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Tuesday 6 August 2019

CNC first movement

Last night I got a few minutes to hook up my CNC proof of concept and run it for the first time.

This is a learning exercise. I have never used an engineering style CNC machine before.

I purchased a licence for UCCNC from CNCDrive and installed that on my laptop. Hooked up the ethernet cable and followed the instructions for setting the IP address and subnet on the adaptor card on the laptop. I work in I.T., so that was the easy bit for me.

Crimping up a crossover network cable was also an easy job. It would have been easier if I could have found my existing crossover but with several boxes of normal network cables and only a single crossover cable, it eluded me.

I ran the little UCxxx utility file to find and view the UC400ETH controller on the network. I don't think that was necessary, but it showed the controller with IP address

Now for the fun bit. To run the UCCNC software. On first run, with the licence file copied in to the folder, it automatically did a firmware update of the controller card.

I am yet to learn how to use the UCCNC software but having fiddled about with it in Demo mode, I knew where the important settings were.

I had wired up my parallel breakout board in, what I believe, is a common configuration. It must be because the X, Y and Z axes settings were already default within the UCCNC software. I had deliberately used port one on the UC400ETH card, so even that setting was already included for me.

Using the pop out control window on the left side, I tried to move the machine but nothing happened.

Looking at the circuit, I had the 'enable' line wired, so I set this to pin 14 in all three axes and that did the trick, I could move the CNC machines, from the software.

I tried out a few of the home and zero buttons but without knowing what I was doing, I just crashed the empty pen holder against the platter.

That was it for last night.  Now I need to learn how to calibrate the movement, import a file and generate some G-code.


Shapecut Series:
Part 1 - Magic Eye to CNC
Part 2 - CNC proof of concept design
Part 3 - CNC controller enclosure


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