About the software
- LinuxCNC (the Enhanced Machine Control) is a software system for computer control of machine tools such as milling machines and lathes.
- LinuxCNC is free software with open source code. Current versions of LinuxCNC are entirely licensed under the GNU General Public License and Lesser GNU General Public License (GPL and LGPL)
- LinuxCNC provides:
- several graphical user interfaces including one for touch screens
- an interpreter for "G-code" (the RS-274 machine tool programming language)
- a realtime motion planning system with look-ahead
- operation of low-level machine electronics such as sensors and motor drives
- an easy to use "breadboard" layer for quickly creating a unique configuration for your machine
- a software PLC programmable with ladder diagrams
- easy installation with .deb packages or a Live-CD
It does not provide drawing (CAD - Computer Aided Design) or G-code generation from the drawing (CAM - Computer Automated Manufacturing) functions.
- It can simultaneously move up to 9 axes and supports a variety of interfaces.
- The control can operate true servos (analog or PWM) with the feedback loop closed by the LinuxCNC software at the computer, or open loop with "step-servos" or stepper motors.
- Motion control features include: cutter radius and length compensation, path deviation limited to a specified tolerance, lathe threading, synchronized axis motion, adaptive feedrate, operator feed override, and constant velocity control.
- Support for non-Cartesian motion systems is provided via custom kinematics modules. Available architectures include hexapods (Stewart platforms and similar concepts) and systems with rotary joints to provide motion such as PUMA or SCARA robots.
- LinuxCNC runs on Linux using real time extensions. Support currently exists for version 2.4 and 2.6 Linux kernels with real time extensions applied by RT-Linux or RTAI patches.
About the people
- A lot of people have worked and still work on LinuxCNC , most of them can be seen on the developers list;
- The current Board of Directors are responsible for major project decisions and as a point of contact with business.
- There is also a geographical map of some of our users (you can only view the map if you are signed in);
LinuxCNC and the Enhanced Machine Controller are non-commercial efforts. Many individuals have contributed vast amounts of time and effort to help advance the state of LinuxCNC .
Such is the nature of an open source project and you can get a feel for where the effort has come from by reading our mailing lists and examining the files committed to the SourceForge archives. We thank all the people who have contributed.
Additionally we would like to acknowledge the efforts of the following organizations that have helped:
- The National Institutes of Standards and Technology , US Department of Commerce - the original creators of the Enhanced Machine Controller software and a major continuing contributor to software development related to the Enhanced Machine Controller.
- Three people in the LinuxCNC project provide hosting and for this web site, forum, git repository, and the buildbot.
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