Thread: New Autoleveling PCB software
I know from my experience how vital is height probing and correction for milling good PCB's. I am using a Java program called PCBZCorrect which I found in the CNCZone forum. And since the source code is available I did some corrections by adding truncation and rounding functions to avoid errors like comparing 4.420 to 4.41999999999 which are practically the same coordinate but with a discrepancy due to floating point calculations. The interface is very basic and I was thinking about sitting down and making one like yours, Daedelus. Now I see you have implemented the idea.
I'll give a try to your program next time I make a PCB.
There are two questions I'd like to ask:
1. Does your program handle arc moves and especially long arcs where they must be divided into smaller ones to account for the Z changes? I am not using Eagle PCB and even though I can convert the arcs into straight segments I don't like the idea because the smooth movement becomes jerky.
2. Have you thought about such a scenario: a)There is a separate VB macro written for Mach3 to make the probing and save the results to a text file. b)Your program reads the probed values from that file, assigns them to Mach3 variables and modifies the G-code accordingly omitting the inclusion of the probing cycle. This way, even if one has to stop the milling for whatever reasons, it can be restarted successfully without losing the valuable height data. On a board with some tracks already milled you cannot repeat the process.
Last edited by Dragonfly; 03-03-2014 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Typo
Thanks for the interest.
1. Unfortunately no. My program does not handle arcs too well. However, I am currently building a GCode parser which I plan to build into the autoleveller. This will provide full support for arcs amongst other things. Stay tuned :)
2. Persisting the height data so that a project can be repeated without "re-probing" will be a fantastic enhancement I know and it has been a much requested feature over on my forums. After I finish the parser, this will be my next priority.
P.S. Sam, I have been alerted by Art that he to could not see the navigation menu on the web-site. I could not replicate the problem on my own machine but I changed the theme on this wordpress site and it should appear OK now.
Sorry I haven't been on here for a while, been a tad busy of late.
The latest version of AutoLeveller is 0.8.2 and as of 0.8 you can log your probe points to a file then feed that log file back into AutoLeveller to perform calculations within the software itself rather than in the GCode file. This means you only have to do a full probe one time and if your tool bit breaks for example you can just replace the tool, reset your Z and resume etching where you left off.
Here is an image of a board made using this technique with 0.8...
0.8.2 fully supports LinuxCNC, Mach3 and TurboCNC
You will need to log-in or register to access the latest pre-compiled binary files (.exe and .jar), alternatively download the source code for free or try the free version (up to 0.7.7).
I am happy to answer any questions you have. Enjoy
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