Pretty much anything you do is an acquired skill. The same thing is true of learning to run your E3 CNC router. Some skills come naturally, some take time and hard work. What’s important is to be patient. We’re here to help.
Most CNC training programs begin by teaching you G-Code basics. It’s important stuff. You need to learn it. But that’s not where I want to start. First, I’m going to take you through the steps needed to connect your E3 CNC router to your computer. If you haven’t downloaded and installed F-Engrave, NC Corrector, and Universal Gcode Sender Platform(UGS Platform) you need to stop right here and do that first.
Once you have those programs installed I want you to open UGS Platform. This is the interface we recommend to run the E3 and E4 CNC Router. This program feeds G-code files, line by line to the controller board which then sends instructions to the stepper motors that control the movement of the spindle on the DeWalt engraver.
Connect to the E3 or E4 to your computer using your USB cable. Open the UGS Platform software. The first item you need to address is in the upper right box with the title: Firmware. Click the drop-down menu and select GRBL. Next, in the Port Selector box click the drop-down menu to select the indicated Port. In the next box over to the left set the Baud: at 115200.
With your E3 or E4 plugged in click the connect button. The button will then turn green showing that your computer is communicating with the E3’s controller board. Once your computer is connected to the E3 you will see a RED warning alarm telling you that your CNC is in a locked position and must be “homed” before it is operable.
In the upper-left portion of your screen, you’ll see a box marked “Overrides." Within that panel look for the "$H" button. This is the button you need to push to “Home” your E3/E4. After you push it the spindle will move up the Z-axis until it hits the-axis limit switch. The Gantry will then move and position the spindle to the lower-left corner of the spoiler board. Look at the Controller Panel of UGS and you’ll see that the machines coordinates are all zero, X0, Y0, Z0. This is a good place to mention the difference between machine coordinates and work coordinates. The machine coordinates are homed in relation to the X, Y, and Z limit switches on the E3/E4. The work coordinates are determined by the placement of a workpiece mounted to the spoiler board. You will set your workpiece coordinates by a process called “jogging.”
A little refresher on E3 geography. The spoiler board is a rectangle. The long edge is the X-axis. The short edge is the Y-axis and the spindle travels up and down on the Z-axis. When you mount your workpiece to the spoiler board make sure the “bottom” of the workpiece is parallel to the X-axis (oriented to the long edge of the spoiler).
Next time we’ll talk about “jogging” and learn how to set your workpiece coordinates.
Remember, you can make great things with BobsCNC,