Grbl Controller 3.3.5 Released with optimal Grbl detect upon COM port open

Due to a problem a user was experiencing with connecting to non-Uno arduinos, I have modified the Grbl version detect code to no longer send out a linefeed upon connect. Now the code just waits for a response from Grbl upon connection.

Since my last posting on Grbl Controller, I have also made some modifications to the visualizer – it now handles pretty much any kind of valid gcode.

Also, when sending a file, you can now choose to send each line as-is or have Grbl Controller filter it based on what is supported on Grbl 0.8. This setting is in the options dialog.

Replacement bed for Shapeoko

I finally decided to pull out the big tools and make a new bed for my Shapeoko. This build is inspired by this project:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=274

I glued two scrap pieces of 1/2″ MDF board together and then routered clamping channels.

The clamp material is solid 3/8″ aluminum rod cut to about 1 1/2″, drilled and tapped for 1/4″ bolts.

To see how well it worked with the DW660, I decided to try milling a scrap piece of 8mm Lexan I pulled from some equipment to make two stepper mounts for my next modification: the outside belts.

This time I’m getting proper “snow”. When I tried this with the slower Dremel I was getting hot flakes permanently adhering to everything on the machine. This time, no adhesion!

I was using a two-flute bit. Probably should have used my 4 flute instead as the final result wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Still not bad. Job run time was about 30 minutes. Could have be 20 minutes if I hadn’t decided to do the full mill on the two big circles and instead chosen a simple cutout approach.

Shapeoko now has the powerful Dewalt DW660 trim router as a spindle

I ordered the DW660 from Amazon and designed some brackets in CamBam, then milled them using my Dremel spindle. I’ve mounted the new spindle and have tried it with HDPE (cutting board). Works exceptionally well – no slowdown at normal speeds – speeds that would slow down the Dremel at least by half its RPM.

Check out my posting on the Shapeoko which includes gcode files for the brackets: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1346

I’m currently working getting a proper clamp-down system on the bed. Additionally, I’m working on a light sensor-based limit switch using milled holders. Hope to get that build report up on the web site soon.