I’ve been checking out Estlcam for a few days now. Has anyone here used it? I’m thinking of uploading it’s generated firmware, based on the SO3 XXL parameters I entered, to my controller board. I’m just wondering if I would be able to revert to the original firmware if this fails? Or, would this break my controller board?
Some folks have used it quite successfully.
You can revert the original firmware either using the Carbide Updater (if you have access to a 64-bit machine)
or manually reflashing to 0.9:
I use Estlcam to make programs and run them in carbide motion most of the time. I have switched back and forth a few times. As long as you save the settings before you change to the Estlcam controller. I think you need to hold the Z-Axis limit switch.
I’ve used Estlcam exclusively to generate g-code. It has quite a few features that Carbide Create doesn’t have. I’ve been reluctant to re-flash my board to use Estlcam for machine control, but that has more to do with my unfamiliarity with CNC than with Estlcam itself. The only real downside is that there isn’t a proper manual for the software (last I checked, anyway), there are only a series of videos that show the basics. One thing that makes up for this is that the software itself has extensive tooltips, so if you have a question about the button, you can just hover over it and get a full paragraph of explanation of what that button does.
I’ve used Estlcam extensively for a couple of years. Its how I generate my G-code (well that and @robgrz MeshCAM which I use for 3D stuff and is also excellent). The lack of a manual is a little bit of a hinderance - but it is simple to use, and he does have a channel on Youtube with enough info to figure most things out.
Never thought of flashing my S03 with it though, but have been considering building a little Nomad size machine and using Estlcam as the controller.
This place sells controller boards (need to supply your own Arduino) build for Estlcam - it’s on my project list…
Maybe I’m missing something but why use Esticam for controlling the machine instead of using a sender like Carbide Motion, CNCjs or UGCS? Is this restricting you to Esticam or can you import GCode from other sources?
The hybrid control scheme allows one to use the faster, more powerful processor on the computer to do more complex calculations for acceleration/deceleration and motion planning.
@3DGG Thanks for the info & the link. Do you happen to know the difference between the Nano & the Mega board? Hardware-wise, they look exactly the same.
@luc.onthego It’s for sure features packed. I love the interface, plus, who needs a manual with the info. provided when you hover the mouse over whatever you’re doing.
The Nano board does this:
- Motor driver Step X Y Z also several drivers per output e.g. 2 motors on Y axis
- Dir X Y Z also multiple drivers per output
- 8 in ESTLCAM 11 freely adjustable inputs, sensors, limit switches, stylus, touch plate, start, stop, etc.
- Output 1 and 2 (e.g. for suction, cooling water, laser, etc.)
- Output to switch a relay for a milling motor
- 0-10V / 0-5V Output for frequency inverter (adjustable)
- DCM / FOR for frequency inverters - Adjustable
- Additional voltage output Output 6V
- 12V input
- Inputs Poti, Feed and Speed over ride
- Connection for push button - Hardware reset
While the Mega does this:
- Dir X Y Z (Also several drivers per connection e.g. two motors on Y)
- Step X Y Z (Also several drivers per connection, e.g. two motors on Y)
- Frequency converter output 0-10V or 0-5V, adjustable
- DCM/FOR to switch the frequency inverter
- PWM output 0-5V
- Extra output for switching a milling machine via a relay
- 12V output
- 6 inputs (switching position can be visualized e.g. with LED)
- 6 Outputs
- Feed connection
- Speed connection
- One port to perform one hardware rest
- one input to connect a manual control
- also supports encoders that require parasitic power. (Switchable)
Mega’s have more pins - so you have the ability to sense and control more stuff.