Hi all, just joined the forum and have a question, apologies if I am asking in the wrong forum.
I built a CNC a couple of years ago but had to dismantle it due to moving to a smaller flat but now want to build a smaller one. As I am limited in space and don't have a Windows/Linux PC any more, I use an iMac, I was wondering if there is a way to run the CNC without connecting it to a PC.
I can generate the G-Code on my iMac running WinXP in Vbox or on my old Vista laptop but neither has an LPT port.
I have a TB6560AHQ (12-36V, 1.5-3.5A) driver board and 3 Nema 23 stepper motors.
Thanks in advance.
You can use the Planet CNC MK2 controller with an SD card addon to run the gcode without needing it connected to a computer.
Alternatively, as it connects with USB you can use it with the Mac running Windows virtualised as well. Comes with it's own software which is quite good but not quite got the versatility of Mach or LinuxCNC just yet.
I've just picked up two of those from Zapp Automation. A bit overkill for what I need personally but I can always make use of them as things progress.
Obviously it'd mean buying a new controller though.
Thanks for the reply, that's a bit expensive for occasional hobby use but at least now I know there are things that I can use. I'll see if I can find anything cheaper.
Originally Posted by EddyCurrent
Thanks for your reply Roadrunna, I'll head over there later and have a good read.
Originally Posted by Roadrunna
If you don't6 mind me asking, how much did you pay for the boards?
£190 + VAT each from Zapp. That comes with the software licence as well so if you factor in what should/would have been paid for a Mach licence it's not too bad.
The software is quite nice and it's still under further development with new features that look quite promising.
I like the idea that it's shifted on from the whole parallel port requirement and there's a load of inputs/outputs that can be used with the board. One of the other benefits of course is with the SD card addon it can be a stand alone machine. Great for production run kind of stuff or computer in the house, machine in the garage/shed etc.
Mach3 costs 190 quid on it's own so the card and software for the same price sounds good. Mind you, I used LinuxCNC, which I think is excellent as a freeware. Also, as it's only a hobby, I'm not sure if I can justify paying out that much money. I'll definitely keep it in mind though, might be something to go for in the future.
I hope it's ok to post a link here but just wanted to show the sort of things that I use the CNC for and also want to use it for engraving on copper and brass. At the moment I etch the copper and brass but want to get away from all the harmful "acid" stuff. Some of my etchings are on that link as well as the first CNC I built.
TankyTurk's Hobbies.: Some of the things I made with the CNC.
If you can live with running it from the Mac and not having it standalone then they do also have cheaper lower spec boards. There's the MK1 which is 4 axis for 69 euros + 69 euros for the software.
I can't use it with the Mac, they will be in different rooms.
What I was thinking of was doing the drawings and generating the G-code on XP running on the Mac in Vbox and saving the G-code on SD or USB stick and then some sort of board that sent the code to the CNC independent from a PC.
Do I need their software to use these boards?
I think so, You'd need to ask on their site to be certain.