CNC Update

CNC Update

Hi All,
I’ve recently re-jigged / updated the CNC to the point where it should work a lot easier than before
This is thanks to one of the IBM thinkpad’s donated by Bob / thinkl33t
If there are any problems or crashes then let me know

First the non techy stuff

You should be able to reach the web interface of cncjs via

mDNS which is what I’m using works okay under Linux but not always on Windows so you may need to use the IP address instead

The Laptop has a bunch of stuff installed and can be used to control the CNC
It’s currently located on / lord-nikon.local

I did try getting Fusion360 working (windows only app) via virtualbox / vmware workstation
but it was a bit too much for it, it nearly works via wine but just seems to stick on the loading icon page at the moment

there’s also a samba network share setup under \\\NetworkShare
this can be used to copy / paste files from your own machine across to the laptop

Next the Techy stuff

Rpi Setup

The way it’s connected now is:

Grbl Board -> (USB Cable) -> Rpi -> (Network) -> Thinkpad or own laptop

The Rpi is now just acting as a web server for cncjs, and is now set to run automatically on bootup
I’ve also disabled xorg / gui on it to free up as much memory as possible

Thinkpad Setup

The IBM Thinkpad has been setup with the latest version of Kubuntu
it’s hooked up to the monitor with a vga cable and the keyboard / mouse

  • The .local address’s are setup via mDNS, this seems to work okay with linux, but not always with windows
    So I may try to come up with fixed IP’s / A better URL to access the machines in the future.

For the Rpi, normally you shouldn’t need to access this now since it’s just being a web server.
but it’s reachable via ssh for updating if needed.

For the Laptop it can be accessed via ssh / network share / VNC for accessing the desktop


  • I’d recommend UltraVNC for the best performance
  • Set the Protocol to Tight
  • Enable the Preemptive Updates option
  • Enable the Use cache encoding option
  • Set the compression for Jpeg / Tight to 2

Things to do

  • Update Documentation (since a lot of it still mentions chillipepr) -
  • Move the spindle VFD into a separate enclosure mounted on the wall
  • Move the electronics / rpi into a separate enclosure mounted on the wall and swap the grbl board for a duet wifi board
  • Setup a probe
  • Possibly look into swapping the belts for lead screws (cheap) or ball screws (more expensive)

for the enclosure I’m thinking something like star wars for the front panel -