Category: CNC Projects

Autodesk 123D Make Laser Cutting Rocket Model on CNC


In this episode we will show you how take the Rocket model from Autodesk 123D Make and move it into Vectric Cut2D, convert it to gcode and cut it out on the laser.  Again remember safety first when ever using a laser!

If your interested in getting into laser cutting, check out some of the pre-built models like this one which can get you going quickly and easily:

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Vectric Cut2D Post Processor for Laser Cutter


In this episode, we will look how to a create a post processor file for Vectric Cut 2D to drive the laser cutter on our Probotix Fireball v90.  This should also work for all GRBL based machines like the Shapeoko or the XCrave too.  Below is the code for the millimeter based post processor file:


500MW DIY laser Engraver engraving machine Picture CNC Printer 17cm X 22cm

by Mega Save [Mega Save]
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Dwell Issue with GRBL Using a Laser

Appears there is a delay in GRBL (v0.9) with the issue of the M03 spindle direction command GRBL will delay its movement to allow time for the spindle to spin down, reverse and spin back up.  So instead of using M03/M04 for rapids, we have switched to using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) using S0 to set to the lowest level (basically off) and S1000 for full power.

Vilros Arduino Uno 3 Ultimate Starter Kit Includes 12 Circuit Learning Guide

by Vilros [Vilros]
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Spindle and Laser Control for CNC Router using Gcode

In this episode we will look at using a dual relay board ( connected to the GRBL controller to on and off either a spindle or small laser attached to the mill (we will be adding a 2 watt laser in another episode).  This is is current using pin 13 which is set control spindle direction as in stand PWM mode pin 12 for spindle enable does not respond to gcode commands and requires a change in the configuration.f and a recompile with upload.  I got the below table from ( and it is a good reference if you want to make changes.


Disabling VARIABLE_SPINDLE will revert Grbl to the old pin layout, where spindle enable is on D12 and direction on D13. With it enabled, spindle enable/PWM is on D11 and direction on D13.

EDIT: Here’s a chart to make it a bit clearer.

D11 = Spindle enable/PWM speed
D12 = Z-limit
D13 = Spindle direction

D11 = Z-limit
D12 = Spindle enable (on/off only)
D13 = Spindle direction

D11 = Spindle PWM speed only
D12 = Z-limit
D13 = Spindle enable (on/off only)


Timelapse of the Probotix Fireball v90 running Chillipepper and GRBL on Arduino


So here is the time lapse video of the Probitix Fireball v90 CNC router running Chilipeppr via Arduino and GRBL software. Also in the video we have the string settings which we are using for garble so if you want to try the same this should provide reference point.

Update to the Probotix Fireball v90 CNC conversion to GRBL


So we’ve now got the Probiotix Fireball V 90 running with all the major GRBL front ends including Chilipeppr, GCode sender and Easel. We have noticed a couple strange things, one of them being GRBL wants to flip the X and Y axis. This is in both the nature (i.e. X becomes Y and Y becomes X) and direction, to correct this we’ve had to use change the GRBL string $3=3 (inverting both x & y) to mask the directions of each access. With regards to the X and Y axis flip, we have tried inverting the wiring to reverse them, however this only results in what appears to be a mirror image when cutting sort of like from the bottom up rather than the top-down. So to correct for this we’ve just allowed the flip in axises and simply changed the homing location and perspective of the material which seems to work just fine. Watching the video you can see we’ve cut out several rather complex shapes without issue. However one of the interesting things you will notice in the video, there still is one part abandoning the material and this was caused by “user error”, as I forgotten and unplug the laptop causing the battery run out while sending G code, Oops. However other then several minor challenges overall the conversion process has gone rather easily, And in fact has been quite a bit of fun as my goal with all this was to create a simpler workflow and both Easel and Chilipeppr filled this goal. However I must say with regards to just GCode sender the jury’s a bit out as  I’m concerned as how effective that is, (because it is quirky compared to others) but hey it’s still early in the game. So look for some more updates soon Will be doing the final install of the Arduino on top of the Probotix driver box an the final wiring to complete this project so once that’s done I will do the video on that as well along with a video on the configuration file for GRBL itself.

Wiring the Arduino & GRBL for the Probotix Fireball v90


In this episode we going to the shop and wire in our Arduino with GRBL into the Probotix Fireball V 90 CNC router. Again this is a rather simple build in we will solder the pins from the DB-25 parallel port connector into the header pins of the Arduino and once this is completed we will be able to control the Probotix Fireball P90 CNC router via the free Gcode sender or an application such as ChilliPeper or Easel.

How to wire Arduino w/GRBL for Parallel Port Control


So in this episode we are going to look at wiring the  Arduino running  GRBL to a parallel port CNC machine control yet before you get too concerned this is actually a pretty simple project as what we’re going to cover are the pinouts from the Arduino and matching them up with the opinions of the standard parallel port again most of this is simple soldering to a DB 25 connector which we will plug into the parallel port.

Key Links:

Probotix Pinouts:

Arduino w/GRBL

Flashing an Arduino UNO with GRBL v0.9i for CNC Control


So we’ve been doing a lot of experimentation in the lab lately with motion control and one of the latest projects we’ve been working on is converting our Probotix Fireball V 90 from parallel port control using Mach 3 to using GRBL on the Arduino as a replacement.  The reason for this is we want to take advantage of the many second-generation programs out there such as Easel and others which streamline the workflow of the CNC process. However one of the first challenges is getting GRBL on your Arduino itself and to do this we took a quick scan of the Internet and couldn’t find any good videos demonstrating how this process works, so the next step was to create one of our own and in this video we will show you how to flash the Arduino and send commands to GRBL and more importantly where to find all this in addition below we have placed the key URL links to what you will see in the video there so they are easy to find.

Flashing Grbl to an Arduino

Compiling Grbl

Github Zip Download

DIY CNC Step Clamps Part -3

3D Printed CNC Clamp on CNC Bed from XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer


So here we see the clamp we printed the last time on the XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer sitting in the step clamp from the first part of the project and its holding a melamine board sitting again on the CNC Blocks we printed on the XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer in earlier project. Note on the bed of the CNC machine we installed a single channel for installing T-Bolts.  Now this only provides two points of hold down which for most operations of this size has been enough, yet that really as not the idea as the real idea was to install jigs on bed and us this to clamp them down than the pieces to the jig.   The reason for this is the jig which we made where milled on the router to be perfectly level as this bed isn’t and most home made routers are not.  So this was an easy to over come the problem as we where milling some thing plastic on this machine in the past.  If there is a time, will post a couple pictures in the future of these bases as they do come in hand as well as speed up the job by not having to level things out all of the time.

One other note, still have not had the time to dip the clamps in the Plasti-Dip, however it is on the to-do list but there never seems to be enough time.


XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer, Grey

by XYZprinting [XYZprinting,Inc]
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