I want to let you know what the current status fo the project is and on what I am working on. So let’s get started…
The major development that is ongoing right now is a Windows based client software for editing and testing Bézier-based curves – in other words: you’ll have full control over all axes and thus will be able to define when your motors should be where. The software will connect to your miniEngine via the USB port. The curve / graph editor is basically done and it is already possible to create, save and load setups. Even the basic communication with the Arduino is working.
Here is a screenshot of the client in its current development state:
In the screenshot above you can see a setup with 2 axes (the second axis is the gray one in the background). The currently selected axis is using just 2 curve-segments (see below for an explanation what a curve-segment is). You can fill up your miniEngine with setups up to 25 curve-segments in total. This means that all your axes can together use 25 curve-segments. And here is a little graphic that shows what a curve-segment actually is (for the ones that want to know it in more detail – one curve-segment is one quadric Bézier curve):
Here is another screenshot showing that a curve does not need to be curved. The 2 last curve-segments are simply flattened to a linear segments (there is a button for doing that)
The client supports selecting multiple points and moving them all together as well as numeric point placement for very precise setups where every mm / ms counts.
The connection to the miniEngine will be initialized by simply choosing its COM-port:
The next steps will be to finalize the communication part of the software so that the the paths can be send to the miniEngine and the program can be started.
The software will be released as open Source under the GPL license. It is being developed in .NET Visual Basic. Please contact me if you want to port it to Mac or Linux (I simply don’t have the time to take care of the miniEngine as well as 3 different computer-clients thanks to the need to sleep regularly)
The other place where things are happening is the documentation. I received some valuable feedback regarding the assembly of the BED-board. The next release will also contain some additional details about how to assemble the BED-board. There will also be explanations about different variants for connecting the Big EasyDrivers to the BED board and for connecting the BED board to the main Board of the miniEngine.
I am looking forward to the next release and hope you too!