I have used many different controls over the years but my favorite is planet-CNC, it is very easy to setup and runs over Ethernet if you prefer to ditch USB issues, I think you have to get the newest board to have the Ethernet option. The software is more user friendly than Mach3 and has 3D digitizing that is very easy to setup.
I started with UGS, but had problems with it just stopping, so I looked around. I liked the graphical nature of Chilipeppr, but it was a real pain to get set up, and it never worked right for me. The one I’ve been using is PicSender, which isn’t free (about $15), but I have had zero problems sending gcode to my Xcarve with it.
I was hunting for a program that could handle my multi-megabyte g-code programs because everything running in an interpreter/VM was too slow and unusable. I finally came across grblControl, which can be found on github.com
Unfortunately (for me) it converts your program to metric and does everything in millimeters, which is manageable I suppose but I went ahead and downloaded the code and spent the night hacking away to make it my own custom imperial unit version, and also did a bunch of little bug fixes and enhancements. I will probably continue working on it, it does everything I need just fine, with all the requisite bells and whistles… It’s extremely FAST and smooth too, and is virtually the only program I have been able to find that can handle the humongous jobs I throw at it.
@CharlesVanNoland have you tried Chilipeppr? I haven’t had any issues with it so far.
Yup, sure have, and it just turns into a slide-show once I load one of the jobs for my project. I do need to optimize the programs themselves, though, but that will only give up to a 50% savings in time but the programs will still be the same size. Like I said, anything that runs in a VM or interpreter isn’t a viable solution with extremely long jobs, that eliminates all the web-browser based GRBL controllers.
PicSender can handle jobs containing millions lines of code. It does cost $14.95 but worth every penny.
I discovered grblControl on github (https://github.com/Denvi/grblControl) which was just started over the summer but already has a bunch of great features that can only be found in the other popular software, except that it runs natively under QT, so that it’s cross-platform, and has a great interface. It’s written by an unknown Russian dude, so it converts everything to metric, but it’s open source so I’ve been hacking away at making an inches-only version for myself. I’ve also been adding in a bunch of my own fixes and enhancements that are specific to my personal preferences. Ultimately having an option for working in metric/imperial would be ideal but I’m not so much interested in working on that at the moment, but I am going along in the code and commenting everywhere that needs a conditional statement that checks a theoretical ‘units’ setting. Right now I’m just working to get my project off the ground.
grblControl is really slick, and fast, it can easily handle huge programs without breaking a sweat, and has plenty of features, so it’s going to be my go-to application, which is strange because nobody else has even heard of it. Then again, nobody has even heard of what I’m working on either.
Does PicSender support macros yet?
Not at this time, unless there saved in a text file, loaded and ran as a gcode file.