Help with a BOB CNC machine

I have inherited a Bob’s CNC machine. Finally after hours of figuring out which software and drivers to use, I’m still not up and running. I was wondering if anyone would be available or interested in helping figure out why I’m not able to upload to the CNC machine. I am just running out of patience and quite frankly the time.

Thanks,
Kristi

Kristi:

I have had my CNC since last March. NO experience in the CNC world prior to that. That’s the disclaimer so you know what to expect from this 72 year old.

I purchased a Shapeoko XL from Carbide3d that came bundled with the necessary software.

I am not familiar with Bob’s CNC other than what a quick look on the web showed me. First question would be was it working prior to you being gifted with the machine ?

I bought my CNC Router to challenge my brain cell and it certainly has done that but I have managed to make a few things.

Bill

How do you connect to the machine? USB, serial, ethernet? Do you have a model number for the machine that you have?

Krisiti:

The model # of my CNC is:
Shapeoko XL
Manufactured and sold by Carbide3d

What is your experience with CNC ? Are you an engineer, fabulous cook, someone who builds complex things from very small Lego parts (my eyesight isn’t that good) or just a curious human being?

Before getting into answering specific questions we need to establish where we are in this process.

For reference I live in Halstead, KS with my wife Janie. We are both retired.

I did look at a quick build video of a Bob’s E4 CNC and seen that it uses a USB connection. My Shapeoko XL uses a USB connection.

It also looked like he was using a web based set of instructions. Can you download those instructions? I like paper manuals or at least something I can view as a pdf document on my local machine.

Bill

Kristi:

If you haven’t visited the Bobs CNC support site here is the url.

https://support.bobscnc.com/hc/en-us/categories/360000809313

Manuals available for download, etc.

Bill

Kristi:

More questions.

What software are you using. This will be two answers

The software used to design a project.
** The software used to send G-Code to the CNC controller. **

At this point we aren’t concerned about designing anything as we just want to establish communications with the device. Thus the answer to the second question is asterisked.

Bill

Good morning,

Yes, just need to be able to communicate with the machine. I am using VCarve and UGS on a Bobs CNC 4e.

I have setup all the drivers and everything I believe. My uncle had every software there is an it took a while to figure out what to use and where. Now it’s just that last step.
I have got it to home but it’s not consistent. It’s constantly telling me it’s out of range but that is the settings they recommend. I have only got it to jog and set in place once. I tried to save the setting because that’s my stationary holding piece, but it shot back to home. Ugh!!

I have spent a lot of time on this, so I am conceding. Lol!! I’m ready to get on with it.

Thanks,
Kristi

Just to be safe, do the electronics look like this on the machine?

That looks pretty similar to the board I’ve seen people use on the small PCB mill at MakeICT.

Kristi:

Questions:

Did your Uncle use this machine to make projects ?

How was this machine moved ?

What is the unit setting on ? A stable, flat surface is mandatory.

A starting point will be to tram the machine. This will probably entail doing some dismantling. A fair amount of mechanical / electrical connector checks prior to plugging it in will be the process.

Bill

My uncle did use the machine and made some great pieces.

My husband and I carefully unplugged it and placed the whole thing in the back of my SUV and moved it home. It was a smooth ride, so no damage should have occurred.

We dismantled the box that it sits in and put it back together in our shop. It is sitting on the same metal stands that it was sitting on at my uncle’s house and they are stable. I will check the level. I cannot remember if I did or not.

I have checked for any loose wires and I do not find any.

Thanks,
Kristi

Kristi:

Checking for square is what you need to do. Not just level.

It is very likely that the frame racked (twisted) slightly when you were moving it. Download the manual and check out the section on tramming. It can be an involved process.

Bill

I will look into it. Thank you.

Check with me Tuesday night and I’ll give you a few tips with CNC and G-code.

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Kristi:

Were you able to talk to Doug last night ?

Was he able to provide more useful information that this source :slight_smile:

Bill

I didn’t talk to him last night, but I have figured out the issue was. He did give me some information about how to tram the router that I didn’t know. That’s important. Haha!!

I am finally going to make something tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Thank you all for the input.

Kristi

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Kristi:

That’s not fair (Okay, enough whining) but…

You didn’t share what you found and more importantly how you resolved the problem.

I look forward to seeing your first project. What CAD program are you using?

I just completed a very simple tape dispenser as I am becoming more fond of masking tape and super glue to secure workpieces to my spoilboard.

Thanks, Bill

PC180030.jpg

PC180032.jpg

PC180033.jpg

PC280010.jpg

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Kristi:

What are you using to select your feeds and speeds ?

Also do you have dust collection. That is a must as CNC’s create an incredible amount of the stuff.

Bill

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Very cool!

I am using a Bob’s CNC e4. I am using Vcarve with UGS at first, but I think I’m going to use Open Builds. I think if I was using that software I wouldn’t have been so hung up for so long. It’s a learning curve for sure.

Now at least I can concentrate on learning the router bits etc. and programming those and just figuring things out. I’m thinking I should quit my day job and play with this all the time. Lol!!

I really do appreciate your help.

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Kristi:

More detail please on how you resolved the initialization problem. Was it a hardware issue, software setting, or do you have to stand on one leg while swirling a piece of cold pizza around your left index finger ?

Thanks, Bill

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Lol!! More like the stand on one leg thing. Lol!!

My problem was that it kept giving me an error code run out of range, not the exact words. Funny, I looked at that error code for weeks and I cannot remember it now. I would work on it and then take a breath and go back.

What the problem is in the UGS software I didn’t realize when I zoomed out I could see my image or my project was clear off the working area. My x and y were flipped. It was really weird and very frustrating for a newbie. Once I figured that out, I was good to go. All that time. UGH!! In my defense, I was in the middle of a big work project as well. I had to get that done too.

Back to the Open Builds. I would have easily have seen this with this gcode program. It seems pretty user friendly.

I have to get back to work. Have a Happy New Year!!!

Kristi

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