Wireless controller operates your CNC mill

[Darrell Taylor] wanted to add a CNC control pendant to his mill but didn’t want to foot the bill which can often run several hundred dollars. These pendants are basically a physical remote control that operates the CNC software that controls the machine. Since he was already using a Linux box running EMC2, it wasn’t too hard to figure out how to operate the mill with a PlayStation controller.

To get the controller talking to his Linux machine he uses a package called QtsixA. The package identifies and loads the control through Bluetooth pairing. From there it can be used to map the buttons and joysticks as keys on the keyboard or as a mouse. In the video after the break [Darrell] demonstrates how he has his shortcuts set up. He’s able to move the machine head, and even start or step through the programmed routine. As he mentions, this is pretty nice if you’ve got dirty hands; just throw the controller in a zipper bag and you’re set to go.

Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Good idea! I was afraid he’d done something silly with the motion control, but this is pretty sane. I can see where it would be especially useful in a situation like this, where the PC is relatively far away from the mill.

  2. td06 says:

    Sadly, the controller also goes into battery save standby mode, and can be a very dangerous thing to come out of.

    stick to the WIRED video game remotes for your high speed spinning tools!

  3. anders says:

    Here’s a more conventional MPG-build, also hooked up to EMC2:

    http://www.anderswallin.net/2006/11/jogging-emc2/

  4. BiOzZ says:

    i use an xbox 360 controller with a custom HAL on EMC2

  5. stunmonkey says:

    using a WIRED playsation or xbox controller is totally normal and common, and the cnc software companies offer options to do just that, plug and play. in other words, yawn.
    the only thing this adds is a lot of dangerous, as Alex pointed out.

  6. Anthony says:

    This is very cool, but the choice of pad rules out the possibility of a Konami code to mill out a secret file as an easter egg.

    Then again, I utterly suck at programming, so this is probably a trivial thing to implement if anyone felt like.

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