Common Pre-Purchase Questions
Why my 3D printer head (PH40) goes into Stand-By mode while working
The printers are going into standby and eventually shutting off because they are not receiving the correct signal from UCCNC that the machine is running. This is a very simple fix outlined below.
1.) Define pin outs in UCCNC –> CONFIGURATION –> I/O SETUP. On the left hand side you have “Current hi/low”. Those two pins should read “16” and “1”.
2.) Define pin outs in UCCNC –> AXIS SETUP –> SPINDLE. Bottom Left you have “M3 relay pin”. Change those values to “0” and “0” and uncheck the “spindle relay output enabled” if it is checked.
Where can I download UCCNC?
UCCNC is the machine control software that moves your STEPCRAFT machine and interprets G-Code. In order to use your STEPCRAFT machine, you will need the UCCNC software as well as the STEPCRAFT machine specific profiles. You can download and install both from the STEPCRAFT Multi-Installer that comes on your orange USB flash drive, or download here. STEPCRAFT will always have the latest compatible version of UCCNC included in the Multi-Installer. If you are looking for the newest released version of UCCNC, you can download here (note: UCCNC may release versions newer than those included on the STEPCRAFT Multi-Installer. These versions may not have been fully tested and may cause some bugs/issues with your machine. It is reccomended to use the version of UCCNC included on the STEPCRAFT Multi-Installer).
If I use Solidworks CAM or Fusion 360 CAM, do I still need to use UCCNC or Mach 3?
The purpose of any CAM program is to take your design file and turn it into G-Code by assigning tool paths to your project and outputting it in a format that a CNC machine can understand.
That being said, you still need a method of controlling the CNC machine, which is where programs like Mach 3 and UCCNC come in. They are designed to connect to the CNC machine and the G-Code files that you create in your CAM program are loaded into Mach 3 or UCCNC to run the machine.
With any CNC router, you have three main steps to creating a project:
- Design your project in a CAD/Drawing program
- Use a CAM program to assign tools and tool paths to the project
- Use a machine control program to load the G-Code files and run the CNC machine.
If an error has occurred or your system has an obstruction causing the Semi-Closed Loop System to trigger, it will activate the E-Stop mode on the machine. When this happens the first thing you need to do is take note of the line number that you are at in the G-Code window on the lower left part of the UCCNC screen. Write it down or take a photo with your cell phone.
To reset this, you press the Red reset button on the UCCNC screen and then press HOME ALL. This will reset each axis so that everything is back in sync with UCCNC. From that point, you can use the START FROM HERE button and restart the job from right where you left off.
You can view this video on how to use the START FROM HERE button:
Can I use a Mac with a STEPCRAFT CNC?
Yes! While the UCCNC and Vectric Software both run on Windows platforms, you can use a MAC as long as you run Parallels software which allows you to install Windows on your Mac. You can not run UCCNC or Vectric natively on a Mac (without Parallels). If you use Fusion 360 for CAD/CAM, then you can install that natively as they have a Mac version of that software. However, UCCNC will still need Parallels with Windows.
NOTE: Since a Mac computer is typically much more expensive than a Windows system, and the fact that UCCNC does not need a powerful computer, we recommend using your Mac for the design work and then getting an inexpensive or refurbished computer (desktop or laptop) to use to run the CNC, since the area around the CNC can potentially have dust and chips that might get on or near the computer.