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IndustryArena Forum > OpenSource CNC Design Center > Arduino > Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.
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  1. #1
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    Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    Hello everyone.

    I´ve been asked if there is any standalone GRBL Arduino system.

    As far as I know it always requires a PC to upload the pattern program to be executed and that it is specially needed for long programs.

    Any comment on this please.

    Regards.

  2. #2

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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    With GRBL running on a micro-controller it has limited resources so it only takes a streamed g-code input. I am currently running on a Protoneer Raspberry PI shield w/external driver board on a mini mill and that makes it 'standalone like' and still gives plenty of software options and very reasonable for price. With network/WiFi it allows for great remote control/monitoring and can even do pendant control from a cell phone 8^)

    https://wiki.protoneer.co.nz/Raspberry_Pi_CNC

  3. #3
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    You can buy standalone grbl controllers on AliExpress. Basically a grbl board with a secondary controller board connected via serial port. The secondary controller is usually STM32 based with lcd panel , interface buttons and a sdcard that holds the gcode.

    Another way is to look at the esp32/grbl version. The gcode can be run from external connected sdcard and has a built in web interface

  4. #4
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    Take a look at grblHAL. It is a 32 bit verison of GRBL that runs on a number of ARM and other microcontrollers. It supports SD Card source for GCode. It also supports an Ethernet interface so you don't need to have the PC next to the machine and you could load the GCode over Ethernet. https://github.com/terjeio/grblHAL

  5. #5
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    Thanks for all your comments.

    To further give you an idea of what I want to do is to control a chain quilter as the one depicted to produce the patterns shown on the other pictures.

    While some figures might appear easy to manufacture, they are not. The reason being that the design of those machines complicates adaptation of any transmission because, among other reasons, the X & Y axes do not advance the fabric the same length per turn, let alone the fact that fabrics stretch and bend.

    I already comercialize systems that deal with that problem but are focused on those who manufacture a large number of patterns. Considering this five (4 really as the straight line free runs the Y axis and totally disables the X axis) are by far too expensive.

    I´m already working on the design of a PIC based system that works reasonably well dealing with straight lines but arcs are quite another thing.

    To give you an idea, while pattern CEBOLLA using either my code or NG code the program is 5 instructions long, by using straight lines to give me the same result requires a program 1785 steps long.

    Any ideas will be welcome.

    Regards.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    Any G-Code based controller (including GRBL) that can do arcs can trace those lines with a high degree of accuracy. Also, different gearing for the axes is not a problem - each axis can be controlled independently You tell the controller, for each axis, how many steps to go 1 mm (or inch). In your G-Code you specify how far to go and the controller sends out the right number of steps.. I'm not sure about fabric stretch but that could probably be compensated in G-Code.

    I wouldn't try to write a controller from scratch - even an Arduino Nano with GRBL ($3) could run a machine like that. I would spend my time figuring out how to create the G-Code to run those patterns.

  7. #7
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by philba View Post
    Any G-Code based controller (including GRBL) that can do arcs can trace those lines with a high degree of accuracy. Also, different gearing for the axes is not a problem - each axis can be controlled independently You tell the controller, for each axis, how many steps to go 1 mm (or inch). In your G-Code you specify how far to go and the controller sends out the right number of steps.. I'm not sure about fabric stretch but that could probably be compensated in G-Code.

    I wouldn't try to write a controller from scratch - even an Arduino Nano with GRBL ($3) could run a machine like that. I would spend my time figuring out how to create the G-Code to run those patterns.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Based on experiences from friends attempting to use, let me call them standard CNC controllers, to process fabrics, the final results are not good enough.

    As I mentioned before the problem of stretching and quite a number of other factors complicate any automation in the garment business. That´s the reason you don´t get to see many automatic machines for this industry and the ones offered are usually very expensive.

    Due those mentioned problems and the fact that full retrofitting of mechanical machines is out of the question for many small family businesses in Latin America I decided to develop a system small enough to help them increase their production capabilities while also improving their quality.

    I already have a library of over 50 patterns for unidirectional chain quilters that are my current target. I have the DWGs, DXFs and G listings as I have to produce this latter ones to postprocess them to finally get the GP code required for my machines. GP is my proprietary language.

    A system preloaded with 4 patterns selected through a rotary switch can be very appealing.

    Optional additional patterns selected from a USB memory stick would be a bonus.

    I still haven´t looked for any software protection for GRBL systems but as they are Open Source and the license requires that any development made on this platform should be made available to anyone perhaps it is not be the right choice for what I intend.

    In any case I will continue this project to the end. There is much to be learnt here.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Regards.

  8. #8
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    Re: Question about GRBL Arduino CNC systems.

    I still haven´t looked for any software protection for GRBL systems but as they are Open Source and the license requires that any development made on this platform should be made available to anyone perhaps it is not be the right choice for what I intend.
    You could use standard grbl (or any other type) for the cnc controller and a second controller as front end. You can protect your software for this second controller the way you like. Doing this, you "only" have to focus on the missing part. For the front end you can choose a simple arduino controller, raspberry or PC or etc.

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