Arduino confusion (CNC Shield)???

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I have been reading up on the Mach3 CNC software. It is my understanding that it only works with a parallel port. One free alternative (from my understanding) is an application called GRBL. It supposedly runs on the Arduino.

I have never used an Arduino before and know nothing about them. Is there a terminal software that runs over the USB to control the Arduino? Is that how the Grbl software is controlled?
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
You should buy a cheap Arduino Clone from eBay in case it blows. I think that GRBL hacks into USB port and then sends the data.
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Thanks was planning on it but that does not answer my question. :confused:
After flashing Grbl to your Arduino, connecting to Grbl is pretty simple. You can use the Arduino IDE itself to connect to Grbl. Experiment or play with it, just to see if you like it. Other serial port programs, such as CoolTerm or PuTTY, work great too. The instructions are pretty much the same.

  • Open up the Arduino IDE and make sure your Arduino with Grbl is connected to your USB port.
  • Select the Arduino's Serial Port in the Tools menu, as you would normally with an Arduino.
  • Open up the 'Serial Window' in the Tools menu.
    • If you are using Grbl v0.9, make sure to change the baud rate from 9600 to 115200.
  • Once open, you should see a Grbl welcome message like Grbl v0.Xx ['$' for help]. This means all is good! You're connected!
    • Make sure you change the "No line ending" drop-down menu to "Carriage return". If you are using any other serial port program, you must do the same.
    • If you haven't received the welcome message or some garbled characters, make sure that the baud rate is set at 9600 (or 115200 for v0.9+).
From here, you can simply start sending Grbl some G-code commands, and it'll perform them for you. Or, you can type $ to get some help on what some of Grbl's special commands are or how to write some of your machine settings into Grbl's EEPROM memory.

It hacks into Arduino serial monitor.
 

Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
Is there an app that runs on the PC too? Just sort of a "custom" terminal? How else could they get something like this?

upload_2015-12-24_19-42-29.png
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
GRBL application hacks into the arduino serial monitor and then it "writes" G Code in serial window the same way you would do it manually. That's why you need to have Ardunio serial monitor running otherwise the app won't work.
 
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Thread Starter

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,835
I sort of figured that. Terminal software alone is not going to display the image above. Is there a special controller application that runs on your PC that is hacking into the Arduino serial monitor? Seems there has to be. So it does not totally run on the arduino then, the UI is actually on the PC? Everything eles in the Arduino?
 

ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Nope,everything is done by the GRBL after you select the Arduino serial port and click "Open".

First you flash the arduino with grbl program after that you run Arduino IDE and open its serial window then you run"GRBL Controller" program which sends the gcode to arduino via the serial window.
 
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ISB123

Joined May 21, 2014
1,236
Yes there is a software acting like a GUI but its useless unless you have Serial Monitor running at the same time as the GUI program.
 

nerdegutta

Joined Dec 15, 2009
2,676
I got a home made 3D printer. To control the steppermotors, I'm using an Arduino with RAMPS 1.4 motor shield. To control the Arduino, I'm using a Raspberry Pi B+. I make my models in FreeCAD, import them to Cura, and saves them as G-Code. The RPi is connected to my network, so I start Pronterface, and open the models G-Code. Start the print and voila - I got my 3D model. :)

With a little bit of tweaking I think I can change the extruder with a Dremel like tool, and mill some PCB.

I sure would like to try.
 
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