Author Topic: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin  (Read 63387 times)

Offline karst.drenth

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GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« on: March 14, 2017, 21:38:46 pm »
Hi Guys,

I am Karst Drenth, pretty new on this forum. As a matter of fact my very first post ;)

While being a professional electronics engineer, I nowadays do a fair amount of programming professionally, that is.. since 35 years now.

So what does an electronics engineer do on a machinists forum ? Well, my big passion and hobby is modelrailroading. For that I design and build pretty much all of my own rolling stock and buildings.
Used to do that by means of the old handcraft of cutting styrene sheet in pieces and then glueing them back together again ;)

Until a week ago my machine-parc existed of a Silhouette Cuttingplotter and a 60W Lasercutter... For working on metal parts I own a mini-lathe and a small mill, both from Proxxon.

Then for a week or two I stumbled into EleksMaker's EleksMill, bought it from Banggood , assembled it and started playing with it :)



To play really nice I had to find some good software, since the EleksMaker soft is real crap.

As I also want to use the little baby for milling PCBs, I looked and found a Plugin for CadSoft's Eagle which produces nice clean GCODE. For operating the machine I used the Universal GCODE Sender...

After that, since I design all my stuff in AutoCad, I looked for good DXF to GCODE converters... alas... all free stuff looks crap to me.
Then I found CamBam...  ;D ;D  Took the 40x run free trial, and immediately was impressed with it. I made some train-window-glazing from clear 1.5mm acryllic... just using CamBam's GCODE uploaded by UGS.



Then I started to look around in the CamBam doc's ( pretty impressive also btw ;) )and...

Found this board ! About Plugins for CamBam. Immediately the idea of having an integrated GCODE sender inside CamBam kept my mind busy for a day or two. Then I sat down and wrote the plugin which I would like to share here with you guys :) Of course in the meanwhile buying The CamBam full Licence ;)

The Plugin installs a 3rd tab in CamBam's tabpanel. Inside the tab you'll find a couple of expanders:

Display      --> Shows an LCD display with the most important, realtime, data directly from the machine
Production --> This will be the actual GCODE sender. It's filename is integrated with CamBam's generated CGCODE file
Jogging      --> Lets you run around the machine, set it's working origin etc.
Console      --> Shows a commandline, from which you can enter and send GCODE directly to the machine and a log window for the commununication between the Plugin and the machine.
Connection --> Lets you select a comport and connect really to the machine. It has an auto USB recognition feature
About         --> Some words about the Plugin ;)

In addition to all those screens, I implemented the whole $?? properties to show in the CamBam Propertygrid. From where you can view and (!!) change the machine's settings.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/iBq3JN3S3mY" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/iBq3JN3S3mY</a>
https://youtu.be/iBq3JN3S3mY

So... feel free to try it out and please give me your opinion, tipos, tricks, bugs, etc :)

Grtzz,

Karst

P.S. The Plugin is far from ready. The Production Expander does not yet send anything to GRBL... ;) That's up for the next preview ( when and if you guys like my work ;) ) The plugin is ready as software can be ;)

[History]

15th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.0
16th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.2
19th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.3
20th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.4 and v0.9.4 source
20th Mar 2017: Re-uploaded v0.9.4 source
21st Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.5 and v0.9.5 source
24th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.6 and v0.9.6 source
26th Mar 2017: Attached v0.9.7 and v0.9.7 source
30th Mar 2017: Attached v1.0.0 and v1.0.0 source, including CamBam.CAD.Solids

[/History]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 21:37:12 pm by karst.drenth »

Offline lloydsp

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 22:16:41 pm »
Karst,
Welcome to the forum from a 'semi-retired' old EE.  I now make tools for the manufacture of fireworks... but since I've seen a bit of "fireworks" in my electronics background, it wasn't too great a leap.

Thank you for coming into the group with an offering!  It looks interesting (and looks like you did your homework!).

Lloyd
"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"

Offline dh42

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 00:21:22 am »
Hello

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for this nice plugin  :D ; I think it will be of interest for a lot of people.

++
David

Offline Bubba

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 00:23:40 am »
Karst,
Welcome to the CamBam family.
My 2ยข

Win 10 64 bit, CB [1.0} rc 1 64 bit, Mach3, ESS, G540

Offline dh42

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 00:32:05 am »
Re

I do not know if it is because I run it on Win XP (and CB 1.0), but after the plugin is installed, the Cambam colors are changed and the small icons for drawing objects, machining operations, layer, etc .. have disappeared from the tree at the left side (picture)

++
David

Edit: same with CB 0.98
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 00:35:09 am by dh42 »

Offline karst.drenth

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 00:36:13 am »
Hi,

Must be XP.

I switch CamBam into 'UseVisualStyles' to get nicer graphics.

But I'll make that configurable and off by default on XP ;)

Offline dh42

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 00:42:03 am »
Re

Ok, no pb on W7 all the icons are present ;)

Quote
I switch CamBam into 'UseVisualStyles' to get nicer graphics.

how did you do that ?

++
David

Offline karst.drenth

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 00:52:04 am »
Since 'InstallPlugin' is called with still no UI elements active, it is still timely enough to call Application.EnableVisualStyles. That's possible in all Windows Forms applications .


 https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.windows.forms.application.enablevisualstyles(v=vs.110).aspx

Offline lloydsp

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 02:13:19 am »
Oh, Karth!  You're going to be a treasure around here!   :)

Lloyd
"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"

Offline Dragonfly

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 08:48:25 am »
I am impressed. Nothing more to add.
And I think the forum got a valuable new member.

Offline jk

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 11:41:31 am »
It's the most radical integration in cambam I've seen )

I'm not in grbl, but think grbl users must be very interested.

IMHO machine control plugin shouldn't touch the visual style of host, it's the machine control plugin, not
a gui tweaker after all ) Better to hand off this job to another small and self-sufficient plugin.

Offline karst.drenth

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2017, 12:19:00 pm »
Hi All,

Thanks for the warm welcome :) 8)

@jk,

Agree, maybe it should in a separate plugin... although the machine control needs some UI tweaks by itsself. Anyway, in the version that will be here tonight, it's configurable ;)

I'll consider releasing the EnableVisualStyles plugin also separately  ;D

« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 13:15:50 pm by karst.drenth »

Offline Garyhlucas

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 13:33:44 pm »
A question a Grbl. I understand it is motion control software for the Arduino? I am guessing it doesn't have a user interface as such, hence your desire to build one in CamBam?
Gary H. Lucas

Have you read my blog?
 http://a-little-business.blogspot.com/

Offline karst.drenth

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2017, 13:54:04 pm »
Hi Gary,

Yep, that is correct. GRBL is motion firmware for Arduino based CNC-controller boards. It's only interface to the outside world is a serial connection, usually via USB.

So no (G)UI whatsoever.  Of course, one could build another Arduino sketch which has a display, buttons etc. This sketch would then talk to the GRBL Arduino trough their serial interfaces.

Offline BR52

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Re: GRBL v1.1 Machine Control and GCODE sender Plugin
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 16:22:31 pm »
Hi Karst,

Excellent idea, very radical!
Please see here: http://www.cambam.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3675.msg31647#msg31647

   Armando