In order to improve the user experience, besides the hardware I’ve also decided to make some changes to the original firmware. Here below you will find some screenshots of what I added or changed in order to make the system more user-friendly.
Although the CNC control web interface by Barton Dring was already well implemented, I thought it would be useful to add some control buttons and a new page dedicated to diagnostics.
Let’s start from the dashboard.
As you can see here below, I added two buttons to the standard version: RESET and UNLOCK, which are needed to initialize the GRBL “engine” through the web interface. If the system crashes, you will be able to restart the CNC without having to reconnect to it through the serial port.
I also pre-loaded some useful macros: PWM Spindle-test, Spindle ON, Spindle OFF, Work Home, Work Load. These are just a starting point, but you can still change them according to your needs.
PWM Spindle-Test executes a spindle test cycle, testing the PWM output from 0-100%-0 in 40 steps at 1-second intervals.
Work Home brings the CNC to the coordinates 0,0,0 of the piece that is being milled (G54).
Work Load positions the CNC to the most useful ‘parking’ coordinates to load or unload a new piece to be milled (the last macro must be set by the user to the needed coordinates).