Inventables Community Forum

Mini mill cnc conversion

I did a harbor freight mini mill to cnc conversion with arduino and grbl 1.1.
Using the universal gcode sender software I can move the machine without issue. I am new to cnc in general so easel pro is very simple for me to make quick designs and go on my x-carve. I am trying to get easel to work with my mini mill conversion.

I home the machine (i install stop limit switches) no problem in the machine setup wizard.
after finishing the setup I change the working area to 8 inches (X) and 4.5 inches (Y).

I setup a block of 2x4 wood for testing.
I zero the machine manually
I placed a square and circle on my design as a test.
I even did my starting point at middle center

every time I attempt a “carve” after homing and zero the machine head (bit) moves about 1.5 inches down on the Y and about the same to the left (X).

I know it is unsupported by inventables, but for the simple carves I would like to do on the mill easel would be so easy to use if I can get it to work.

I am a hobbyist and do not want to learn Fusion 360 for what will be simple cuts.

Does anyone have any idea why after setting zero the machine would move forward on Y and to the left on X about an inch or two every time?

Thank you for any help.

I wonder if your work zero and machine zero setting in Easel is in a different spot than what you think it is? I don’t use Easel, but I use UGS. For simplicity, I’d just design in Easel and use UGS with the gcode it creates…but I see your point for a one stop operation.

Grbl v1.1 Configuration · gnea/grbl Wiki · GitHub

What do you mean by this?

Zero in Easel needs to match zero on your workpiece.

I am using easel to send my design directly to the arduino (not exporting G code). On the same panel I set the cutting depth, there is a second tab on the same panel that I can set the starting pointing. There are 5 dots, I thought these dots were to set my starting point (bottom left, bottom right, center, etc)? So I set my start position at center, home the machine, then set my starting point with the spindle and tell easel to use the current position. Then hit carve. The machine then moves Y forward towards front and X heads to the left. Both travel about 1.5 to 2 inches in their prospective direction when I wanted the cutting to begin where I had set my spindle in the center of my design.

I hope that made sense??

Thank you for any input.

Here is what I noticed when I did my test last night of exporting the gcode and using UGS. The exact same movement happened where the Y traveled towards the front about an 1.5 inches and the X traveled to the left side of the material about 2 inches.

So I must not have something setup properly even after homing the machine that everything is moving to the bottom left even though I have asked the cut to begin in the center of the design and not at the bottom left of the design.

Thank you for your input.

This is very frustrating LOL :slight_smile:

That’s not what that is for. Those are a reference for positioning. If you need to place the center of an object at specific coordinates, you’d change that to center. Job zero in easel is ALWAYS that black dot on the origin. If you want to set work zero in the center of your workpiece, you have to center your design on that dot. You won’t see most of the preview cut. Just the way Easel works.

Thank you, I will try that when I get home!

Much appreciated :slight_smile: