The Mendel I am going to be building is aiming to be simpler, faster and more precise. To achieve the faster and more precise part I am going to be pushing the limit of my firmware. I have forked off the Tonokip-Firmware I have been maintaining the past few months and am going to be optimizing it for use with gcdump and step gcode. Gcdump has been my sender of choice lately, because it is simple and works well. Coincidentally it doesn’t resend, do checksumming or line numbering. This means that the sender and arduino do a lot fewer communications and their communications are smaller in size.
Some of the first changes I made to the racetrack firmware was to remove all the checksum, resend, echo and failsafe stuff. Next I began to play with skeinforge gcode step generation and figure out exactly what it is. It turns out the step code generated is best described as the steps from origin. So if one line of code was “G1 X6000” and the next was “G1 X3000”, we would be going 3000 steps in the negative X direction. This makes the math really easy. Racetrack is up on github here. I am going to be working on it slowly. I just wanted to get a head start on the software side as I work on construction and design. This way I can think about it and improve it when I get bored with OpenSCAD. 😛