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Raspberry Pi Alamode CNC Controller

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This is my first attempt at an instructable. I hope it helps someone else.

Switches and Lights and fans, oh my...

I bought a CNC machine some time ago and I was never happy with it. It used a traditional parallel port controller and of course no modern computers have those. So it was always a point of frustration. I used an old Pentium based computer and ran LinuxCNC on it for a while but was still not happy with that. So I started looking for another solution. I decided that I would try to put together an Arduino based controller and try to use USB to communicate with it.

After studying that for a while I came to realize the Arduino was just not going to be able to do all that needed to be done on its own. The Arduino UNO just does not have enough memory or processing capacity to process a design file by itself. So I modified my solution and started working on using a Raspberry Pi as my host computer.

I created a Visio drawing of what I intended to do: It didn't turn out that way and the drawing continued to evolve as I learned more. It kept on changing until I finally got my project completed.

I have now built an Arduino based CNC Controller system that uses a Raspberry Pi as its host computer. The Raspberry Pi processes an "nc" file that contains a design that is described in GCode commands that can be understood by the Arduino. I have used a few tools on my Windows 8.1 Pro laptop to design a few simple things (like tutorials in makercam here: http://www.makercam.com/). This is a great introduction to designing things for CAD/CAM and it is really easy to use.

After creating a design that I wanted to use I wirelessly connected to the Raspberry Pi using WinSCP to transfer design files to the Raspberry Pi. You can get WinSCP here: http://www.soft-now.com/listing/123823/WinSCP?did=11055&pid=1&ppd=search,44532390848,winscp20download,e,,c,0,,,&gclid=CJuIkNHds74CFagWMgodpxMAJw. Its great, you can just drag a file from one window to the other to move files between systems. You will have to know the IP address of your Raspberry Pi to connect to it. If you have gone through the initial setup of the Raspberry Pi and setup a network connection you can get the IP address by using the ifconfig command on the Raspberry PI. A really helpful tool for getting your IP address and seeing that your Pi is online is a tool called the Advanced IP Scanner here: http://www.advanced-ip-scanner.com/. Another great tool is Wireshark: http://www.wireshark.org/

I then used Remote Desktop Connection (Remote Desktop connection is part of Windows and should be on your Windows machine. It can be run by entering mstsc in the Run Open: box) to connect to my Raspberry Pi. Otherwise you could use VNC or TightVNC: http://www.tightvnc.com/. TightVNC is what you need to put on your Raspberry Pi to allow you to use Remote Desktop Connection from another machine. I can now run the Grbl Controller on the Raspberry Pi which in turn connects to an Alamode (an Arduino like board that plugs directly into the GPIO connector on the Raspberry Pi and provides automatic voltage level translation. So that the Arduino can communicate with the Raspberry Pi directly. The Alamode also provides Arduino headers to allow for Arduino shields to be plugged directly into it. So I ended up with a stack of three boards that are tightly integrated due to being plugged directly into each other. The Alamode (Arduino) processes the GCode commands from the Raspberry Pi into signals that are sent to the CNC Controller shield to run the stepper motors and passes the various function signals on to the CNC Controller shield too. They can then be accessed from the external world. All is well so far... But now I have to connect these things to the external world.

 
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skaufman31 month ago

You wouldnt happen to have a parts list for this design would you?

cdtaylor51 (author)  skaufman31 month ago

No I didn't but I put this together... Hope it helps... Took a while to find everything again.

Step 1:

makercam: http://www.makercam.com/

WinSCP: http://www.soft-now.com/listing/123823/WinSCP?did=11055&pid=1&ppd=search,44532390848,winscp20download,e,,c,0,,,&gclid=CJuIkNHds74CFagWMgodpxMAJw

Advanced IP Scanner: http://www.advanced-ip-scanner.com/

Wireshark: http://www.wireshark.org/

TightVNC: http://www.tightvnc.com/

Grbl Controller software
for Raspberry Pi
: http://zapmaker.org/raspberry-pi/running-grbl-controller-on-raspberry-pi/

Step 2:

100%
Grbl compatible CNC Controller shield
: http://stores.ebay.com/Protoneer

A4988 stepper motor driver
carrier
: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PC-A4988-3D-Printer-Driver-Module-Reprap-Prus-StepStick-Stepper-Motor-Driver-GE-/121323519502?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c3f71fe0e

Like:
http://www.pololu.com/product/1182

Adafruit
Heatsinks For Stepper Drivers:

3 x Aluminum SMT Heat Sink -
0.4"x0.4" square[ID:1042]

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1042

Step 3:

Alamode:http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Alamode-Arduino-Compatible-Raspberry-Pi-Plate-p-1285.html?cPath=122_111

Step 4:

Raspberry Pi Model B 756-8308 Raspberry Pi B

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SQQF9C/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item

M3 Nylon Hex Spacers Screw Nut Assortment Kit Stand off Plastic Accessories
Set

http://www.ebay.com/itm/M3-Nylon-Hex-Spacers-Screw-Nut-Assortment-Kit-Stand-off-Plastic-Accessories-Set-/231018719344

I replaced most of these with brass.

Raspberry Pi Premium Aluminum Heatsink Kit

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Raspberry-Pi-Premium-Aluminum-Heatsink-Kit-Protect-your-Pi-from-Overheating-/151106065337?

Super Glue – I already had
some.

Step 5:

Box: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T7ARB6/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1

Acetal Sheet:

Sheet,Acetal,Wh,1/8 In T,12x12 In

http://www.zoro.com/g/Acetal%20Sheet%20Stock/00153128/

40mm, 12 VDC, fan:

Gino DC 12V 0.1A 40mm x 40mm 2 Pin
Connector PC CPU Computer Case Brushless DC Fan

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E1JO8SG/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item

Black Plastic Fan
Grill for 40x40mm 40mm 4cm AC DC PC Fan New

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Plastic-Fan-Grill-for-40x40mm-40mm-4cm-AC-DC-PC-Fan-New-/290931250087?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160

5pc Plastic Fan
grill for 4x4 4x4cm 40x40mm AC DC Fan Taiwan

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5pc-Plastic-Fan-grill-for-4x4-4x4cm-40x40mm-AC-DC-Fan-Taiwan-/131023725508?

Inlet vents with filters:

EverCool FGP-40 40mm Plastic Fan Filter & Grill, Black

http://www.ebay.com/itm/EverCool-FGP-40-40mm-Plastic-Fan-Filter-Grill-Black-/280900161495?

Step 6:

5×New Aviation Plug 8-Pin 16mm GX16-8 Male and Female Panel Metal Connector

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-New-Aviation-Plug-8-Pin-16mm-GX16-8-Male-and-Female-Panel-Metal-Connector-/110983775612?

I painted bands on
the connectors with model enamel that I already had.

Expandable Sleeving:

1/8" BRAIDED EXPANDABLE SLEEVING many colors
- choose the length.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230819113119?item=230819113119&var=530065579529&viewitem=&vxp=mtr

https://www.parts-express.com/Search.aspx?keyword=expandable%20sleeving&sitesearch=true

Hookup Wire Assortment 6
x 25 ft. spools of #22 gauge solid, insulated copper wirehttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B008L3QJAS/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item

And

1 x Hook Up Wire Set, 24AWG SOLID CORE,
UL / CSA, 6 x 25 ft spools, Black/Red/Yellow/Green/Blue/White (KCW803-STD)

http://www.allspectrum.com/store/hook-up-wire-set-24awg-solid-core-ul-csa-25-ft-spools-blackredyellowgreenbluewhite-p-8220.html

Heat Shrink Tubing
Assortment
: http://www.amazon.com/NTE-Heat-Shrink-Assorted-Colors/dp/B000FIDTYG

Crimping Tool: http://www.pololu.com/product/1928

1 x #1928 Crimping Tool: 0.1-1.0 mm² Capacity,
16-28 AWG

Pins

http://www.pololu.com/product/1930

1 x #1930 Female Crimp Pins for
0.1" Housings 100-Pack

1 x #1931 Male Crimp Pins for
0.1" Housings 100-Pack

10PCS 2.54mm 2 x 40 Pin Male Double Row Right Angle Pin Header Strip

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-2-54mm-2-x-40-Pin-Male-Double-Row-Right-Angle-Pin-Header-Strip-/200926099791?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160

Housings

http://www.pololu.com/product/1900

1 x #1900 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 1x1-Pin 25-Pack

1 x #1901 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 1x2-Pin 25-Pack

1 x #1902 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 1x3-Pin 25-Pack

1 x #1903 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 1x4-Pin 10-Pack

1 x #1910 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 2x2-Pin 10-Pack

1 x #1912 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 2x4-Pin 10-Pack

1 x #1913 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 2x5-Pin 5-Pack

1 x #1921 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 2x12-Pin 5-Pack

1 x #1918 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp
Connector Housing: 2x16-Pin 5-Pack

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1390

2 x
USB DIY Connector Shell - Type Micro-B Plug[ID:1390]

Polarized Axes Connectors

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8231

4 - PRT-08231 - Polarized
Connectors - Header (4-Pin)

4 - PRT-08097 - Polarized Connectors
- Housing (4-Pin)

4 - PRT-08100 - Polarized
Connectors - Crimp Pins

2 - PRT-11417 - Arduino
Stackable Header Kit - R3

Step 7:

Switches
Adafruit

E-Stop or Arduino Reset (Red)

1
x 16mm Illuminated Pushbutton - Red Latching On/Off Switch[ID:1442]

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1442

Abort Reset (Yellow)

1
x 16mm Illuminated Pushbutton - Yellow Latching On/Off Switch[ID:1444]

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1444

Pause / Feed Hold (Blue)

1
x 16mm Illuminated Pushbutton - Blue Latching On/Off Switch[ID:1476]

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1476

Cycle Start / Resume (Green)

1
x 16mm Illuminated Pushbutton - Green Momentary[ID:1440]

http://www.adafruit.com/products/1440

PowerWerks PowerPole connectors can be found here:

http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-powerpoles/housings-contacts/

HSUN-4Chassis
Mount for 2 Powerpoles Sets (4 conductors) (Configuration: Unassembled)
ACP-15Assorted
Color Powerpole Connectors Kit (Size: 15 Amp, 16-20 GA)
TRIcrimpTRIcrimp,
the ideal Powerpole Crimping Tool for 15, 30 and 45 amp contacts
RT-1Anderson
Powerpole Removal, Insertion/Extraction Tool
SNAP-IN PLUGPowerpole Pak Connector; 4 Pole; Snap-In Plug; 30 Amps

http://www.alliedelec.com/

Retaining PinPower
Pole, Retaining; Thermoplastic; Black; UL Recognized, CSA Certified
Connector Housingconnector,
housing only, yellow
Connector HousingPowerPole Housings; 2200; UL94 V-0, Black
Connector HousingConn; Rect; High Current Hsg; PP15/45 Ser; Powerpole;
Red; 15A; 600V; Bulk

Emergency Switch: http://www.sourcingmap.com/red-mushroom-cap-1no-1nc-dpst-emergency-stop-push-button-switch-ac-660v-10a-p-256918.html

Step 8:

SN7404 Hex Inverter- I already had some of these

Four Current Limiting
Resistors- 650 Ohms - I already had
some of these

Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard
PCB

http://www.adafruit.com/product/1609

Step 9:

USB Hub

Mini 3 Port USB 2.0 Rotate Splitter Adapter Hub for PC Laptop Notebook
Expansion

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-3-Port-USB-2-0-Rotate-Splitter-Adapter-Hub-for-PC-Laptop-Notebook-Expansion-/231109121837?ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1120

Miniature Keyboard

FAVI FE02RF-BL
Mini 2.4GHz Wireless PC / Tablet Keyboard Designed for SmartStick

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090BTY8Y/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item

Electronic
Brick - 5V Relay

http://imall.iteadstudio.com/im120710007.html

Wireless Network Adapter
- I already had a few of these

EdBet1 month ago
There is not much more I can add to what has already been stated, GREAT JOB. I am retired and living in the Philippines and in the process of developing a Maker Space for all the kids in the family, including my grandson. I have ordered a 3D Printer and parts for a CNC Router from OpenBuilds for my workshop and am glad I waited to order the controls. I just placed the order for the controls based on your instructable and hope it will be as easy as it looks. Have you used the controls for a project yet and how did it perform? Do you think a Beaglebone Black or a PCduino would work as good or better than the RPI? I already have a RPI and was just wondering. I sure hope when I am done the kids will learn something using the Maker Space.
cdtaylor51 (author)  EdBet1 month ago

I tried to respond to you previously but my computer hiccupped and I lost my response twice.Thanks for looking over my build and thanks for commenting on it too.I lived in Cavite City outside of Sangley Point Naval Station for my last two years of high school.I really enjoyed living there and will never forget it.I have not used my controller to make anything yet.I have tested it though and everything works as expected.I built a small tester to check that my stepper motor cables are constructed correctly.It is pretty simple.One LED for each wire.Push a button and all of the LEDs turn on.If one of the LEDs does not light
then that wire has a problem.If all of the LEDs light then all is well.I also
built a connector with three LEDs on it to test the spindle connector.I am able to turn on the spindle, set the direction and turn on the cooling circuit with M codes from the RPI.I also plugged a stepper motor into each of the stepper motor connectors, one at a time, and tested that I was able to send commands from the RPI to the motors. I am able to run the motor in both directions on each of the axes.It all works as expected.I have seen the BBB and PCduino approaches
too.I wanted to make a simple CNC controller that did not use a parallel port connection.As I mentioned, I originally thought of using a USB connection but as others have pointed out and I believe too, the USB is not a real time bus and therefore is not suitable for directly controlling motors in real time.The Arduino is
great for controlling motors. It is cheap and easy to use.Grbl is available for the Arduino and the Grbl Controller software is available for the RPI.You certainly could use a BBB or PCduino as a host computer just like I used the RPI.But then you might want to look at LinuxCNC instead of Grbl.I thought that the other approaches were a lot more involved and that going with the Arduino (Alamode) and RPI was just an easier thing to do.

vincent75202 months ago

Beautiful construction …

cdtaylor51 (author)  vincent75201 month ago

Thanks

daemonic2 months ago

Very nice build and great attention to detail, love the colour coded sleaving :)

Can i ask where you sourced your illuminated switches from?

cdtaylor51 (author)  daemonic2 months ago

Thanks. I got the switches from Adafruit.

try this for switches too

http://wholesale.alibaba.com/snapshot/6117622102.html

cdtaylor51 (author)  michaelmacnz1 month ago

Thanks for the pointer to Alibabas site. As it turned out the switches that I had from Adafruit (probably came from Alibaba in the first place) worked the way I needed them to work. The LED in the switch is independent of the switch. So it can be set up by external circuitry to illuminate under any condition that is desired. In this case the LED needed to turn on when the voltage on the function pin went to ground. LEDs won't work that way. That is what required me to use the Inverter circuit so that I could have the drive current needed to illuminated the LED. A switch that has the LED tied to the function of the switch won't work because when the switch is taken to ground then there is no drive current on the other side of the LED. As I mentioned, the function pin has a pull up resistor on it inside of the chip and so it is pulled up to near Vcc. The input to the inverter is wired to the function pin and is held high by the pull up resistor too. Pushing the switch pulls the function pin low by connecting it to ground (along with the input of the inverter) that causes the output of the inverter to go hi or close to Vcc (+5VDC) and the LED lights up. Releasing the switch removes the ground and lets the pull up resistor take the function pin (and the inverters input) back up to Vcc and LED goes out.

LED Schematic.jpg

Wow... so well laid out -- thought out and executed.. well done

cdtaylor51 (author)  michaelmacnz1 month ago

Thanks

ninjanody1 month ago

One of the best projects in this category i had ever seen.

I must finish mine custom arduino shield for easydrives sometime. :)

cdtaylor51 (author)  ninjanody1 month ago

Thanks

gumby_kevbo2 months ago
I have implemented a number of industrial control systems. No way do you want windows or even Linux trying to run a real time system. No way to know when exactly anything will happen. QNX, VLC, or TwinCAT can do it no problem. The last two basically rootkit windows, and will keep running fine even if (when!) wibiws bluescreens.

But even then, 5-6 years down the road, the PC dies and is totally obsolete, and nothing you can buy now will work. (Comm ports, windows version, etc etc.)

With a cheap custom controller as in this 'inlet, you can set a lifetime supply of spares on the shelf for $100 or so, and keep your system ticking without ever having to re-do it.
cdtaylor51 (author)  gumby_kevbo2 months ago

You have made some really good points here. Most people are not really very familiar with realtime systems - if they have even heard of them. I believe that getting a replacement for the RPi, if, or when, I need one should be pretty easy - I have two right now. You also have to admit that the way the RPi is supported is pretty impressive too. I feel pretty good about my controller project. Thanks for your comments.

TAWP Tool2 months ago

Chuck, your build is not only beautiful, it is very timely for me. I have collected all of the parts for my CNC engraver/light milling machine. I have many Arduinos and just purchased a GRBL shield. I hadn't considered using my RPi with this setup until reading your Instructable. Thank you for sharing your creation with us in this very clear and well thought out Instructable!

cdtaylor51 (author)  TAWP Tool2 months ago

Thanks for your feedback and good luck on your build.

I'm interested in CNC projects but know nothing about controllers (nor electronics in general). I echo TAWP Tool's comments on the beauty of this design. I was immediately struck by the attention to detail, the care in construction and the overall sense of order that you brought to the final project. Bravo! and I only hope I can pull off something equally as well executed on my own projects.

cdtaylor51 (author)  onesharp2 months ago

Thanks for your comment. I was once a novice at building electronic projects too - albeit that was a few years ago. I was hoping that I could share some of the things that I had learned to do along the way. It does take some pre-planning and thinking it through before you start. You can't completely do that but you can get a lot of general things in order before you get too involved with building a project. I would still do a few things differently but I guess that is just the engineer in me. Good luck with your build.

davisbr92 months ago

You don't need a serial port to run Arduino + GRBL. You can stream g-code direct to the device over a standard USB port, using something like gcodesender.exe or putty, etc. Streaming the gcode from your computer means you're using the existing RTC to help execute the code as well, so no on-board RTC is necessary. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could even build a cable to run it over the HDMI or Ethernet. No Serial needed!


Granted, to use Arduino + GRBL you're basically tethered to a laptop or something, but it's a really nice way to save a ton of money by not building a dedicated machine.

How is cooling in your enclosure? I noticed the fans are placed nicely, but I worry that the wiring and other guts interfere with efficient airflow. Have you noticed heat issues?

cdtaylor51 (author)  davisbr92 months ago

Thanks for your comments. I do not really understand your point in the first paragraph. However, there are some issues with trying to operate a real time system with a time slicing or multiuser system. Also, the USB bus its self is not designed to operate in a real time manner. I have read a lot about these things too. But I am sure that there is a lot that I do not know too. In the second paragraph the idea that I am working with is that I am using a Raspberry Pi - a $35.00 computer rather than a laptop as my host machine. I have a 16 GB SD card in it so it can hold some pretty big design files too. I really do not need to have a laptop or any external computer connected to my CNC Control System once the design file is being executed on the RPi. As for the cooling issue: I am not using any sort of direct display connected to the RPi so it doesn't have to work very hard and doesn't get very hot. I am actually running the fans on 5VDC rather than 12VDC right now. As I said, I have not seen any sort of heat issues yet. If I do then I can move the fans to the 12VDC bus. I am pretty sure that will suffice with the heat sinks in place too. I still have not run the system actually connected to my milling machine yet so I have not put any current through my stepper motor drivers yet. I still have more to learn and understand.

No worries, I'm building one using the Arduino method. But I have a spare laptop laying around. I'm not setting it up to run a design file from the MCU itself, since my laptop has the RTC and plenty of space. The gcode streamer takes care of the transfer, line by line, with an 8-line buffer. It's simple enough for a USB to handle.

I did some cost roll-ups of various options, and for me the Arduino + GRBL shield made more sense considering what I already had laying around.

My Pololu drivers run hot. I have to sink them individually, really well, or they shut down if not burn out. My system uses 12VDC motors rated for 750mA per phase, and my drivers are set to limit the output current to match that. They still get hot. My MCU doesn't heat up much at all.

A stand alone CNC control unit can be purchased on EBay for $80-$125, no stepper motors. RPi @ $35, Alamode adapter @$35, GRBL shield @$35, and drivers at $36 for 3: total cost is $141 without stepper motors.

I do LOVE your enclosure and wiring and buttons and connections, etc. I think packaging was great! I just don't see the cost advantage over either buying a ready-made control scheme or Arduino + GRBL (and a spare laptop).
cdtaylor51 (author)  davisbr92 months ago

I understand your thinking but I didn't really do this to save any money or anything like that. I believe that most people spend more on hobbies than they actually need to because that is the nature of hobbies. I did this because I like building things and this just seemed like a great project that I could be happy with. There certainly are multiple ways to control a CNC machine. I think that my build is about as good as any other professionally built CNC Controller that I have come across and it is better than many that I have seen too. I also wanted a package that I could move from one machine to another if I wanted to. I might not move it around in the end. I might just make a new one for each of the machines that I am going to use - I do not have any spare laptops laying around. As I said, once the design is loaded on the RPi and started then I no longer need to be connected to the machine with another computer. If I build more of these then I could have multiple things being done on multiple machines at the same time. Each one completely independent of the other ones. I am happier with having spent a bit more money and built my own system than I would have been if I would have just bought a system from someone else; and I have learned a lot in the process. To me the CNC world is still a huge mystery to me and I am learning more about it all of the time. The same idea holds for the CNC milling machine that I bought. I tried to use it to make some printed circuit boards but the machine was just not accurate enough and when I tried to run a hole drill file after the circuit was engraved the holes did not end up where they needed to be. So I had to figure out what was wrong with my machine. I have done that and I am reworking my machine now to make it more accurate and more repeatable. Figuring out what was wrong with my machine and this project have been great learning experiences for me. What is that worth? To me it is worth a lot more than the difference between the price of my controller and a cheap controller from eBay or the difference in price between my machine and a much better machine like the Shapeoko 2 kit. The learning experience has been the driving force behind this project for me. Plus, I just love this stuff...

urant2 months ago

One word

WOW

cdtaylor51 (author)  urant2 months ago

Thanks

3rdpig2 months ago

I'm not sure what to say other than "Wow!". I have an old Micromill 2000 that came with the original control box with two parallel ports and DOS software. I had the box upgraded so it only had one parallel port and could use Windows software, but it only works with XP so I've got a dedicated XP computer for it. I would dearly love to try to create a controller like you did, but while I've got the computer skills, I'm not sure I have the electronic skills. I might try it anyway, I'd love to get rid of the XP box and the parallel cables. Thanks for this, you did absolutely fantastic job and when you get your mill together please update this so we can see how it all works together!

cdtaylor51 (author)  3rdpig2 months ago

Thanks for your comments. The very hardest thing to do in this project was to solder the wires to the connectors. You have to get them in the right order to match up with the other side that goes to the stepper motors and the limit switches. I guess the power distribution board was a bit of a soldering task too. On that you have to plan out where everything goes and connects. The best thing to do it put the circuit together on a temporary breadboard and then transfer that to a permanent one like I did. It is a challenge but I am pretty sure you could do it too. The rest of the project is really mechanical not electronic. This project might be a bit advanced for a first project but even so I believe that most people could do it. Actually one of the most challenging aspects was working with the Linux/Unix like operating system on the RPi. But if you are used to that sort of environment then that should not be a problem either.

parth_bhat2 months ago

This is really very great instructable. been searching for such thing since very long time. thanks a lot. for sharing it with us.

besides, instead of using alamode arduino can't we use a normal arduino board?

or build an arduino raspberry pi shield?

what you suggest?

cdtaylor51 (author)  parth_bhat2 months ago

Thanks, sure you could this in other ways. The Alamode allowed me to build this as a stack and made it tight a clean. There are other ways to do this but this is the way I chose to do it.

fazgard2 months ago

Outsatanding.

cdtaylor51 (author)  fazgard2 months ago

Thank you

clazman2 months ago

I
fine execution! What more can I say? As an, out of commission, mechanical
engineer I say very well done.

Also, I enjoy reading the comments for invariably there is much to be learned
from them. I am dismayed by the one who does not understand the need for
"standards". As was stated very well, standards are very important.
Granted, some may feel that it impedes originality of design, but that is a
very small price to pay for ensuring communication with others, to ensure
progress, to ensure the well-being of mankind. Rules and regulations are a
must. There will always be those that want to counter that philosophy.

cdtaylor51 (author)  clazman2 months ago

Thanks for your feedback. I guess that what I would add to what has been said already is that even standards continue to evolve to meet the needs of the current environment. I appreciate being able to communicate with them and it is always empowering to learn more about them. I hope that my little contribution helps someone to understand this complicated field better.

marc_vid2 months ago

I'm designing a 3D printer using a Paspberry Pi, this will help a lot. Very thanks by sharing this with us!

cdtaylor51 (author)  marc_vid2 months ago

I want to build a 3D printer too and I think that this CNC Control system that I have will run it too. But I would have to look into what I would have to do to make it compatible. I think it is only a different layer of software in the CNC Controller but I am not sure at this time. If you build one then put it up on instructables so I can see it.

jculleton32 months ago

This is way awesome. I have purchased some huge nema 34 motors and controllers from China before I realized I didn't have a parallel port on any operational computer!

Perhaps I can integrate some of your design to control the controllers and perhaps find a way to make closed loop steppers whilst I am at it!! Thanks for the inspiration.

JC

cdtaylor51 (author)  jculleton32 months ago

That sounds great. I would like it if Grbl was able to use the data from the iGaging scales to make a closed loop system too. But I do know if that is even in their wildest imaginings or not. Maybe I will look into doing some software on my own. I am in the process of making a DRO using the iGaging scale for my system right now too.

apappano2 months ago

What software did you use to make your reference picture? Great work, I teach engineering in high school and I will definitely look at using some of your methods in my CNC/controls course. :)

cdtaylor51 (author)  apappano2 months ago

I used Visio to make my diagrams. I have used Visio in my work for many years. So it is what I am used to working with. There are better tools to use to do some things. However, Visio is pretty easy for me to use for simple drawings. inkscape might be a better tool to use, is some ways, as it is free and has a lot of the same capabilities. I am glad that you found my instructable helpful.

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