RiceCNC is a system for controlling Computer Numeric Control (CNC) milling machines having a low level step/direction or discrete stepper motor drive interface. Because USB delays prevent direct motor stepping, this integrated hardware/software solution uses an intermediate micro-processor board to relieve the host computer and USB interface of real-time considerations.
An inexpensive ($26.95) Digilent "Chipkit" UNO32 µP board is available from Newark element14 or directly from Digilent. The high end 32 bit µP has impressive performance capable of micro-stepping four or more motors concurrently at high audio frequency while interpolating linear and cubic bezier paths with double precision at a rate of 500 times a second.
The required UNO32 firmware is included in the application package. A companion product, the "Uno32-DB25 Connection Kit" is available on eBay that provides cables and connectors facilitating easy interconnection of the UNO32 with a typical motor driver board having a 25 pin parallel input, e.g., HobbyCNC and MaxNC. It also enables connection to relays and driver boards having current-loop inputs, e.g., CW230.
The app supports interactive jog, run, linear, circular and drill cycle coordinated movement for simple machining operations. Multi-touch trackpad dragging can be configured to control continuous jogging such as to follow a pencil line.
For more complex and repeatable operations, the app supports CNC programs using a subset of the RS-274 (G-Code) dialect with many extensions for program control, cubic bezier curves and readability.
Firmware performance improvements provide faster and smoother motor stepping. Default interpolation rate is raised from 500 to 4,000 per second. Fixed bug with M4 (CCW spindle rotation).
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- Last changed:
- Jun 07, 2013
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