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Author Topic: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC  (Read 1949 times)

tetsuharu

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Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« on: November 04, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »
I have a toolpath working for the little Zen CNC,


for PCBs:
Fritzing design, gerber export -> Gerbv, svg export -> Inkscape, gcodetools export -> EMC2 Axis


for depthmap milling:
 ??? -> EMC2 Axis, bitmap importer


for regular old toolpath designing:
Inkscape,gcodetools export -> EMC2 Axis






I know you 4'x4' CNC guys are using cut2d for things, but I don't understand that toolpath and cut2d scares me. If anyone wants to help figure out how to use cut2d for milling on the Zen, I could use it!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 04:04:12 PM by tetsuharu »

Chorca

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 11:10:12 AM »
I can help out with that. I have made a few toolpaths with cut2d and they came out pretty well. Might also wanna try that visolate program.

tetsuharu

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 11:27:09 AM »
I had seen Visolate on the RepRap wiki (http://reprap.org/wiki/PCB_Milling where i got most of my info), but I didn't bother to install it.

I did try redrawing my circuit diagram with voronoi in mind, leaving as much space open as possible and separating points by single lines. I cut it, and it was very nice. I had my doubts, but I think, for milling boards with through-hole components, this is my preferred method.

I have no idea how I would do SMD solder pads with the cuts as thick as they were. Maybe I need some 10degree bits, or thinner copper-clad board.

tetsuharu

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 11:37:11 AM »
Oh wow, I just tried Visolate on my laptop, this is perfect.

P47

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 11:43:19 AM »
Great work tets! I saw this and it really did happen!


My 10 degree .009 d-bits that I use for engraving wouldn't be the best to use. With the .009 d-bits I already start with a .009" engraving width before I even allow for the additional cut width that cutting at depth adds.. Been reading that 45 to 60 degree v-bits works best, especially if one would attempt surface mount spacing.


Looks like I'll be building that floating nozzle for you :)


Great work again!!!


P47

tetsuharu

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 12:07:42 PM »
Here's a question I could really use help with:

How do you make those L-clamps for securing the material to the bed?

I used some nuts+bolts I found that worked but are a bit small, and some metal strips with holes in them that i used as clamps. They worked, but the board bent upward a little bit in the middle.

Waterbury

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 03:58:03 PM »
Just spoke to Tetsuharu on Google Talk. He broke the instructions down, so I felt I should post here for reference.

Quote
Step 1:) I just used fritzing for arduino stuff. So i skipped the first two tabs and hopped over to the PCB layout; dropped my pieces into fritzing

Step 2:) Hit "export PCB", select Gerber as the output format

Step 3:) Open the `gerbv` program, import all of the gerber files that Fritzing exported, and find out which layer you want (usually copperBottom)

Step 4:) Open the copperBottom file in the Visolate program (it's on the desktop). hit the "fix topology" button, then the "make toolpaths" button, then "save g-code"

Step 5: Open EMC2, load that gcode, and do the EMC2 stuff to get your pcb milled

you can also use Visolate to generate a voronoi pcb layout, which will take less time to cut and give you more roomthe drill files, called Excellon, I do not know how to turn into GCode that can be read by EMC2. I have loaded them into Inkscape, drawn dots as drill holes, and used the inkscape gcode exporting extension


Quote
you can probably skip step 2

1: Fritzing, make in PCB mode, export to Gerber
2: Visolate, import the copperBottom file Fritzing generated, hit these buttons: fix topology, make toolpath, save gcode
3: load into EMC2
"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." ~ John F. Kennedy

tetsuharu

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Re: Working Toolpath and Workstation for Zen 7"x7" CNC
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 04:15:08 PM »
Fritzing, Gerbv, Visolate, and EMC2 are all shortcuts on the zen cnc computer's desktop.