Running your first gcode: The CNC Marker Test
After building my 750x1000cm WorkBee, I didn’t have the slightest clue how to actually run my first gcode job on my machine. This tutorial is intended for newbies who have assembled their CNC machine but don’t know how to run their first gcode.
In Ooznest WorkBee Full Kit manual, on page 42, is the “Software & Machine Settings” section. Simply follow the instructions to set up the UnviseralGcodeSender application. On page 47, it mentions using a pen to test your machine. If you were like me, you really didn’t know what that meant. Well it’s basically a safe way to test your machine; however, it didn’t really explain how to go about doing it. What they didn’t mention was that you need some application to create your graphic. Then you need an application to convert the graphic into gcode. Finally you need to take your gcode file and send it to your CNC controller (which runs the code and moves the motors appropriately).
When I first ran my marker/pen test, I used SketchUp to create the graphic. “Home Sweet Home” is the text I used because I was still trying to wrap my head around the machine home and the working home.
For this tutorial I will assume you already have SketchUp installed in your computer. In this tutorial, we will:
- Install SketchUCam extension.
- Create a text graphic using SketchUp.
- Set up your WorkBee to run your first gcode.
- Send your gcode file to the CNC controller.
- Make you happy!!!