Over the last month or so, I have been working on making parts for a new machine, which will be a 12 foot long rotary plotter. Although some folks will say that a plotter is not a CNC machine, I think it is.
Concerning many of my projects (with the exception of the spring bender CNC), the problem has always been reinventing the wheel to use the Propeller. Linear interpolation, circular interpolation, ramps, feed rates, and the code required to support these items, has been an issue that has plagued me for many years now. Life is too short to remain stagnant and I must move forward, so I will be taking a different approach this time around.
My new approach will be to combine the assets of the Propeller, with the assets of the Arduino Uno. In essence, I will be using the Propeller for all interfacing needs and I will be using an Arduino Uno to control all movement. I believe I know the Propeller well enough to create many interfaces and solve many interfacing needs. As for the Arduino Uno, I am simply going to load it up with GRBL, set configurations to match specified parameters, and wire it up to the machine, regardless of whether it is a 3D printer, CNC mill or router, or a simple plotter. The Propeller interface will be responsible for serially sending G-Code commands to GRBL for machine processing.
The more I think about this plan, the more I like it. It seems and sounds like a no muss, no fuss, solution to fast and easy development of small machines. If you have any feed back to this plan, please share your thoughts.
By the way, just as soon as the spring weather warms up a bit, I will be making some of my promised videos, which will include metal melting, casting, the spring bender CNC in action, as well as various other tid bits.