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BlackBox software

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by Joe Reed, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Joe Reed

    Joe Reed New
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    I am in the process of replacing a control board on a CNC router. The control board is a Chinese board running Mach3 with a parallel port. For replacement, I am looking at the BlackBox motion controller. The software I use are V Carve, Fusion 360 and CorelDraw.

    Having no experience with control boards and compatible software issues I am not sure that the BlackBox is my solution. I understand that you design in CAD and proceed to CAM software in your computer. Next comes some form of gcode software. But what happens after that is not clear.

    BlackBox is appropriately named from my view. Is the gcode software in the BlackBox? Does the maker load the gcode or the user? What gcode is best for my software?

    It appears to me that all the videos and articles I have reviewed just assume that you know how gcode works with CNC. An explanation of how the BlackBox works regarding gcode would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Master
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    V carve and Fusion both have cam functions and produce g-code that is compatible with grbl. The blackbox runs grbl. Openbuilds has free software (Openbuilds Control) that will send your g-code to the blackbox.
    Someone cleverer than me can give you more detail, especially regarding interfacing with your Chinese cnc.
    Alex.
     
    Joe Reed likes this.
  3. sharmstr

    sharmstr Master
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    Its really no different than what you have now, except for instead of running Mach3, the BlackBox runs GRBL. As Alex said, whatever CAM software you use, it needs to be able to produce GRBL compatible gcode. Once you have your gcode file, you need a way to send it to the BlackBox. There are many grbl compatible gcode senders. OpenBuilds has one called Control. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

    For what I know of Mach 3, its interface is much more advanced (i.e. has more features) than probably any grbl software and for sure more advanced than OB Control. So, you really need to research that aspect before committing to a grbl based solution.

    Also, you should see if the BlackBox is even the best solution for your hardware. Since you havent told us what hardware you have (motors, how many axis, power supply, etc) its hard to tell you if its right for you.

    Dont get me wrong. I'm super happy with my BlackBox/Control setup. But I would hate for you to be disappointed/frustrated with the lack of features that you might be used to with Mach3. It certainly took me awhile to get used to only having basic functionality when I'm used to my Tormach which is feature rich.
     
  4. Peter Van Der Walt

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

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    Lol! Funny one that!

    1) Check the BlackBox Documentation: https://docs.openbuilds.com
    2) Check the Grbl Documentation: gnea/grbl
    3) Watch the Hello World video:
     
  5. Joe Reed

    Joe Reed New
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    Alex, Does OpenBuilds Control or OpenBuilds CAM Gcode require internet connection when using your CNC router?
     
  6. Peter Van Der Walt

    Peter Van Der Walt OpenBuilds Team
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    CONTROL: No internet needed but PLEASE do get it online every now and then or at least download latest releases regularly - there are regular updates and we would hate to hear "it doesnt work" and then find out you are running 50 versions behind (;
    See OpenBuilds/OpenBuilds-CONTROL for an idea of the release history
    CAM: That is web based, but download the gcode onto a flash drive and take it to the PC in the garage
     
    Alex Chambers and sharmstr like this.

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