Sunday, September 15, 2013

Making chips with MachineKit

While I continue to work on building my linear delta 3D printer, John Prentice has hooked up a BeagleBone running the MachineKit LinuxCNC image to a mill and is making sawdust!  It's nice to see someone else actually moving motors and even better to see John actually making chips on a real mill!

John's mill has a standard parallel port step/dir interface, which he hooked to the BeagleBoard using a prototype cape.  You can see the Axis gui interface and the BeagleBone with cape starting around the 3:00 minute mark in the above video.  If you look closely at the cape, you can see some LS series logic chips to handle voltage conversion from the 3.3V BeagleBone GPIO levels.  While perhaps not strictly necessary (most PC motherboard parallel ports have had 3.3V levels for at least a decade), it's never a bad idea to have some protection between a chunk of silicon BGA with sub-micron features and a milling machine with lots of (electrically) noisy motors and long cable runs.

Kudos to John, and extra credit for making a video and sending me the link!  If you've got a BeagleBone driving actual hardware (3D printer, lathe, mill, or whatever), send me details along with some pics or a video so I can post some more success stories!

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