Why Your CNC Needs a TinyG

CNC & Machining Technology
Why Your CNC Needs a TinyG

The TinyG is an embedded, multi-axis motion control system from Synthetos designed for CNC applications that require highly precise motion control for small to medium sized motors. The TinyG has been used with the Shapeoko and a previous version of the board was used as the basis for the Othermill electronics.

World Maker Faire TinyG Demos

TinyG Pendulum Demo

Synthetos recently released a new V8 version of the TinyG, which uses constant jerk acceleration planning for very smooth and fast motion transitions for any type of machine (as can be clearly seen from the videos). They showed off their hardware with three fantastic motion control demos at World Maker Faire.

TinyG Ping Pong Ball Drawbot Demo

TinyG Hammer Swinging Demo

Why It’s Awesome

Here are just a few features of the new TinyG v8 hardware, which sells for $129.99 and is available from the Synthetos webstore:

  • Constant jerk acceleration planning (3rd order S curves) for smooth and fast motion transitions (as can be clearly seen from the videos).
  • Microstepping up to 1/8 (optimized DDA makes this smoother than many 1/16 implementations)
  • 6-axis control (XYZ + ABC rotary axes) maps to any 4 motors
  • Very smooth step pulse generation using phase-optimized fractional-step DDA running at 50 Khz with very low jitter
  • Integrated motion control system with embedded microcontroller (Atmel ATxmega192)
  • 4 stepper motor drivers (TI DRV8818) integrated on a ~4 inch square board
  • Stepper drivers handle 2.5 amps per winding which will handle most motors up thru NEMA23 and some NEMA34 motors
  • Accepts Gcode from USB port and interprets it locally on the board
  • Networkable via SPI to support off-board devices and for networking multiple boards into multi-axis systems

[Features quoted from the TinyG section of the Synthetos site.]

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Anna Kaziunas France is interested practical digital fabrication focused project documentation (anything that turns codes into things), as well as adventures in synthetic biology, biohacking, personal genomics and programmable materials.

She's currently working on the forthcoming book "Design for CNC: Practical Joinery Techniques, Projects, and Tips for CNC-routed Furniture".

She’s also the Academic Dean of the global Fab Academy program, the co-author of Getting Started with MakerBot and compiled the Make: 3D Printing book.

Formerly, she worked as an editor for Make: Books, was digital fabrication editor and skill builder section editor for Make: Magazine, and directed Make:'s 2015 and 2014 3D Printer Shootout testing events.

She likes things that are computer-controlled, parametric, and open— preferably all three.

Find her on her personal site, Twitter and Facebook.

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