Most of the time, CNC machines are used for very precise and exacting. There is another way that allows for a more “hands on” approach to routers and mills that allows for a lot more creativity and freedom. The touchCNC these guys whipped up allows anyone to finger paint with a friggin router.
From the forum post the guys sent in, they wrote a simple Android app for a tablet that allows for router control via a touch interface. There are three parts to the software. An Android app sends finger positions to a java server running on the CNC computer. This server dumps gcode into a text file. A vbscript inside the router software keeps reading from the specified file. With all this, finger movements are translated directly into machine movements.
The controls are fairly simple, like a real-life representation of Microsoft Paint. Of course there’s a ‘tap GOTO’ command that moves the router to a specified position. The router bit is lowered onto the work piece with a ‘long tap’ and stays lowered until the finger is released.
You can check out the code for touchCNC, but the guys are working on a few additional features like converting the tablets gyro output to gcode. Until then, enjoy the videos the guys posted after the break.