Hello ChiliPeppr crew ~ Chapeux Pyrate here ~ artisan for pirates (of course that

Hello ChiliPeppr crew ~ Chapeux Pyrate here ~ artisan for pirates (of course that sounds odd ~ but I am a pirate so don’t mess with me!) I am just getting ready to jump into CNC as I await my X-Carve (a week or so to ship, I hope) ~ and in true pirate spirit, it seems I am doing the “other thing” and planning to use a SmoothieBoard ~ actually the Azteeg X5 mini v.1.1 ~ which is supposed to be the same ~ running the smoothieware and GRBL ~ just as the SmoothieBoard ~

I am quite new to CNC but have an eye to the technical and am not afraid to research and experiment ~ so I just wanted to introduce myself to the crew here, as I am liking what I am seeing of Chilipeppr ~ I will happily be a tester of the GRBL branch of Chilipeppr to Smoothie(type)Board ~ and I am sure I will require some guidance in the venture ~ so thanks in advance for that support and thanks to ChiliPeppr and it’s community for developing such a fine and accessible ~ (to ordinary folk ~ and pirates ;{) ) application.


You might want to look at the Groups site as well, particularly https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/chilipeppr/Hns5u-9zZZM.

Merci Carl ~ I knew I would find some helpful folk here!

Welcome. There have been a lot of folks asking about smoothie board. What are the benefits of smoothie from your perspective.

John the smoothie board had a large following in the RepRap 3D printer world. Lots of people use it. Ramps, Rambo and Smoothie are some of the most popular in those circles. It stands to reason those folks making the jump to machines that cut are interested in using components they understand a little better.

@jlauer John ~ just finished watching your video on the 3040 tinyG mod ~ it’s got me looking for info on what the Raspi or BeagleBone board is for ~ kind of get it ~ JSON server connection blady blah (soon this will all make sense to me~ Ha!) so first I will just note that I am exploring how to do such a connection set up ~ you know laptop (in my case IMac) separated from dusty CNC work area ~ So just fair warning I may bug you and the community about just how to do that ~ and in my case do so in conjunction with the smoothieboard ~~

@jlauer Now to reply on why Smoothieboard ~ I admit my knowledge of all of this tiny controller board stuff is new and limited ~ but I am an intensive researcher and what I have been looking for in a CNC setup is ~ well ~ smoothness ~ the work I do in 3D (ZBrush) is mostly designing custom coins for pirates (sounds strange I know ~ but I am an artisan for costumers who are into pirating) ~ and so among other things… I design coins, pins, buckles etc… in 3D ~ to cast in pewter. I have been getting these models printed (ARRR! not a friend of Shapeways and other companies) ~ I want to be able to make my masters for pewter casting in house ~ these 3D and 2.5D relief designs ~ especially require smooth transition ~ Arcs ~ I believe is what it’s called ~ to minimalize steps in the cuts ~ precise small detail and smooth rendering of such contours ~ So in my researching for a controller that will do such smooth cutting ~ arcs etc… I came to decide the Smoothieboard and even more so the Azteeg X5 (as the X5 allows for even smaller stepping of the motors than the smoothieboard) ~ another factor, it seems, in getting the smoothest cutting possible.

I also determined that connectivity (usb data ~ this JSON server thingy you hinted at etc…) and a 32 bit processor is the way to go with cnc from here on out ~ an arduino/gshield ~ well ~ just won’t cut it ~ in my opinion.

Ok, interesting. So here’s some thoughts. If your main goal is smoother milling, you will likely end up with massive Gcode files with millions of tiny little movements. 3D printing files typically are way larger than CNC milling files due to this. With this being the case, you’ll run into the baud rate and processor speeds of the CNC device as your limitations. So, on Grbl/Arduino (328p processor) you’ll get 115,200 baud which is 0.1Mbps. On TinyG G2 you’ll get USB native speeds which will realistically run around 9Mbps on the Arduino Due processor (ATSAM3X) for feeding Gcode. Many 3D printer control boards had to read from the SD card to solve this problem. The CNC world typically isn’t having you load files on SD cards. So, the only CNC controller today that I think is worthy of your size of Gcode files is the TinyG G2. However, I’m not familiar with Smoothie enough to know whether they are enabling USB native speeds.

@jlauer I am pretty new to Google+ as well ~ most of the pirates are on #$@&%# FaceBook! So forgive me if I am repeating myself ~ as I didn’t comment as a reply previously.

Thanks John for your helpful feedback ~ I hope I will be able to return the favor by sharing what I learn of the smoothieboard ~ you comments are on track with what I have been focusing on ~ the matters of dealing with very large GCode files ~ yes, loading onto the SD card might be the best way to go ~ Smoothieboard suggest loading the SD card and then controlling with software like Pronterface ~ which supposedly can be used for CNC as well as printing and yes, handles STL 3D files.

As for USB communication ~ realtime GCode transmission ~ well that remains to be seen ~ I have not yet found the specs on SmoothieBoard/Azteeg X5 baud rates ~ both have USB ~ so I will continue to delve into the specs and look for others who are doing what I am wanting to do… I have come across a number of people who are trying to work Chilipeppr into this mix ~ it will be interesting to see what we come up with.

I just plugged in my Azteeg board and set up the config file etc… ~ Pronterface is reading it… (no motors connected yet as I am waiting for the X-Carve) so at this point I am just connecting with Pronterface ~ with success ~ well at least there is a connection!

I am trying to connect from Chilipeppr ~ but I get this warning ~ “You must connect to your GRBL device using the GRBL buffer algorithm in this workspace.” Since I haven’t really explored Chilipeppr much yet… I haven’t a clue how to do that. But Alas ~ I shall not give up the Ship! ;{)

@jlauer ~ so I found on Google groups where you mention something that I have been delving into throughout this day ~ John Lauer~ “Yes, you can run Rpi2 wirelessly. The reason is that all of the Gcode commands are actually buffered into Serial Port JSON Server (SPJS) and thus the network connectivity doesn’t have to be perfect, so wifi works fine.” ~

I am leaning to the RPi2 ~ sending the Gcode to the JSON server ~ not sure if that means that Chilipeppr actually is running on the RPi2 ~hmmm… maybe… if not then connecting from my IMac to the RPi2 (either usb, ethernet or wifi) ~ and having the RPi2 communicate with the Smoothieboard (Azteeg X5) via usb ~ n’es pas?!