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Webcontrol arduino firmware variants and support

With maker made switching to the arduino duo board, Are there thoughts / plans to incorporate that firmware into the webcontrol distro for “auto-flash” along side the mega firmware the rest of us are using? I’m curious how the community will support that or if Maker Made is on the hook for all of it. I looked over their kit later yesterday after the event was over. the sled and electronics seem reasonable. The Z axis is a nice upgrade, but does the firmware upgrade allow the system to cut any faster than the original (not counting the z axis upgrade because many of us have that)? I have yet to discover if the new firmware does acceleration planning. Thoughts?

The Arduino Due is a lot faster, and I believe that it properly supports more
precise floating point numbers.

This will help in the ‘lots of tiny moves’ case, and will avoid some issues with
very large arcs.

beyond that, I don’t expect there to be a lot of difference right away, but the
Due does open up the potential for much more stuff over time.

There are really not a lot of people contributing to the firmware. I hope that
they have their firmware up on github and will work with us on it, but
development outside of webcontrol seems to have stalled, at least we aren’t
making any releases and don’t seem to have a good plan to get releases moving
again.

David Lang

1 Like

Thanks for bringing this up. I’m interested in getting into Maslow this summer, so listened in on their live presentation with real interest. Is this the way to go for Maslow?

But I was really struck by the lack of clarity regarding software. Webcontrol will not work with their device, so need some other g-code sender. What would be a good option? Second, they sort of said the firmware was open source, but that wasn’t entirely clear if that meant open and on github for use and development, or if they meant something else.

There’s a lot to like about M2 … and I’d have no hesitation if there was transparency regarding the firmware/software configuration and strategy.

EDIT: Just to clarify, these questions certainly reflect my lack of knowledge about the whole CNC ecosystem, GRBL, etc. So please, please feel free to add any info which would help a novice, like me, gain a better understanding.

I’m curious about the calibration process. On my very, very long todo list is to get webcontrol to work with pure grbl… but there’s a long list of personal things to do before that happens and I might not get to it.

I did not know webcontrol would not work with their M2 device. To me that isn’t a showstopper, but a huge negative. If their firmware is open source, it could be made to be compatible with webcontrol, or webcontrol adapted. The Due is a more capable option than the mega and has been kicked around and even demonstrated in fhe forum posts I’ve read from the last 2 years. I thought the next jump would be the ESP32 wifi system.

@madgrizzle, pure GRBL being a firmware package with webcontrol handling calibration and position tracking? The gaps from where webcontrol is and where you want it to be are unclear to me, but I’d like to help.

Maslow firmware is very grbl-ish so I don’t expect it to be too terribly hard to make work. The calibration problem is that webcontrol/groundcontrol is just a gcode sender that sends the x,y,z coordinates (like any other gcode sender)… the firmware on the controller converts those to chain lengths and that’s where calibration comes into play. If I were to do what they are doing, I would take the holey calibration routine and create a standalone program to allow a user to enter on measurements and be given calibration values to enter into the gcode sender to update the controller firmware values… don’t really know any other way unless they came up with a new kinematics that doesn’t require calibration.