We’ve been kind of quiet, but very busy over the last few months. There have been a lot of improvements to TinyG. Here’s an overview. For more detail see the TinyG wiki
Faster, Smoother Motion
We think the 0.94 release was pretty good, but we made a number of subtle but important improvements to the motion control internals. See this video of TinyG driving an Ultimaker as fast as 70,000 mm.min (over 1000 mm/sec). The Ultimaker is not fastened t the table in any way but it stays motionless at high speeds due to the jerk-controlled acceleration management.
Here are some of the new features in 0.95
- Enhanced homing. “Industrial style” search and latch homing, support for normally open and normally closed switches. See (link here)
- Enhanced status reporting for detailed job feedback
- More detailed configuration, validation, error checking
- Support for PWM for specialize spindle controls
We released the version 7 hardware a few months back. The main improvements are:
- Uses the new Texas Instruments DRV8818 drivers. These run much cooler than the previous generation DRV8811’s. They also have the best on-resistance specification of all the new TI chips, including the DRV8825’s. The 8818’s will also allow you to push the envelope on NEMA23s a lot harder than the alternatives.
- The current setting potentiometers are bigger and more “goof proof” than the old 3mm pots. With the older pots some small percentage of users were able to damage them in their enthusiasm by over-torquing them. This didn’t happen very often, but each occurrence is a customer service exchange, and we wanted to eliminate as many of those as possible.
- The v7’s also eliminate the need for separate motor and logic supplies – they run entirely off the motor supply. Early on most users ran the boards from an ATX supply providing both 12v and 5v, but as more users began running off 24 or 30 volts we wanted to eliminate the need for the 5v supply.
A lot of 0.95 was in developing and refining JSON control of the machine. Operating the machine ins JSON makes it possible to program it as if it were a REST resource. JSON may not seem directly important to end-users, but it unlocks some very powerful ways to control the machine for UI developers. To see the results of this take a look at tgFX, below:
Riley has been working on the GUI side of things for driving TinyG. Below is a screen shot of a customers gcode file he sent it to be tested against tgFX.
tgFX’s goals are to provide an easy way to stream files, and configuring tinyg. However, that is a very general overview of the rest of the functionality. After the screen shots you can read more about the current functionality of tgFX.
Below is a screen shot of the main axis / motor configuration screen for tgFX.
tgFX Features as of 1 March 2013:
- Feed hold (pause)
- Motor / Axis configurations via GUI
- 2d Drawing preview (live)
- Sending gcode files
- Digital Read Outs (DRO)
- Manual mode input
There are many other new features we are working on. If you would like to help out on the project please let us know!
tgFX’s source code can be found here: https://github.com/synthetos/tgFX
The minimum firmware build supported today by tgFX is 350.70