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IMAG1181

Anyone familiar with CNC routers knows they generate a lot of dust. Most machines also require a dedicated computer to run them, which usually gets filled with that dust. Kevin Osborn from Wyolum got tired of this never ending cycle and used a Raspberry Pi and AlaMode shield (available in the Maker Shed) to network enable his ShapeOko CNC machine. This way he can box up the electronics, send G-Code wirelessly over his network. The Raspberry Pi then controls the machine leaving his good computer clean and available for other tasks.

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The Raspberry Pi acts as the host for the system and loads the G-Code into the AlaMode running GRBL, an open source CNC control program from Synthetos. The grblShield then amplifies the pulses and drives the stepper motors on the ShapeOko. According to Kevin, “this is of the simplest and most rewarding applications of AlaMode.” While there is only an initial overview of the system on the Wyolum site, Kevin promises to have more details and a how-to for sending G-Code over the network available shortly. I’m looking forward to it!

Michael Castor

I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I’m a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.


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Comments

  1. Jack Van Gossen says:

    This is very cool, and looks like it would be a good way to free up a computer for other tasks, but I’d still build an enclosure for any small CNC router like this. Dust isn’t a hazard only to computers.

  2. Badboy says:

    Hmm.. Good, but seems like overkill. I’ve been using an opernwrt flashed 703n ($22 delivered) router hooked to my oko for about 6 months. After the decision about which way to use it (initially I was thinking custom web interface to do the g-code upload or usb over ip), I settled on remserial. Basically I have it setup to share serial port on the router end, and connect to it from my main box. SD card via the usb on the router is something I have been thinking about, but I prefer to stream it from the box I generate the code on anyway. I have to admit tho, that sandwhich of stepper board/duino/rpi looks sweet but.

  3. Pi says:

    They have some talk on http://www.mycncuk.com for diy cnc routers and using Pi.

  4. dinesh babu says:

    i m doing project work on fabrication of 3 axis cnc profile cutter(functional prototype).please suggest me if some new technologies are there.

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