Getting right into the guts of this thing, there’s a few basic discoveries
There’s two names on the market –
Monoprice MP Maker Pro Mk.1 is an alternate supplier of this printer – Externally they look identical!
Lots of Plugs and connectors!, it’s a custom developed board with an Arduino Mega 2560 clone on board!
The LCD Hardware
Tricky one this
A fairly clear, Resistive touch based display..
From the rear –
Printed on a sticker – Part Numbers – F480272T043
Bar Code – *180206*
PCB Silkscreen – 095P2E13732A0
Main IC is a 128 pin TQFP – Dwin.com.cn T5 with the following markings N1GK32.00A-1 1742-CM8
Flash Memory – TC58BVG0S3HTAI0 – EEPROM SLC 1GB NAND 24NM 48TSOP
Resistive Screen Overlay- T 8902 , SF 1746
very few of the part numbers google well…
DWIN though on the chip, that’s familiar!
One of the folders in the new 1.6.1 firmware is called DWIN_SET
Having a nose through the folder gives us a file called CONFIG.txt
STOP_DWIN_OS; looks great, that suggests that this thing is running DWIN_OS! connecting to COM7 at 115200 Baud (i assume, as 115200 rarely comes up in anything other than serial comms speed)
No idea what the other stuff means, can’t find a SYS_CFG file
3rd hit is a Wanhao hit!……..GITHUB, cool, we can get the source code, possibly? – those lines look great thugh, similar to my config.txt file in the firmware –
Clicking through brings us to a LCD code repository for the Duplicator i3 Plus – the OS looks broadly similar to the D7 – chances are, it’s the same, or similar LCD – which means at a later time, I can have fun ‘poking around’ in the code and possibly customising things a little
Lets poke here – Opening this file in Notepad++
Gives some gibberish and some clear text –
CDwinTerminal, Version=220.127.116.11, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null
doesn’t mean much to me right now though, maybe later……
Opening this file though gives a nice text file….
Which is 219 lines long and just seems a cross reference for actions, i.e. action 1, show 1.bmp, action 88, show 88.bmp
Nice and easy to design for – this now shows that the LCD is a self contained ‘computer’ that just responds and transmits simple serial data at 115200 baud, is 480×272..and runs DWIN_OS
That’s for the i3 Plus…which is now a couple of years old, but given the DWIN markings on the D9 chip, I’d probably say it’s going to be an identical, if not similar LCD type in the D9 ………we’ll see
…….waaay too much down the rabbit hole for today
Well, looks like i’m faced with a few more barriers to my lovely days of CNC’ing
Conventional CNC’s use parallel ports. None of my PC’s have those
complex CNC Driving software, currently is split into two main options.
- Needs windows 32 Bit. Ideally a Parallel port but can be used with a USB dongle
- won’t work with a USB dongle, only a parallel port, or plugin card
My conundrum –
All PC’s in the house are 64 Bit,
I have an old Toshiba netbook, NB255-N250, it’s performance is somewhat lacking though with a CPU Mark score of just 290 and an out of the box windows performance rating of just 2.4 (memory jumped from 3.6 to 4.7 after chucking in a 2Gig stick of RAM from hard rubbish instead of the included 1Gig)
So, Time to look at other small, powerful PC’s to run the mill?
Doing a quick compare on CPU Benchmark suggests that the new, cheap intel Atom PC’s, using the Z3735F / Z3736F processors can get a three fold performance improvement – in the range of 900 CPU Marks
I’ll probably re-install windows AGAIN on my Laptop, it has a Core i5 M 430 processor which sits around the 2100 PC marks, mark, i’ll chuck windows 8.1 on it and suffer the potential grief of transferring my 64 bit licence to 32 bit, and limiting myself to just 4 Gig of RAM
Right now, i’ll manage with the Toshiba
well, kind of…..
Have FINALLY gotten something sensible out of Mach3 demo and the machine by bolting a pencil to it…
more reading needed now though as I keep having the G-code plotting outside of the table display,
Have tried a few different things, I guess it’s just getting used to the workflow of making sure the CAD item is starting at 0,0,0, making sure the CNC is also starting there and somehow scaling the image….Bloody annoying and now i’ve run out of Ikea pencils to jam in the spindle with some tape, keep snapping them…must remember to disable the Z axis somehow when running tests.
Still, I’ve now at least done a complete dry run of the sample Collete spanner by loading a different 500 lines of G-Code each time and re-starting ….just need a non broken pencil now so I can take a photo and show the world!
Have been thoroughly googling just how exactly to create digital masterpieces that can be ‘realised’ with this shiny new tool of mine.
There’s a bit of a general workflow to CNC. It seems to go something like this….
- 1 – Create something in some CAD package
- 2 – export it as some filename or other
- 3 – use another software package to generate another format
- 4 – import that into yet another software package to send to the CNC
It seems that every forum, every person has different answers to different requests. There’s a myriad of hardware drivers out there, different softwares more suitable for different drivers.
Right now, I’ll stick with a generic solution to learn and see how it goes.
3D stuff -OpenSCAD – http://www.openscad.org/index.html
OpenSCAM – http://openscam.com/download.html#install – seems to be used a bit for making or simulating toolpaths
Heeks CNC – https://sites.google.com/site/heekscad/ – some sort of code producer for the CNC toolpaths – Costs 10 quid