Changing to Raspberry Pi controller

I am changing controller to a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B V1.2 with a Protoneer v2.58 Hat. I understand how to set up the hat (or shield if you prefer) but am getting confused by all of the verbiage on setting up the Pi board itself. I just want it to control my x-carve, nothing fancy. Can I just hook it up as it came from the factory or do I need to do some programming with it first? Any help would be most appreciated.

I am using the Protoneer 3.51 board with an Arduino UNO that runs the Grbl software. The instructions are received through USB and processed by the ATmega328p processor from the UNO.

The 2.58 Hat has a ATmega328p processor on the shield itself that runs the Grbl software. So the Hat is basically an Arduino UNO without the USB.

Setting up the Pi depends on what you want to achieve, can you give more details?

45% of my routing is in 2" foam using a 1/4’ flat end up-cut bit. 45% of my routing is in 1" foam using a 5/32" up-cut flat end mill bit. Almost no carving in wood. No laser or metal etching work at all.

My toolchain looks as follows:

CAD for making the drawing (LibreCAD)
CAM to translate that to G-code (EstlCAM)
Sender (UGS)
Processor (Grbl), runs on the Arduino UNO where a Protoneer Shield connects the drivers to the processor board.

Easel does all the functionality CAD, CAM and Sende

The USB cable connects the sender with the receiving Arduino. With the Pi the Grbl software runs on the Hat, all that is missing is the connection from the USB on the Pi to the Hat.

Sadly the Protoneer website is offline at the moment so we cannot access the documentation so I have to guess here. My guess is that the USB of Pi is connected to the rx tx pins of the hat and that any communication will be shared with the Hat. In that case you do not need to configure anything on the Pi.

In this case you use the Pi for power supply and ease of connection without using it further. It would be different if you plan to run UGS on the Pi and deliver the CAM data through the network or SD card.

The easy solution is to aquire a 3.51 grbl shield with an Arduino UNO.

Thank you for the information. I will proceed accordingly and hopefully it will work well.

what’s the advantage of the Protoneer over what’s in the xcontroller?

Initially the ShapeOko2 was sold with NEMA17 motors and a G-Shield, 1.5A per output (3) or 2.2A with proper cooling. The NEMA17 motors have a current limit of 1.68A. Resulting in 1.68A for X_Z and 1.1A max per Y motor.

The Protoneer 3.51 board has 4 Pololu drivers allowing 2.2A for each motor. Together with stronger (Wantai) motors that allow 2.5A the result is 2.2A for all motors, my Y motors have twice the power when compared to the G-Shield.

With the evolution of the X-Carve motors changed to NEMA23 at 2.8A and the X-Controller supplying 4A max.

The advantage of the X-Controller is that you can assemble it in 20 minutes and have full Inventables support on all parts of your toolchain. The power is no match for the Pololu drivers.

The advantage of the Protoneer shield on top of the Arduino UNO with 4 Pololu drivers is the modularity and low cost. A disadvantage is that it is not an officially supported product and future developments may not take this option into consideration.

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