Indymill CNC with GRBL Mega256 RAMPS1.4 shield and LCD

This is my test setup for a 1.4 RAMPS shield on top of an Arduino Mega with TMC2209 drivers, optical endstops and individually homing of dual Yaxes PLUS an LCD that shows the exact XYZ locations anytime.

Firstly, I must admit that this option was initially NOT on my list bacause I felt this was a pure hobby-like option.  BUT- as my requirements list grew and other options got less and less, I ordered a Ramps 1.6 shield and plugged one of my Mega2560 boards under it.  Then- the search began to get a working fork of GRBL for arduino that both accomodated the Mega 2560 and my requirements list.  On this list: GRBL, Squaring my gantry, LCD with useful data, Handwheel connection, Preconfigurable buttons on the handwheel (stop, define as zero, probe here, et cetera).  The fork that does this all is: GRBL-Mega-edge.  The last comment is of April, 2020 and the fork was updated last in 2019.  But- it works straight out of the box and the documentation is very well maintained. 

Since it works under the Arduino IDE and has its own library, I foresee little problems in the future.  Everything is freely configurable and it might even be possible to put an Arduino Due in place of the Mega2560 in this setup, with some tweaking of pins and speeds.    And- tweaking is required for the hardware as well. The Ramps boards were never designed for 24 Volts, so this needs to be taken care of.  One might of course use 12 Volts and use external driver modules, but I intend to keep everything very small and make use of an external PSU, and a small handwheel-like box for the Mega2560, Ramps, drivers, LCD, buttons and handwheel knob.  By the way: For getting my designs I already had from my 3d printer background towards the CNC I bought Estlcam (CAM program). This really does a great job at converting it to Gcode and sending it to my Grbl- Mega 2560/RAMPS setup.

Afterthoughts 2021-06-22:  When connecting Estlcam to the Mega2560 and RAMPS1.6 shield, Estlcam can program the RAMPS / Mega2560 configuration, including dual X and Y axis.  This works straight out of the box including endstops. Actually this is easier than first compiling GRBL on RAMPS with Arduino’s compiler.  BUT- it seems that autosquaring does either not work or I did not install Estlcam’s options correctly since the endstops on the dual axis appear to function in parallel instead of indicvidually per axle.

24 Volts connecting is not possible on a RAMPS shield just like that. I removed D1 and powered the Mega2560 with a 9 Volts PSU, and the shield seperately with 24 Volts.  For the Arduino DUE, dedicated RAMPS boards are already available (Smart ramps that compensates for the 3.3 volts in/out Voltage of the Arduino Due)!.

Another option for Estlcam is to program the Mega2560 without RAMPS shield and connect everything directly to the Mega2560 with jumpers.  If this is done, Estlcam will do the bare programming of the Mega and Estlcam can steer almost everything.  Since I bought a license for Estlcam I will, at a later stage, try this as well.  SEE THIS POST



error: Content is protected !!