Real life’s taken over somewhat, with three kids (one 6 months, one 3.5 years, one, my wife, 38 😉 I rarely get time to learn how to use the equipment to actually cut stuff.
During a rare couple of hours free time, I decided to play about with GRBL
Of course, as always, practically, nothing’s been done, the shield is sitting on the arduino, doing its shieldy stuff, there’s no motors or power connected, just a string of stuff coming out of the serial port! (so, it probably works, right?)
FIRST – use GOOGLE CHROME (wasted an hour on that one, couldn’t connect to JSON server!)
SECOND – Download the pre-compiled HEX file – at the GRBL websit home page, scroll down a bit
Direct link – http://Grbl v0.9j Atmega328p 16mhz 115200baud with generic defaults (2015-07-17) (version 0.9J as of writing)
THIRD – Connect up your arduino and flash it with XLOADER – See instructions – HERE
Reset the Arduino
FOURTH – Download the JSON Serial server from Github – Home page Here
– unzip to somewhere nice (i’m on desktop!) and run the server, ensure to tick ‘allow firewall access
Note down which COM port your Arduino is connected to
FIFTH – Open up CHROME, type in http://localhost:8989
SIXTH – Type in the new window that appeared OPEN COM8 115200
(where COM8 is the com number of your serial / USB adaptor on the arduino)
Seventh – FIre up chillipeppr, Select GRBL
Voila, you’re talking, it all seems to automagically work!
Of course, there’ll be a way of automating / adding a command line prompt to the JSON thingy so you don’t have to web into localhost first…..small steps eh!
On my travels, also discovered that it’s not trivial to get TinyG2 running on the Arduino Due – with the CNCshieldV4 that I Have i’ve put that experiment off a little while
Next step, cutting stuff – ETA, 2016?
Reading up in-depth more about Arduinos, CNC’s and ‘stuff’, I’ve found a superb product called TinyG
Reading further on the Synthetos website about the TinyG, I discovered a forked branch of the code that is called G2. It’s basically a TinyG Arm port that uses their G-Shield, which at the time of writing is, unfortunately sold out.
I’ve noted that the G Shield uses TI’s DRV8825 stepper drivers
Whilst Googling those parts, I discovered – This website that basically suggests that they’re pin compatible with the A4988 used in those cheap drivers I picked up. Main advantage of the G-Shield device is that it can do 1/32th of a microstep, so much finer resolution for the CNC. Given that i’ve trouble locating the spindle within roughly the 30×20 area of the CNC without smashing into the limits, I think i’ll manage with 1/16th for now
Oh, the picture.
I think i’m going to spend more time buggering about making the thing cut than actually cutting anything…..Still have the software to go yet
Finally, why I haven’t bought a Syntheos product.
I can see that the TinyG V8 board has been out a little while now, there’s headway being made to V9, even some reports of them out for testing. I’m on the wall right now and really happy learning, tinkering. i’ll be jumping and buying a V9 when it’s released :-). V8 is a very well reviewed product so I can’t wait to see what V9 has to offer.
For those of you less into the electronics and general tinkering – highly recommend to get a V8, it’s almost plug and play with these cheap, chinese CNC’s