I thought it might be a good idea to have a beginner thread that new folks can reference for the most asked questions that are either not covered by anything OneFinity puts out or they are covered but they are in multiple places or people aren’t seeing them. I put a few tips below. If you think this is a good idea feel free to add your tips and re-post. If this already exists somewhere, please let me know. If you don’t think this would be helpful or would make things more confusing, please let me know that too. There are enough things that cause frustration and I would hate to add to that,
Spoilboard - First Cut
- This is many times the first job people do and it can be one of the toughest because it is usually testing the very limits of the size that your machine can do. If you get an over or under limit error (very common) be sure that you have measured the origin correctly (usually the very center of the board) and that the board is in the correct position under the machine. Often it just needs a gentle nudge here or there to be in the right spot. 1F has a youtube video that might help.
File naming - There is a good post in FAQs about this but put simply, keep your file names as simple as possible. Most special characters will confuse the controller and tell you that your file isn’t g-code even when it clearly is. Easiest to make sure no special characters are in your file name.
On the control panel, there is button to load from USB (3rd from the left). Right next to it (4th from the left) is the button to load permanently into the buildbotics system. If you hit there, it doesn’t affect function of the machine but it can’t be undone. That file will remain in the buildbotics memory until you re-flash, like doing a firmware upgrade. Hopefully in future versions this button will be moved or require confirmation before performing it’s action.
Feeds and Speeds - OneFinity has a couple of posts on this to get you started. There are also numerous sources all over the internet, including from the manufacturers. All of these are just suggestions and your material and shop conditions may necessitate something different. For best results, be conservative until you ae more comfortable with your machines performance.
Homing and re-zeroing - Stall homing occurs on start-up and allows the machine to home without using proximity sensors. It has it’s pros and cons but it doesn’t always rehome to the exact same spot. This can make finding your material’s zero position difficult if you have a long or multi-day carve and shut the machine off in between sessions. Despite advice found elsewhere, typing in the saved coordinates with G-code does not always get you back to your expected position. One way around this is to permanently put a block or L brace in the bottom left corner with a spot marked for your zero. Every job can be referenced off this mark so it is repeatable if you shut the machine off or have a power outage during your job.
File processing - The Buildbotics controller saves files that you use so you can go back to them quickly if needed. That can be beneficial but it can also cause problems. If the first file in your list was a big job, every time you reload something it will automatically try to reload that file. This can be frustrating. Also, saving multiple files can eventually cause memory issues.
Two ways to prevent these things. First, using whatever design software you like, create a file with a very simple carve, like a small outline of a letter, then save it as 1 or 11. Load that into the 1F and it will go to the top, Then every time it does it’s reload thing, it will go to the file, instantly process it and you can move on. Second, consider deleting those files off the system that you don’t plan to use regularly. This will free up memory and can prevent other problems down the road.
Hitting in screen buttons - hit each button only once and wait for the system to respond. Especially with start/pause and stop, if you accidentally hit it twice before it has a chance to clear out the buffer (yellowed state) it will freeze in jogging or holding mode. There is no way to fix this other than shutting down and restarting.