I just got back from a meetup of Machinekit developers hosted by Tormach, a maker of professional CNC machines. There I got a glimpse into the future of personal CNC machines and 3D printers. Building on the long successful LinuxCNC project, Machinekit has added support for additional platforms, including BeagleBone Black, and additional real-time Linux strategies, including Xenomai and stepper motor driving using the on-board PRU microcontrollers.
What struck me is that software running on BeagleBone for controlling machines is the same as what CNC companies use in real CNC products… and it runs on some very remarkable (and personally affordable) machines in development I got glimpses of at Maker Faire Bay Area. Building incredible machines out of BeagleBone Black just got a whole lot easier and expect to see a lot more examples
All of the sessions at the meet-up were recorded on YouTube for those looking to catch up on the development of this project.
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