TinyG and grblshield update – December 24, 2011

2011 has been a busy year at Synthetos. We launched the grblshield in March and TinyG in September.  Here’s an update on both.

grblshield has gotten a lot of interest this year. We are almost sold out of our second production run and need to do another at the start of the new year.  There have been some great projects using grblshield and we’ve gotten some excellent feedback. Here’s a really cool CNC mill conversion.

grblShield v2 Production

TinyG has been through a lot of development this year.  Some highlights:

  • Version 6 hardware released
  • Support for rotary axes – now does 6 axes – XYZ and ABC
  • Advanced acceleration and cornering algorithms using constant-jerk planning
  • Feedhold and cycle-start
  • Status reports provide position and velocity feedback in JSON format
  • Lots of debugging and shakedown. It’s pretty solid now.

TinyG v6

Another thing that’s happened over the year is that TinyG and grbl projects continue to coordinate on algorithms, interfaces, etc. Simen Skogsrud started the grbl project and brought it to grbl 0.6.  We worked closely with Simen to ensure grblshield compatibility. Since about mid-year 2011 Simen has been focused on some really interesting Ruby development as you can see from his github.  Sonny Jeon (chamnit) has been carrying the grbl codebase forward. We’ve been recommending that anyone using grblshield use Sonny’s fork. It fixes a number of issues in earlier releases, has advanced cornering and feedholds. We’ve coordinated the use of characters and interfaces so that controllers can be compatible with either system.

At this point TinyG is pretty complete as a basic CNC controller, but there is always more that can be done.  Look for more interesting developments in 2012, including a control console – and compatibility with many that are being developed, backlash compensation, feed overrides, and laser support (PWM channels). We are very interested in your requirements so please comment on this post if you have ideas.

Alden and Riley

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