Estlcam/repetier settings

MPCNC all parts purchased from Ryan. Mega/Ramps 1.4 T8 lead and 16 tooth GT2 6mm pully

I like Estlcam because of the probing and touchplate function and the fact it can generate and execute Gcode. I like Repetier because of endstop functions and better controller GUI.

There are things I need confirmed by experts or just really smart people.
I can’t get the steps per rev. right in Estlcam. What should they be?
Is there any way of connecting Estlcam with my machine other than “program Adruino”?
What is “Marlin”?
If I switch back to using Repetier do I need to reflash my Mega?
what pin do I use for probing in Estlcam?
I’m sure these are stupid questions but they are what keeps me up at night.
thanks in advance.

ESTLcam is used to generate the instructions for the machine- it makes the list of commands.
Repetier is used to pass those instructions to the machine- it sends those commands.
Marlin is the firmware you flash to the Arduino, which tells it how to change those commands into motors turning.

It gets a little confusing in that ESTLcam has a basic CNC controller built in, but I don’t think it gets used a lot. Keep in mind that I’ve never used it and that may be why some answers are a bit unclear.

This is -I think- unnecessary and just something ESTLcam uses to derive some values. Steps per mm is the relevant measurement and is preset in the firmware. x200, y200, z800. This can be adjusted with real-world measurements using the M92 command, from within Repetier.

Is there any way of connecting Estlcam with my machine other than “program Adruino”?

I’m not 100% on what you are asking here. Maybe skipping the connection of ESTLcam and simply saving your CNC program, then opening the resultant list of commands in Repetier is what you are looking for?

If I switch back to using Repetier do I need to reflash my Mega?

No. EDIT: This is incorrect. Using Estlcam to control your CNC will reflash the Arduino to its own firmware. My bad.

what pin do I use for probing in Estlcam?

‘probing’ and ‘homing’ are two different things. What we CNCers call ‘probing’ is actually more of a ‘homing’. 3D printers will ‘probe’ the bed to know how level it is, and will ‘home’ to set the extruder to a known x0,y0,z0 position. What we want to do is ‘home’ the z to the work surface. To do that we use a touch plate (aka probe, which is where some confusion comes into it) connected to the z-min endstop pin.

Let me know if any of that is unclear.

In EstlCam it is asking you for steps per revolution…not steps per millimeter. your steps per revolution is set by the stepper motor degrees per step times the microstepping you have setup… most hobby steppers are 1.8 degrees per step…thats 200 steps per revolution. your microsteps is set either by physical jumpers or in firmware. You don’t say which steppers and board you are using but a common set up would be DRV8825 steppers set to 16 microstepping…making 200x16= 3200 steps per revolution.

Your distance travelled per revolution will be the distance travelled by the carriage for each revolution of the motor shaft…making that either the pitch of the leadscrew if directly driven from the motor shaft (usually either 2,4 or 8mm )or the pitch of the leadscrew divided by the ratio of the two pulleys that drive it if you have a pulley system attached to a leadscrew or move the axis by a belt.

If you pressed ‘Program controller’ to use the CAM part of EstlCam then EstlCam reflashed your Mega with its own firmware and you will need to re-flash your Mega if you switch back to Repetier, this is quite easy by pressing ‘Restore controller’. If you just used EstlCam to generate the .nc file for your job then No… re-programming will not be needed.

The probe pin will be whatever digital input pin you select in EstlCam. Under the CNC controller settings tab, select Inputs. Each of the 16 input pins can be set for various functions under each pin tab…select probe and that pin will be the probe pin.

If you desire a better controller GUI then could I suggest you take a look at this site where a full blown jog controller is possible here

Pardon me for taking a step back, but there are a lot of pieces here, and I think it will help to be clear on a goal before making recommendations. Note that I’m still building my machine, and am using a different controller than you are. Others on this forum do have the same stuff as you, so they should be able to guide you as far as specific settings/versions/download locations. The better they understand your goal, the more on-target their help can be. A lot of this is covered in the Learn section of the Docs

Estlcam provides both a CAM (toolpath/gcode generator) program and firmware for some control boards. The firmware supports a very narrow set of hardware and does not support dual endstops. Most people on these forums who are using Estlcam are using the toolpath/gcode generator but not the firmware. To generate useful gcode, Estlcam needs to know details about your work piece and your tool(s) shape(s), but not the steps/mm of the machine.

Repetier provides both a host- and a server- based machine control program and firmware for some control boards. Most people on these forums who use Repetier are using Repetier Host (not the server or firmware) to provide a user interface on their computer to control machine movement and to start gcode jobs. This can also be done from the LCD connected to the RAMPS board, if have one, but this requires transferring the gcode onto an SD card and plugging it into the LCD.

Marlin is firmware that runs on (in addition to other boards) the Arduino Mega upon which your RAMPS board piggy-backs. It does support 5 independent motor drivers and dual end-stop configuration for auto-squaring the machine. It also supports probing and a variety of embedded screen/controller combinations.

It is not clear from your post which combination of Repetier and Estlcam you’re looking to end up with. From the “program Arduino” mention in your post, it sounds as though you may be (inadvertantly?) installing the Estlcam firmware on your controller. I don’t think that’s what you want to do (based on other peoples’ comments seen in these forums). You also don’t mention what your primary planned use of the machine is (my answers below assume routing/cutting, not 3D printing) or whether you want the ability to automatically square up the machine using dual endstops (supported by the hardware you’ve got, so you can choose).

So, you need to decide:

  1. Do you want auto-squaring with dual endstops?
    This is by no means required, and can be added later but will call for firmware configuration changes. While the setup is a little more intricate, it is by now a well travelled road and there should be folks here who can guide you through the process, so I’d suggest putting it in from the start if you know you’re going to want it.

  2. What firmware do you want to run on your RAMPS?
    Answer to this is “probably Marlin” and Ryan may have a pre-built version on Github that will get you close to your desired configuration. Once you get it in place and configured to match your machine (# of axis and endstops, steps/mm, speed, acceleration, display) you won’t need to touch this much unless something about the machine itself changes.

  3. How will you generate your gcode?
    Popular options are Estlcam and Fusion360 with Guffy’s MPCNC post-processor. There are a lot of other options out there.

  4. How will you get gcode to the machine, set up the machine, and start the job.
    Repetier host and LCD on the RAMPS are the most popular options here based on what I’ve seen in the forums. There are other possibilities like Pronterface or Universal GCode Sender (CGCS) but it sort of sounded like you like the feature set of Repetier Host, so that’s a fine choice. I’m planning to run cncjs from the V1Pi image but I’ve already got a raspberry pi to run it.

Wow, this post got long. Hopefully it helps lead you to clarifying your choices for your desired configuration so that the folks here on the forums can help you get up and running.

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These are related questions. I’m going to answer them in reverse order. “Marlin” is the firmware (software) that runs on the Arduino Mega microcontroller board that accepts the gcode and converts it to the appropriate step/dir signals for the RAMPS board, which in turn drives the steppers. There are many flavors of firmware. Marlin began life as a 3D printing firmware, and it’s only recently (and in due part to the effort of folks here) that it’s picked up a lot of CNC functionality. There’s also grbl, Klipper, linuxCNC, Mach-3 (the last two are actually software on computers directly controlling the drivers), and ESTLCam.

Which brings us to the first question. ESTLCam has a firmware component. It’s a hybrid firmware, in that it uses your computer to do some of the acceleration/predictive analysis work, but the firmware to do the actual real-time control of the stepper drivers. The other firmware does everything in the firmware (allowing you to just drop an SD card in the machine and run from a file). ESTLCam can only control a machine running the ESTLCam firmware. So the only way for ESTLCam to directly control your machine is to allow it to program your Arduino.

If you programmed it with ESTLCam, yes. Although, I believe ESTLCam has a restore firmware option.

I’m not sure. Usually, it would be something like the Z-Min endstop, but it should be in the docs somewhere.

Ok, so Marlin is the firmware used to communicate between Repeiter and the Mega board.
I do need to reflash my Mega when and if I change from Estlc to Repeiter. Estlc saves a previous copy.
I understand I would use the Zmin pins and offset when using a Z axis touch probe while using Repieter.
I’m still looking for the pin outs for using an x y z touch plate with Estlcam. I’ll keep looking it’s gotta be out there somewhere.

Unlike Repeiter, Estlc doesn’t have a “connect” button. I thought it might be hidden somewhere.
Thanks for all your help.

You might want to take a look at the software workflow to get an overview of the different components.

Wait, did Christian fix estlcam controlling a ramps stack? I thought that went away.

I think it went away then came back but still doesn’t do dual endstop.

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Just in the last week week and a half he revived it The last update

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