Springing into Linux Based Machine Control
I recently spent a weekend with some of the most adventurous
and inventive minds in the RepRap world at the
Midwest RepRap Festival.
Never heard of the RepRap community? RepRap was founded on the idea of self
replicating manufacturing machines, making 3D printing
affordable. Without them,
you wouldn't likely have heard about 3D printing.
I demonstrated two BeagleBone Black projects at the event to
illustrate machine control under Linux. The first was
EVB, a cape that enables use of LEGO MINDSTORMS motors and
sensors. The second was Machinekit for 3D printing, the same software used in heavy
industrial CNC mills.
This breadth on one platform
is unique to Beagle and a big part of why it continues to grow
in popularity and enabling new open source projects.
Of course, what I enjoyed speaking to the RepRap folks the most
was the opportunity to teach others and bring them into the
community. As I encouraged them, I'll encourage you, because there
is still time to get involved to mentor students during Google's
Summer of Code. We have a large number of applications to filter
through and students anxious to start contributing to the state of
open source machine control.
Read more about GSoC at bit.ly/bbgsoc