Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Joe Pineapples
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Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by Joe Pineapples » Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:30 pm

Hi all, I'm a professional CNC programmer/machinist looking to enter the world of DIY CNC. Although I can program efficient dynamic/high speed toolpaths in Mastercam to mass produce things on a fancy Haas, I am an absolute novice with the internal electronics of any CNC - I am beneath you all and I am grateful for any and all advice :)

My goal is to have a headless machine (initially a Shapeoko and then a heavier duty bench mill if the headless Shapeoko is a success). I've spent the last month trying to work out the best setup for what I want - which looks to be a Raspberry Pi with BCNC and a 5" display. My problem is that I can't find much information about hardware requirements for BCNC (other than Protoneer's CNC board).

If anyone can help me out or point me in the direction of some good info I would be extremely grateful. Also open to alternative ideas if better than a RasPi + BCNC.
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WillAdams
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by WillAdams » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:05 pm

My suggestion would be to have separate controllers, one for the machine, the other to do the interface and stream things.

Some discussion on the wiki, but it’s scattered:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/ ... Enclosures
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Pendant

There is this page though: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Headless
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Joe Pineapples
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by Joe Pineapples » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:19 am

Thanks, that chap's dual arduino setup was one of the earlier things I looked at but appeared to be incomplete (he was talking about an LCD as optional, at the time of reading). My thinking with Rasperry Pi and bCNC is that I could have a larger graphical interface, easier to see all information and make adjustments, as well as jog the axes. The headless pendants I'm used to working with are like the large silver box on the right of this HAAS...
Image

So I was thinking a 5" touch screen would suffice, possibly combined with a small USB keyboard embedded in the display case. Would this be possible with Arduinos + GRBL or should I keep pursuing the RasPi + bCNC route?
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WillAdams
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by WillAdams » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:09 am

AIUI, what one wants is:

(Raspberry Pi running bCNC w/ LCD and keys) + (Arduino running Grbl)

xfredericox has done one which I believe is the closest to what you want:

http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7412

http://www.manmademayhem.com/?cat=5 all-in-one enclosure controller w/ touch screen, dedicated buttons, switches and E-stop
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cvoinescu
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by cvoinescu » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:37 pm

In my opinion, you'll have a much easier time with bCNC on the Raspberry Pi (or any computer capable of running Python, really, but the Pi is nice and small) as the "host" for the Arduino running GRBL. You can use a second Arduino as host, but bCNC already has the functionality you need (and if it doesn't, it should be fairly easy to add).
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Shook
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by Shook » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:46 pm

I have a raspberry pi and use it with my Shapeoko. My concern with a tiny LCD is that the interface won't scale well to that small size.

I'm currently using a cheap Walmart LCD TV that happens to have an HDMI input. I also use this keyboard for input/jogging - http://www.amazon.com/Rii-Wireless-Back ... B006WAJ1IE

What's nice about the raspberry pi is that you could leverage the GPIO pins if you wanted to add some custom physical buttons.

With that said, if you just want to get stuff done and not fiddle with a control setup, folks are using controls like this: http://www.amazon.com/ContourDesign-Shu ... huttle+jog
Last edited by Shook on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WillAdams
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by WillAdams » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:19 pm

Those are (should be?) $59.95 direct from the manufacturer: http://ergo.contourdesign.com/product/shuttlexpress/

also $59.95 from that same vendor on a different listing on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contour-ShuttleXp ... B0032Y0OH0

I'd really like to see better support for them --- thus far only Chilipeppr fully supports them for the opensource Grbl folks, though apparently it gets re-badged to use w/ commercial products.

Thread on the other forum here: http://community.carbide3d.com/t/use-of ... omad/500/3
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xfredericox
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by xfredericox » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:31 pm

The tablet I used (TW700 Winbook) cost me less than 50 dollars if I remember correctly. It runs a full Win10 without hiccups. Unbeatable for the price.
I see they doubled the price of the tablet in the mean time. They must have noticed the deal was too sweet in their sales numbers the first few months :D

As it happens, I am currently booting up a PI 2 for the first time, and I'm also very impressed with it. Seems like a viable way to do a similar project to the case I made. But for ease/compatibility I chose to work in windows back then.

I can only say that whatever you do, make your case large enough, it will save you tons of wiring headaches :evil:
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Joe Pineapples
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by Joe Pineapples » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:05 am

I really didn't expect to get so many replies so quickly, thanks everyone.

@WillAdams & Cvoinescu , yes I think that's about right. I already have a RasPi 2 and an Arduino Mega2560, I installed bCNC last night on the Pi and I was very impressed. At first glance it does seem to be much more capable than I was hoping for :)

This brings me back to my first post though, I still don't really have any idea about how to get this going (remember, total electronics novice) there seems to be very little information about how to get the hardware (Pi/Arduino/Drivers/Steppers) to work together, do either of you know any good places (info sources) for me to start?

@Shook, now I've seen bCNC's GUI I think you're right, 5" would be too small. I think 7" may do but probably a 10" would be better.

@xfredericox, your cabinet is very nice indeed :) That's something like what I'm wanting to make, not sure I'd need the buttons or USB ports, I don't even think I'll need a keyboard as I originally intended. A rotational potentiometer would be handy though.
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WillAdams
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Re: Headless Raspberry Pi (or better suggestions!)

Post by WillAdams » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:21 am

We have the basics of how things fit together on the parts page: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Parts

And there are additional pages on:

http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Electronics
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Arduino
http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Stepper_Motors

&c.

You may want to look into whether the bCNC interface can be adapted / tweaked for smaller displays (I suggested making it scalable, and having an option to hide sections to save space)

Another option would be using its web pendant on a smart phone or small tablet to control it.

Agree that there’s a lot of potential in the jog wheels.
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