Tightcnc: Home To Office Guide

how to use tightcnc from home to office

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application that focuses on backend robustness and stability. It is designed to be used with hobbyist CNC machines such as the Shapeoko, X-Carve and 6040. The architecture is based on a flexible backend that is frontend-agnostic, with two included frontends: an interactive console-based UI and a command-line interface. TightCNC supports arbitrary axes, autoleveling using a surface probe, and failed/interrupted job recovery in the case of a power outage. It also includes a powerful macro system and a plugin system that allows external extensions. It is not an all-in-one CAD/CAM/Sender package but is instead focused on post-CAM processing and machine interfacing.

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How to use TightCNC from home to office for job recovery

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application with a focus on backend robustness and stability. It is designed to be used with hobbyist CNC machines such as the Shapeoko, X-Carve, and 6040. It is not an all-in-one CAD/CAM/Sender package but is instead focused on post-CAM processing and machine interfacing.

TightCNC has a few features that are useful for job recovery. Firstly, it supports large files with rapid motion and has a framework for interactive control and gcode modification. This means that jobs should run as smoothly and reliably as possible, even if the client crashes or the network connection drops. Secondly, TightCNC supports automatic job recovery in the case of a power outage or another type of malfunction. This feature saves job progress and machine state periodically, allowing the job to be restarted from where it left off.

  • Install TightCNC: You can install TightCNC by following the instructions on the TightCNC GitHub page or by using the link provided on the Reddit page for hobbyist CNC machines.
  • Set up the configuration file: Create a file called tightcnc.conf and add/edit the necessary options. This file can be located in the package root directory or in /etc. You can also specify a different location for the configuration file by setting the environment variable TIGHTCNC_CONFIG. The configuration file is in standard YAML or JSON format.
  • Run the server: To run the server, use the command tightcnc-server. If running from Git, you can use ./bin/tightcnc-server.js or npm run server.
  • Access the command-line interface: The command-line interface can be accessed by using the command tightcnc --help or ./bin/cli.js --help. This interface allows you to perform various operations such as sending a line of gcode, uploading a file, starting a job, etc.
  • Enable job recovery: To enable job recovery, ensure that the job recovery configuration is correct. Jobs run through the console UI automatically have recovery tracking enabled, which saves job progress and machine state periodically.
  • Recover a job: In the event of a crash, cancellation, or other malfunction, you can recover the job by hitting "r" on the home screen. This will ask you how many seconds to "back up", and then the recovery job will be started.

By following these steps, you can use TightCNC from home to office for job recovery.

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Using TightCNC for tool change

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application with a focus on backend robustness and stability. It has a flexible backend that is frontend-agnostic and includes two frontends: an interactive console-based UI and a command-line interface.

TightCNC has a Tool Change feature that allows you to manage tool changes during the machining process. Here are the steps to use TightCNC for tool change:

  • Enable Tool Change: In the TightCNC settings, enable the "Tool Change" option to activate the tool change procedure.
  • Set Z-Axis First: It is recommended to move the Z-axis first before the X and Y-axes during the tool change.
  • Pause for Spindle: You can set the machine to pause after cutting and before the tool change. During this pause, you can manually turn off the spindle.
  • Skip Already Active Tool: If the tool you want to use is already mounted, you can skip the tool change procedure by enabling this option.
  • Reset Active Tool: Reset the currently active tool at the beginning of the program to set the active tool number to 0.
  • Use Default Tool: If the G-Code tool numbers are not in the tool table, an error will be reported. This option allows you to use default values from tool number 0 instead, preventing errors.
  • Auto Return: By default, G-Code programs should include return moves. However, if your G-Code does not include return moves, you can enable the "Auto Return" option.
  • Auto Compensate: By default, the G43 offset will not change when the tool is changed. If you enable "Auto Compensate", the offset will automatically adjust to the changed tool.
  • Measure Tool Length: After a tool change, you can measure the tool length offset using a fixed tool length sensor.
  • Set Tool Offset: Define whether the tool offset will be set or measured for each newly changed tool. You can choose to not use the tool offset, measure the tool length, or take the tool offset value from the tool table.
  • Define Tool Change Position: Set the position coordinates of the tool change. You can choose from various options, such as "Park 1", "Park 2", "G28", "G30", or define your own user-specified position.
  • Use Movable Sensor: Instead of a fixed tool sensor, you can use a movable sensor to set the "Offset Current Z" at the top surface of the work material. This gives you relative coordinates, and you can move the sensor around the table.
  • Manual Tool Change: During the machining process, TightCNC will prompt you to manually change the tool at the appropriate time. Follow the on-screen instructions and confirm the tool change.
  • Resume Machining: After the tool change is completed and confirmed, you can resume machining with the new tool.

By following these steps and utilizing TightCNC's Tool Change feature, you can efficiently manage tool changes and optimize your CNC machining process.

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Using TightCNC for autoleveling

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application with a focus on backend robustness and stability. It includes a feature called autoleveling, which uses a surface probe to map out raised areas on a surface and then adjusts the job gcode to account for surface warpage.

Autoleveling is accessed as a job option in new job mode. An existing surface map file from a past run may be selected, or a new one can be created. To create a new surface map, select 'Create New' in the surface map selection dialog. Options for the surface map are displayed, with most options having default settings. However, the user must select the bounds either by entering them manually or by inferring them from the job, which triggers a dry run. Once the options have been configured, select 'Run Surface Map' to begin the process.

Before starting this process, ensure your probing setup is working. The probe can be tested in control mode.

  • Open the TightCNC application and navigate to the new job mode screen.
  • Access the autoleveling feature by selecting it as a job option.
  • Choose whether to use an existing surface map file or create a new one. If you select "Create New," a surface map selection dialog box will appear.
  • Configure the options for the surface map. Most options have default settings, but you must manually select the bounds.
  • Once you have configured the options, click "Run Surface Map" to initiate the process.
  • Before starting, ensure your probing setup is functional by testing the probe in control mode.
  • After completing the probing process, TightCNC will automatically adjust the job gcode to compensate for any surface irregularities.

By following these steps, you can utilise TightCNC's autoleveling feature to ensure accurate and consistent results in your CNC projects.

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Using TightCNC for macros

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application with a focus on backend robustness and stability. It has a powerful macro system that uses JavaScript and can interact with both the controller and the user in real time. Macros are written in JavaScript and executed in the TightCNC context.

Macros can be configured to accept parameters. Parameters are specified using the macroMeta() function. This function call must come before any other code in the file; any code above or inside it will not have access to the macro environment.

Javascript

For (let angle = 0; angle < 2 * Math.PI; angle += Math.PI / 100) {

Push('G0 X' + Math.cos(angle) + ' Y' + Math.sin(angle));

}

This macro moves in a circular motion.

Macros in the config file can be specified either as a macro name (which is translated to a filename in the macros directory) or as a shorthand macro. Shorthand macros are arrays of strings that are simply sent as gcode lines in order. These strings can also contain parameter substitutions in the form of ES6 string interpolation. For example:

Javascript

["G0 Z10", "G0 X${x} Y${y}"]

Macros can be used independently, as part of a job, or as a source for job gcode (called a generator). Generator macros are just ordinary macros that are intended to be used to generate gcode for a job. They must start with "generator-".

  • Begin-generator: Executed at the start of built-in generators to start the spindle and coolant.
  • End-generator: Executed at the end of built-in generators.
  • Generator-flatten-surface: Generates gcode to flatten a surface.
  • Mill-hole: Moves the machine in a motion to mill a round hole with a selected size.
  • Probe-pins-center: An example probing macro that finds the centre of two vertical pins using a probe.

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Using TightCNC for gcode modification

TightCNC is a CNC controller interface application with a focus on backend robustness and stability. It has a flexible backend that is frontend-agnostic and includes two frontends: an interactive console-based UI and a command-line interface.

TightCNC has a framework for writing interactive gcode filters and processors, which can be used to modify gcode. This includes a pluggable gcode transformation framework that can analyse and modify gcode live. For example, TightCNC's autoleveling feature uses a probe to map out raised areas on a surface and then adjusts the gcode to account for surface warpage.

TightCNC also includes a macro system that uses JavaScript and can be used to modify gcode. Macros are written in JavaScript and can be used independently, as part of a job, or as a source for job gcode (called a generator).

TightCNC supports multiple simultaneous clients and can run on a Raspberry Pi. It is designed to handle large files with rapid motion and has features such as automatic job recovery in the case of a power outage or client/network issues.

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Frequently asked questions

How do I install TightCNC?

How do I configure TightCNC?

How do I run the TightCNC server?

How do I use the TightCNC console UI?

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