Simplest UI

Hi guys, I am contemplating making a ZenXY table for my parents as a gift. If I do, I need to make it easy for them to use. I know I can preload a bunch of designs and just have it run through them randomly, but I am hoping someone has a better solution. I would like my mother to be able to load her own designs without a lot of effort. If there is a board that can interface with a mobile app, maybe with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, that would be awesome. Even if it’s only to control the designs that are loaded to an SD card. I can create and load designs to the card for her, but the ultimate goal is for the controls to be user friendly, and of course aesthetically pleasing, since it will be a focal point in the room.

There’s a lot of legwork that still has to be done to get there, unfortunately.

Karl has another arduino that randomly plays files from an SD card, but your mother would still have to run sandify, and save the files, and move them to the SD herself. There is an ESP32 board that can control it, and you can upload files over wifi, but it’s far from automatic and has it’s own user interface troubles.

I would love to help get something like this going, but I don’t have enough time to do this on my own atm, and it’s going to be a pretty big step, probably involving more hardware.

1 Like

Ultimately, I’d like to install sandify on my v1pi image, and run it as a service in npm there, and have it open a local serial port to run directly to the controller board. That’s not too much work, but there are some complicated parts, like making or finding a good gcode sender (the one from cnc.js probably is the best).

That would let you connect to the pi from a tablet or phone and instead of saving the file, you’d hit go. Then there are a lot of side features, like saving patterns you like, and displaying a list of them…

A Pi running sandify would be awesome for this. That would likely be exactly what I am looking for. For now, if I do build her one, I will probably try to do something like Karl did. I would end up being the one to create and load the files for her, and would likely do as many as I can before giving it to her. I am not very good with writing code. I can usually modify someone else’s code to do what I want (at least for the Arduino). I have no experience with python or other languages used by a RasPi.

I found this and it looked like something to combine with karl’s solution.



It should allow her to make her own designs and load them wirelessly. Or, I can make the design and send her the file for her to load wirelessly.


Another question. Since this is potentially a gift, and many have mentioned noise levels, I wanted to try to use TMC2100 or TMC2130 drivers. The issue is, can they be used with GRBL on an Uno with CNC shield, since that is what karl’s set up is using? I know the TMC2130 uses SPI, which is not supported with GRBL. I did read though that they can be used in standalone. Does that mean there is a way? What about the TMC2100. If I understand correctly, that one doesn’t use SPI, and has hardware trimpots, so it should work, right?

I did not know those cards existed. Nice trick. The instructions ask you to switch your wifi to the card, and then find the gateway ip address. That sounds a little clunky, but maybe the gateway IP won’t change? Otherwise, I bet there are ways to connect it to your existing wifi so you don’t have to mess with that after setup…

I am using TMC2130s in my ZXY and they are set up in standalone mode, so no SPI and the trim pot on them is setting the current. I’ve never used 2100s, so I’m not sure what’s required to get them to be quiet. From the quick searching, it looks like they would be a good fit. In the FYSETC versions, the 1.0 seems like it’s got the jumpers right.

Are you running GRBL or Marlin with the TMC2130s on your ZXY? How quiet is it? That’s really my biggest reason for using them vs anything else.

I am willing to try those Wi-Fi SD cards. Once I do, I’ll report back. I’m still in the planning stages, so it’ll be a while. I just like to have as many ducks in a row as possible before starting, so I don’t have to rework too much. Tweaking is expected of course. I just don’t want to have to end up buying different micro controllers/boards, etc.

I use them in spi mode with marlin on my printers and in standalone mode with grbl on my zxy. They make a huge difference.