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Black Box vs. RPi CNC Board / Hat

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Koomoa, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Koomoa

    Koomoa New
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    I have been slowly building a CNC router, off and on for the last two years. I recently discovered the Black Box MCS on the site, and was wondering if that would be a better alternative to the CNC controller I have been piecing together.
     

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  2. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Project Maker Builder Resident Builder

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    You are quite far along :) otherwise BlackBox would have saved you a tonne of wiring

    In terms of capabilities, if those are DQ/M542s then its about equal. Have a look over OpenBuilds BlackBox 4X Documentation for all the details

    Pi can be a little slow for decent software sometimes to be honest - we prefer wiring Grbl over USB to a proper PC instead.
     
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  3. Koomoa

    Koomoa New
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    Thanks for the info, I'm struggling with setting up the software on the Pi, and I was really wondering if I would have an easier time with Black Box.
     
  4. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Project Maker Builder Resident Builder

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    :) Absolutely: See docs.openbuilds.com/blackbox

    1) Plug BlackBox into USB
    2) Install drivers (section 4.1 and 4.2 of docs.openbuilds.com/blackbox)
    3) Download OpenBuildsCONTROL from software.openbuilds.com
    4) Connect! Done, that it

    We love Pi, but CNCs are surprisingly heavy on resources (keeping that serial stream flowing to prevent buffer underruns, parsing feedback, 3d previews, a lot going on) so we don't recommend them and therefore don't do a lot to support them
    CONTROL does run on a Pi: See OpenBuilds/OpenBuilds-CONTROL but note the warnings at the top, totally no support for Pi use, don't even ask if something doesnt work :) and you are on your own with the instructions (which was last tested in July last year! Fair warning - you solve any dependencies yourself hehe)

    Also see OpenBuilds® for some videos of the BlackBox setup + software setup and loading Grbl configs
     
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  5. RV6APilot

    RV6APilot Well-Known
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    I was going to go a different way with my machine but the good people here and with their advice I went the BlackBox route
    and have never looked back. This little box is amazing. It is every bit as good as my G540.
     
  6. rscamp

    rscamp Well-Known
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    The Blackbox is very easy to use and inexpensive for what it does. I started out putting an RPi together with the Protoneer HAT using a kit and software package from Buyapi.ca. Since the software package was quite complete wasn't that hard getting it to work and I enjoyed putting a console together. But it still requires external drives, wiring, enclosures, etc. which requires more effort and money. Overall, using the Blackbox is simpler and less costly.

    The Blackbox is running the Workbee 1050. I'll use the RPi console and internal drives (small 3-axis machine only) or external drives for some future project...
     

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