Touch probe no longer going to be offered?

(Jim Amos) #142

I don’t see why it wouldn’t work… there’s likely some customizing of the stepperrs and workspace you’ll need to consider for the CAM controller setup, and if you remove the probe connector wires you could replace them with some wiring to support your surface contouring operations.

I’d ping @Estlcam and see if he’d have some pointers on your CAM and stepper setup. I can’t say I’ve read about anyone in the community forums running this CAM controller, but it should work effectively out of the box and you can try it for free.

Since you’re running a v2.2 controller there’s no PROG pushbutton, so provided your bootloader is operational you should be able to reflash with the CAM utility and restore the original GRBL using the built in flash utilities.

I’ve not used the contouring features, but it looks very handy for the type of engraving you want to do.

(Stephen Needle) #143

Thanks Jim Very much appreciate you taking the time to respond.
I did email Christian back in February of this year and he kindly responded as follows

** If you’re willing to take a little risk try the following:**
- Select the “Shapeoko 3” preset.
- There should be a very little, white “PROG” button at the left side of the carbide motion controller board just above the limit switch headers.
- Keep it pressed and then click “Program Arduino” – Estlcam should now be able to program the board and control the machine.
Risk: it may be difficult to get it back to factory settings if it does not work as intended - Estlcam has a backup and restore function but it is untested with the new board version."

As you’ve mentioned I don’t have the PROG button so how do I know if my Bootloader is operational? Sorry I don’t fully understand the machine workings etc. most of these terms are a steep learning curve at the moment!!
I will try Christian again to ask him about the CAM and stepper setup too.

(William Adams) #144

It’s my understanding that if one has a newer board, then rather than the “PROG” button, one holds down the Z-axis limit switch — check in w/ your board revision at for a definitive statement.

(Jim Amos) #145

You will know when you attempt to flash the controller firmware… it works, or it fails. As @WillAdams suggests, if it fails try it again with the Z-axis homing/limit input activated.

Start as Chris has suggested using the default Shapeoko3 setup, and if you’ve reflashed perform some basic jogging operations and verify movement vs. command (super easy direct commands).

(Jim N) #146

Any updates on the probe?

(David) #147

yes a touch probe would be very useful…

(Ben) #148

Of course not! There haven’t been official updates for months! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(ray) #149

Triquetra and Estlcam looks like the best answer. It has an auto probing ( x,y,z zero) feature that looks great!

(Luke) #150

Yep, I’d just like to see it added in CM so I don’t have to swap my control software - although thats the way it’s going… It’s a little frustrating to see CC with new dev, but CM seems to be half finished.

(mikep) #151

They’re small, lots to do for just a few people.

(Gary Arch) #152

Agree with Mr Beaver.

(Matt Freivald) #153

It has to be tough figuring out the right priorities. I guess my $.02 (worth what you paid for it) is that C3D can add the most value “close to the machine”. Design is further from the machine than control, including control-related accessories (e.g. touch probe) that make using the machine itself easier.

An automatic belt stretch calibration of some sort integrated with a custom touch probe of known dimensions would be fantastic, and would add value to the C3D ecosystem without being redundant with all sorts of open source and commercial stuff that is already available. A lot of value could be added in this way.

Locating stock, zeroing, and keeping Shapeoko level and calibrated across nearly 3x3 feet of work space is a frustrating, opaque, tricky-for-newbies and hassle-for-the-experienced process. I think the touch/measure/calibrate/locate area is ripe for real non-redundant value add, close to the machine.

Compare to auto-leveling in 3D printing. Keeping the print bed level to the extruder is one of the banes of 3D printing. With auto leveling the machine measures itself and preprocesses the gcode to compensate for small differences across the print bed. The XXL has variances which could probably be similarly calibrated electronically, though even just an automated belt stretch calibration would be like magic. I know I’d pay for those kinds of optional accessories and that their availability would make the C3D offerings superior - more efficient and much easier to use than competitors. (Automagical tool measurement is part of what makes Nomad “plug and play” compared to the big Shapeoko XXL).

But I’m just a customer and have no insight into the “on the ground” situation at C3D.

(Jude Marleau) #154

Now that’s a new and very good idea, can’t imagine the programing required but it’s worth noting. Jude

(William Adams) #155

bCNC does this — mostly it gets used for PCBs, since not being perfectly level for a PCB can change the trace width.

That said, arcs get approximated as straight-line segments to make the math easier.

(Matt Freivald) #156

There is no clean, newbie-friendly way to do these things with C3D software and accessories though. The 3rd party Triquetra probe is great but you have to generate custom calibrated gcode for each tool size in a tedious spreadsheet process, as just one example. Calibrating the XXL for belt stretch is a tedious manual not-well-defined process and you don’t even know you need to do it until you’ve ruined a few workpieces. Leveling requires fiddling with dial indicators. Squaring the machine is an arcane tweakfest. Etc, etc.

These aren’t slights against the machine, which is an amazing piece of kit for the price, nor the company, which is heads and shoulders above most. I just suspect that there is plenty of opportunity to add real value to the customer experience in this “close to the machine” area, especially the newbie customer experience, which could have real market expansion potential. Plus customers would pay for these kinds of accessories - they would not in other words be part of continually escalating feature expectations for “free” software with full time development and no corresponding added revenue.

Ultimately C3D has to decide how to use their limited resources, and there does have to be some minimal supported CAD/CAM solution. But that could be accomplished via sponsoring a couple of open source projects and then concentating proprietary efforts on projects “close to the machine” via Carbide Motion and C3D specific accessories.

Consider Ultimaker as an example of that business model in 3D printing. Hell, materials with embedded RFID chips might even be a thing in the really long term (Ultimaker printers work with any brand of materials, but if you use theirs - with the embedded RFID chip - the machine automagically sets up all sorts of arcane parameters for you).

Anyway, these are just the rambling thoughts of one customer who owns both C3D machines. Like I said, I have no idea what the “boots on the ground” reality is at C3D.

(Jude Marleau) #157

I use Estlcam and it has a scaning command incorporating covering the object w/ aluminum foil… so I think when I get into the workshop I will cover my surfaced waste board w/ aluminum foil via spray glue and scan it w/ estlcam. Now that could give me a reality check of how square/ flat my system is. That may give me my "auto base plan " of the machine. Thanks for the pointing of the way Matt, I’ll report here after I do it. Jude

(Matt Freivald) #159


Jude that sounds really cool, I look forward to hearing how it goes.

(Jude Marleau) #160

Hey Matt, Going to try this this pm, see this to help display my thoughts my for checking my surface for level, and verify how precise my shapeoko 3 is. If after surfacing there are any slight errors for what ever reason than I could assign the scanned surface to my drawing in Estlcam and have all the Z’s correct. This does seem unneccessary but if I can’t find the reason for my surface errors than at least I can adapt and overcome them. Jude

(Jude Marleau) #161

Hey Matt. I didn’t do the surface scan because I found my Z axis problem. It is not the Z axis at all. My HDPE waste board 3/8" thick warped like a potatoe chip. took 2 passes to surface it flat. Maybe the mdf baseboard is that waroed so when I replace the hdpe waste board I will surface the 3/4" mdf base board first and than also surface the new hdpe waste board. Boy oh boy does a vacuum table look like a requirement for my situation. But that will make a flat base under it even more important. Next one will be that Star Board hdpe and not cutting boards unless they are at least 1/2" thick. Jude

(Matt Freivald) #162

Yeah I’d love to have an XXL sized vacuum table. But first I have to mill a bunch of round tuits, heh.