machine or carve setup, I am constantly moving the machine when the controller is off. This destroys the ability to use the “use previous home” button.
The feature I would love is the ability to move the machine to each of the limit switches independently. Going to z-0 is a waste of time for me. These three buttons could be added to the final screen when carving a project.
I agree with this. It might be nice to still have a warning when you opt out of zeroing the Z-axis to ensure that the bit is clear of the work piece/clamps. I know I’ve almost crashed my bit in to material that I just loaded up that was thicker than the previous project.