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Messages - Tool-n-Around

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CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Second Post, Second Project, Some Qs
« on: August 11, 2021, 13:03:40 pm »
...haha there is a chamfer plugin as well. its a good source of ways to do stuff easy. fillet-chamfer take a look at what we got

I have installed and used a couple plugins but this morning I spent some time looking at what is available and reading about their function. Wow that's quite the list. I saw several that I wished I had downloaded before my last drawing projects. With a better awareness of what's available, I won't hesitate to add them as needed.


Scripts and Plugin Help / Re: feedback to text file
« on: August 11, 2021, 12:42:21 pm »
Hi David, will this plugin copy the text as displayed in the GRBL Machine plugin message window?


If you place some numbers in there, and click back into the cb screen a red cross should appear (you can move it anywhere including 0,0,0 )

Yes, I understand and have done so, but I only set the Machining Origin at the top level Machine folder. Machine origin also appears at each part level which I have left at default which is NaN. So since the files run fine I assume the top level governs unless a different Machine Origin is set at the part level, but not really sure why one would want to do so.

Kelley number 3 is a tin of worms....

I'll take your advice on that. I originally thought it was EMI issue because I would set my lap top on the CNC machine waste board and the touch pad would then become totally inoperable.......but it was of course also tethered to the controller by the USB cable, and it now appears that is really the source of the problem.

I do have a dedicated computer for the shop. I have cb installed on my everyday lap top. Since I was using UGS on the shop computer, I was just transferring gcode files on a thumb drive. Now that I have installed GRBL Machine plugin, I'm toting my every day lap top back and forth to the shop. I need to install cb on the shop computer but didn't want to maintain two instances while I'm in the steep learning phase.

I would have suggested that you re-flash the firmware with GRBL Ver1.1 or maybe my 5Axis version of GRBL, But the manufacturer may have adjusted the firmware (to maybe re-assign pins)  to suit their particular build practices. So I thought better of saying anything.

My computer administrative skills are also modest so probably wise to keep it simple for now, do some 2D machining, learn as I go and enjoy the benefits.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Second Post, Second Project, Some Qs
« on: August 10, 2021, 14:22:42 pm »
Take a look at making each tool change another part and use the gcode by part name plugin. plugin

The amazing world of plugins. Looks like that one is an automated way of doing what Gary Lucas suggested…….generating separate files for each Part so a (different) tool can be manually changed and set.
Gble is a limiting factor its for hobby machines in my opinion.

I’ve gathered this from other sources. Hopefully someday I’ll out grow it, but for now, it’s what I have and my CNC needs at this point are modest.

Tooling libraries are a must and yes cam bam does use diameter and tool types example if you drill with a millbit it does spirel and if you then change to a drill it will give you the peck option.

For the 90 beg V tool paths you could try the 'Break Edges' plugin. It's good to align your CB tool libraries with the sim tool libraries too.

Ahh, another plug in. I’ll look that one over too.

I’m sure my limited understanding of CamBam and all else at this point is a contributing factor, so please set me straight if I don’t have it right in the following. Perhaps it can also be a matter of the type of MOP operation selected. It seems that MOP doesn’t really care about any tool characteristic other than diameter. In this instance, I entered the tool characteristics of a ½” diameter 90 degree v-cutter then selected profile as the operation on the polyline defining the outer perimeter of the air filter lid. But for that machine op, it will never cut a chamfer at any depth if it only sees the tool by the OD. If I set the tool diameter at something very small (say .00001) and set the desired chamfer depth, it cuts the chamfer on the Polyline using the Profile MOP. Looks like Engrave could be a more appropriate MOP for chamfering and just select the perimeter Polyline and set the desired chamfer depth.


CamBam help (General usage) / Re: Second Post, Second Project, Some Qs
« on: August 10, 2021, 02:50:02 am »
I exceeded the attachment limit so here are the four files for the lid.


CamBam help (General usage) / Second Post, Second Project, Some Qs
« on: August 10, 2021, 02:46:20 am »
OK, so here’s my second cb project. It’s an air filter base and lid for the same automotive induction system in my first post here:

I’ve made similar oval filters and cut the polystyrene patterns with hand guided MDF templates on a pin router then cast the filter housing in aluminum using the lost foam method. On this induction system the carbs are too close together for separate oval filters so it requires a single filter for both. The four attached files are the (mostly complete) air filter base and lid. There are a top and bottom to each. I have a couple questions around two-sided machining, tool changes, and tool paths for certain tools.

If you look at the files, you’ll see I put four registration holes in the corners. I was going to mount registration pegs on the waste board and use them to locate the stock while successively running the bottom and top side programs. Whether with registration features like this indicating or other positioning aids, is this how two-sided machining is typically done?

I loaded the GRBL Machine plug in but had to disable/ignor the M6 tool change function because my files wouldn’t run. I only have a router with collet. Is M6 tool changing just for CAT like tooling with defined tooling attributes? Gary was kind enough to recommend this method in the link in post #72. Which I understand.

I need to make some tooling libraries but other than diameter I’m not sure CamBam is really recognizing tooling attributes. Does it? The topside of the lid requires three tool changes. ¼” bull nose, ¼” end mill, ½” dish cutter.

I’d also like to chamfer the perimeter of the topside of the lid with a ½” diameter 90 degree Vee tool. But it seems CamBam doesn’t drive the tool path off the center of the v-point, but treats it as the outside diameter, even though it is designated as a 90 degree vee. Is that correct? I figure I can either mis-state the diameter and/or the depth to get the chamfer I want but doesn’t seem right. What is usual practice?


I downloaded and have been using GRBL Machine and really like it. Thanks so much for developing it.

I don't have much experience but noticed that commands remain in the console command line after being executed and must be erased or overwritten to issue another command. Is that normal?

I can’t click drag and copy text from the console dialogue/report box. I can select/highlight a single line but not a portion and nothing can be copied. Is there a way to copy or display it where it can be copied?

It's Win10.


A couple random questions arising from my experience of the last few days:

  • If I set the machine origin at the top level of the machine tree, is it necessary to do so in each part or can the lower level setting remain as default NaN? If they are different, which one takes precedent?
  • Is there a way to remove Machine Hold? When I get alarms, I can usually just use $X or one of the reset buttons to clear an alarm but I have to disconnect and sometimes reboot the controller to release a hold and regain the ability to issue commands.
  • The touch pad on my lap top becomes slow and/or totally unresponsive when connected to the CNC controller. Oddly, if I pick the laptop up in my hand holding it the air, it operates normally but not while sitting on a surface 6ft away from the controller, whether the surface is conductive or not. I tried ferrite beads on the USB cable but no affect. Is it likely EMI or memory issue. Any ideas?


Kelly, I've been thinking about tool changing without repeatable tool lengths.................

Thanks Gary. I understand and can see how to do what you describe....and special thanks to you for spending the time with me. Much appreciated!


175 I've made this post processor for you, open the zip file and extract the file to my documents, then from there copy the file to CB's post processor folder like in the pic.

That was very generous of you Dave, and quite fruitful and beneficial to me. I incorporated a number of the other mods and suggestions by others in this thread, loaded and used your modified grbl post to create gcode files for this and 5 other files I have made and they all ran without any errors. Thanks so much to you and all the others who have posted the help to this thread. It was the most productive day of CNC accomplishment for me by a long shot. Watching them all run, I need to adjust some feed rates and cutting/toolpath redundancies, but barring the unforeseen, it appears they will all cut stock as intended. This spacer and it's lid do not require tool changes. The other four files do and have some features I need to add and have a couple questions on those and a few random questions related to this thread I'll post later.

......The manufacturer of your machine ships it with their own version of GRBL locked in time 4th axis version. That means that the firmware in the controller of your machine  is
not compliant with the standard GRBL and may require the post processor to be modified.

Wow. Is there any good reason for them to have done this? For now, your mod to the post processor appears to be working great. Just worried about the next thing I run into. In the long run would it be better to reflash to a known firmware or are these compatibility issues just common and I need to learn to deal with them? I feel like I have a little more wind in my sale after today.

I need to tram/square/calibrate, the machine. I also need to add some things for the dust shoe and vacuum line, but straight forward stuff that's easy to do.


Well, Kelly, if it's of any consolation, each of us was in the same situation you find yourself, when we fired-up our very first machine!  Ya' have to start somewhere!


Thanks Lloyd. I do sincerely appreciate all the help. Just not use to being so helpless. At least I've experienced creating a cb file, corresponding Gcode, and watched the machine execute the intended tool path.......once Lol!


A little more............I tried to run the file from GRBLMachine but couldn't get past immediate tool change errors. However, on the way, I did elect to overwrite my stored Gcode file with the new version from GRBLMachine. When I opened that GRBLMachine generated Gcode file in UGS, it ran, whereas the CamBam GRBL post generated files would not.....ending with error 33, so I may need to try a couple files to confirm it was just the tool width/guide lsot or whether the post processors also played a fare I haven't gotten anything generated with the cb GRBL to run without ending immediate or early in error 33

So, I thought I'd try to generate a GRBLMachine GCode file for the other part that I have that partially runs but eventually throws error 33 but although GRBLMachine will connect, I can't get my machine to accept commands from GRBLMachine. We'll see what tomorrow brings on that but also, not sure why the GRBLMachine files immediately error on the tool change. I switched tool change to ignore, but since GRBLMachine won't communicate with the controller, couldn't test that.

My first though would to be check if the arc's are causing the problem, go to your PP and set your arc output to lines. If this eliminates your errors then the arc's are the culprit and you can then change the Arc output back to arc's and change the variable $12 arc tolerance.

I still need to try this from one of my cb generated gcode files to see if it will run from UGS.

There is a picture of my test controller GRBL config which runs the posted code as is with no errors.

I saved the config from the successful run for future comparisons.

Not sure if it means anything but the machine controller is loaded with GRBL 1.1i for the MillRight MegaV.....

Sucks when you don't know what you're doing...


Minor breakthrough. Got the part to run and air cut for first time. I got it to run from UGS by changing the guide slot width to .001 wider than cutter. I cant get past the tool change in GRBLMachine without error. More later. Copied and saved all my GRBL settings from the successful run.


Good grief. Now unable to do anything since previous session connecting with GRBLMachine for the first time. Any action results in error that says jog exceeds machine travel. Try to home and says Alarm 9 homing fail. Could not find limit switch with search parameters. Defined as 1.5 * max_travel on search and 5 * pull off on locate phases.

While connected in GRBLMachine, touch pad mouse in largely non-responsive I have to type the error because GRBLMachine does not allow copying the report dialogue. Probably nothing to do with GRBL Machine but USB cable not long enough to get my laptop far enough from the EMI.

I'm sure despite my best efforts to set everything in consistent units I have missed some default GRBLMachine setting. Am now regretting loading the plugin and finding it difficult to express myself without profanity. :'( :'(

I issued a $$ in UGS and the soft limits appear in inches when the text note says mm, so likely the problem but when I try to reset the limits with a a $130 = xx command it errors and says the setting are locked and to contact the machine manufacturer. Then how were they changed in the first place? Via GRBL Machine?

Edit: Exited UGS and was able to re-issue the soft limits from GRBLmachine. Think I'm back in business. At least I can home and jog again


There was one more thing I had previously asked. What is the blue space with the red arrow in the attached photo? I was interpreting it as machine space. Is it?


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