Raspberry Pi CNC - Quick Start Guide

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Raspberry Pi CNC board - Setup Guide

The Raspberry Pi CNC board is a simple board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi and turns a Raspberry Pi into a useful little CNC machine. (Credit to the GRBL, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and all the wonderful projects on the internet)

There has been lots of requests for a simple quick start guide to get people going as quick as possible. So this is my first attempt at an Instructable, let's see how it goes... :)

I am working of the assumption that the person using these instruction will have a basic understanding of how to use the following items and that there many other tutorials covering these topics:

Raspberry Pi systems Arduino hardware / Serial interfaces Basic computer skills GRBL g-code enterpeter

What you will need to get started

There are a few things you will need to get going:

Raspberry Pi CNC Board Raspberry Pi B+ (Raspberry Pi with 20x2 pin header) + accessories like screen,keyboard,mouse..... 8GB Micro SD Card or greater. (Internet connection to download the pre-made Raspberry Pi Image) CNC Hardware - This will not be covered in this inscrutable but includes things like Stepper Motors+ Pololu Drivers, Linear rails and all the mechanical bits.

Download the pre-made image

Raspberry Pi's work on the simple concept of having all of its Operating system running from a simple SD card. For this project I have taken a standard Raspberry Pi image and added the following software to it, making it as easy as possible to start up.

What's includes:

Standard Raspberry Pi Jesse Image. bCNC : A python based user interface application for controlling GRBL Boards. CNC.js : A nodeJS web based interface for controlling GRBL boards. I also added a few

Install the Raspberry Pi CNC board while you are waiting for the download.

Playing with bCNC

Playing with CNC.js

Command Line interface

This might seem hard but it is actually very simple to do.

Included with the image is a small command line app called Minicom . Its capable Serial terminal application and will be used to connect to the GRBL from a terminal window.

Start by opening a new Terminal Window.


Open Minicom in setup mode


Scroll down to serial setup with the arrow keys and press enter.

The following settings need to be entered to connect to the Nano board on the Raspberry Pi CNC board.

Serial Port Baud Save the setting and exit the config screen with the arrows or shortcut letters.

You show now be able to interact with GRBL

Tip : To exit Minicom press "Ctrl+a , z , q"

Links and extra reading

Raspberry Pi CNC Board - Electronic circuit that connects a Raspberry, GRBL , Stepper Drivers , Steppers.

Raspberry Pi - Small Credit Card size computer.

Arduino - Magic device that connects to sensors and computers.

GRBL - GCode Interpreter that runs on an Arduino(Atmel ATMEGA328) Micro-controller

bCNC - Python Based GCode sender that connects to GRBL

CNC.js - Webbased GCode sender that connects to GRBL