Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

woodworkerbob
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Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by woodworkerbob » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:17 am

With no experience in the land of Shapeokos, I've gotten a bit overwhelmed with the number of choices for a Gcode sender.

Right now I'm using Carbide Motion. Are there "better" senders? I saw the wiki page with 20+ programs listed. I'm too lazy to do an evaluation of all those programs. I'm hoping someone else has done the heavy lifting.

Better is:
Fewer bugs/glitches/odd occurances?
Better functionality?
More functionality?
Easier to use?

I don't have a good measure of "better" since my experience is limited. I'm Windows without internet (wireless is not reliable in the shop).

Bob
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jlauer
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by jlauer » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:19 pm

This is a heated debate, but I figure I'll chime in anyway. I recommend ChiliPeppr (Note: I am the core author) even though you're saying wireless is not great in your shop. I presume spotty means things tend to load from the Internet, but they just load really slowly. That means you can still load ChiliPeppr and then just try to never hit reload on your browser. Once CP is loaded, it does not rely on the Internet. It ONLY communicates locally with everything as if it was a desktop app. I think many people don't realize this.

I would like to ask though, if you're using SO3, why not just use Carbide Motion? That software was specifically designed for the SO3 controller board.

A few quickie reasons why I recommend CP is that 1) the browser is the most advanced UI platform with HTML5/CSS/Javascript/WebGL/WebRTC thus you'll always get the most features and capability in a browser environment vs any other UI platform such as QT, Swing, JavaFX, or X-Windows/Tcl/Tk, 2) you get cross-platform so it runs on any OS you throw at it, 3) the Serial Port JSON Server gives you the flexibility to run your gcode sending on the same or different remote machine from a compiled environment where that is most critical and to have multiple end-clients interact with SPJS to keep things in sync and 4) you get lots of advanced goodies like an auto-leveller, macros, touch plate widget, gorgeous 3D viewer, inspector mode, simulator, etc.

Regardless of whether you use CP, I think it's worth making an investment into getting Internet to the shop. You've already made over a $1000 investment just to get a CNC machine, so what's another $50 or so to get Internet going if you have it close by at your house and you gain all the benefits of the Internet for umpteen other reasons like Google Drive/Dropbox, JSCut, software updates, etc. I recommend you get a Wifi bridge to ethernet and put a small ethernet switch in your shop. The reason for the Wifi bridge is I tend to like to have ethernet between the Raspberry Pi 2 that has the USB to the CNC controller and my home network. That way I can just not worry about the Wifi. Put the Wifi bridge as close as you can get it to your house. http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Universal ... -fi+bridge

WillAdams
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by WillAdams » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:31 pm

In terms of straight-forward use, Carbide Motion should be it, if one has suitable hardware to run it on.

If one likes Java and it runs well on your machine, Universal G-code Sender is a good choice which has some additional features.

If you like to run apps from websites, and have reliable internet and run files which don’t exceed the memory limits of your browser, ChiliPepr is good.

If you like Python, and don’t mind an old-school appearance, bCNC is a good choice, w/ excellent support for Grbl’s features.
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chamnit
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by chamnit » Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:49 pm

I'll echo Will's statements and add a bit to it:

- Carbide Motion is the officially supported SO3 g-code sender. It's very straightforward and gives you only what you need and nothing else. Sometimes that's a good thing. You can get direct support from Carbide3d if you use this one. The others are community supported, which can get gotten at this forum or at their respective websites.

- Universal G-Code Sender (aka UGS) is the oldest of all of the Grbl GUI senders. It's the most stable and is used by the majority of Grbl users (most of which are not on this forum). Will Winder has done an excellent job making this portable and can be used on just about any old laptop reliably, which is one of the main reasons its so popular.

- Chilipeppr is a great platform, but requires an internet connection and a fast/modern computer, especially when running aggressive toolpaths. It's got a lot of bells and whistles and looks very nice with modern features and visualizations. It's by far the prettiest of them all. This also require you to install an executable server program called the Serial Port JSON Server (SPJS), which is fairly easy to install and run. People like this a lot as it has things like auto-leveling, text messaging, a beautiful tool path visualizer, and web developers can easily create new plug-ins for it.

- bCNC is the new kid on the block. It is quickly becoming my favorite because it's so lightweight, stable, cross-platform, and very powerful. It's based in Python and tkinter, which is a standard Python library (requires no additional installation). It looks like an old Window95 program, but don't let that fool you. It works wonderfully on a Raspberry Pi 2 (pretty well on a RPi 1) and is the fullest featured GUI that can run on the slowest of computers. It has just about all the features that Chilipeppr does and there is a new macro programming language being developed for it so you can automate repeated tasks very easily. It also has a virtual pendant that you can fire up and run on any touchscreen device like your smartphone. It's a work in progress, but it's 100% useable. I use this to run all of my machines with a RPi 2. (It's also developed by a particle physicist who smashes atoms at the Large Hadron Collider.)

I would recommend starting out with Carbide Motion or UGS. They are both simple and straightforward GUIs. If you want more powerful features, either Chilipeppr or bCNC will do you fine as well. Whatever you end up using, you'll pick a great GUI.

kristenanne77
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by kristenanne77 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:54 am

I understand that in order to use the carbide motion controller you need to have windoz 7.
Is this correct? :?:

My garage computer (an OLD macbook) is bootcamped to run windoz xp and cannot be upgraded to 7. :oops:
I have used universal GCode sender with my ShapeOko 2 , so I am guessing that Universal GCode sender is my only option with ShapeOko 3, right? :?:

K

jlauer
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by jlauer » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:12 am

SO3 is Grbl-based so any app that runs on your Mac will work. That leaves UGS and ChiliPeppr I believe.

WillAdams
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by WillAdams » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:23 am

Carbide Motion Machine Controller requires Windows Vista or later, or Mac OS X 10.7 or later.

For older versions of Mac OS X, most of the opensource options will work.
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Defy
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by Defy » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:19 am

Sam
kristenanne77 wrote:I understand that in order to use the carbide motion controller you need to have windoz 7.
Is this correct? :?:

My garage computer (an OLD macbook) is bootcamped to run windoz xp and cannot be upgraded to 7. :oops:
I have used universal GCode sender with my ShapeOko 2 , so I am guessing that Universal GCode sender is my only option with ShapeOko 3, right? :?:

K
I have a crappy laptop that has Windows 7 Starter and it won't work with Carbide but I couldn't get UGS to find my S03. I really don't want to leave my Mac near this dust making machine! I'll have to play with it some more. Might look into chilipepper my wifi works just fine but I really don't want it on the net because I don't want to deal with the patching/sec stuff.

cvoinescu
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by cvoinescu » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:18 pm

jlauer wrote:SO3 is Grbl-based so any app that runs on your Mac will work. That leaves UGS and ChiliPeppr I believe.
And bCNC, right?
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chamnit
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Re: Preferred SO3 Gcode Sender

Post by chamnit » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:35 pm

kristenanne77 wrote:I understand that in order to use the carbide motion controller you need to have windoz 7.
Is this correct? :?:
K
Nope. CarbideMotion also runs on a Mac. It requires OSX 10.7+ http://carbide3d.com/downloads/. I use this on my 2009 Macbook Pro in my shop to run their Nomad CNC mill.

So all of these recommended solutions will still work for you on the SO3.

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