From this other long thread
(that I don't want to hijack too much), I want to make a Propeller version of the Thing-O-Matic controller (Arduino based).
This is all new to me, but I think this is the concept:
As I understand it, you can use software such as MACH3 on a PC to generate gcode that tells the tool exactly what to do. You then copy the gcode onto an SD card and stick it in the Prop controller. The Propeller will then send signals to the stepper controller to move the tool around.
The Thing-O-Matic just does 3D printing, but I'm hoping the Zen kit I've ordered will also double as a basic CNC machine for soft materials.
But, instead of just doing what the Arduino unit does, I'd like to add in extra functionality...
What makes sense?
VGA/KB/Mouse interface? - use a computer monitor to see what's going on and manually control
(or does TV/KB/Mouse sound better?)
Network interface? - use a PC web browser to to see what's going on and manually control
Or, does a little, say 3.5" touchscreen interface make more sense?
Is sound output important?
I think you could use a PC to control the system and not use the Propeller at all.
But, the Thing-O-Matic people seemed to think that a microcontroller based approach is better.
I'm hoping that more people feel the same way...
Maybe there's only a handful of people out there thinking about this too, but I'd like to hear any opinions on the right direction.