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Build log & comments

Hi all
Australia Post delivered at 4:00PM on Christmas Eve, whooo hooo!
Boxing Day was build day, three hours later up and running.

Overall build was easy and well documented. This ain't my first rodeo, I have built two CNC milling machines previously, my current mill is at so I wasn't expecting too many issues.

Comments on the build and documentation:

Page 5 - The part about Config A and Config B could be clearer. At first glance you could think that it was optional as to whether you assembled the pulleys as A or B, rather than needing to do both.

Page 8 - The XL drive pulleys for the motors are drilled and tapped for two grub screws but only one supplied each. Two would give better grip and fewer chances of slipping later if two screws were supplied for each motor

Page 9 - One of my motor mounts had undersized holes. A 3.5mm drill bit turned by hand in the vise fixed this.

Page 11 - The rear panel is a tight fit against the wiring from the back of the motors and could lead to damage of the cables. I changed my motors so the leads faced the PCB rather than being ta 90 degrees.

Page 15 - The clip for the FFC is a very poor bit of manufacture, I almost threw it out by mistake thinking it was just a bit of plastic dag that had made it into the bag. It does not lock properly so I replaced it with a cable tie. The substrate used is different to the rest of the parts printed (white not black) and the printing quality was quite frankly rubbish. This should be fixed.

Page 16. - It should be made clearer that when fitting the laser guard PCB with the switch needs to have the two pins for the header engaged. It is easy to miss and would lead to a lot of frustration for a user who could not understand why the laser would not turn on. As an aside this is pretty easy for a user to override just by shorting the header if someone was dumb enough to run the laser without the guard. Always build your engineering with the dumbest user in mind.

Page 17 - Again on the guard, it should be explicit that when fitting the guard it needs to engage the safety switch.

Page 23 - FFC Support Bracket. What a cast iron b$%^& to get through the slot, I finished up applying some lithium grease to the slot to get it to go through.

Page 31 - Fitting the belts. The bracket that secures the front panel to the top binds on the belts right where they cross over. I had to remove the bracket and will fabricate a slimline on for the outer edge rather than internally to avoid this. Ditto on Page 33.

Overall, a good unit that seems to be what it claimed to be. Software and config today, more soon.




  • Hi David,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and give us this feedback. It has been noted and we will clarify some of the documentation.

    The tight fitting parts are a known issue. We have addressed many of the tolerances and are testing them in-house before releasing revised parts.

    Rotating the motors 90 degrees to give more cable clearance is a good solution but only works on the A3 version. We will also address this in the documentation. The A4 machine will have a clash between the closest motor connector and the PCB.

    We have not had known issues with the FFC clip apart from it interfering with one of the screw heads holding the PCB in place. We will examine the stock we have and see whether there are any printing defects. Please be careful to not allow your FFC to be bending over sharp corners while your machine is moving. This will cause it to fatigue and fail.

    For now, you are correct to leave off the front bracket that interferes with the belts. We are re-designing this part to avoid the belt rubbing. Just be careful not to pick the machine up from the front chassis piece.
  • Hi

    Thanks for the prompt reply and feedback.
    Two cups of coffee later I have the software sort of up and running. The Vectric is a no-brainer, standard product that does what you would expect. nice inlcusion so thanks.

    The PicLaser is a little more fussy but right now I am enjoying the smell of hot MDF as it engraves the Penguin BMP that comes in the Windows samples files. poor choice but there we are.

    Q1 - Where do I get the licence key for PicLaser

    Q2 - What do the MAX & MIN laser value mean? I set MAX to 255 thinking this would translate to the full power setting on the PWM Arduino, is that right.

    Thanks again, the next six months in the shed are going to be fascinating.

  • edited December 2014
    Hi David,

    1: You should have been emailed the PLL license. Please check your spam folder and if you can't locate it let me know and I will have it resent.

    2: Yes, min and max are as you suggest.
    In PLL:
    Setting Min=50, Max=255 will result in PLL using a value of 50 (approx 20% power) to 255 (100% power) as the range between white and black.

    In Cut2D-Laser:
    Since we use a post processor to generate the gcode you can work with 0-100% values. They will get translated to 0-255 automatically when the gcode is generated.

    Please also be careful when engraving on MDF. Maker sure you have plenty of ventilation as there are some nasty chemicals released from that material.

  • Thanks again.

    MDF - Ventilation fan is on full blast, don't worry

    No PLL email, please resend to the address you have on file

    One more thing, the latest version of UGS 1.07has a bug, the reset zero for the work offset does not work. Use G92 X0 Y0 Z0 instead until they fix it.

  • PLL request sent.

    Try using UGS v1.08. We have been using this version without any problems.
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