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  1. #1
    Hi All.

    I would say i am still new to CNC machines. I still have a 1m x 1m custom build machine which is belt driven that needs an upgrade when I have more space.

    In between, to keep me occupied i bought a used CNC 3018 Pro.
    The main thing I want to be able to cut is acrylic most likely no more than 5mm thick.
    It would also be nice to cut some soft woods.

    Before I get into the excitement of making my first cuts I want to do some upgrades, primarily focusing around safety.

    My plan is to:
    1. fit it with limit switches.
    2. Get a probe - to set the correct heights
    3. a probe to cut out if it ever hits the aluminium mounting plate.
    4. a Safety cut out (which i know i can use a in series with a limit switch at worst).

    I know the driver board currently has spaces for:
    Probe
    X / y / Z limit switches.
    PWM Laser module.

    1. What are the best small limit switches I can use?

    I currently use Aspire to do the designing from which I can get a DXF. I then import this into LazyCam Mill to cut. (Right now it is dry running with nothing to cut.

    2. I have considered Mach4 Hobbyist - Will this work with the 3018 Pro?

    3. I haven't yet figured out how to control the spindle speed. Is this possible via the PWM Spindle connection?


    4. What wouldn't you recommend to be cut on this?

    5. Is there any other advice I can have for using the CNC 3018Pro?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    No responses as yet. I did check Google for limit switches for it.

    I found 2 types. Some that sit on the rails (but take up axis travels by around 1cm.

    Others that have resistors and a signal on the Pcb. Anyone know what the resistors do?

    I am now thinking of buying some micro limit switches and wiring them in. I assume the connectors are standard Pc jumpers. (As seen in the pic)

    Also I was thinking of mounting the switches on the x on top of the frame and on the z inside the u clamp behind the z rails. That way they don't take up x travel.



    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 1,501. Received thanks 278 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    I'm surprised that you extract dxf from Aspire and use a separate CAM module - why not use the CAM in Aspire? I don't actually use Aspire myself - I use VCarve - but I can't believe that it's less powerful than vCarve and that's pretty good!

    Can't comment on machine mods as I don't know it - just aware that there are lots of different variants of things with this label.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    I'm surprised that you extract dxf from Aspire and use a separate CAM module - why not use the CAM in Aspire? I don't actually use Aspire myself - I use VCarve - but I can't believe that it's less powerful than vCarve and that's pretty good!

    Can't comment on machine mods as I don't know it - just aware that there are lots of different variants of things with this label.
    Hi Neale. Thanks for the response.

    To be honest, I would class my self as an absolute beginner to cnc.

    I've not used aspire to the fullest yet. I'll explore the CAM from it today.

    I've heard VCarve is pretty good too.

    Apparently the 3018 is a generic design, made by lots of manufacturers. Which has its pros and cons lol.


    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 1,501. Received thanks 278 times, giving thanks to others 10 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazeUK View Post

    Apparently the 3018 is a generic design, made by lots of manufacturers. Which has its pros and cons lol.
    ...and one of those "cons" is that no two of them are the same! However, the simplest limit switch for any machine like this is a mechanical microswitch. Small box, maybe 30x20x10mm, with (usually) three terminals and a tiny press-button or, more usefully, the same thing but with a lever that operates the switch. You arrange the switch so that it is triggered by something passing by - never by running something directly into the switch. That way, if the moving bit doesn't slow down in time, you don't crunch the switch. Most of us use proximity switches but those are just a touch more difficult to wire. The simple microswitches would get wired in series (just need to identify the correct pair of terminals to use). One wire then goes to the appropriate input pin and the other to ground or to the +5V supply, depending on how things are arranged. Need more info to tell that.

    Any simple kind of bracket to hold the switch in place with a bit of adjustment possible will do the job. Doesn't have to be anything elaborate. 3D printers are great for that kind of thing!

    Good luck, and do explore the CAM features in Aspire. Vectric make CAM about as easy as it can reasonably be.

  6. #6
    Hey @Neale thanks for responding again.

    My tool is identical to the SainSmart Genmitsu 3018 Pro with the Woodpecker CNC Camtool main board (the one in the attached image)

    It seems to have:
    1. 6 switch limit switch terminals (2 for each axis).
    2. A z probe (ordered) (A5 on the board)
    3. 5v & ground supply terminal

    I ordered some optical switches (3pin: Gnd, 5v, signal) and some limit switches of Amazon, to see which fit the best - with the limit I will just have a 2 wire connection.

    If I use the optical switches I assume I can use the 5v terminal for power in parallel and the ground and signal for the normal limit terminals?

    My aim is to locate then somewhere they will have little or no affect on the travel.

    What's the deal with the proximity switches? Can you get them really small?

    Also do they work with proximity (like a centimetre or 2? Or is it smaller than that?)

    Will have a look at the software today.


    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by CrazeUK; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:51 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    I'm surprised that you extract dxf from Aspire and use a separate CAM module - why not use the CAM in Aspire? I don't actually use Aspire myself - I use VCarve - but I can't believe that it's less powerful than vCarve and that's pretty good!
    It does everything Vcarve does and then some, it's several runs up the ladder to VCarve. The thing I find Ironic is that he as 1800 worth of software and 300 worth of machine.!. .
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    It does everything Vcarve does and then some, it's several runs up the ladder to VCarve. The thing I find Ironic is that he as 1800 worth of software and 300 worth of machine.!. .
    I am just using software I already have from when I helped a fashion house do some props. They had no use for the software after I bought he machine of them, so took it and now use it.

    Unfortunately for me I've not done anything cnc related for quite some time.

    Yes right now I have this small machine with me, my bigger one hasn't been used in 2 years and is in storage.

    Also, not sure why how much a machine cost is an issue?

    Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

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