Since quite a few people are doing a lot more with their machines with upgrades I started thinking A Professional Carbide 3D Controller would be nice and an upgrade controller for those who want to take their machine to the next level.
Here are a few things that I thought would be really nice.
No Din plug for power, just use a connector like is on the other end of the new boards.
Either existing LEDs with connectors for external LEDs or just Led Connectors for power and activity and anything else that would be great to have.
3pin limit switch connectors for those who want to go inductive or not.
Limit switch status led connectors.
Stronger stepper motor controller for bigger stepper motors with upgraded cooling
Cooling Fan Connector(s) PWM maybe depending on stepper controller temperatures.
Separate connector just for pins to connect to a VFD controller also with onboard relay for forward or reverse controlled by GBRL code. On or Off pins maybe, I guess it depends on VFD, mine doesn’t spin at all unless it’s told to by setting the speed in G-Code. But since I can’t think of a reason for reverse then it could act as On/Off at least with the Huanyang HY02D223B Inverter I have with 2.2kw spindle.If Forward is not connected to ground on the Inverter it won’t spin.
Separate PWM for Laser Module and maybe other pins for the laser all in one section, maybe one connector, Not sure I don’t have a J Tech laser for my machine.
Connectors for relays to control vacuum, water pump, coolant. Maybe onboard relays or Mosfets to control more heavy duty external relays. With a couple AUX connectors for other things. I guess what ever the current GBRL controller code can handle. GBRL has codes to turn on/off these devices is a better way to say it I think.
Connectors for touch probe, bit setter, and maybe tool changer devices. Not sure how the small spindle tool changers operate.
Of course any protection you can add for all the external devices to protect the board.
16U2 ISP pins, Arduino ISP pins, Serial Header, Already on the boards I believe.
External Halt button connector, soft estop, for non-emergency stopping of the running g-code.
External Reset button connector so you don’t have to power off the controller to restart it.
It would need to be easy to mount in your own box heat sink wise.
Use connectors that doesn’t require a high dollar, over $50, crimper to crimp the the pins like the Molex ones used now or provided pig tails for connectors that are not widely available on Amazon or Ebay. Or source out a crimper that is compatible.
I haven’t found one that said it would work with those Molex connectors.
A lot of this stuff is already on the board so mostly making it more user friendly for hookup to devices and adding pins instead of LEDs
Along with all of this maybe sell shielded cables, foil and braid, for limit switches and stepper motors and any other device that would benefit from it.
I don’t know what the current controller costs if I had to buy one out of warranty but maybe keep it in the $250 or less range with available online instructions on several popular types of devices that can be connected.
Of course you can sell all the extra accessories or even a kit that has everything you need so you don’t have to search the internet, Maybe a nice spacious controller box with extra room for power supply and switches for external lights for your enclosure
External enclosure connectors, maybe Aviation connectors to connect all your external devices including the Shapeoko to the controller.
With what I see what people are doing with their Shapeoko is amazing.
As well as what they are making.
I’m hearing some great features on future Carbide Motion releases that could go great with an advanced board.
Anyway just my thoughts good or not so good.