Celtic Knots

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Mooselake
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Celtic Knots

Post by Mooselake »

Here's a quick project to exercise a controller update from 8b grbl to FluidNC on ESP32 hardware, a celtic knot made with Gearotic.

This is on a rotary axis BobsCNC Revolution, VCarve Desktop (whose rotary handling could be better, and maybe realize that there's more to life than 0-360 degrees) and a chunk of 68mm OD soft maple that's still too wet (the side you can't see split overnight) despite having dried since last summer, brushed out of the Mooselake Manor's driveway. The controller is a 240MHz dual core ESP32 (remember when a single core 120MHz Pentium was big bucks?) that also is running an onboard webserver. Fun stuff!

Kirk
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ArtF
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Re: Celtic Knots

Post by ArtF »

Good attempt anyway Kirk..

I love those ESP 32's.. I've been making LED lamps with them, wireless, dual core and only about 9 bucks apiece.. what's not to love..

Art
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Mooselake
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Re: Celtic Knots

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FluidNC uses one core to run the machine controller, and the other to run a web server with a pronterface like UI along with providing an onscreen log. Shame you didn't have one when first working on Mach3. That was around the time that 100MHz PCs were big performance and big bucks (or whatever slang is used for your local currency units).

I'm using a $10 arduino uno form factor board that goes by the name WeMos D1 R32, but it's derived from an 8266 board and wemos has nothing to do with it. Plugged into that is one of the ubiquitous CNC shield V3 boards (you have to clip and remove the through-hole resistor that's holds the driver enable at +5V, first try killed the wireless and probably other stuff on that board. I'm using it jumpered for 4 usable axes, although only XZA are in use. Took some fiddling and adult language to get homing configured, it's hard to find a gcode sender that supports fluidnc (latest UGS nightlies do, but watch out for jfrog randomly downloading ones from several years ago (cost me several days before I noticed the 2020 instead of 2022)). The machine has a sticky X home switch (replacement on it's way) that showed up a fluidnc bug (treats unable to handle a home switch stuck on, treats it as a hard limit failure, and locks up). Being a bit excessive (always amazed at how cheap this stuff is these days) I've got enough parts to build another 3 or 4 controllers, plus some devkit modules coming so I can upgrade my little Zenbot Mini (my prime gearotic machine from 2008, updated from LinuxCNC to grbl_esp32 last summer) from grbl_esp32 to fluidnc and keep the original module as a backup. Hmm, maybe it's time to install micropython on the busted one (processors and USB still working) and learn the snake language the kool kids like.

I've been having great fun typing commands like G1 X150 A12000 to round blanks, although the occasional senior moment and G0 A0 X0 can chew up some time. Never had an effectively infinite axis machine before. It's interesting how A is in degrees per minute rather than inches or mm, makes figuring feed rates interesting. I've notice they punted on arcs, G2/G3 doesn't seem to work with rotary axes, nor can you select something like the XA plane.

I should grind some drill rod and see if I can make a rotary axis gear. Hmm...

Kirk
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ArtF
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Re: Celtic Knots

Post by ArtF »

Kirk:

I never heard of it, went to look and I'm glad I'm no longer in CNC software, the world caught up and long passed me. :)

Looks like really good software.. Impressive

Art
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Mooselake
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Re: Celtic Knots

Post by Mooselake »

Today's microcontrollers are faster and cheaper than anything we had (I basically retired from programming for a second career a little before you retired), no more thinking that 10ns instruction times was super fast or how important it was to be good at keypunching. I occasionally wonder how my programming life would have been different if today's processors had existed instead of the assorted micro (mini, mainframe, exotic architecture) devices I worked on starting in the late 60s. Not too often, don't miss the long hours in cold computer rooms or excessive travel but the work was interesting.

Costs me about $20 to put together a 4 axis controller, as long as those little pololu driver boards are powerful enough.

A bit OT, but weren't you responsible for ArtCAM? It's morphed into the subscription product Carveco, and the manufacture of my newer baby router did a few months free deal with them.

Kirk
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Re: Celtic Knots

Post by ArtF »

Hi Kirk:

Nope, wasn't in ArtCam , though I knew the programmers, they quit and created Vectric, the ones who stayed must
be the ones your speaking of. I am a big fan of the new uProcessors, I love the ESP 32 for playing about.

I built a test flame bulb and am just building a larger one for a central post on my deck.. This was the test

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/fmPRWA7kF_E

Art
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Mooselake
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Re: Celtic Knots

Post by Mooselake »

Never knew that Vectric descended from ArtCAM, thanks! ArtCAM did get traded around for a while, as far as I can tell it became delcam, was bought by Autodesk and later discontinued (as Autodesk does), then was resurrected as Carevco. Somewhat small world, back when I was a college student and dinosaurs were still around I worked summers at the same place as, and for a short time shared an apartment with, the future founder of Autodesk.

That summer job was the first place I ever saw a CNC machine, they had a room full of bridgeports and a side business developing APT postprocessors. After the walkthrough they never let the punk kid near them again, I kept busy modifying a basic compiler followed by a translator for a non-procedural report language into massive COBOL programs running to thousands of lines. That cut a 12 hour tape job to under 2 hours, several hours of CPU time to 10 minutes, on a Univac 1108, back when mass storage was made out of machined sewer pipe.

5 DevKitC ESP32 modules showed up from Mouser yesterday, first one goes into the Bart Dring controller so I don't have to overwrite the working grbl_esp32 on the router that Gearotic was for.

Kirk
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