I have been going down serval rabbits holes trying to figure out the best way to do a wireless table.
I have seen sandy pi, Fluidnc, and serval others and I have bought an excessive amount of boards to try and see what one I like the most.
I currently have…
Ardunio Mega 2560 with a Ramps board that is running marlin. (also have a reprap discount full graphic smart controller.)
Makerbase Monster 8 V2 ( seems like its just a controller board and not its own system)
Three ESP12E Node mcu 8266 Dev boards
One ESP32 Hiletgo dev board (flashed with FLuidNC)
Three arunido Uno R3s (working with GRBL)
Libre computer board AML S905X-cc ( Le potato)
I am kind of lost in the sauce here. Between all these different severs and operating systems ETC.
My goal is to have the table always on, connect to it with my phone or with my computer, upload a new design and be done with it.
My table is also a polar build, I have just been using sandify to upload SCARA gcode to it which is working fantastic. I just have to keep my computer on if I want the table to be working which is not ideal.
Anyone got any tips or advice in which direction I should head in?
ESP3D is a common and affordable solution for this. I’m using an esp01 running esp3d, on an skr e3 board that controls my zen. You won’t be able to do similar with any of the boards you have.
edit: Disregard what I wrote below unless you’re ok with ethernet or a USB wifi adapter… because that libre doesn’t have wifi.
OTOH, that libre computer you have seems says it can run raspbian… I’d totally use that if I didn’t have anything better for a ‘fake rpi’ to do. It’s overkill for what you want, but would likely work. You could probably load octopi on it to keep things simple… since it has a preconfigured webserver that makes it pretty much plug n play.
Either of these can be flashed with esp3d web ui. The tx/rx need to be connected to the ramps board. You can edit marlin to enable multiple serial ports, and connect it to one of the extras.
If you can run octoprint/octopi on this, it would be a very reliable solution. I don’t know that board personally. But there might be a tutorial out there for it.
Neither of these solutions really work that way. These will let you upload patterns and later choose which one to play. But they don’t have any autoplay or playlist capabilities. They also won’t have good previews. You can upload patterns like “erase.gcode” or “triangles.gcode” and then find the filenames and hit play. You will also be able to jog around and you could control rgb leds with octoprint.
Sandipy is the one bit of kit that is meant to be for sand tables. But AFAIK, it won’t work to preview gcode with scara kinematics. It does support playlists and IIRC, you can make it do stuff at different times of day. I have no idea if it will work on le potato.
I have a Duet2 WiFi 3D printer controller board in Arrakis. It has a built in web server (as well as 256:1 ustepping motor drivers, etc.) so I can sit on the couch, generate a pattern in Sandify, upload it to the table where it gets stored on a uSD card. I can select individual files to draw, or I can create macros with sequences of patterns and run those. The wifi can be set up to connect to your local network, or as an access point. When I am taking the table to a maker faire or other public showing, I usually just set it up to run a sequence stored in a macro that runs upon power up. That way I don’t have to mess with the wifi at all.
The web interface is designed with 3D printing in mind, so it isn’t ideal for a sand table. There’s a lot of extraneous stuff (temperature graphs, etc.) that could be deleted from the web interface. Also, there’s no way to compose a sequence from a series of either preview images or photos of the drawn images. It’s still a very manual process.
When I generate patterns I keep an image of the preview from Sandify, and then snap a photo of the pattern after it’s drawn by the table. I give them unique identifiers, usually based on the date the pattern was drawn, such as 221030_03.gcode which would be the third pattern I generated on October 30th, 2022. The corresponding preview would be called 221030_03.png.
At some point I may get time to work on some software (a database?) that will allow browsing of pattern images and selecting them for a sequence, and automatically generating a macro file with that sequence.