Network access to the internal flash drive

Post any suggestions that you have for new features and enhancements for the Buildbotics Controller here.
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rjs
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:11 am

Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by rjs » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:03 am

I do not know if this is possible but it would save a step if we were able to write directly to the internal flash drive. Today I am saving the G-code to my hard drive then from the controller's web page I upload the file to the controller. If there was a way to save the file directly to the internal flash drive, perhaps it could appear as a network drive, this would eliminate that step.

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Doug
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Re: Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by Doug » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:12 pm

I think this is possible. We have to be careful not to overload the RPI by adding 'non-essential' features to it. Having said that, there is a program called "samba" that allows sharing folders with other computers on the network.

We are definitely interested in "tightening" the workflow. Being able to write g-code programs directly from the CAM software to the controller supports that idea.

I'll try installing 'samba' on my test controller to see how it works out. If it seems viable, Joe and I will discuss adding a feature to the GUI that allows users to enable sharing the folder that contains the G-Code programs in the controller with others on the local network.

In case you want to play around with this as well, you can SSH into the Controller from your windows computer. I'd recommend making a copy of the SanDisk in your controller before trying this because it is definitely possible to get into trouble.

As a side note, Joe has a free, Open-Source program called CAMotics. CAMotics is a simulator program. I brought this up because the latest version of CAMotics has a button that allows users to download their g-code from CAMotics dirctly to the Buildbotics Controller. I don't think this works in the Windows version just yet, but should be available shortly.

You can check out CAMotics at camotics.org. It's a great simulator and you should check it out.

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Doug
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Re: Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by Doug » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:41 pm

I installed 'samba' on my Buildbotics Controller and here's what I found.

I was able to publish the folder where the g-code files (/var/lib/bbctrl/upload) are kept by using the instructions posted at the following link:

https://raspberrypihq.com/how-to-share- ... pberry-pi/

Then, I checked "Turn on network discovery" in the "Change sharing options for different network profiles" section of the "Control Panel" on my Windows 10 computer.

At this point, I was able to access the g-code folder on the Buildbotics Controller, but was not able to write to it. So, I SSH'd back into the controller and gave unlimited permission folder (chmod 777 /var/lib/bbctrl/upload).

Now I am able to create a G-Code file from within CamBam on my Windows 10 machine. When I save it directly to the /var/lib/bbctrl/upload folder on the Buildbotics Controller.

Unfortunately, when I first looked at it from the Controller Interface, the new file does not appear on the drop-down list. It does appear after the Controller is rebooted. Apparently, the controller keeps an internal list of the names of the g-code files present, but only updates that list when a new one is added from the browser interface or when the controller is rebooted.

On the surface, it seems that this capability would only take some small changes on the web interface, and I'll submit a feature request for this on github. I can't say when it will be implemented, but at least it will be in the system.

Thanks for the excellent suggestion.

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Doug
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Re: Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by Doug » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:53 pm

See "Network access to the g-code program folder #192" on Github at https://github.com/buildbotics/bbctrl-f ... issues/192 .

rjs
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:11 am

Re: Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by rjs » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:07 pm

That would be great if it is possible.

hum, other then removing the flash drive from the controller I am not sure how to go about coping it. Also I do not have any experience installing software, like samba, on a Linux system . These are probably a good clues that I should not attempt these at home and leave it to you all experts :-)

I was, however, curious enough to plug a monitor in to the monitor port on the buildbotics and discovered, with a touch screen monitor, I can control every from there which I am thrilled about! The only thing is the 3D view is blank, not sure if that is expected.

I downloaded CAMotics and it works great on my Windows 10 PC.

Thanks!

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Doug
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Re: Network access to the internal flash drive

Post by Doug » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:23 pm

I'm glad CAMotics is working for you. There will be a new version coming out soon that provides the ability to download g-code directly from CAMotics to the Buildbotics Controller.

We are very interested in your touch screen connection. We have been thinking about choosing a touch screen monitor to offer an accessory to our controller. Would you mind starting a new feature idea on that topic and describe which monitor you used and what you had to do to make it work?

By the way, it is expected that the 3D view will not appear with the local head. Some of the software that is required to do that type of graphics is not available on the browser in the Raspberry PI. Additionally, we are trying to avoid compute intensive features like this that would be run in the controller.

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