What opensource resources do folks use / contribute to?


(William Adams) #1

Which things are applicable to using a Shapeoko / Nomad?

We list a lot of things on the ostensibly community-maintained wiki: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki but yeah, let’s be honest, it’s more one person’s (my) notebook / scratchpad than anything else. (If anyone wants an account, please let me know your e-mail address in a PM and we’ll make you one).

What software / tools are the best and what gaps are there? What unusual things fit in or are especially made to support the Carbide 3D eco-system? Notable things there:

(those are from: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Carbide_Create#Resources )

One thing I’m still faintly surprised at is that there isn’t more work done with scripting — I’d really like to see a CNC front-end coded up in Nodebox or Processing — I believe bCNC has a macro language, and I’d be surprised if UGS doesn’t allow Java, or Chilipeppr doesn’t allow JavaScript.

I’ve done a couple of things with METAPOST which have shown some potential, esp. in addition to OpenSCAD (need to get another 3D printer so that I can actually make a box lid w/ inset 3D printed part to hold the lid together)

Things which I’d really like to see:

  • a physics-based feed-speed calculator
  • a parametric language for making parts which doesn’t require exporting to a .stl
  • a design library of joinery systems / techniques which are easily applied to a given project

(Adam X) #2

This Community and the Wiki… but you knew those :slight_smile:

Software I couldn’t work without:

Scripting is an interesting idea. I’ve frequently toyed with writing a gcode sender, specifically to include some high-level action building mechanism, but alas: time. Plus I think you need to be careful scripting CNC work. gcode is already far more deliberate than most people’s brains, hence the large learning curve. Personally I find intermediary black-boxes (like, ehem, CC) massively frustrating, as I have no idea what they are doing under the covers with my gcode.

To make scripting most viable, it would need to pair with a customer post-processor to (maybe) align with some new or custom gcode parameters with corresponding smart actions and that moves us away from gcode being a standard, universal language and into what I’ll call “Apple territory”.

Now, I’m not sure if you were actually looking for general meta feedback, but I’ve had this in my brain for a while so here goes…

The wiki is… a wiki, which I personally love. However the mediawiki search algorithm is a dumpster fire and rarely seems to find anything if you don’t have the exact page title (this isn’t unique to the Shapeoko wiki).
The Discourse search is far superior, so I’ve been coming here first for questions, the wiki second, then usually back here so that Will can link me to the wiki article I couldn’t find with the search in the first place. :thinking: There are some mediawiki search plugins that claim to make it less horrible, but I’ve not tried them.

I’d love to see the discourse (community) site expanded and more of it’s features leveraged.

The Shapeoko forums… they’re a trove of knowledge, but again, hampered by mediocre search functionality. Plus, they seem far more focused on the S1/S2 generations than the new stuff, but maybe that’s just what I’ve run into.

Then there’s docs.carbide3d.com which is an interesting combination of excellent information and oddly outdated things and broken links. I actually really like the presentation of the information here (the S3 assembly instructions, for example)

If I were king I’d reduce the above down to two: A community resource and a formal KB. I think Discourse is a modern and superior platform to phpBB, so lock the old forums and funnel all new work to this space.
Take the current mediawiki and give it an organizational overhaul and combine the content from docs.carbide3d with it. Mediawiki should be flexible enough to lock down certain “official” entries away from the community to prevent trolls from changing the assembly docs and the like.

Daggon book right there… sorry :slight_smile: I’m stuck in the airport thanks to lovely winter weather.


(mikep) #3

I’ve been meaning to mess with this for a while - converts linuxcnc scipts to gcode. With something like this, you don’t need anything special in the sender. I would like something in the sender I could do interactive scripts with (ie. send some code, get some results, then base new code on those results) but that’s somewhat more complex, and I’m not sure that I really need that much sophistication.


(William Adams) #4

Thanks! I suspect that we’re always going to have some division / duplication — docs.carbide3d.com will be the official docs, and will be controlled by the company, which makes me all the more grateful for having their support to keep the wiki on-line. (Please let me know about any broken links on docs.carbide3d.com — they should all be fixed)

There have been a few instances where I’ve worked up content in parallel on both the forums here (which should make it discoverable) and on the wiki (which puts it into a formal hierarchy such as it is) — I’ll view your post as an endorsement of that.

Sympathies w/ the weather — I’ve been shoveling my drive and the neighbors’ and shepherding my kids through the storm pretty much all day.


(William Adams) #5

Gsharp is way cool, and if memory serves, is built into bCNC — certainly it can be flat out amazing what one can do w/ G-Code when one has loops and variables — I should try that for my hex bit organizer since I’m not liking the current Carbide Create version, and I’m finding the OpenSCAD/.stl/MeshCAM workflow a bit foreign still (I suppose I should just make room for another 3D printer and build/buy/make one).


(Adam X) #6

All makes sense. I’ll settle for the locking and public shunning of the legacy forums in favor of this community :smiley:

I’ve got some hotel nights ahead of me, I’ll dig into alternative search plugins for mediawiki. Maybe there is something revolutionary out there.


(William Adams) #7

Suggestions on improving the hierarchy and page names and so forth would be welcome — I’m planning on a major re-working here in a bit (once I’ve finished docs.carbide3d.com and esp. the assembly instructions) and some other bits of content which need to be made.


(Adam X) #8

If you’re looking for docs.carbide input…
I’d Merge the Guides and Tutorials sections. Under that one header, three sections: Projects, Software and Equipment

Under Equipment; Nomad, Shapeoko, Touch Probe + TTrack Table
Under Software: Carbide Motion and Create
Under Projects: Most of the stuff from the present “Tutorials”

Trim down the FAQ… it should be Q and A only, no instruction so move the nomad flashing, limit switch install, belt stretch calibration, under the Guides/Tut->Equipment section.
Controller firmware to the Software section.
I’d put all the FAQ on a single, organized page rather than multiple sections with separate pages. Would provide a single top-to-bottom page read of all common questions.

I’ll go through more tomorrow after work if you’re still interested…


(Stephen Gullage) #9

One thing that needs to be done with the Wiki is the removal/updating of dead links. I’ve come across a few when I’m looking for information. I’m not sure if testing the links is a manual thing, or if there is software that can do that. If it’s a manual thing, I’ll volunteer to go through it page by page and make note of the dead links.

I’d really like to see is a curated file repository where users can upload files that they’ve done in CC or other software and pulled from existing forum posts… It’s great that we have the gallery and all, but a curated central repository would be an excellent resource to have. I know there are resources online for project designs, but having one specifically for projects designed and tested on the C3D machines would be very helpful. Files would be tagged with program names, categories, etc, plus a description and preview image. I would be interested in being a curator for this if it comes into being.