Raspberry Pi to control GRBL based CNC machines - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Default Raspberry Pi to control GRBL based CNC machines

This is in response to a need by one of our members who bought a Chinese CNC machine with faulty GCode "remote" sender software. He isn't able to place a computer next to his CNC machine so this is how he could use a Raspberry Pi in lieu of a PC.

The GCode sender is bCNC, it would replace Candle. It works on Windows and Linux. The idea is that you put together a RasPi system and connect to the CNC GRBL based controller via USB. You'd use the SD Card reader (also works with WiFi, more on that in a sec) to load the file and send it to the GRBL controller. Here is a github entry that shows how to do this. I'd recommend getting the latest RasPi, version 4 but I suspect any of the earlier versions will work fine. I'd stick with RasPis that have WiFi (3 and 4, iirc). But the real beauty is that with Linux on RasPi, you get networking and thus can just send the GCode files from your PC to the RasPi machine and skip the SDCard route completely.

There are lots and lots of pages describing how to build a RasPi system. Google is your friend. You'll need a mouse, keyboard and monitor - you may have some or all lying around. They don't need to be high end.

Good luck.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 01:36 PM
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I have been wanting to play with RasPi for several years now but just haven't yet had a suitable project. I thought about using one to run some accessories on the CNC but went a different route. They look like they're a lot of fun!

David
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBa View Post
This is in response to a need by one of our members who bought a Chinese CNC machine with faulty GCode "remote" sender software. He isn't able to place a computer next to his CNC machine so this is how he could use a Raspberry Pi in lieu of a PC.

The GCode sender is bCNC, it would replace Candle. It works on Windows and Linux. The idea is that you put together a RasPi system and connect to the CNC GRBL based controller via USB. You'd use the SD Card reader (also works with WiFi, more on that in a sec) to load the file and send it to the GRBL controller. Here is a github entry that shows how to do this. I'd recommend getting the latest RasPi, version 4 but I suspect any of the earlier versions will work fine. I'd stick with RasPis that have WiFi (3 and 4, iirc). But the real beauty is that with Linux on RasPi, you get networking and thus can just send the GCode files from your PC to the RasPi machine and skip the SDCard route completely.

There are lots and lots of pages describing how to build a RasPi system. Google is your friend. You'll need a mouse, keyboard and monitor - you may have some or all lying around. They don't need to be high end.

Good luck.
My daughter, who is a Senior Network Security Architect, setup RaspberryPI V4 with Linux for me last November and I haven't found time to use it to this point. It has a keyboard, mouse & small monitor.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2020, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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I used one briefly with my GRBL based CNC machine though it was a RasPi V2 based system. My plan was to move my cnc machine out of the basement and down to my "bunker" (concrete 5 car garage that is my workshop). But decided I would upgrade to a bigger CNC machine so kept the old one in the basement and those plans went out the window. Not having WiFi is a PITA.

RasPi is an amazing little device if you tolerate Linux (I do, been using Unix/Linux in one form or another for 45 years). Worth spending some time to learn if you are any kind of maker/hacker/tinkerer. I also say that about Arduinos...

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
I have been wanting to play with RasPi for several years now but just haven't yet had a suitable project. I thought about using one to run some accessories on the CNC but went a different route. They look like they're a lot of fun!

David
If I were 30 again I'd have one and try everything I could make it do. Now I just don't have the time, or can't find the time to play with stuff like that.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 01:34 PM
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If I were 30 again I'd have one and try everything I could make it do. Now I just don't have the time, or can't find the time to play with stuff like that.
I have the exact situation, not enough time and the desire to try new things. I want things that work right out of the box or that use software I'm familiar with. I suppose this is a sign of old age!

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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That's funny. I'm in my 60s and love to play with new stuff, learn new things. And, to be honest, I love surprising my millennial kids when they see I'm on top of new stuff and they aren't. Don't suppose that will last forever though.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2020, 05:14 PM
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I have the exact situation, not enough time and the desire to try new things. I want things that work right out of the box or that use software I'm familiar with. I suppose this is a sign of old age!
Yup. One step more towards becoming a grumpy old fart.
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