Required hardware:

°     A Mac desktop computer running OS X 1.8 or later.

Note, the application normally requires minimal CPU resources as typical CNC programs will offload interpolation      and motor control to a dedicated µP board relieving the host processor of real-time processing considerations. However, a CNC program that sends curve information in short segments may require a faster host response.

°     A supported micro-controller board.

Two TI LaunchPad micro-controller boards are currently supported:

     1)           The 120 mhz TI EK-TM4C1294XL Tiva C Series Connected LaunchPad Evaluation Kit is available from the TI store for $19.99 including USB cable, ethernet cable and shipping. This board is 50% faster than the EK-TM4C123GXL and has far more expansion capability. It may also enable future ethernet connection.

     2)        The 80 mhz TI EK-TM4C123GXL Tiva C Series LaunchPad Evaluation Kit is available from the TI store for $12.99 including USB cable and shipping.

Note, the recently released TI C2000 Delfino F28377S designed specifically for motion control is under development.

°     A supported driver for each motor.

The µP board can be interfaced to many existing machine driver boards via a parallel cable. Instructions for wiring such a cable can be found here.

One Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) connected motor driver board is currently supported. The TI BOOST-DRV8711 is a high power stepper motor driver board supporting 1/256 micro-step resolution. The SPI board connection has the advantage of bi-directional communication enabling the µP to monitor the performance of the driver.

Note, Other SPI connected driver boards are under development including the new TI 8305 high power 3-phase motor driver board.

°     CNC Machine, power supply, enclosures, cables, etc.

I have posted hints for building a complete system using a wire-wrap backplane on the Instructables web site titled "Machine Control On A Budget".