Welcome to Our Community

Some features disabled for guests. Register Today.

BlackBox over Wifi

Discussion in 'Controller Boards' started by Efja, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Efja

    Efja New

    Sep 5, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Couple questions:

    Looking into the Lead 1010 with the BlackBox. I want to set this up remote in a shed and only have a desktop at the moment. Is it possible to control this with a Raspberry Pi ZeroW that I already have with camera installed for monitoring?

    Next question, is there any good literature to get started learning about the programming/hardware side of these CNC routers? I am an aircraft mechanic so feel comfortable with the mechanical side and most of the wiring but cannot for the life of me figure out how all these machines communicate and the programming behind it...
  2. Giarc

    Giarc Master
    Moderator Builder

    Jan 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I cant answer the Raspberry Pi Zero portion because I have never tried.

    The software is already to go for you. You just need to find a CAD package you like to design your parts you want to make. I like Fusion 360. It is powerful and free. Fusion 360 | Free Software for Hobbyists, Startups & Makers | Autodesk

    Most of the things I cut are made from sheet goods (lumber, aluminum, and plastic). Therefore, I quit making 3d models and now just export everything as a .dxf file and then tell my CAM software how deep to cut. I use Estlcam because I like its probing functions. There are lots of videos the creator of Estlcam made that will show a person how to do everything and there are more, including interesting product videos here. OpenBuilds recently came out with their own CAM package that looks great. At the top of this page you can click on the software tab. There is a thread about it here: OpenBuilds CAM Software
  3. Peter Van Der Walt

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

    Mar 1, 2017
    Likes Received:
    The Blackbox just runs standard Grbl over USB (FTDI) - you can connect to a Pi (zero may need a micro to usb hub)
  4. David the swarfer

    David the swarfer OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder

    Aug 6, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Sadly literature is hard to come by, or expensive in book form.
    Happily we have youtube and forums. On youtube look at the NYCCNC 'fusion fridays' series, some of them have some good basic info. Also Peter Stantons 'Edge Precision' channel has some in depth looks at the Gcode though it will be specific to the controller he is using. Though there is a standard for the language every manufacturer extends it to suite their machines.

    Few people program manually since CAM software is so easy to download (Computer Aided Manufacturing).
    Estlcam is pretty good with a subscription.
    Sketchup + SketchUcam plugin is free and pretty easy to use (even if I say so myself :)
    Openbuilds CAM is very easy to use and integrates with the machine controller very nicely
    Autodesk Fusion360 is free for personal use, a bit complicated but extremely capable.

    So what is Gcode?
    RS274 is the basic language. It consists of very short instructions boiling down to 'go somewhere fast' and 'go somewhere cutting at the given rate'.
    'go somewhere fast' is moves to the given co-ordinates (Cartesian co-ordinates) as fast as the machine can move and is not used for cutting.
    example 'G0 X1 Y5' will move till X is at 1 and Y is at 5. The numbers can be inches or millimeters and we tell the controller which one with G20 and G21 instructions.

    'go somewhere cutting at the given rate' is used for cutting and there are 2 basic forms, straight lines and arcs.
    a straight line cut could be (assuming mm)
    G1 X20 F200
    which will move X from wherever it is to 20 at a rate of 200mm/minute

    arcs are divided in clockwise(G2) and anticlockwise(G3)
    G0 X0 Y0
    G2 X50 I0 J25
    will tell it to cut an arc from 0,0 to 50,0 with its center at 0,25 (I and J are offsets and can be tricky to calculate)

    There are a bunch of supporting G and M codes to help us run the machine. Like M3 to turn the spindle on and M5 to turn it off.
    G21 to set mm mode, G20 to set inch mode, G90 for absolute coordinates (normal), G91 for incremental coordinates (dangerous) and so on. You can read about the ones GRBL supports on the GRBL wiki

    So what is a controller?
    This is an electronic device that interprets the Gcode into whatever electrical signals are needed for actual motion.
    This is a 'realtime' task, the sequence of pulses to tell the motors to move have strict timing requirements.
    This can be a whole PC running something like Mach3 or LinuxCNC, or an Arduino Uno 8 bit microcontroller running GRBL, a TinyG board, or many other devices. Industrial machines use a dedicated controller made by Fanuc/Siemens/Haas/and many others.
    Each have their ups and downs. Hobby machines usually use stepper motors with stepper drivers because they are cheap. Industrial machines tend to use servo motors and controllers which are fast and accurate and expen$ive.

    Openbuilds have just released the BlackBox controller. This is the brains of an Arduino Uno running GRBL married to 4 stepper motor drivers in one box. We feed it Gcode through the USB port. There are a number of GUI's for feeding the Gcode out the USB port including but not limited to the OpenbuildsCONTROL driver, bCNC ,Candle, UGS, GRBLPanel and others.
    I recommend you start with something simple like OpenbuildsCONTROL and get the machine doing useful stuff before worrying about any other GUI software.

    I hope that gives you some background to build on (-:
  5. joe williams

    joe williams Well-Known

    Nov 9, 2015
    Likes Received:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice