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G-Code streaming VIA USB
« on: April 09, 2014, 07:50:36 PM »
Hey guys...

Just wondering if anyone has tried the alternatives out there with any of the available 3D printer hardware.
basicly ditching the old and outdated serial ports for newer hardware.

OPTIONS:
 - Arduino Due and Ramps FD
 - Beagle Bone Black and T-Bone
 - Beagle Bone Black and CRAMPS
 
RaspberryPie and the Beagle Bone is just the beginning to these mini computing and slowly all side are joining in...
Intel already stepped up with the Galileo and Arduino is bringing their new Tre to the table.
And this is just the beginning !

Any of these options are mostly open source and fairly cheap!

Input please...
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 09:33:07 PM »
Adrian,
Sure looks like a big step backwards from Mach3 to me.  They certainly have their markets, but have no where near the features found in M3.
Regards,
John Champlain
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 11:54:19 PM »
Hi John,
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"

Currently its based on a parallel interface ( EPP Mode - 2MB/s ) which is poor by today's standard, even on the widely spread USB2 ( 35MB/s ) which is now considered a standard since everything is being further pushed towards USB3.0 ( 500MB/s).

In my head... a USB interface is easier to use then the bulky DB25 and also makes it easier to deploy almost any cheap laptop on the market.
The EPP ( Enhanced Parallel Port ) is the main drawback and with the prices of other "mach" specific hardware isn't so DIY friendly.

( By the means of "mach" specific hardware I'm referring to Smooth Stepper which are still sitting at around the $200 for even the counterfit ones on eBay, where as the Due and the shield is around $80 )
And as far as support goes its pretty rock solid as plenty of people are using it for 3D printing, which is similar process (instead of removing material your adding it)
The firmware is already in place for the Arduino Due and the RAMPS-FD shield to either run from the SD card on the LCD shield or the PC by the means of USB.

The software would have the same abilities on any similar hardware, and the only difference would be the response.
I would think that there might be a slight delay, BUT It's highly theoretical and doubt it as the the data path from the controller to the PC is 17.5X faster on USB2.0 VS EPP.

This way for those that would want to turn their mills to a 3D printer it would mean nothing more than to switch "plugins" in Mach 4 and swap out the router for an extruder.
I cant say the same for many of the 3D printers as not all of them would fair well if they were changed into mills as I first hand saw a few "woodie" builds over on the Reprap forums.

What im asking is if anyone has tried to use 3D printing hardware with Mach3 and what was the outcome.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 11:56:25 PM by _Adrian_ »
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2014, 09:00:05 AM »
Someone on the CamBam forum is using a board with GRBL firmware and discovered that it is woefully uner powered if the G-code contained arcs.

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Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 10:17:26 AM »
I used Mach 3 on a 3D printer without too many issues. It works fine.
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 11:52:36 AM »
Hi John,
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"


But it works! Why fix it when it ain't broke ?

I'm from a PLC, Z80 and PIC Chip programming background and think the toys of which you speak are OK but very limited in their capacity and capability, partly by what's done in making them accessible to those that would never get their heads around Ladder Logic, Statement List or Assembler programming.
JMTP,
Nick

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Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 12:43:37 PM »
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"

I've seen all the words before but not in this order. Can someone enlighten me as to what this is supposed to mean?
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 02:06:13 PM »
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"

I've seen all the words before but not in this order. Can someone enlighten me as to what this is supposed to mean?
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"

I've seen all the words before but not in this order. Can someone enlighten me as to what this is supposed to mean?

I think it implies that it's not as good as the stuff people are making slightly lumpy plastic models with, let's see 'em make stuff in Stainless Steel and Titanium like my poor old mill with it's Mach3/parallel port driven system does ;-)
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 02:21:03 PM »
In my mind Mach3 / Mach4 is nothing more than software over "metal"

I've seen all the words before but not in this order. Can someone enlighten me as to what this is supposed to mean?

Software is nothing more then the mere means of controlling the attached hardware.
yes, its a symbiotic "relationship"

I think it implies that it's not as good as the stuff people are making slightly lumpy plastic models with, let's see 'em make stuff in Stainless Steel and Titanium like my poor old mill with it's Mach3/parallel port driven system does ;-)

Knock it all you want...
Its all in the controller and feed rates as same as machining. put in a dull end mill and ramp up the feed and tell me what your "end product" looks like...

We can sit here and debate this all day till were blue in the face.
Each one has its pros and cons.
Me personally I like the idea of being able to choose either a 3D printer or a Mill just by switching software and the work end ( extruder or router head )
Re: G-Code streaming VIA USB
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 02:28:12 PM »
Also I'm talking about a DIY level here with smaller table top machines, not people that converted older CNC or Non-CNC machines over.

I worked on several CNC's ( HAAS, Milltonics, Weiler, Hurco, Johnford to name a few and now working for Mazak ) and its mainly the controls.
The machines as far as the "hardware" goes they still are based on very similar designs whetever its a mill or a lathe.

Basicly what im saying is...
By being able to stream the Gcode, it would open up the door to more cheaper hardware for DIY or entry level enthusiasts where its not going to cost them an arm and a leg.