Is LinuxCNC right tool for load / unload?

14 Mar 2017 12:43 #89581 by joemc
Hi. I'm new here. I have been running CNC machines for close to 20 years.

I'm interested in creating my own one day, but I'd first like to create a load / unload machine for sheet metal laser I already have.

I figured using LinuxCNC to create my load/unload machine would give me experience I can use when I go to create my own CNC machine.

A load / unload machine cannot run purely off of g-code. It needs to respond to inputs. I have found a few examples of using python with LinuxCNC to do this, but they did not give a lot of details.

My question is, is this possible with LinuxCNC and would you recommend it? Could you recommend a better (easier ?) solution to controlling stepper motors for a project like this?
14 Mar 2017 17:27 #89615 by andypugh
You could definitely use linuxCNC. You could even use G-code, and the M66 "Wait on Input" commands to run the cycle based on button presses.

It might make more sense to use something like an Arduino, though.
The following user(s) said Thank You: joemc
16 Mar 2017 16:58 #89755 by joemc
Thank you for reply.

Does LinuxCNC provide an environment where I can write a C program to send step, and dir signals?

or even better would be a system call to send a MDI command?

C would be great but other languages are fine.

something like below:

if (a==b)
else {...}
16 Mar 2017 18:12 #89761 by andypugh
Yes, you can send MDI commands from the Python interface:
The commands are easily added to the callback handler in a GladeVCP panel.

Alternatively you could write a HAL Component in C which created HAL pins that you could connect directly to a stepgen in HAL.

(Or, in fact, both, or even the middle-ground of a userspace Python HAL component: )

I think that I would be looking at the GladeVCP panel, but that does require the motion module to be loaded to allow G-code to run. The other approaches only require HAL.

There is a tutorial here on creating a custom GUI from scratch. You might want to start a little simpler, perhaps with a simple embedded tab.

Incidentally, there is a very similar discussion on the mailing list,
There are replies, but I can't figure out how to get a threaded view in that interface.
The following user(s) said Thank You: joemc
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