Nooo, crop circles!
In a previous article, I wrote all about my ingenious method (or so I thought) of straightening lines so that Inkscape and Mach3 would play nicely together. Although this method works fairly well, there is a much simpler way to make Mach3 interpret everything correctly.
After a brief email conversation with Mach3, the suggestion was made that I might be in the wrong “IJ mode”. They were definitely right, and after the change the crop circles magically disappeared! You can change the default mode (as I did) on Mach3 under Config>General config.
Alternatively, the gcode file can actually specify Read more »
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Original mount. The Dremel sits low enough that Z-axis movement is restricted.
At some point I’ll probably get around to buying a Dremel 300 for my machine, but in the mean time, my Dremel 200 mount wasn’t working quite as well as it should have. The Dremel was mounted too high on the ZTW bracket, meaning to do anything useful I had to set the Z-axis zero higher than it should have been. This was extremely useful when I had to put holes in the table itself for a workholder, but for normal use, things needed to be mounted lower.
At the time, I was having some issues with the Z-axis missing some steps toward the top of it’s travel, so that was part of the motivation for this. As it turns out, after I added some 3-in-1 oil, things worked much better. So a little oil = good. Another motivation for this was the original mount could have been held closer to the actual cutting tool, where the accessory screw threads are on the Dremel. Read more »
A "servo bracket" that I made. I Could have used some off-the-shelf brackets here.
Another title for this article could be, “The best way to point out there’s a better way to mount a servo”, or possibly, “How to win blog mentions and influence nerds.” Nevertheless, after I wrote an article about “best suppliers for Robot Building…” ServoCity actually sent me a thank you note signed by their sales manager and marketing director. The note in itself was quite nice (apparently notes are better than email sometimes), however, they also decided to include some servo mounting brackets for me to try out.
More custom brackets. I would have probably done this one the same.
Not being well-informed enough about what is available for hobby servos, I didn’t know about these things. Pretty simple really, just a bracket that allows a servo to be mounted on a flat surface with only some screws. This would have really come in very handy with “Boxie the Creepster” (top picture), but I think things turned our well with “Pegleg” (second picture).
I really should have thought something like this existed, but Read more »
As promised, here’s the method that I’ve come up with to use G-code Tools to generate engraving patterns with Mach3 (and a CNC Zen Toolworks router). I’m very new to Inkscape (and CNC machining in general), so if my methods look crude, please let me know what I’m doing wrong in the comments. So without further ado, here’s how you generate code to print out “JCO.”
1. Download and install Inkscape
2. Download and install G-code tools
3. Setup your drawing to whatever units you’re using and the size of your table. You can also set it up to the size of what you’re working on and adjust your zero points to start at different areas. Also, choose what units you’ll be working in. I’ve setup my router to work in millimeters.
4. Type out what you want to say Read more »