I built a MakeCNC 3 axis CNC mill a few months ago and am driving it with LinuxCNC and one of the cheap "blue" Chinese driver boards. Since I have an EE background (software eng professionally) I made all the board mods and got it going. On some CNC projects I get good results but on many others I get crappy results. Messed with timing, feedrate, etc.
I'm thinking of moving to a Smoothieboard to put all these hassles behind me. The idea of having an embedded real-time computer handling all the motion control is very appealing. I'm trying to wrap my head around a CNC project workflow with a Smoothieboard. Do I put GCode files on the SD card of the board and send commands over a terminal session to have Smoothieboard execute it? How do I jog the axis of the machine to get everything homed and do a touch-off? Is there a GUI app running on Linux that provides a clean front end to do these types of things?
The CNC machine I built is using NEMA 23 300 oz-in motors wired bipolar. I am running a industrial 24 volt, 10 amp power supply.
I have a lot of professional software development experience with Unix and Linux, serial I/O, USB, etc. I don't have a lot of experience with CNC, GCode, machine setup, etc. Any pointers about setting this up would be greatly appreciated. My first goal is to get a stable CNC machine running.
Thanks for any help, info, advice.