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High Torque GRBL Bundle – V2

Introduction

Before starting any assembly, it is good practice to get organised. 

Start by unpacking all parts received and checking each part off against the Bill of Materials at the bottom of this assembly guide. If you find any parts missing please contact us as soon as possible.

The High Torque GRBL Bundle was designed to take advantage of the demand for a low-cost controller solution for DIY CNC Machines. This version of the High Torque GRBL system was designed to be compatible with both open loop and closed loop stepper drivers. The system is 100% compatible with GRBL, the OpenSource G-Code interpreter, and fit onto the popular Arduino Uno and compatible versions. The Uno screw terminal shield is used for easy and safe electrical connections, enabling control of a number of different types of CNC machines, including CNC milling machines, laser engraving/cutting machines, drawing machines, 3D printers or any project that needs precision control of stepper motors.

Please note: This document is a guide for connecting the High Torque GRBL system we have designed to run our CNC Machines. If this system is used with another machine, or for another application it is essential that all users do their own research and find solutions that suit their application and requirements. 

While we have spent a considerable amount of time and effort putting these instructions together, any errors and omissions excepted (E&OE). If you find an error, please let us know so we can continually improve this resource for the community.

Parts List and Features

The High Torque GRBL Bundle – V2 is designed with two types of stepper motors and their compatible drivers;

  1. Open Loop Stepper Motors
  2. Closed Loop Stepper Motors.

This guide will show the wiring and configuring of both. 

Application:

Suitable for a variety of small to medium sized automation equipment and instruments, such as: engraving machines, cutting machines, laser typesetting, plotters, drawbots, CNC machine tools, handling the devices.

Safety and Handling Requirements

Before wiring it is essential to note a couple of safety issues and handling requirements.

While the voltages on and around the CNC Shield are low (5V for the Arduino and up to 36V for the Stepper Drivers) it is still possible to hurt both yourself and damaged the components if handled incorrectly or without care. The following points are critical and cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Read carefully:

  • NEVER connect or disconnect any component while power is on.
  • ALWAYS disconnect the power before connecting or disconnecting the stepper motors.
  • ALWAYS connect a stepper motor to the CNC Shield when testing or using the CNC Shield and driver. This is very important because the stepper drivers are designed to ramp up the current until it reaches the current needed to run. Without a stepper motor connected there will be nothing to consume the current and you can end up damaging the stepper driver if it over-heats in the process

Component Assembly

Below is a guide on how to put together the High Torque GRBL System

1.0 Arduino and Shield

 

The red screw terminal shield sits flush on the Arduino with its pins fully seated in the Arduino. 

GRBL-HT-V2-001
Click on image to zoom

2.0 Limit Switch Wiring

The limit switch kits are used as hard limits for your machine. The limit switch kit includes a set of spade connectors which will be used to connect onto the terminals of the limit switch.

Crimp the included red spade connectors onto the appropriate limit switch cable. Connect the Blue wire to Normally Closed (NC) and the White wire (illustrated as black in this guide) to Common (C).

We use the Normally Closed Configuration as it is more resistant to Electromagnetic Inteference or EMI and if the wire is damaged, it is detected by the controller.

Please see the table below for the pinout.

AxisArduino PinLimit Switch Pin
  X-Axis Limit Switch          9              NC
  Y-Axis Limit Switch         10              NC
  Z-Axis Limit Switch         11              NC
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3.0 Emergency Stop Switch Wiring

The emergency stop switch cuts off power to the power supply and therefore the stepper motor drivers. This is a must have safety feature should you require to stop your machine in as little time as possible during an emergency.

Wiring this switch requires some disassembly. Open the switch housing by unscrewing the 4 screws with a Phillips head screwdriver to access the terminals

Because this emergency stop is being wired on the mains voltage section of your power supply, a licenced electrician or similarly qualified individual is required to wire this step.

The power supply is shipped with a power supply cover to protect the users from high voltage. Please read the guide on installing it here.

 

 

Click Image To Expand

4.0 Stepper Motor and Stepper Driver Connections

The connection of the stepper motor harness to the stepper driver depends on what model stepper motor you have; Open Loop Stepper Motor, or Closed Loop Stepper Motor.

4.1 Open Loop Stepper Motor

An Open Loop Stepper Motor is one of our 4 wire stepper motors. This motor has no encoder cable and is paired with our DM556 stepper motor driver.

Note that the motor wire colours are in a specific sequence. This sequence must be followed as shown below:

Driver PinMotor Colour
A+Yellow
A-Blue
B+Green
B-RED
Click Image To Expand

4.2 DM556 Stepper Motor Driver Settings

The stepper motor driver settings are determined by the dip switch array on the driver. A switch is ON, if it is pointing downwards and OFF when pointing upwards

  • SW1, SW2 and SW3 set the driving current.
  • SW4 sets the holding/standstill current. It is recommended to set it at to the OFF position.
  • SW5, SW6, SW7 and SW8 set the microstep rate.

4.3 Current settings. 

This depends on the motor. Please see below:

  • 2.45Nm NEMA23 stepper motor. 2.7A: ONOFFON
  • 3.0Nm NEMA23 stepper motor 3.8A: ONONOFF

Set SW4 to OFF.

4.4 Microstepping

It is recommended to use 1/8th microstepping  for smoothness and accuracy of the system. Below is a table showing the Dip switch settings.

For 1/8th Microstepping, please set to: OFFOFFONON as shown by the highlighted red rectangle.

4.5 Closed Loop Stepper Motor

A Closed Loop Stepper Motor has an encoder cable. This is a 2 loom cable. One loom has 4 wires for the motor coil, the other loom has 6 wires for the motor encoder. We have two kinds of closed loop Stepper motor drivers; the HSS57 and HBS57. The wiring of both is identical.

4.6 Closed Loop Stepper Motor Driver Settings

The recommended settings for the closed loop stepper motor are shown below

  • HSS57 Closed Loop Motor driver settings here.
  • HBS57 Closed Loop Motor driver settings here.
Click image to zoom

5.0 Arduino and Stepper Driver Connections

5.1 Stepper Motor Signal Connection

The following instructions are for the stepper motor drivers and Arduino. This applies to both Open Loop and Closed Loop steper motor drivers. Use the provided grey 2 core shielded cable to wire the system up as shown in the wiring diagram below the table. Note that the White and Blue wire is shown as a black wire for illustration purposes. 

Driver AxisScrew Terminal Shield Pin
X-Axis PUL+2
X-Axis DIR+5
Y-Axis PUL+3
Y-Axis DIR+6
Z-Axis PUL+4
Z-Axis DIR+7

Y-Axis Clone

If your machine has a dual Y-Axis, you can clone the signal so that the two may move at the same rate. Wire it like below.
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6.0 Motor Power Connections

6.2 Power Connections

Below is the connection guide for the stepper motor drivers to the power supply. For illustrative purposes, connections showing the 450W power supply are below. The connections will be identical if you have a 600W power supply. 

Click image to zoom
Click image to zoom

Software and Programming

Your Arduino compatible microcontroller comes with the boot loader pre-flashed and is ready to be flashed with GRBL. Flashing GRBL on the Arduino is pretty straight forward. Adhere to the following steps: Download and install the Arduino IDE

  • Download the Arduino IDE here
  • Locate the downloaded file. By default it should be in your Downloads folder.
  • Double click to run the installation process. Follow the prompts to install.

Download and install the GRBL libraries.

  • Download GRBL V1.1 here
  • Note where the file has been downloaded and extract the .zip file titled grbl.
  • After the extracting, copy the extracted folder to your Arduino Libraries folder. (By Default, your libraries folder should be in: (C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries)

Configuring your Arduino

  • Before uploading any code, you must configure your board by selecting a board and selecting the port that the board is connected to.
  • Open the Arduino IDE and you will see a blank sketch such as below:

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  • To select the board and port, click on “Select Board” and choose that port that your board is connected to. It will also list the port number. In this case the Arduino Uno is selected and connected to COM 7.

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Flashing GRBL

  • To flash GRBL click on File- Examples – grbl – grblUpload and a grbl sketch will be shown. Upload the sketch to the arduino by clicking on the arrow button highlighted by the yellow square.

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  • Upon a successful upload, the IDE will report “Done Uploading”.

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Configuring GRBL Settings in ioSender

To control a CNC machine, you will need gcode sending software. There are many types of gcode senders out there and we recommend ioSender. ioSender is a powerful gcode sender used for CNC control. Its feature rich and easy to use interface makes it an ideal CNC gcode sender.

Please see the installation steps below:

  • You can download ioSender here.
  • Locate the downloaded file. By default, it should be in your Downloads folder.
  • Unzip the downloaded file and copy the folder to your desktop.
  • Open the folder and locate ‘ioSender.exe’. Double click the file to open it. It will initially launch with the following screen. Select the port and click on toggle DTR. 



  • The following ioSender Screen will show. The main aspects of the program have been highlighted for you.

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  • It is recommended to configure your ioSender’s jog panel settings before you begin.  Click on the Settings: App and adjust the the feed rate and jog distances in the UI Jogging highlighted by the green rectangle. You may adjust to your discretion. The recommended list is below. Restart ioSender for the changes to take effect.

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Machine Profiles:

Machine profiles have been created to make make it easy to configure your machine with the correct settings. 
ioSender can be used to load these machine profiles. Please see below:
 

Firstly, download the machine profiles here. Follow the installation guide below:

  • Locate the downloaded file in your Downloads folder. Right click the file and unzip the file. 
  • Opening the file will show a list of folders each for a different machine. 
  • Navigate to the folder containing the brand of the machine series you own. The image below shows the list of machines in our inventory. For example, if you own a WorkBee 1000 x 1000mm kit, navigate to the WorkBee folder.

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  • Locate the configuration file of the machine that you have. Take note of the motors attached to your machines. We offer High Torque and Standard Torque motors.

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  • Copy the profile and naviogate to the ioSender folder and paste it.

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  • In ioSender, navigate to the Settings: Grbl menu. The following menu will show.

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  • Select the Restore button highlighted by the Green Square.

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  • You will be taken to the main directory where you pasted the mchine profile. Select the machine profile to load it.

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  • After it has loaded, you can see the settings list change. The settings will then be saved.

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Fine Tuning, Motor Direction and Homing

Depending on the motor wiring and machine setup, you may need to invert the direction of an axis if it is going the wrong way. See the correct convention below:

If your machine is moving along the convention set above, no action is required to adjust the motor direction. You may proceed to the Homing Direction section.

To invert an axis, please refer to the table below. For example, if only the X-Axis is inverted, change the setting ID #3 in the Settings: Grbl menu using the table below. As X -Axis only needs to be inverted, change ID #3 to 1 and click the save button indicated by the green square.

Homing Direction

When homing, the machine may attempt to home away from the limit switch. To get the machine homing in the right direction, you can invert the homing direction logic just as the motor direction. For example, if the Z-Axis is homing away from the limit switch, stop the homing cycle by clicking the red Reset button in ioSender.

Using the table below, take note of the axis moving away from the limit switch and invert it accordinly. If for example, the X-Axis is homing in the wrong direction, change ID #23 to 1. If the X-Axis and Y-Axis are both homing in the wrong direction, change ID #23 to 3

Motor Tuning

To further dial in your machine, we recommend using this tool by Layerfused.com
https://www.layerfused.com/3d-printer-calibration 

This tool can be used for CNC application as well. To use it, it is recommended to jog the machine a certain distance and the measure the travelled distance. You can do this by:

  • Marking the start position. The X-Axis has been picked for this example.  Jog the machine 100mm and mark the finish position. You may use a pencil or texta for this.
  • Jog the machine away from the marked section and measure. The machine should have travelled 100mmm. If it did not, take note of the travelled distance as well as the Steps Per mm setting in the Settings: Grbl menu. For the X-Axis it is 100, for the Y-Axis it is 101 and for the Z-Axis it is 102.
  • If the X-Axis travelled 99.5mm and the current Steps Per mm is 200, you may enter this information in the calculator.

  • The new calculated value is now 201. Insert the 201 value in ID #100.

  • Repeat the same process for the other axis. 
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