Computer Numerical Control
before 2010 efnet #electronics and freenode #usb were the early cooking pots for addative manufacture. had noticed someone had made a hotglue wall from multiple layers, mentioned in #electronics about extruding plastic and a friend had mentioned to attach it to a cnc, i went to #usb channel and asked why usb is not used for cnc applications, the maker of the usb protocol said it would not work there was some heated discussion, #linuxcnc said it would not work either. left the topic alone for years while working in oil and gas industry to return to it one day, then it happened reprap was born. i had suggested using metal mig welders instead in #electronics,#reprap years later (metal printers were born).
Most commercial machines i’ve played with use mach3 and turbocad. Really good combination and is really nice to use / learn. for laser engraving and milling operations linuxcnc is easiest to setup and find userbase knowledge for heavier equipment, that being said usb and ethernet seem to be the new trend for cnc devices.
Arduino due have a pretty good ability to keep up with realtime laser/milling operations aswell because most things are buffered and with watchdog timer support stop operations can be instant.
For Linux some of the more popular options are
- Draftsight – like autocad (has trim and chamfer tools)
- Blender – with the ruler tool. (its becomming more popular with 3D printing)
Bipolar and Unipolar Stepper motors (how to test with multi meter and wire them to the driver board guide) (will be linked here when i get around to it) (one nice thing to remember is even larger steppers will still drive at lower voltage so use 5 volts when connecting before you go higher) and watch that the chips do not get hot and burn out.
I’ve tried many stepper drivers out and one of the best boards i’ve seen are the Mechantronics 4 axis cnc driver board(all the parts that can go are replaceable on it).
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/t8-diy-3-axis-cnc-milling-machine-w-arduino-and-grbl.html 140 dollar expandable all metal arduino cnc. could probably be easily modified to 3′ lengths.
was going to build one of these using winshield wiper motors and added optical encoders. some winshield wiper motors are capable of lifting over 140 lb at a reasonable speed using the built in wormgear reducer and extra gears.
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/CONQUER-NEW-Drill-Bit-Sharpener-5-64-to-1-2/182365550435 << itd be nice to 3d print these
purchased one like this to try with linux or a virtual machine.