UCCNC Operating Software
If you use Driver electronics and break out board then the UCCNC software is a good alternetive to Mach3 or 4. UCCNC feels more modern and are compatible with the UC100 USB converter so that you can run your machine with USB instead of a printer port. You need a UC100 or a UC300 converter to use this software .
Install the software and follow the instructions. If the software starts, close it down we need to add some files.
After you have installed the software, open the UCCNC folder located in the C: disk:
- Place your license key directly among the other files the file says license in the file name.
- Open the Profiles folder and paste the profile files in that folder (Raw_profile.zip). Your machine has a unique profile and is needed for your machine.
Close all folders and start the program. When you start the software go to the tab “Configuration” and then profiles. Choose your profile and press “Apply settings” and then “Save settings”
To avoiding doing this every time you start UCCNC you can make a new profile with a shortcut to the desktop. You can click this shortcut to start with your profile instead. To do this…
Write a name in the “New profile name:” box, write “Raw cnc” for example and hit enter. Tick the “Create shortcut on desktop” box and then “Create a new profile” . When doing a new profile, the scripts will not follow along. The Probing script (M31.txt) that is unique for Raw needs to be copied from the old folder in c:/UCCNC/profiles/old folder to the newly created.
Now the machine should move if you press the arrow keys on your keyboard, Up arrow is up and so on. To move the Z-axis you press PgUp and PgDn keys.
As you can see the machine moves really slow, you can change that by going to the menu on your left side, hover your mouse over the blue bar with the arrows.
Change the jog feed to 80% or more. The jog feed has to be changed every time you start the machine. I have a code to change this at start up but its a bit complicated to add, but if you want that then contact me and i will send it along with instructions.
Now we are ready to start working. Go to the “Run” tab. Let’s try a few things.
Press “Reset button” so that the button doesn’t blink. Press “Home all button” and the machine will start looking for its home position.
If you build your own machine, then you need to set the limit switch port for each switch. You can do that at configuration/Axis setup for each motor. To know what port each switch use you can go to the Diagnostics tab and click on each switch at the software will tell what port it uses.
Sometimes when you home the machine your switches get triggered and the machine won’t move, this happens when the machine is too much out of its calibration. If this happens press the “Override Limits” button and move the machine away from the switch and home the machine again. When the Homing functions is done we can try the probe function.
Probing is when you calibrate the height of the Z-axis. You can do this manually by lowering down your endmill to the top of the surface and zero the axis and then start to cut. This is the fastest way and the preferred when cutting wood for example. If you need accuracy you can use the probe plate.
Make sure that one of the probing cables is grounded to the spindle or else the endmill will continue down and potentially damage the endmill and machine. The other end (plate) must be connected to the other cable.
The spindle and the plate will act like a switch so when they touch each other there will be a connection and the probing function will start. You can try this half way up on the Z-axis and touch the spindle with the plate and see if it reacts, if not then press “Reset” to stop the function.
Connect your plate and ground the spindle then jog the Z-axis so that is approximately half away of the Z-axis then press the probe button
Tap the plate against the spindle to see if the probe reacts if it does you are safe to do it with the plate on the table or on the piece you are cutting. Press the probe button again and let it finish the procedure (it will probe the height twice for better accuracy) and you will se that it stops a few millimeters above the plate. If you zero, the X and Y axis and press the “Go to zero” button the end mill will go down to the surface but remove the plate before you do.
We have a more advancet plate for MACH3 where you can calibrate all axes but this feature is not aded to UCCNC at this point. The developers are working on this and we will let you know when its ready.
Load a file to cut
Now when we know that all is working we can load a file and make our first cut. You can use this test file Dustcollector_16mmMDF_4mm.txt (save as a text file in note pad for example or right click and “Save link as text file”). When you test for the first time we recommend that you do this in the air. If you want to cut for real you need a 16mm MDF or something else that is 16mm thick around 20x20cm . Load the spindle with a 4mm endmill. Have another board under your 16mm piece so that you don’t cut in to the actual table.
If you cut in the air you have to jog the Z-axis up from the table approximately 3-5cm up.
Press the “Load file” button and choose the Dustcollector test file
Make the probe procedure or jog the end mill to the surface of your board. If you did this manually then zero all axes. If you did the probe procedure, then zero all axes except for the Z-axis. If you are cutting for real, then fasten the board to the table with the clamps. If the board moves the endmill will snap so make sure its fixed.
Start the spindle and let it run in 18.000rpm or 300 HZ. Make sure that the endmill is far away from anything that can hit the endmill like the clamps for example. Start the machine by pressing the “Cycle start” button. The machine will start cutting and if anything goes wrong then press reset or use the stop button on the box.
Prepare your files
To go from your drawings to a cut out requires 3 steps.
- Draw the piece you want to cut in any drawing software that can save in .dxf format for example Sketchup (free), inkskape (free), Coreldraw, Fusion 360 or any other software. (for 3D carving you have to save the file in .stl format)
- Set the parameters of your file like endmill to use, speed and depth in a CAM software like: Estlcam (50Eur), Vcarve pro (Around 400Eur) or fusion 360 Cam function.
- Load the file to your machine and the UCCNC software we showed above.
Read the guides on our site on how to setup your files http://rawcnc.com/how-to-cut-with-good-results/ . We will walk trough Estlcam that is a good alternative to start with and it can even prepare your files for 3D carving. If you require more functions, then we recommend Vcarve pro that is available on our site. Estlcam is mainly for cheaper electronics but you can use it for your machine and it works really well, the only difference is that you have to set it up to export your file to UCCNC instead of running it in Estlcam. The article will show you how to do this. The guide is for Mach3 but it’s the same for UCCNC, just choose UCCNC instead of Mach3 as postprocessor.
Happy cutting and contact us if you need help with anything