End-to-end integration.

Yesterday I achieved end-to-end integration: EMC2 speaking to the CNC machine I've been building.    This is the machine running some sample G-code:

There is still a number of things that need to be done:
  • Calibrate the stepper driver boards.  The X-axis stepper motor is still getting quite hot.  I've tried to tune it by ear, but I guess I need to hook up the multimeter and figure out how much current I am sending through the motor.
  • The limit-switches need to be mounted and wired up
  • I need to find a suitable box to mount the 24V PSU (I've been running on 13.5V so far) and the electronics.
  • Finish the carrier board for the stepper drivers and parallell port interface.
  • Configure it for Mach 3
  • Get a PSU for the spindle and a PWM-controller of some sort.
Getting EMC2 up and running was surprisingly easy.  Now, I did have the advantage of knowing a lot of the parameters ahead of time (the advantage of having built everything yourself), but I seriously had not expected that I would have a working setup just 10 minutes after I fired up the configuration wizard.

When I get some time I hope to document in more detail how everything is hooked up.


  1. Did you ever settle on a CAM package? How are the Pololu drivers working for you?

  2. No, so far I have just generated some trivial G-code to run some tests on the machine via EMC2. Since most of the CAM stuff is Windows-based I haven't had a chance to dive into it since I mainly run OSX and Linux.

    I would like to get Mach3 up and running as well. For some reason it didn't work the last time I tried. Then again, I was impatient :-).

    The Pololu drivers work nicely. I tried to build a carrier board for them and despite checking all the joints for continuity, when I popped the drivers in the thing didn't work. So I have 3 of them mounted on a breadboard now -- which is good enough for testing.