So a new hire at work asked me a couple of techie questions and yada, yada, here I sat with a new Raspberry Pi this morning, trying to figure out what to do with it.
I went through the basic setup instructions and I was able to connect to the internet using my TV as the monitor, a wired keyboard, and a wireless mouse (via HDMI, USB, and USB, respectively). The Raspberry Pi kit that I bought from Amazon also included a Wi-Fi adapter, so I set that up…now the shop doesn’t have to fight with the XBox for internet connectivity downstairs.
After getting things setup I thought: hey wait, this is Linux and I’m running Linux in the shop…so long as it runs Java, it should run UGS.
I followed these instructions only to the point where I installed the Java components. Then I downloaded the nightly UGS 2.0 build (old school GUI), copied it to my Raspian desktop using the Linux cp command, then extracted it on my Raspian desktop.
That leaves a UniversalGcodeSender.jar file on your desktop that you can execute using java -jar -Xmx256m UniversalGcodeSender.jar. When the X-Carve is plugged into one of the USB ports of the Raspberry Pi, it will see it as the standard /dev/ttyACM0 device. You can run UGS just as if you would on a Windows, Mac, or different flavor of Linux.
I connected to the X-Carve, reset the alarm, used the machine controls to move it around, then loaded a .gcode file and ran it without problem. Seems like a solid platform.
I spent $85 on this kit but you could get the Pi and a Wi-Fi adapter for ~$45 I think. I don’t have HDMI down there so I did all of this POC only with a local network connection, using Windows RDP to get a session (sudo apt-get install xrpd to get the client on the Raspberry Pi).
Next step is to setup a web/file server of some sort on the Raspberry Pi, so that I can drop files onto it remotely. Then I can do my designs during lunch time at work and have them ready for when I get home.
I’m in IT but not a networking or infrastructure guy…I say this to point out that I might be able to help if you need some basic guidance, but I can’t go too deep. This worked for me, and I think it’s a darned-cool solution for a shop computer. Time will tell, though!
So now (and until I get a proper screen, keyboard, and mouse down there), here’s the entirety of my X-Carve computing power: