I cobbled together an Athlon X2 system from the Maker space with 4GB of RAM and installed Ubuntu 18.04, specifically for the CNC.
I will install the latest CNC software on it when I get chance.
The PC is under the 3D printer and has my name on the side of it (green tape).
Login password is “makerspace”, all lower case, if someone wants to install java and the CNC software before I can.
Curious as to how the CNC was setup, I started digging around the Internet to see what I could find.
This is what I found:
-The Arduino is using a Synthetos gShield to control the 3 steppers
-The Arduino is running Grbl CNC control software.
- The version we are using is very old (v0.8 at best b/c it’s stuck at 9600 baud)
- Newer versions are VASTLY FASTER and provide more ACCURATE movement
- Current version is 1.1
-The Linux box is running Java and "Universal-G-Code_Sender"
- It is also many versions behind current
- Newer version of Grbl require a newer version of Universal-G-Code_Sender
If the software was upgraded, our CNC would be VASTLY faster and more ACCURATE and would amount to a super awesome upgrade to the CNC with no cost and very little effort.
Here’s what I found when I looked at it with Kyle:
-Found CNC software. Big “G” icon in left icon bar.
-Swapped keyboard. “A” key and others were dead.
-Removed ball mouse (clogged with dust). It already had a USB laser mouse connected anyway.
-Power plug from CNC power box was plugged into itself. I unplugged it.
-Power plug connector was so corroded it was almost black. Sanded with sand paper.
-Power cable was too short to reach wall outlet. Kyle found a short extension cord and plugged it in.
-Stepper motor control shield was completely unplugged from Arduino board. Plugged it back in.
-Y-Axis was “stuck”. I unstuck it.
After all this, I was able to test the CNC live with the CNC software by sending it “Move” commands. All axises (X,Y,Z) have been confirmed to work I did not test the full range of motion though.
Here’s a question for anyone who can answer it…
Why is there a QUAD CORE 3.1 GHz i5 system being used to send TEXT documents to an 8-BIT CONTROLLER at 9600 BAUD !?! I have an Apple 2 circa 1984 that could do this job just as well.
There is a Pentium 4 sitting on the hack table (needs HD) that would be more suitable for this task. I could setup Ubuntu 18.04 on this box. (Ubuntu 15 is on the current system)
Just one more note of clarification; my recommendations of SandStorm or NextCloud do not need or require the removal of the existing NodeBB forum. Both could exist just dandy alongside of it. In fact, it might be best to do just that. NodeBB open to the public and SandStorm/NextCloud available to members only. Just one possibility.
Also, NodeBB is one of the web apps available within SandStorm.
Being involved in EdTech (Educational Technology) at TRU (my employer), I would like to briefly add some pros and cons to the discussion around using the Forum.
I would also like to recommend some open source software (Free as in beer) that can compliment the forum in ways that will address the “cons”.
-Forums are excellent mediums for discussion. Threads keep a discussion together.
-Easily maintains visibility of current issues/discussions
-Time based interactions get lost over time (loss of visibility).
-Most “modern” web based forums only have ONE level of threads. The old usergroups (NNTP) supported endless nested threads.
-Truly TERRIBLE for archiving documents
-Ineffective for sharing documents (lost within the thread, lost within time)
-Not effective for shared document creation
The primary “cons” that need to be addressed are:
-Visibility (to overcome deep discussions and length of time)
-Community/Shared document creation
There are two open source (free) systems that I would like to recommend:
In brief, NextCloud is a file sharing and sync server that is also a web app platform. New apps are always being added to the “store” for free and can be installed with a few clicks. Collabora, the web version of LibreOffice, can be installed into NexCloud. NextCloud is a well funded and very actively developed open source project.
in brief, SandStorm is a web app platform that has at least 58 web apps in its “store”, all for free. Any app can be installed with just a few clicks. Any document that has been created can be securely shared with anyone, even if they do not have an account on the system. In such a case that person would ONLY have access to that ONE document. SandStorm was designed with the intent of being a Google Doc replacement. It is extremely flexible and really has to be seen to be believed. The primary two developers work for CloudFlare and the core technology of SandStorm is used by CloudFlare. This corporate backing ensures SandStorm’s long-term development.
I have personally setup SandStorm on my own server (Toshiba laptop from 2007, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) for my own personal “stuff” and I use it everyday. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu (not really a Unix guy), installed sandstorm, screwed up my settings, manually removed sandstorm, reinstalled it and was up and running in Less than One Hour
I have also recommended it to the university and through that, TRU has implemented SandStorm. The Director of Innovation has said that SandStorm “…is the most exciting EdTech he has seen in over 10 years”! This is because of it’s instantly deployable services for educators and it’s long list of available web apps that can be instantly “installed”.
I would be happy to do a demo of SandStorm. Just let me know when would be a good time.
One last item of note:
I feel, the LAST thing we should be doing is paying for software or services when there are multiple excellent open source options available to us. There is a long list of things that real Money should go to rather than software.
@pierre Would those be Stinger hollow point rounds good sir?!
As for printing PolyCarbonate, is there a plan for a printer enclosure ? Without stabilizing (and increasing) the print volume temperature, printing PC will be VERY challenging!!
Also, do we have an all-metal hot-end? That will be needed as well.
Here’s some PolyCarbonate info I collected as well as an interesting alternative; ASA.
Good print Quality
Prints warp very easily if your not careful
Requires a printer enclosure
Requires an all metal hot end due to very high temperatures
Filament will degrade in the nozzle if printed too slowly
“Racid” smell when printing
295C Head, 110C bed (w/ glue stick)
Print Quality 16/20 (poor details & bridging)
Strength: 87KG (with enclosure, 76KG without)
Tips on Getting PC Prints Right
-Industrial UV resistant replacement for ABS
Does NOT SHRINK
excellent print quality
An excellent replacement for ABS and PET
Very high print & bed temps
ASA from rigid.ink
255C Head, 100C bed, 20% fan
Print Quality 19/20
Strength: 44.5KG @ 255C
Tips on Getting ASA Prints Right
The title says it all !
Here’s an article with video.