Some ideas for the future

Post any suggestions that you have for new features and enhancements for the Buildbotics Controller here.
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retrosmith
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:15 pm

Some ideas for the future

Post by retrosmith » Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:43 pm

I'd love to see support for wireless gamepads. The X-Box 360 controller is widely used and very versatile, but even support for the Logtech F710 would be awesome.

Simplify the jog speed changes on the gamepad. I think two buttons to raise or lower speed would be a lot simpler and more intuitive than the four setting buttons used now. The settings could be kept, just use (for example) left trigger to move down one level and right trigger to move up one level.

Offset macro recording. For the camera for instance: The user presses a button to record the present position, then move the machine so that the camera crosshair (or any other visual aid like a spot laser) is in the same spot and presses another button. The software records the offset between the two points. A button then allows automatic execution of that offset, so that if I place the camera where I want the spindle then press the "Execute Offset" button the spindle will move there automatically. (This can obviously be done manually but it's an action that will likely be used often so automation will save time)

Not to hype your competition, but Planet CNC's TNG software will record the camera position at max Z height, then again at minimum Z height and then automatically compensate for lateral motion based on the present height of the camera. This seems like simple math to me but I'm sure the integration is more complex. A nice feature to have but obviously not critical.

G-code macro for automated edge-finding/zeroing with a corner touchplate. These are pretty popular and very handy, and another example of something that can be done manually and saved as a G-code program but would be a lot faster automated.

Crosshair option in the camera view for visual centering. (I hear that's in the works.)

As mentioned earlier, keyboard shortcuts. Not only will they save time but for anyone using a PC, this will allow them to use a keyboard emulator with a gamepad to activate these shortcuts with pad buttons.

Keep up the excellent work!

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Doug
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Some ideas for the future

Post by Doug » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:05 pm

I'd love to see support for wireless gamepads. The X-Box 360 controller is widely used and very versatile, but even support for the Logtech F710 would be awesome.

Good suggestion. I've ordered an F710 to see if it works right out of the box. I'm betting it will.

Simplify the jog speed changes on the gamepad. I think two buttons to raise or lower speed would be a lot simpler and more intuitive than the four setting buttons used now. The settings could be kept, just use (for example) left trigger to move down one level and right trigger to move up one level.

Good suggestion. I opened a new issue on github see https://github.com/buildbotics/bbctrl-f ... issues/195 . One concern that I have is that it might confuse existing customers that have already gotten used to using it the way it is. They might be alarmed if they upgraded software and suddenly their speed control changed on the gamepad. In any case we now have it on the list and will take a look at it.

Offset macro recording. For the camera for instance: The user presses a button to record the present position, then move the machine so that the camera crosshair (or any other visual aid like a spot laser) is in the same spot and presses another button. The software records the offset between the two points. A button then allows automatic execution of that offset, so that if I place the camera where I want the spindle then press the "Execute Offset" button the spindle will move there automatically. (This can obviously be done manually but it's an action that will likely be used often so automation will save time.

Not to hype your competition, but Planet CNC's TNG software will record the camera position at max Z height, then again at minimum Z height and then automatically compensate for lateral motion based on the present height of the camera. This seems like simple math to me but I'm sure the integration is more complex. A nice feature to have but obviously not critical.


These seem like great enhancements. I have submitted them as suggestions on github as issue #196 at https://github.com/buildbotics/bbctrl-f ... issues/196 .

G-code macro for automated edge-finding/zeroing with a corner touchplate. These are pretty popular and very handy, and another example of something that can be done manually and saved as a G-code program but would be a lot faster automated.

We currently use limit switches to find the edges of the machine. I'm not sure why a touch plate would be preferable. Can you explain this a bit further?

Crosshair option in the camera view for visual centering. (I hear that's in the works.)

Correct, in response to your suggestion, Joe has already implemented this and it will be available in the next release. I can probably get you a beta release if you want to put it through the paces for us and let us know how you like it.

As mentioned earlier, keyboard shortcuts. Not only will they save time but for anyone using a PC, this will allow them to use a keyboard emulator with a gamepad to activate these shortcuts with pad buttons.

You are the second customer to ask for this capability, I added your comments to the github issue that is already open on this subject. See issue #190 at https://github.com/buildbotics/bbctrl-f ... issues/190 .

Keep up the excellent work!

We plan to. Anything you can do to let the world know that we exist and have a quality product would be greatly appreciated.

retrosmith
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:15 pm

Re: Some ideas for the future

Post by retrosmith » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:15 pm

G-code macro for automated edge-finding/zeroing with a corner touchplate. These are pretty popular and very handy, and another example of something that can be done manually and saved as a G-code program but would be a lot faster automated.

We currently use limit switches to find the edges of the machine. I'm not sure why a touch plate would be preferable. Can you explain this a bit further?

I was talking about the edges of the material on the machine, rather than the edges of the machine itself. Something like this:

Image

The creator of this particular example includes some Gcode snippets that he made to automatically touch off of the controller on two sides and the top in one motion, thus giving you a perfect 0 for your work coordinate system.

Simply the ability to probe the axes separately and zero (with a user-controllable offset to match their probe plate) would let the same action be done in 3 commands.

retrosmith
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:15 pm

Re: Some ideas for the future

Post by retrosmith » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:23 pm

A few software suggestions:

A manual probe button, preferably one for each axis, in either direction.

Manual setting of jog step distance.

An input window allowing for manual movement of the machine by simple entry of coordinates (absolute or relative)

"Return to Zero" buttons, for all axes.

Setting a "Parking place". There's a Gcode command for this already though what it is escapes me. PlanetCNC software allows storing two separate dedicated parking spots on the machine in absolute coordinates, so that the user can simply press a button (or include a line in the Gcode) to move the machine to one of these two specific spots. There are dangers there obviously, so precautions would need to be taken like requiring soft limits to be set, etc.

rjs
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:11 am

Re: Some ideas for the future

Post by rjs » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Before I buy one did you have any chance to try the F710 gamepad?

retrosmith
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:15 pm

Re: Some ideas for the future

Post by retrosmith » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:30 pm

I bought the F710 and it works perfectly!

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