Playing with Pi while awaiting my X-Carve

I was goofing around today looking up X-Carve videos and just impatiently waiting for Tuesday to arrive. I saw some videos of people running their CNCs from Raspberry Pis. I thought it may be fun to try using one of my Pi Zeroes to feed Gcode to the Arduino. Surprisingly it seems to work pretty well.

My first tests were with Grbl Controller, which seems to work ok, but there’s a little latency in the response times. Granted, this could be caused by the overhead of the gui and desktop environment, and I can probably overclock a bit to get it going faster. I may switch over to something without a gui though.

Tomorrow, once I get my power supply, I am going to try some simple runs with the steppers connected to see how smoothly it goes with streaming gcode.

I’m really digging the idea of running this thing off a $5 computer. :smile:

Anyone else playing with things like this (rasPi, Beaglebone, etc) as alternatives to using full computers? What’s your experience been?

I run my 3d printer from a Pi (using octoprint).
Once I get my Arduino/cncshield finished, I’ll give grbl controller a test run. Currently run Linuxcnc with the X-Carve.

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I run my x carve on grblweb on a Pi2 and it is great.
It is a pretty basic g code sender but I never have to hook my computer up to the xcarve. I can upload files from any web enabled device and monitor the machine with a web cam.

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I used to run my X-Carve from a Pi using grbl controller. I hated it.
I mean, it worked ok. There weren’t any problems with running the code, as the latency was all gui side. Once it started streaming the code everything went fine.

I just hated not being able to modify my designs if I found a problem without going to another room, using another computer, creating a new gcode file, sending it back down to the pi, and starting the job over again.

Also, grbl controller doesn’t support any keyboard shortcuts, meaning jogging and zeroing the machine was tedious. I also found that once or twice it re-wrote grbl’s config file to enable hard limits, change certain units, and one or two other things without asking or me knowing until it was too late. I just couldn’t trust it.

So I ebay’d a mac mini for like $200 and I’ve been deliriously happy with it since.

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Nice! Neat to see other people experimenting too. I’ll have to check out grblweb.

I’m tempted to get the CNC Pi Hat from protoneer, and try it out.

Mike, good to know it at least works…mostly. It’ll be interesting to see how it does on the Zero.

I’m currently running Linuxcnc so already have to do my design on a separate computer so no big change in procedure using grbl conroller. My Pi provides wireless access to my Linuxcnc computer. The X-Carve is set up in a shed about 15 metres away and rather than get a wireless card for that PC and possible have issues with latency and stepper timing (it’s an old PC), I have the Pi connected to it via ethernet and the Pi provides wireless bridging to my house LAN. I also have a Pi camera module that I want to install for remote monitoring - and making show off videos :wink:
All is currently on hold pending getting hold of 72 x M5 screws to hold down the new spoil board setup.