This setup stage involves setting up the software to reflect the hardware, so physical movement of the hardware occurs. Be safe !
It’s normal for this stage to be somewhat iterative, fortunately the Wizard can be run multiple times without a problem.
- If possible, with power off, manually move your machines to the centre of each movement. In other words, your Spindle or Laser Head should sit in the centre of the workspace. If this can’t be accomplished, be aware that in later steps the limit switches may already be actuated because the machine is already in the home position.
- Launch UGS v2.5 on the computer you intend to use for controlling your machine.
- Plug your Super Gerbil into the computer using the USB port.
- Turn on the power to your Super Gerbil. You should see LEDS turn on.
- Check that your body is clear of the complete range of the CNC machine. Ensure no actuation tools are in place (eg. endmill, or power to the laser beam).
- When safe to do so, turn on power to your machine’s stepper motors and any other power supplies such needed by your machine.
- Ensure the Firmware selection near the top menu says ‘Super Gerbil’.
- Refresh the Port list near the top menu.
- Select the COM drop down for your Super Gerbil
- Set the Baud rate to 115200
- Click the Connection Icon next to the Firmware dropdown
- Under UGS 2.5’s top menu, select Machine / Setup Wizard
- If you see the Error dialogue ‘No Serial ports found’, there is some kind of connection error. Review your setup, including USB connection.
- Click Next to proceed to Step 3 Machine Type
- Expand the Setup wizard window by dragging on the bottom right corner so that all options are visible
Select Machine Type
Select the radio button corresponding with your machine type. Note that A and B axes are listed in description but not shown on the diagram. The purpose of the Machine Type dialog is so that following Setup Wizard steps only show fields that are relevant to your machine type. Click Next
This setup wizard step involves setting the direction of each stepper motor pulse.
In the ‘Step Calibration’ step, press X+. Note the movement of your machine. If the movement wasn’t in the expected direction, return to the Motor Wiring step.
Limit switches are a basic configuration that ensure that the machine is not pushed beyond its physical limits. Check the checkbox. ***Warning, keep fingers clear of your machine while performing the following steps ***
Manually trigger each limit switch using a stick. Note the indicator for each limit switch change from green to red while the limit switch is depressed. If necessary, invert the limit switches to achieve this result.
Homing is the process of moving the carriage back to a zero reference point. This is periodically performed, because CNC machines don’t encode absolute position. They are an open loop system, so if a mechanical obstruction occurs, the CNC machine’s stepper motors ‘lose steps’ and any subsequent work will be incorrect as the carriage’s real position is not known. This wizard step sets up the homing motion so that the carriage returns to your machine’s relevant home area.
Depending on the design of your machine, the position of the limit switches may be towards the negative or positive end of each dimension’s movement. Think through it carefully before setting the configuration. Press ‘Try homing’ to see if you machine moves towards home. Quickly press ‘Abort’ if any of the dimensions are moving in the wrong direction. Once homing is moving in the correct direction, press Next.
Soft Limits are an optional feature that helps to avoid crashes, by using a software based limit for the directions furthest from Home. The Hardware based limit switches are still relevant for the homing position.