X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what driver?

Discussion of linuxCNC (formerly knows as EMC2)
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redrex
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X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what driver?

Post by redrex » Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:08 am

The Situation: I just ordered the X-Carve 1Kmm kit w/300w 24 spindle, NEMA 23 motors but no controller, driver board or power supply.
Me: I'm New to CNC but I have 25 years of IT experience. I'll admit that I'm more familiar with PC builds then electronics but I'm willing to learn :-)
Use: Besides screwing around and just having fun building stuff, my justification for this is cutting patterns out of copper sheet. (see sig)

I know that most folks recommend starting with the arduino/gerbil build. But I have greater aspirations and hope to use this machine to build a 3d printer and some other x/y/z projects. It is my understanding that a linuxcnc setup could do all of this. Also that thing isn't shipping for almost two months. Time enough to much around with mock ups and such. So... I have no aversion to either Windows or Linux and can build a system for either. Boards with a parallel port I have or I can buy a board add on. Yes I know some of these have issues but I also know that some people have found ones that work.

Then based on the Controlling Software, what breakout board? And the part where I'm getting really confused is this. If I go with a pc based system that removes both aduino and the gshield and I replace it with a parallel breakout board and what? Is that it? I've seen very basic board all the way up to stuff like this. http://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-5-Axis-Brea ... 3641.l6390

Which thing brings me to DSP stepper drivers. Are these needed if you go the pc route?

What would really be useful is if anyone had a detailed (ie step by step) build for a pc based system. Sorry if this is kind of a ramble. My brain is fried from cnc overload.
Open sourcing Moonshine since 1999

megeshg
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Re: X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what drive

Post by megeshg » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:19 am

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2344

this is one of the most indepth builds that you may want to look at...

cvoinescu
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Re: X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what drive

Post by cvoinescu » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:16 pm

It is possible to do 3D printing with LinuxCNC and Mach3. That does not mean it's a good idea. Modern 3D printer firmware have a lot of features and adaptations specifically for 3D printing, some of which are designed to make your life easier, but most are designed to compensate errors in the process. Just one example: Marlin can be configured to compensate for the fact that the extruder doesn't start and stop instantaneously. It will execute the extruder motions a fraction of a second ahead of axis movements. This is impossible to do reliably in the slicer; only the motion controller can do it. I'm pretty sure LinuxCNC doesn't do it.

Then, there's the question of support and user base. Marlin and Repetier have huge user bases, active development, and there are lots of people on the Internet who can answer any questions you may have. LinuxCNC and Mach3 used as 3D printers, not that much. They're geared primarily towards CNC machining, and 3D printing is an afterthought.

That said, you still have a ton of choices even for a PC-based system, and, in most cases, it can be easy to swap the PC out and plug an Arduino Mega 2560 with Marlin for 3D printing (probably less annoying than removing the spindle and installing the extruder). Most controllers (certainly LinuxCNC, Mach3, GRBL, Marlin, Repetier, TinyG, Smoothie) use the same step and direction signals to control the motor drivers, so any drivers that use this system (which is most of them) can be used with any controller. You can easily wire a LinuxCNC breakout board, an Arduino Uno with GRBL, and an Arduino Mega 2560 with Marlin into the same connector, wire the drivers into the opposite gender connector, and swap controllers as needed. I did this with GRBL and Marlin, and it would have worked with LinuxCNC too (but I never got around to trying it).
Proud owner of ShapeOko #709, eShapeOko #0, and of store.amberspyglass.co.uk

redrex
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Re: X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what drive

Post by redrex » Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:09 pm

Thanks for the great responses. I had not actually intended to use the same machine for both cnc and 3d printing. I just wanted to become familiar with a software build and had hopes to be able to standardize all of my xyz equipment on a similar build.

Back to PC's I did have one, that is till I dropped the dang thing on my tile floor last night. CPU, with heatsink and fan popped straight out and flew across the room. Figures. So I'm on the hunt for new hardware. What do you think of this... Dell 745 Desktop PC, Intel Dual Core 1.80GHz, 2GB mem, 80GB HDD. http://www.tigerdirect.com/cgi-bin/Shop ... gCart-_-NA
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rtlflatt
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Re: X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what drive

Post by rtlflatt » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:55 am

redrex wrote:Thanks for the great responses. I had not actually intended to use the same machine for both cnc and 3d printing. I just wanted to become familiar with a software build and had hopes to be able to standardize all of my xyz equipment on a similar build.

Back to PC's I did have one, that is till I dropped the dang thing on my tile floor last night. CPU, with heatsink and fan popped straight out and flew across the room. Figures. So I'm on the hunt for new hardware. What do you think of this... Dell 745 Desktop PC, Intel Dual Core 1.80GHz, 2GB mem, 80GB HDD. http://www.tigerdirect.com/cgi-bin/Shop ... gCart-_-NA
just so u know.... u linked to ur cart. which we cant see because it not our cart
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redrex
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Re: X-Carve, LinuxCNC or Mach3 or (other) and the what drive

Post by redrex » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:19 pm

Well that was a newb move. Doesnt matter at this point as they sold out rigjt after I posted it. I think I figured out what I needed though.

Thanks for the help.
Open sourcing Moonshine since 1999

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