martes, 6 de marzo de 2018

3dpBurner Sender v1.2 released

A maintenance release of the 3dpBurner Sender application.

Changelog from v1.1 to v1.2:

-Added "Send configuration file to 3dpBurner" option. Check "Settings" menu. No more manual line by line GRBL configuration.

-Added "View 3dpBurner configuration" option for retrieving the actual 3dpBurner parameters. Check "Settings" menu.

-Added button for direct moving the carriage to X0,Y0 coordinate.

-Moved the "Unlock Alarm" button next to the "Reset" one and added blinking button warning when locked.


You can directly download de Windows binary here.
Or the source code here.

viernes, 12 de enero de 2018

GRBL v1.1 vs 3dpBurner firmware (GRBL v0.9 based). The performance war

Some users ask me why the 3dpBurner firmware still "stagnant" in an old GRBL versión lacking the news and interesting features of GRBLv1.1+, so here is the concerns:

What is the performance?

For the 3dpBurner (like most laser engraving CNCs), the performance is the maximum real speed we can archieve for a work. The mechanics of a small 3dpBurner can reach about 17000mm /min without problems. That is, for example, we can send a Gcode sentence for engraving a straight line at 80% of the laser power at 17000mm/min of speed with success...
But what would happen if instead a 80% power black line we want to engrave a black to white degraded line?
In that case we need to send a Gcode sentence for each line point with the appropriate coordinate and power (decreasing power), so the number of processing commands that GRBL needs to compute will increase exponentially.

The Arduino CPU is capable of processing a large number of instructions per second but has limits, if due to the amount of sentences by a time we exceed that limit, the effect will be translated into the GRBL buffer, that will be blank for some instants due the CPU is busy processig the previous commands. This will produce "micro pauses" in the machine motion and a jitter engraving speed, and constant speed is essential for laser engravings, it is not the same to keep the laser on a point 1s than 2s.

During all the 3dpBurner living project i have tested several GRBL versions and variants, including the newer GRBL v1.1, I have always obtained the best performance (top working speeds) with the actual 3dpBurner one, which is one of the GRBL 0.9 variants made by Alpharesearch some time ago for improving laser machines.

What GRBL version is better for 3dpBurner?

If you usually do not use the raster mode (point-to-point grayscale engraving) and your jobs are mainly vectorial ones (lines, curves and uniform fills) you can use GRBL 1.1 and you'll get jobs equal or better than with the current 3dpBurner 0.9 based fimware.
If your main use is the raster mode you can get some higher speeds (micro pauses free) with the current 3dpBurner firmware and this is very appreciated.

Any plan for moving to GRBL 1.1?

Well, with the latest GRBL versions I have tested, the difference I have observed is around 8%, this mean, with the current 0.9 based firmware we can reach speeds about 8% higher than with the newer  1.1. This difference has been going down slightly over the first v1.1 releases, so now I have in the balance if keeping this small speed difference vs the new features of GRBL v1.1.
On the same side there are also users who work with a third-party software for the 3dpBurner control and they reported me that some of these applications doesn't work with versions prior to 1.1.

Paralleling with the new 3dpBurner Sender revision I am also working in a GRBL v1.1+ adapted version and doing performance and stability tests to take all the advantages of the new GRBL features.
Probably, after releasing this revision the logical step is go for the new GRBL v1.1+ way.
I will publish news ASAP.

Some performance related notes:

The sender:

3dpBurner Sender it is not only a line by line sender application but also makes a Gcode optimization before sending the file, it parses lines to uppercase, remove comments, unnecessary spaces and bytes...  this reduces the data stream and the GRBL computing tasks contributing with a better performance.
It also makes an efficient use of the GRBL buffer by using the character counting method, a must for high speed works. That is why you can notice better results than using a generic CNC sender.

The 3dpBurner Sender interface is simple for the same reason. If you use any other software, i reccomend to disable the the drawing visualization and the Gcode live view log during your raster jobs, as this consumes resources. The simple fact of seeing the Gcode lines as they are executed or moving the form window with the mouse during the program execution is noticed.

The connection latency:

The performance is also seriously linked to the PC connection (USB quality cable) and to the communication channel latency, for example, Bluetooth connection has a lot of latency and is not recommended for raster jobs due a lot of micro pauses in motion (it is valid for vectorial mode).

How can I check the performance? 

-Generate a raster file by using the 3dpBurner Image2Gcode, for example, the famous Marilyn image of 100x60mm at 0.1mm resolution and 2000mm/min feedrate speed.
-Send it to the 3dpBurner engraver (by USB cable connection) using the 3dpBurner Sender (it is a motion test so you can disconnect the laser wires).
-During execution, check the GRBL buffer on the 3dpBurner Sender status bar, it will be the mostly times full, this is at 17 for GRBL v0.9 and at 0 for GRBL v1.1, also notice the constant motor sounds denoting a constant speed.
-Now, cancel the job and use Notepad for editing the file. Look at the first lines and replace the F2000 line by F4000 (we have changed the feedrate from 2000mm/min to 4000mm/min), save the file.
-Send the modified file again and check the buffer. It's now unstable and the motors sound denotes a jitter motion. We have over passed the top speed limit.

We have to search that speed limits and always working below it in raster mode (unlike in vectorial mode), the max speed reachable will be linked directly to the raster resolution (0.1mm in this case), for lower resolutions, for example 0.2mm the working speed can be higher and vice versa. So we need to search that limit for each resolution we use.

More news coming soon!

jueves, 23 de febrero de 2017

New CNC shield boards v3.1+ pins swapped

Protoneer updated their CNC shield boards, this is causing many throubles for some people.

The newer boards has some changes to be fully compatible with GRBL v0.9+ versions.
Up today all my boards are v3.0, so i din't notice this until an user, who was pulling his hair, send me a wiring picture for checking. I see some differences on his board, labeled as v3.5, so mistake broken after read the Protoneer page:

Since CNC shield v3.1+ boards, the PCB has been updated. One of the main news is the Z EndStop and SpnEn pins, they has been re-routed and swaped on the PCB, this mean they are now correctly labered for using with GRBL v0.9+ like 3dpBurner. So if your board version is v3.1 or higher connect the PWM wire to SpnEn pin instead to Z+ pin as on previous CNC shield v3.0 boards.

jueves, 10 de noviembre de 2016

Line thickness (extra gauges)

Some people ask me for the "45mm" text on the standard 3dpBurner2 gauge, so let's go:

On the 3dpBurner calibration we need to adjust the threaded lens of the laser module for getting the best focuss at working plane, this is at about 45mm of the lens (by using the standard 45mm gauge).
This mean, we will get the smaller spot and the more concentrated energy at this plane.

However, sometimes we don't need this "powerful small point" and we would prefer a thicker line for speeding up the works or creating different patterns. This can be very easy achievable by unfocussing a little the laser so we can use these extra gauges for that purpose (47, 50 and 55mm).

You can check the Addons page or download the extra gauges directly here.

lunes, 8 de agosto de 2016

3dpBurner Sender v1.1 released

A new stable version of 3dpBurner Sender application has been released. This application is the reccomended one for streaming files to the 3dpBurner over Windows .

You can download the binary directly here.
Or check the downloads page.

Changelog since latest stable v0.2.1 to the newer v1.1
-The application has been centered for simplicity and 3dpBurner best performance instead compatibility with general GRBL based devices (there are other better alternatives for these). Mode menu and port speed selection has been removed.
-Corrected stability issues.
-Added "hold" and "Resume" buttons.
-When sending files the screen and system will prevent to entering in idle mode returning to default mode when no transfer in progress (prevent hangs and micropauses issues when streaming).
-New look and other minor functions added.

miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

3dpBurner Sender v1.0_Beta

A new 3dpBurner Sender application has been released. This is a beta version and need some testing time before the stable release

These are the changes since 0.2.1
-The application has been centered for simplicity and 3dpBurner best performance instead compatibility with general GRBL based devices (there are other better alternatives for these). Mode menu and port speed selection has been removed.
-Corrected stability issues.
-Added "hold" and "Resume" buttons.
-When sending files the screen and system will prevent to entering in idle mode returning to default mode when no transfer in progress (prevent hangs and micropauses issues when streaming).
-New look and other minor functions added.

Direct binary download:

General releases download page, check for newer beta releases:

Please, report bugs to

domingo, 10 de abril de 2016

USB socket-extension cable AddOn

If for any reason you want to use an extension cable for the Arduino USB connection this case is for you.
Check the AddOns page for more info.

martes, 29 de marzo de 2016

New AddOns

Some new addons has been published and some others has been updated.
Check the AddOns page for more info.

domingo, 10 de enero de 2016

Major update. New CarriageV4 released

As described on previous entry, this is a major update, improving the laser cooling and adding a reflection protection part. You should replace some parts and use a new heatsink for upgrade the previous build.
3dpBurner2 assemblig guide and BOM sections has been updated with the news and all donations has been also emailed with the new files details. 

Minor updates on the main bridge parts

The two main bridge parts has been improved. The news is a simple system for prevent possible linear bearings slipping out.

Now the bearings needs to be inserted by the same side and a small plastic tab has been added. This tab can be melted with a soldering iron or similar once linear bearings has been inserted. They prevent possible bearings slipping out.
This is only a minor update for new builds and is not a need. If you notice this issue you can probably melt the existing bearing holes or use some epoxy on the existing holes instead to print the new part.

This anti-slippingOut system will be also used on the new carriageV4.

lunes, 14 de diciembre de 2015

Improved carriage coming soon

A new carriage with an improved cooling and light reflections protection will be released soon for 3dpBurner2.
This carriage can be used with different laser heatsinks but the recommended one for new builds is the pictured one.

Take care, there are other very similar but with a little different shape.

The new heatsink is 22x27mm and the center hole is just 12mm for better heat transfer (previous was 12.5-13mm). The length is variable for some sellers it goes from about 30-60mm length. The recommended one is the 58-60mm (max admissible by the new duct is 60mm).

miércoles, 18 de noviembre de 2015

Maintenance update

Some files has been updated.

Stressed part example
My machines has been stressed due to assembling/disassembling several times for testing new parts/improvements. After this i see some parts that could be modified for a better endurance.

The new files don't produces better final results, they are only minor updates.
You should not replace your actual parts, use them only for new prints or as replacement for your broken ones (if one).

All donations has been emailed with the new part files and all donations since Nov/18/2015 (included) will receive the updated files.

Reinforced part example

...Thanks again for donations and the great interest for this project!

viernes, 13 de noviembre de 2015

3dpBurner2 dual Y motor

Dual Y motor provides a more stable bridge movements. This can be useful for bigger working area machines, reducing vibrations and increasing the precision... Check the Addons section for more info.

martes, 10 de noviembre de 2015

Adding Bluetooth wireless connection

You can use 3dpBurner wireless by a cheap way using a bluetooth connection. This is very comfortable on many times and situations... Check 3dpBurner2 page Addons for more info.

miércoles, 7 de octubre de 2015

Focussing the laser

The best focus is the smallest possible beam point, this can be done by engraving several lines and turning in/out the lens on each one until you get the best results...

Check the Wiring and Tuning for full details.

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

Thank you

I would like to greatly thanks for the great interest showed by makers to this project and of course, for the cool donations i´m receiving over the seas! It is really gratefully to see 3dpBurner spread around the world burning things!.

I also receive a lot of feedback about the software and how to use it in others DIY and comercial machines, it is rewarding.

I continue working on improvements and also have some Addons that hope to publish soon .

I never imagined that the DigitalMaker world could be so great. Really thanks!!

jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2015

3dpBurner2 Assembly Guide finished

The 3dpBurner2 assembly guide has been released!.

You can now assemble the second 3dpBurner itineration with this video guide.

Check the 3dpBurner2 assembling page .

lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2015

3dpBurner2 start releasing

I started to release the 3dpBurner2 files.
Today the .STL files and BOM has been added. But  i will still adding info asap.

Stay tuned!

lunes, 31 de agosto de 2015

3dpBurner2 coming soon

Some months ago i started to test and improve a new 3dpBurner design, the 3dpBurner2.
It´s similar to the previous version but all parts has been redesigned and improved. The new 3dpBurner is:

- Cheaper to build.
- Less parts count.
- PLA printing optimized.
- Less weight.
- More compact design.
- More rapid and easy to print.
- More rapid and easy to assemble.

Coming soon!

miércoles, 29 de abril de 2015

New firmware version

New firmware, tested for some months and with an improved speed over the previous one.
A rapid and easy way for flashing Arduino has been also added.

Check Downloads for more info.

domingo, 15 de marzo de 2015

Safety notes

Added some safety notes to README first page.

Also some recommendations about the killing spikes for laser diodes on Electronics page Thanks to DTR diode supplier.

martes, 17 de febrero de 2015

3dpBurner Sender v0.2.1 released

This is a maintenence update.

-Minors bugs and stability issues fix
-Added estimated remaining time

Check Downloads

domingo, 15 de febrero de 2015

3dpBurner Image2Gcode. A image to Gcode converter

3dpBurner Image2Gcode v0.1 has been released:

An easy to use Windows application for engraving images.

Some features: 8 bit grayscale or 1 bit monocromatic engraving, horizontal/diagonal patterns, edge lines, laser profiles, metric/imperial units, basic image editing functions... 

Check Downloads

miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2015

Working on a Image to Gcode converter application

Im working on a open source image to Gcode converter application for Windows. The goal is to create a simple and easy to use application for picture engraving.

If you want to check the pre-release version, you can download the lastest here

Lastest source code is also available here

Please report bugs to:

*While the final version is not finished, it will no be linked in download section.

domingo, 8 de febrero de 2015

3dpBurner Sender v0.2 released

A new version of the Windows sender application has been released. Check Downloads

Changelog from previous version:

-Some stability issues fixed.
-Added support for 2 and 3 axis laser cutter and 3 axis milling.
-Visual improvments
-Code cleanup
-Added more info about license

viernes, 30 de enero de 2015

Assembling guide finished!

The mechanical assembling guide is now finished, it could be minor modified over time but i think it is covering all important steps.