Written by Graham Bland. You can find me on the Facebook group SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Users Group All comments, suggestions and corrections are welcome.
Continued the review of Genmitsu 3018-PROVer V2 CNC Router Part 1, currently available for $349,
There were a couple of very minor changes I made to the wiring routing. It’s not necessary and it’s not even going to make 0.1 of a star difference to the final rating!
Firstly the Z-axis wiring had the cables held on the left-hand side pillars of the stepper (looking from the front) and at the maximum left X travel the wires looked a little taught and the spindle motor connections also looked a little taught. To reduce the ‘pull’ on the connections I changed this to the right-hand side pillars.
This gives a little more effective length on the cables as they are tightest when the spindle motor is at the left of the X-axis.
The default wiring for the rear frame wiring routes it inside the gantry, I moved mine to the outside by unscrewing the cable clip from the inside of the gantry and re-attaching it into the same hole but from the outside. This leaves the inner part free from any possible obstructions.
I measured this by homing the router, then jogging each axis to its other end until the relevant limit switch was about to be activated.
This gave distances of X= 285mm, Y= 181mm, Z= 38mm. (11.2“ x 7.1“ x “1.5) I think these are very good. The bed is well aligned with the cutting area, there are no obvious ‘edges’ left exposed.
The maximum thickness of stock (measured with a sample bit fully inserted into the collet and the motor mounted at its highest practical position) which can be used is ~65mm (2.6“) and the maximum width is ~356mm (14“).
The front and back of the frame are unobstructed so the maximum size of stock that can be used on the Y axis is up to you, external roller supports will be needed if the stock sticks out too far from the bed! (If you are not familiar with the concept look up CNC tiling)
I took a series of height measurements using the Z-Probe and a router bit to measure the height at the corners and center of the bed.
So the gantry looks level, the left side of my bed is bowed up (Z-axis measurements are negative) by ~0.25mm from the center, the Y-axis is level (front to back) to ~0.02mm. To be honest this is better than I would have expected for this type of router. Fitting and surfacing a spoilboard will easily eliminate these differences.
Control Board and Grbl
This version of Grbl is not behaving quite like the previous versions I have used. I am used to a machine with limit switches and homing enabled to power on in an alarm state which can be cleared by running a homing cycle to set the machine coordinates (or an unlock command). This behaves slightly differently, it does not enter the alarm state when powered on, and the machine coordinates are set at zero wherever the spindle happens to be.
My 8-bit Grbl routers set the machine coordinates on homing to the position that the limit switch was triggered, as it then backs off to deactivate the switch the machine coordinates at the usable home position are normally -1. This does not, after homing including the back off the machine coordinates are shown as Zero. I always thought this would make more sense, but it is different.
At power on or reset all the $ settings are displayed with text descriptions, much earlier versions of Grbl used to display descriptions of the settings but these were removed to free some more memory space on the limited boards used. Unfortunately, there are some obvious spelling mistakes in the text descriptions.
Triggering a limit switch when operating does put the machine into an ALARM state, it also continuously sends a [MSG: Check Limits] response until the limit switch is de-activated by jogging away from it. This just fills the console pane up quickly.
All the default Grbl settings are sensible without anything out of place so it is usable out of the box.
I have also found that it is best to connect the 24V power and turn on the router board BEFORE connecting the USB cable.
NOTE: I had an older version of UGS (2.07) installed. This would not recognize the 32-bit control board, after upgrading this to the latest version (2.0.12) I have no problems! This was the version provided on the SD card with the router.
I have not been able to find any source code or repository for this version of Grbl.
I have found no really significant differences in usability, just that it works slightly differently.
A very good small router, easy and quick to assemble. All components are of high quality, well-designed, and constructed.
All the extras for easy operation are included such as limit switches and homing, an Emergency stop, Offline Controller, and a 32-bit control board.
The solid bed is flatter and seems to be more rigid but is still thinner than the extruded ones giving a greater maximum stock thickness.
At a price point of ~$350, I think this is good value for money given the features, ease of assembly, and quality, a very good first buy, but more expensive than some but I do believe that mostly you get what you pay for.
What I like the most
- Ease and accuracy of assembly.
- A very good cutting area
- A lot of care has gone into the design and build.
- 32-bit control board with Air assist options for the future.
- Compatible with a lot of existing upgrades such as Lasers.
- Improved Z Probe with indicator lights.
- A definite improvement over the previous version.
What I don’t like
After a lot of thought I came up with It would be nice if it came with a spoil board, but that is a good first project.
My Overall Rating
5 stars! A good price point, an excellent compact router, is ideal for beginners but also suitable as a workhorse for small projects.
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