LinuxCNC vs GRBL

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03 Mar 2020 15:49 #159083 by jaguar36
LinuxCNC vs GRBL was created by jaguar36
I've built a CNC router that I've been using for the last year or so and have been fairly happy with. Its currently running off a GRBL with Bcnc which seems to work well. I'm contemplating doing a pretty substantial upgrade (new frame/spindle) on it, and am kicking around the idea of switching to a Mesa ethernet card and LinuxCNC.

I'm trying to understand what the benefits of LinuxCNC would be, and am surprised that there isn't more information comparing the two. LinuxCNC obviously has alot more functionality, but for a simple 3-axis stepper based router I'm not sure I need any of it.

Are there any compelling reasons to switch?

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03 Mar 2020 18:00 #159091 by BeagleBrainz
Replied by BeagleBrainz on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
Backlash compensation.

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03 Mar 2020 18:55 #159097 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
The list would be to long.
some of it:
Rigid tapping
Threading
Closed loop servo control
Extremely versatile
Able to be modified to almost whatever you can think of, or might need, with some work of course

If you intend to add a toolchanger or 4th or 5th axis later, you will be all set, again with some work and reading.

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03 Mar 2020 19:09 #159098 by Todd Zuercher
Replied by Todd Zuercher on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
Threading and rigid tapping aren't too important for a router, but here are a few things that separate a cheap router from very nice machine.

Tool compensation (not just length but diameter as well)
Tool table
Multiple work coordinate systems
Automatic tool changer
Automatic tool length measurement
Probing
Closed loop feedback
Absolute encoders (never need to home)

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03 Mar 2020 20:08 #159100 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
Plus the ability to do anything you want because the Architecture allows you to easily write a component and install it in hal where it is treated as if its part of the core code.

Plus having enormously more power in the PC architecture.

Granted you can modify the Grbl Arduino Source but if you approach it from looking at what Grbl can't do like I did when choosing a platform, you would never use it in the first place.. I didn't anyway despite being an Arduino fan. Maybe for a small 3D printer....

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03 Mar 2020 21:00 #159109 by BeagleBrainz
Replied by BeagleBrainz on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
Unless you have the skills of The Woz there’s not a great deal that can be added to grbl.

The downside of Linuxcnc is that it’s on the big scary Linux platform that is so hard to learn and only neck beards who live in their mums basement, because upstairs is for the cats, and live on sugar, salt, oil and spuds.
Na Linuxcnc is flexible, but you have to spend time learning.

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03 Mar 2020 21:42 #159115 by tommylight
Replied by tommylight on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL

Na Linuxcnc is flexible, but you have to spend time learning.

I can not recal anything more usefull in my life that i learned and used every day, and i learned a lot, i still do, but now :
Powered by Linux !
Nevermind, i used strictly Linux for nearly 2 dekades, so i am biased, a lot, especially after owning 3 computer shops for nearly 6 years working for some of the biggest organisations in the world as an IT admin, and loosing my health and sanity dealing with all the cra................

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05 Mar 2020 13:07 #159251 by jaguar36
Replied by jaguar36 on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
Thanks for all the replies!

Looks like there are a ton of great features on LinuxCNC, but nothing that would really benefit my CNC. I'd love to have an ATC,closed loop and tapping, but its not in the cards for now. Alot of the features (probing, tool changes, tool compensation, coordinates systems, 4th/5th axis) can all be handled by some of the grbl forks or the g-code senders as well.

I'm also looking for a plug-and play system, I don't want to spend my time customizing or mucking with the software.

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05 Mar 2020 13:34 - 05 Mar 2020 13:35 #159252 by Todd Zuercher
Replied by Todd Zuercher on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL
You don't "need" to do any customization. Especially for a simple mill or router. (It is just nice to have the option when there is that one little thing that you want that doesn't fit the "norm".) Besides you can't beat the price, when all you need is some old PC you probably have gathering dust in a corner (or can dumpster dive) and a $5 parallel port breakout board. I think setting up a basic parallel port stepper system in Linuxcnc isn't much different or more complicated than doing the same in Mach or GRBL. The difference is that you aren't locked into just that one simple way.
Last edit: 05 Mar 2020 13:35 by Todd Zuercher.

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05 Mar 2020 13:47 #159253 by andypugh
Replied by andypugh on topic LinuxCNC vs GRBL

Looks like there are a ton of great features on LinuxCNC, but nothing that would really benefit my CNC.


You are probably right.
If your requirements change then LinuxCNC will still be there.

Nobody here has any vested interest in "selling" LinuxCNC to you. But be aware that this is not necessarily the case with other controllers.

Folk here have a natural tendency to push others towards LinuxCNC to validate their own choice, just like with any other similar choice (Windows / Mac / Linux, or brand of vehicle) but if GRBL is currently doing all that you want and it is working, then sticking with it it probably the rational choice.
The following user(s) said Thank You: phillc54, nkp, Shu, nsol01

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