File Transfers to RaspberryPi3

Just getting to working on the setup, and I was wondering what the best practice is to move files. Sneakernet is reliable, but I was wondering the best way to transport the files.

I have an in-house WIFI that is reasonably secure. But I was thinking about doing either dropbox, sftp, or whatever other suggestion.

Is there a ‘default’ location GroundControl looks for .nc (or equivalent g-code) files? I just am trying to set it up so it is a minimal hassle to use, so I am more likely to use it more often!

This may be overkill if you don’t use it, but I use googledrive for a lot of things and have the desktop client. From my design machine I save my nc files into a folder named Maslow NC. On my router machine, I have the desktop client set to only sync that folder. By the time I walk downstairs the files are there.

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the IT guy in me says to avoid depending on an external server and just transfer
things over the local wifi network. but if you think you want to archive all
files, putting them on dropbox/g-drive/etc is not a bad idea. but they do charge
you if you store too much there (but .nc files are relatively small)

I agree, but I want it to look ‘automagic’. starting to think about using rsync on the pi to go snag files from a directory on a windows desktop. Really wanting to find a ‘not roll my own’ solution that others may have done. I can also do sneakernet, but that has the old geek in me holding his nose.

Yep, retired computer geek here. Was programmer, systems programmer on mainframes, and sysadmin on *nix systems for about 40 years. Now just a luser and trying to un-remember the bits and bytes from a former millennium.


Linux can be setup to look like a windows server, so you just copy the file to
the network drive and it’s there.

install/configure the samba package.

I use drop box and it’s been working great. Ground Control will always open to the last place a file was opened so if you have one folder that you use for your .nc files it should automatically be the “default” location after the first time you open a file.

Also, I know this is a bit of a unique situation for us but Hannah and I just share the dropbox folder so it’s easy for either of us to send files to the machine


For those who don’t like my googledrive solution, I also started using SyncThing for backups. It is a peer-to-peer open source backup solution. It is very nicely designed and works really well. I suspect it would work well for syncing NC files between machines as well.


As you’re already using a Pi, I would look at UGS: Universal Gcode Sender -

Also Chilipeppr, Octoprint, and SourceRabbit are all grbl-compatible.

I’ve been using Chilipeppr/TinyG with Serial Port Json Server for CNC for quite a while over wireless/Ethernet.

But, WiFi ain’t WiFi - mine is fast and reliable with high-spec routers/APs running at a high rate. The kind of gear an isp throws at you may not be up to the task.

Depending on your toolchain, you can design, CAM, send, all from one app, with your control software monitoring a hot folder for incoming jobs.

Using a ‘hot folder’ is tried and true network technology that’s been used for at least three decades, to my personal knowledge.

Without wanting to disparage the developers of GroundControl in any way, there are better tools out there that do the job.

Out of choice I use chilipeppr, but the disadvantage for me is it’s cloud-based - we don’t have the best adsl connectivity here in the swamp/jungle. I have gotten by that by running a local iteration, but it isn’t trivial to set up.

If you have reliable internet access - first-world speeds, not the 1.5Mb I get on a good day - I would absolutely use it. John Lauer, the developer, would welcome a Maslow-specific workspace.