Carbide Motion - Drag Green Progress Bar

I’ve had my 5 pro for almost a month and I have had a fantastic experience with it - I have cut about a dozen panels - Most of them only take 15 to 20 hours - and the machine continues to amaze me - Right now I’m cutting some very delicate patterns in some poplar wood - I’m using 1/32" end mill bits and some times they break - Replace the bit and start over -

This would be so much better if I could restart close to where the bit broke - If I could click and drag the green bar that shows progress to a place where the spindle was raised and moving to a new location for the start of new cut, it would mean I could pick up close to where the bit broke and not have to go through all the time spend earlier.

I think this should be a simple modification to the software - You already have the mouse driver in the program - Just scan the g-code and look for a rise in the spindle and allow me to click and drag to this point.

Thanks for considering

ALK

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That subject of starting where you left off has been brought up over and over. In CC V6 and below you got gcode and you could watch the line # and edit the gcode to before you stopped and just back to the last big move and start from there. In CC v7 with the gcode encrypted inside the .c2d file you cannot do the manual editing. If you have Pro version you can get the gcode but I do not remember them displaying the line # of the gcode any more so unless you know how to read gcode proficiently all you can do is start over or disable tool paths already successfully completed and only run the tool path where your tool broke.

Your ability to start closer to a stoppage has been on a lot of people’s wish list for a long time.

One note I have is about the 1/32" C3D bit. I have been using the heck out of the c3d #122 1/32" bit for a few years and have never broken it or anyother small bit. One exception was a cheap Amazon downcut 1/32" bit and it broke almost immediately upon tool engagement. Since I have used the c3d 1/32" bit over and over I dont think it was my fault breaking the bit with overly agressive F&S. So if you are breaking bits check that you are not overdoing it on such a small bit. The SO5 is a very powerful machine and a 1/32" bit is quite delicate. If you are breaking a lot of bits then the cost benefit analysis has to be done. Is the time and effort to start over worth going a bit slower and not having to redo things and not break a bit and potentially mess up your project or is it more beneficial in cost and time to go faster and maybe have to redo work. Just make sure you decide that cost benefit and go with what you think is best.

Good evening - Thanks for your comments - I have been using the default speed and depth - but yes, using the cheap Amazon bits. Do you buy the bits from C3d? I had one of those, when that broke, I went to those I had ordered -

If everybody thinks this is a good idea, why don’t they do it? They already have the mouse driver in the program - Giving the ability to drag the green line would be less than 20 lines of code. It may be that if you drag too far and the first cut is full depth, skipping all the steps, you will break the bit - Maybe that’s what they don’t want you to be able to do.

I have some projects planned that will probably take 72 hours or more - Breaking bits will make that impossible.

Again, thanks for the reply.
Adrian

They don’t do it because the support calls would be horrendous.

There’s also the problem that the state of a GCode program can’t be determined by looking at line whatever - you have to examine every line up to that point, then determine which ones need to be sent to the controller so that when you do start feeding GCode to the controller, it’s in the right state. Get anything at all wrong, and you could destroy the workpiece or the bit.

Oh, and don’t forget the planning buffer! Just because you sent a line to the controller doesn’t mean it’s been executed - I think GRBL can look up to 15 moves ahead? If you E Stop the machine, where to you start again?

The only reasonable approach would be to back up to the last rapid and push forward from there, I think. That’s in addition to setting the controller state properly.

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of course you’re right - Thinking about it and knowing a little about G-Code, I agree it’s not that easy to do.

I don’t know if this applies to your situation but i find it helpful to have as many cuts as you can that way if it does happen you can disable the ones you already have done.

But, it’s not all that hard either. IIWMP - I’m assuming G-Code commands are differential so one cannot just look at a line of code get the XYZ coords. The program could very easily start from the beginning and without moving the spindle or gantry walk through every G-Code line, keeping track of latest point where the bit was pulled above the surface, and accumulate the results of the commands. This would give an absolute location. The program would then require the operator insure the correct bit was loaded, option to change if necessary. The program could then turn on the motor and move to the correct XYZ and start running the Code from that point. I understand, there is the potential to move to a place where it would pick up in the latter stages of a loop cut, where the first several passes of that loop have not been completed. Do that, and sorry, probably break a tool, but I think a reasonably astute operator could find a good place to restart the run.

That said, let’s talk about another think I would really like to see in carbide motion - In CC we have the option of watching the cutting process. Would it be so difficult to show that in CM as it runs?

While I’m on the subject of things I would really like to see - I really like being able to split up a project and put sections of a project on different layers. Is there not some way in CM that I could be able to specify which layers to run and which to skip - Laurent offered excellent advice - Create as many layers in CC as you can then if you get a crash, turn off the ones already completed, presumably make a new C2D file and run from there. Would it be so very hard to activate / deactivate layers in CM?

And speaking of layers, one can separate sections of a project and put them on separate them into layers. Would it be so difficult to allow for construction lines in CC. These would allow me draw boxes, circles or closed shapes and everything inside would be active everything outside inactive. This would allow me to break up a big project in smaller sections to be carved separately. We already have the ability to draw the boundaries, only difference is a construction layer would not affect the G-Code and would not indicate a path to be cut.

“Anything else?” Good of you to ask - The machine can only cut within closed loops, cutting everything inside the loop until it comes to the boundary of another closed loop inside the previous. Each time it comes to a loop boundary, it toggles between cutting and not cutting. Cool. For this reason you can never have an odd number of lines meeting at a point. Starting with the edge of the board, the first closed loop, the program does not cut until it finds a boundary. Okay, so what happens if you have 2 closed loops that cross each other. Well that depends on if the intersection point has been connected, if so, the 2 loops break into 3 loops - If not, it’s an error, and it’s important to find all these errors and fix them before you start cutting. It would be good if tool path could highlight these issues - preferably color code - making it easier to correct.

Now that we are on the subject of editing - I see a picture on the internet. I capture it with snip tool, save it to a png file then import it into a scene I’m working on. This sounds really cool, but it means a lot of editing is going to be required, and that’s a lot of work - Almost as bad as sanding. There are a number of things that would make it easier. If you have a line that does not create a closed loop, this is a vector error. It needs to be corrected. Draw a line from the end of that line to the other open end, there has to be one, or let the program do it and then correct what it did by adding points, dragging, bending whatever. What would really help is if we had a snip tool allowing me to delete any line segment between 2 points on a continuous line. I know this creates an error by making 2 loose ends - I can fix those - There are so many times when I want to change loop arrangement.

I know what you’re thinking - If he has so many complaints, if he hates it so much, why did he buy this thing? Wrong - I love this machine - I have worked with a number of the cheap ones and a few of the very expensive ones, and hardware wise, hands down, this is a fantastic mechanical design. An order of magnitude better than all of the $500 to $1000 cheap alternatives, and I think competing very well with some the $50,000 options. Absolutely ideal for the customer considering the cheap alternative and decides to spend a little more and get real quality. (When you buy quality, you only cry once.) That said, I feel the only weakness is the limited options in the software, and good news, software improvements are easiest and cheapest to correct. I think in terms of marketing, a few additions to the existing software would create a major decision point for potential customers resulting in a significant increase in market share.

Adrian

Have you tried:

At this time, Layers and toolpaths are disparate, though there is an option to associate a toolpath with a layer.

Additionally, toolpaths may be grouped, and toolpath groups may be easily enabled/disabled in Carbide Create

For cutting sections of a project we have Tiling:

You’re obviously not a programmer. :wink:

While just dragging the bar may be a relatively easy task, linking it to the toolpath & making sure that the ‘state’ of the machine is where it should be at that point in the program would not be trivial.

The current workarounds, disabling toolpaths & re-posting or saving, changing the start depth of a path to continue where you left off, are not unreasonable for a cheap/free software.

I know the wizards who work on the software are looking into including a “Run program from line ___” type of feature in a future release. Again, this is no small task, and I hope they take the time to DIRTFT (Do it right the first time).

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