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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Revesby - Sydney Australia
    Age
    55
    Posts
    760

    Default Controller WITHOUT a computer

    From what I can understand, all the big machines, and a lot of little 3D printers/laser cutters/routers, have "offline" controllers. Basically, you load a G-code file from a serial port or USB stick, and it runs the program. Some of the little toy ones (GRBL), even if the power goes off - it will continue from where it was.


    Some of the big machine's controllers also allow you to program simple shapes on the screen. I think it used to be called "conversational programming."

    (which would be an apt name if they actually had speech recognition.
    e.g. OK Google, machine a 50mm square from the current tool position )



    Does anyone know if any of the cheap offline controllers have the same feature?
    From a quick look on AliExpress, it seems some laser/plasma cutter controllers might:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001355337648.html

    "47 common graphics libraries (including grid graphics) with the option to set the tile size and hole size."



    Anyone seen/used a controller (maybe with a touch screen, maybe function key menu) that does similar?

    I'm thinking simple shapes like circle, square/rectangle, arc, ramp/slope/taper, flange, et c.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    457

    Default

    While looking for a CNC motion controller for my conversion I came across quite a few offline controllers that looked to be dedicated to CNC plasma cutters - all seemed to include a set of pre-programmed shapes, the Aliexpress link you included shows one that is typical, guess it depends on what you regard as cheap.


    I weighed up the options - at the time there was not a huge amount of difference cost wise between a PC/Raspberry PI setup running Linux/Mach3/4 or an offline controller, I went the offline controller route, not having used a PC type setup I can't compare but can say my experience has not at all been bad, as a complete newbie, apart from some initial confusion on axis setup I had no problems getting my system working.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Revesby - Sydney Australia
    Age
    55
    Posts
    760

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by familyguy View Post
    depends on what you regard as cheap.

    Had to think about that. I guess under $700 delivered would be cheap to me,
    mainly because a Masso controller is a little over $1000:
    https://www.masso.com.au/product-category/masso-cnc-controllers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    457

    Default

    My M350 4 axis offline motion controller was $US427 inc shipping - came with the needed 2x24V power supplies and a MPG unit - what Aliexpress sellers don't mention is GST, you get the final total and then start thinking 'where did that extra $80 come from'. I haven't had a bad Aliexpress experience yet - an incorrect size stepper motor mount was shipped to me - only realised a few months down the track when I went to fit it - the seller did not argue and just shipped another.

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