Switch from .dxf to .gcode
To mill your first part, usually we start from a “.dxf” file, either downloaded or created by your favorite CAD software.
This DXF is a drawing called “vector”, to make it simple and short, what differentiates it from a jpeg for example is that it contains information, for example, such hole is in such a place and of such diameter, this line at such place measures so many millimeters …
It’s all well and good, but our machine does not recognize this DXF! Indeed, it is not machine language, it must be transformed into machine language, in .gcode.
The G-code him, is a script that has each line gives an order to the machine for example X and Y go to such position at such speed …
To do this we need a G-code generator software, for example:
- Estlcam ,really cheap and the trial version is unlimited, just a countdown before the generation of the g-code to encourage us to buy and above all, it is HYPER easy to use, top to start without getting lost in the options.
- Fusion 360, complete, it allows to create its 2D and 3D files as well as generate G-code for 3D and CNC printers
I will not do a tutorial on these programs, you will find many on internet.
Whatever your G-code generation software, check the G-code start and End G-code options which must contain the spindle start / stop commands that control the relay (M3 at start G-code for start the spindle) (M5 end G-code to turn off the spindle) On Estlcam it is already set to original.
Now that we have our .gcode file, we put it on the SD card and then in the TFT SD drive.
First use of the RS-CNC
- Fix your “raw” (your material to mill) on a “martyr” (plate generally in soft wood that one puts between the plate and our workpiece to spare our beautiful tray!)
- The workpiece is tightened so that it does not move with the help of clamps, and it is checked whether during the machining path there is not a given moment when a clamp will end up on the way of the end mill … yes it would be sad ^^
- Mount a end mill adapted to the material, and of the same diameter that had been entered in the g-code generation software.
- Put the end mill at the “point of origin”, at the starting point of the program, it must correspond to the point of origin that there was in your software of generation of G-code, in general it is bottom left on the software, so to you left on the part to be milled. So move the axes using the Nunchuk if you have big trips to make, when you are very close to the point of origin, finish by hand, once you are good in X and Y, get off Z to the raz From the workpiece you can use cigarette paper to be precise.
- Now that our end mill is at the starting point, reset the axes by pressing the reset button or by pressing the “Set 0 all axis” icon in the “more” section of the TFT .
- We check that the switch on the spindle is “on” (but does not turn because it is the relay of the shield that will start at the launch of the job).
- We choose its program file on the TFT in the “Mill” section, we validate, and go, we see the spindle start and the job start.
- At the end of the program, X and Y return to the starting point and the spindle stops
Precautions to be taken at each machining
- Wear protective goggles and especially a dust mask during machining and cleaning of the machine, think that MDF dust and carbon are very toxic.
- After each use, vacuum with a vacuum cleaner dedicated to the garage (not that of your bedroom) and blow a blow on the belts, pulleys, threaded rods, motors, TFT, chains cables cables … (keep the dust mask)
- If you have children, remove the power cord
- The machine must remain under supervision during machining.
- Of course I am not responsible for any physical or material damage!
- Check the correct tension of the belts and the perpendicularity of X/Y
- Check for dust on the electronics
- Check that the height of the tray is always set correctly
The tutorial is finished!
For any technical questions, do not hesitate to register on the forum. (there is an english international section)
The tutorial is evolutive and will expand over the most asked questions;)
Don’t hesitate to report me my English mistakes ! I did my best but i now that i have to learn more !
For all other non-technical questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org