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View Full Version : Interesting Kickstarter project.



nirmal
21-04-2016, 11:53 AM
Disclaimer: I have no connection with this project whatsoever apart from being a backer.

I came across this kickstarter project which seems to promise to take most of the pain of setting up Linuxcnc for someone unfamiliar with linux. I thought folks here might be interested.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/necitec/up-to-4-axis-beaglebone-black-based-cnc-control
If you are interested, you might as well make use of the early bird offer and help them get up and running.

PS: I wasn't sure which area of the forum would be most appropriate for this so I've put it here in the general discussion section. Could a moderator please move it if it belongs elsewhere.

John S
21-04-2016, 03:13 PM
Be a good kickstarter project if they did it with a decent screen set instead of the AXIS one which is little more than etch-a-sketch on acid.

nirmal
21-04-2016, 11:11 PM
I emailed the designer of the board to enquire about support for spindle encoder input for thread cutting on a cnc lathe. Unfortunately this board does not support encoder input.

Despite this, it is probably still an excellent deal for a milling machine or a router if it does what it says on the tin. 150 or even less (after adding in the price of a beagle bone black) for a complete plug and play motion controller including software seems pretty good to me.

John S
21-04-2016, 11:50 PM
Still needs things like monitor etc.
Get one of these for 119 complete stand alone

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/50KHZ-CNC-4-Axis-Offline-Controller-Breakout-Board-Engraving-Machine-Control-System-Card/1000001500686.html

Jonathan
22-04-2016, 01:45 AM
I think the price they're offering it at is pretty terrible - he should be able to get that board made and populated in China for 5-10. That plus copying a bit of software on to an SD card ... doesn't seem right to profit so much from open source software.

Also, the board doesn't need the opto-couplers for the stepper drivers almost everyone uses, as they're already isolated. Remove those and the cost is now well below a fiver.

Leadhead
22-04-2016, 09:46 AM
John - Your Aliexpress "box" looks very neat. Could you elaborate on it a little please. i.e. some pics of your setup and a word or two about setting it up for my non electronic brain would be well recieved if you have a moment.

m_c
22-04-2016, 05:04 PM
I think the price they're offering it at is pretty terrible - he should be able to get that board made and populated in China for 5-10. That plus copying a bit of software on to an SD card ... doesn't seem right to profit so much from open source software.

Also, the board doesn't need the opto-couplers for the stepper drivers almost everyone uses, as they're already isolated. Remove those and the cost is now well below a fiver.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was a bit overpriced for what it is, however some people are happy to pay for an almost ready to run package.

If you read the full description, the step/dir outputs don't have optos.

nirmal
23-04-2016, 12:11 PM
I agree with you that it probably could be better specified, but I think his USP is that it comes with his custom made user interface which promises to make set up a breeze and is essentially ready to plug and play right out of the box. While this is no big deal for people with cnc experience or a technical background, it is quite attractive for non technical newbies like me as it makes linuxcnc a realistic option to try out for a relatively low cost which wouldn't be the case otherwise.

I think it is priced to recover development costs upfront, as there will be cheap clones appearing on all the popular far eastern auction sites within a few months if it is released commercially. I can't really fault him for that if it is his business plan.

I have one of the better specified aliexpress motion control boxes on order. It cost 114. If I get hit for taxes and duty, it will cost about the same as this so apart from needing a keyboard, monitor and mouse (which I already have lying spare) the costs are roughly in the same ballpark. It may or maynot perform better than this or the traditional parallel port PC/ Mach 3 solution but it is nice to have a choice that is usable for someone with rudimentary knowledge.

magicniner
24-04-2016, 12:59 AM
it is quite attractive for non technical newbies like me as it makes linuxcnc a realistic option to try out for a relatively low cost which wouldn't be the case otherwise.

You can download a bootable CD image with Linuxcnc and you can buy a very good second hand desktop PC for 50.
I'm a massive fan of component systems where all your eggs ( Pounds Stirling ) are not in one basket ;-)

- Nick

Fred
24-04-2016, 09:19 AM
I agree with magicniner. A cheap PC is much better. I tend to go for a Dell as even the newer ones can still come with a parallel port.

If you don't want a PC then something like a Smoothieboard gives you a lot more (like stepper drivers).

Boyan Silyavski
24-04-2016, 01:39 PM
I agree with magicniner. A cheap PC is much better. I tend to go for a Dell as even the newer ones can still come with a parallel port.

.


Had an old Dell P4 and 512Mb Ram. Windows Xp. Bought from boot sale for 20E. It was ancient when i bought it. Used it everyday on my CNc for a couple of years, no filter, no cover, no aspiration on machine. Once per year blow away the 20mm at least dust accumulated inside. Workshop inside 50 degrees C in summer, inside the Dell, who knows how much. Gave it to a friend for his machine. As i decided i need bigger monitor in the garage. So its still kicking. Meanwhile 2-3 dead expensive laptops, phones, etc. The ones that have "time fuse", when warranty expires, fuse blows :boxing:

So Dell is the Name.

Lee Roberts
24-04-2016, 02:23 PM
You can download a bootable CD image with Linuxcnc and you can buy a very good second hand desktop PC for 50.
I'm a massive fan of component systems where all your eggs ( Pounds Stirling ) are not in one basket ;-)

- Nick
And if you want to, you can boot from a USB stick as your hard drive giving you more towards an SSD hard drive with out the expense.

I watched this last night, if your a geek (I like to pretend I'm one) you'll enjoy it, it's the first quarter mostly as he's talking about LinuxCNC and the typical XYZ cutting machines we build, BUT he also covers other stuff that I think would be good for a few here to listen to, Linux not really being real time and so on.

Something else I want to say to people out there is, don't let the "Linux" in LinuxCNC put you off because it's not all about terminals, servers, typing commands and all the other things you would associate with "Linux"...

...what you on about yes it is, yea but only if you want to get into that side of it, once your booted up, your looking at a GUI in the same way you would be looking at Mach...if you wanted to you could also boot with a/the GUI for Linux, once booted up (like a windows machine) your looking at a traditional desktop your used to seeing, OK it's not cosmetically identical but it's the samething, so off you go using it like any other PC (Windows/Apple).

Final thoughts...
Watch the video, drop your thoughts on the associations, then go have a look at what exactly it is you'll be using with LinuxCNC because it's not geek (unless you want that).

https://youtu.be/LdJ8xjCJIGo

.Me

Neale
24-04-2016, 06:27 PM
I was also a bit surprised that someone is making a fuss about having a setup utility. My copy of LinuxCNC has one anyway, and it's really not that difficult to follow. I think that there is a reasonable argument that if you don't understand enough to fill in the gaps, then you probably don't understand the machine too well. But, folks have different ideas. I come from a very technical background; it's clear from some of the questions posted in this forum that many people don't.