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Topic: another cnc mill questionaire (Read 32 times) previous topic - next topic


for me it was the intellectual challenge of implementing it all
you still need something that sits between EMC2, which is software, and the steppers (raw hardware)

the Arduino + EasyDriver combination provides the equivalent of commercial setups like Gecko at £ several hundred

Further most commercial software needs to use the parallel ports as all the timing is done on the PC and you can't wait for USB/serial ports to catch up

by offloading the signal generation to the Arduino, you remove this problem at a stroke

but more than all that see reason 1 above!
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't


hi again, just back from working on the mill/router.

"I plan to use the limit switches as home so I'll position the workpiece, then home all the axes, then off we go". -> thats nice. would you keep me informed when you implimented this feature?

why i did not consider emc2: simply because of (1) i am an idiot, (2) because i started doing things with arduino some weeks ago, (3) because when i googled for arduino and cnc all the wonderful machines like makerbot, reprap,... came up and i thought that arduino would be perfect and (4) during googeling i stept over emc but the moment i read linux i went somewhere else.

i was and am very glad when you replied to my thread here, as you kindly provided me a good starting point for all the cnc stuff. thanks to you i will have a closer look to emc the next time - we´ll see.

have a nice evening!


Well, the intellectual challenge part I can understand, but I think you'll quickly run into the limitations. A microprocessor simply doesn't have what it takes to do the trajectory planning etc. that is required of any capable CNC machine. As for running linux, it was a no-brainer for me. I popped the live CD in, did the install, ran EMC's configuration wizard and was running within an hour. As for the extra hardware the only thing required besides the stepper drivers was a breakout board for the parallel port.
Again, I'm not dissing the whole idea of CNC on the arduino, just pointing out the deficiencies. I am in fact working on a single axis arduino controller for a digital positioning system, the reason I dove into this microcontroller business. I'll post it here when it's done.
Good luck on your endevours! I'll be watching to see what you come up with.  :)


do you mean, that if i want to use emc i can use my easydrivers and only need a parallel breakout box? could you provide me a link of such a box? as my netbook does not have a parallel port - is there a usb solution available or would i need another pc?


Yes,all you would need is the BOB. Here's the one I use: http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product_info.php?cPath=33&products_id=45. A BOB can be very simple and you could easily build one yourself also (see this site: http://pminmo.com/.
You would definitely need a parallel port however. It's a shame they are being eliminated in newer computers as they are the easiest output to deal with for external devices. Fortunately there are plenty of free or cheap cast-off computers available that will do a fine job. Another option is to add a PCI parallel port card although that wouldn't be an option with a netbook. In case you haven't found it yet, CNCzone.com is the most comprehensive site for all things CNC.

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