My startup experience

Hello Nomad community, I just got through doing the wrench tutorial and was going to send this feedback to Carbide3D service but decided to post it here instead for the benefit of others getting started with the Nomad.

Just received my blonde bamboo Inner Circle Batch 1 unit yesterday. While I am not new to machining and 3D printing, I am new to CNC machining and am probably squarely the target audience for the Nomad. I will mention every issue I can think of that I ran into no matter how small, obvious, or easily remedied, so please forgive if it sounds a little weenie at times.

First step in the tutorial is mounting the wasteboard. Although the tutorial says the device comes with all the listed materials, mine did not come with double-sided tape. Luckily I had some servo tape around and that was not a showstopper. Also although the unit came with the appropriate spindle and collet wrenches it does not come with an Allen key for the M6 wasteboard screws, which I did not have handy at the location I was testing.

Upon connecting using Carbide Motion the first issue I ran into was that the machine would not home. First thing I found was that the e-stop switch was activated, so be sure to check that. Upon restarting Carbide Motion, my unit still would not home. I moved the spindle carriage manually to the middle, and still nothing. I believe in retrospect the fact that it was manually movable meant that the motors were not getting power.

In checking further around the unit, I moved the table manually toward the back of the unit. Still nothing. Then I rebooted the computer running Carbide Motion and finally got some homing action.

However the unit stopped again before measuring the tool length. This to me seemed like a communication issue, so I switched USB ports on the computer and this seemed to fix things. I am not sure which of these actions, or whether a combination of some or all of them ultimately worked.

Then it was time to zero the cutter on the stock material, which is done by manually moving the cutter with Carbide Motion. At some point I switched to 10mm steps and accidentally pressed Z+, and the software promptly dumped my project and indicated a limit switch was hit.

The unit was effectively locked up at this point, anything I tried resulted in the limit message. So I powered it down, manually moved the carriage again, and reconnected to Carbide Motion, and things seemed to be working again.

Got the cutter positioned and when I went to zero the position values, for some reason Y would not go to zero, staying at 0.01. Not sure whether that is significant or not.

Then it was time to start the job. During the initial homing, the software threw a message something like “Machine parameters are invalid” … clicked to clear and the homing completed. Then during the tool length measurement the message came up again. Clicked to clear and the measurement completed.

The cutting then started and finished without incident.

So I’m not sure whether my experience was typical or whether my unit, or perhaps the laptop I’m using to run it, is glitchy. If anyone has feedback to offer please do. Will see if any of these issues persist.

Overall once things got going, operation was smooth. So far happy, save for the startup frustrations. A startup troubleshooting guide may be helpful at some point.

2 Likes

2nd project cutting a simple polycarbonate window.
Couple notes:

  • The Meshcam version we need for the Nomad is version 6!
  • You must run the review toolpath step or you will get a file with nothing in it.

Success! Drawn dimensions .300x.900 and calipers at .302x.902

Hi I also have this error. Machine works fine but throws up this error. Seems we are all getting it so we should probably raise a ticket.
How many times did your machine run arround to cut out the wrench? Mine got half way round and then the cutter gouged in too deep and stalled/crashed the machine. Maybe the cutter slipped in the collet down into the part, I don’t know.

Mine ran around i think 3 or 4 times. I don’t recall but it was more than one. Gouging though, something definitely went wrong!

yeah, I reckon the cutter must have been loose in the collet and screwed down into the work.

Here’s something I just noticed … the brain seems to be powered by the USB, so it continues communicating with Carbide Motion even when the power switch is off. So you can switch the unit off, move the table manually, for example to vacuum under it, then switch power back on and continue. The only time it would mess things up is if you are doing that in move cutter mode after it has done the homing and tool measuring process.

I was hoping I would be able to move the table and spindle manually to get it closer to “zero” before jogging to absolute zero with the software, but it cannot be done. I wish there were a function to move the cutter to an arbitrary location or position near the previous zero. A lot of time is wasted each time moving the table and spindle back from the rest positions.

Hmm this is something i hadn’t noticed before but my x-axis motor hums and vibrates when it’s idle, i.e. powered up but before any actions in Carbide motion. Is this normal?

I think I have the data to fix this “Machine Parameters Invalid” error but before I do, it would be great to get your input. Can you do the following:

  1. Start Carbide Motion
  2. Press “L” to open a log window.
  3. Run until you get the error
  4. Send me the contents of the log window. (rob@ our domain name)

I’ll get a new Carbide Motion released to eliminate this.

-Rob

We’ve got more features to add for zeroing the machine, the current code is just the minimum required.

We had a bunch more before release but it got too complicated and we didn’t want to overdo it for the first release. If you have any requests, I’d love to hear them. I can’t guarantee that all will be implemented but we’ll try to find a way to make all of the common cases easier.

Regarding motor noise, some hum or whistle is normal but it shouldn’t be much louder than the cooling fan.

-Rob

Well thats great! I am at work in new zealand Last Day wohoo! but ill try send the logs this afternoon/evening nzdst. Thanks for looking at this so quickly.

I have developed quite a few more noises. not sure if it’s just because I moved the unit to a new desk but I notice more harmonics and a definitely new noise when moving on the x-axis. almost like a scrape sound. i will try to get audio and video.

Extras pack for the inner circle supporters. Whole bunch of materials including, I believe, renshape, wood, HDPE blocks, aluminum plates, a small piece of brass plate, plexi/acrylic squares, a bunch of each of the four standard mills, a bag of fixture wax and a few precut key fobs(?)

Flip jig was not included yet as it is still being made.

This is partly a bug report for Rob, but posting publicly in case anyone else runs into the issue, meshcam will have problems importing a STL file generated from a 3d file with a name that starts with a number. Throws a “Too many numbers” defined error.

Same error here. I am just trying to home the machine. I click ‘click to begin homing’, and I get the ‘Limit Switch Hit’ feedback. Machine has no reaction to the software.

I too did not receive the double sided tape.

Thanks for posting your experience. I pulled out the emergency switch. Waiting for a 3d print to finish before I restart my machine.

I cannot even get the software to move the cutter

Test Waiting…
GRBL_RESET
CarbideMotion 0.9g
<Idle,MPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,WPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,Buf:0,RX:0,Ln:0,F:0.>
___________$# ___________
[G54:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G55:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G56:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G57:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G58:513.000,883.000,-108.560]
[G59:-102.410,-111.220,-127.570]
[G28:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G30:-220.000,-10.000,-5.000]
[G92:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[TLO:0.000]
[PRB:0.000,0.000,0.000:0]
ok
___________$G ___________
[G0 G54 G17 G21 G90 G94 M0 M5 M9 T0 F0. S0.]
ok
<Idle,MPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,WPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,Buf:0,RX:0,Ln:0,F:0.>
___________$h ___________
ok
___________$# ___________
ALARM: Hard/soft limit
GRBL_RESET
[Reset to continue]
CarbideMotion 0.9g
[’$H’|’$X’ to unlock]
___________$X ___________
[Caution: Unlocked]
ok
<Idle,MPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,WPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,Buf:0,RX:0,Ln:0,F:0.>
___________$X ___________
ok
___________$# ___________
[G54:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G55:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G56:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G57:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G58:513.000,883.000,-108.560]
[G59:-102.410,-111.220,-127.570]
[G28:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G30:-220.000,-10.000,-5.000]
[G92:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[TLO:0.000]
[PRB:0.000,0.000,0.000:0]
ok
___________$G ___________
[G0 G54 G17 G21 G90 G94 M0 M5 M9 T0 F0. S0.]
ok
___________$# ___________
[G54:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G55:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G56:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G57:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G58:513.000,883.000,-108.560]
[G59:-102.410,-111.220,-127.570]
[G28:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[G30:-220.000,-10.000,-5.000]
[G92:0.000,0.000,0.000]
[TLO:0.000]
[PRB:0.000,0.000,0.000:0]
ok
___________$G ___________
[G0 G54 G17 G21 G90 G94 M0 M5 M9 T0 F0. S0.]
ok
<Idle,MPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,WPos:0.000,0.000,0.000,Buf:0,RX:0,Ln:0,F:0.>

Just completed my wrench tutorial. I have the same “machine parameters invalid” message as others have mentioned, which seems to stay up the whole time the cut is running. If I try to click it away, the project stops and won’t re-start.

I did have one other error – as I was starting the job the first time, and clicked away the error message, when I tried to re-start the job, the Nomad re-homed, and then tried to probe the tool. But once the X-axis traveled to the start position of the tool probing motion, the Z axis motor just sat and rumbled for several seconds before the machine seemed to give up and gave me another “machine parameters invalid” msg. I got this several times in a row, and eventually had to reboot the Nomad and CarbideMotion to get past it. This time, I just let he job run with the error message showing, and things went well.

One other item, where I’m not sure if I misunderstood the tutorial, or if my machine is a bit off: when I zero’d the Nomad at the front-left corner of the stock (with the outer circumference of the cutter juuust inside the edges of the aluminum), the cutter ran outside the stock (Y+ direction) as it came around the wide part of the wrench. It also ran partly off the X+ end of the stock while cutting the tip of the handle. I fixed this on my second attempt by biasing my “zero” point well inside the edges, but the tutorial doesn’t really mention to watch out for this. Examining the G-Code file shows that it does go into negative dimensions in both axes, so I’m guessing that keeping the cut “inside the lines” is dependent on the operator knowing to bias the zero point.

My cut also didn’t go all the way through the bottom of the aluminum lower layer except at the far X+ end of the cut, even though I set Z 0 with a sheet of paper trapped between the cutter and the top surface + 0.1mm lower just for margin. Guess I’ll have to bias a bit lower in future, although I do wonder why the cut was out of level.

One final though: the cooling fan on my Nomad is really loud – it sounds like the blades are hitting something, like that old thing kids on my block used to do (dating myself here) by attaching a playing card to your bike so the wheel spokes would “rattle” it as the wheel turned. Is this normal? Video here: http://youtu.be/_DpThUO9hEo

Is it at the limit in some direction? Perhaps turn off and manually center the table and spindle.

The errors you are getting are different from what others are seeing with the machine parameters invalid error. In other cases we can click and it goes away. Note that if you click it too quickly, for example as it is centering for a tool prompt, it pauses the program and you have to click tor resume it.

Zeroing on the bottom left corner worked for me and my wrench was entirely in the piece of stock provided. No bias should be needed. The cut being out of level may be an uneven taping job or even possibly an uneven piece of stock.

Regarding the noise: Are you sure it is the fan? Yours is more severe but when I turn the machine on I also get a whirring, sort of grinding noise from the steppers that I initially thought was the fan, but it is not. It almost sounds like a diesel engine idling. Eventually the noise stops, not sure if it’s time or running a program that does it. I just move on and eventually it goes away. Does yours stop eventually?