My current setup in my workshop
Funny thing, this hobby of mine started with me accidentally ran over a commercial from banggood.com on Instagram and had a massive snowball effect on me.
How it started
I went back and forth for about two weeks before I decided to buy myself a CNC machine, a 3018 woodpecker to be exact. At that time, I thought this hobby would be plug and play, smooth sailing
So after I had assembled the woodpecker I launched the software that came along with, (Candle if I recall). Sad to say, but that software was horrible, insanely bad GUI, and it had a fancy habit to say goodnight without any heads up. So a lot of jobs got messed up just because of this, and to top it, Windows also has this «cool» habit for software updates, the more often, the better it seems. this was also an issue in some cases.
Time for rethinking
So I tested Easel for the first time, from sketching to milling with the MacBook instead of the Windows laptop. That was a great success, no interruptions just smooth sailing. But it was not the most optimal way (for me) sketching part is super easy to use, but I don’t like how the machine control panel is and it has some lack of functionalities. Easel has no support for ARM chip either and I had in mind to use a Raspberry Pi to handle this so I could use my laptop for other things. Easel is perfect for creating simple jobs for the machine.
Hello Raspberry Pi
So after a lot of more research, then I came over CNCjs. A web-based interface for CNC milling controller running Grbl, Smoothieware, or TinyG. Perfect suit for my need, this fitted raspberry Pi, keyboard controller, even support for laser engravement.
What’s extra cool about CNCjs is that it is an open-source application and a lot of people contribute to make a better application. It also comes with a tiny web console for small 320×240 LCD displays if you have a touchscreen for the raspberry pi. I went to Norway’s answer to Craigslist and bought a 42″ monitor, Why not?
When I just had the woodpecker, I wasn’t aware of the amount of dust that came along by milling for ish >15 minutes. especially with MDF as material, oh lord… I was standing with the vacuum cleaner constantly while the machine was running. realized that this was not optimal, so I decided to create a closed box for it, less noise, less dust. win-win.
So whats next?
Well, the dust and noise are mostly inside the box, but because of the low height of the box, is kind of tricky to clean everything after the job is done, so I was thinking of installing a dust shoe on the spindle in hope of getting the dust to stay more in the center instead of the back of the box.