I was thinking about making a drop-in replacement controller board for the Glowforge so that it could run LightBurn Software and was looking for some hardware information. I found Scott’s Github Wiki with the amazing teardown and other info, which led me to this OpenGlow forum.
I have some questions about the general ideas of this project:
The OpenGlow board is using Trinamic drivers (yay!) and a Linux SOM - the same one that appears to be inside the original GF Controller.
Why use the same SOM family and not a cheaper processor/ SOM?
How many GlowForge users do we think would actually be comfortable doing a controller swap?
Based on the case that a decent chunk of GF users outside this community might not be comfortable with getting their hands dirty in this way, why not make a new firmware for the existing controller, since you’re already developing for the exact SOM that’s on there? This might have a much wider reach.
I make the Cohesion3D boards which drop right in to replace the limiting stock controller boards in a number of the cheaper Chinese laser cutters like the K40, so I’ve got experience with PCB Design, production, and the needs of customers in this space, but implementing a Linux system onto a board is going to be new to me (haven’t had to do that yet, but it seems necessary in order to be able to talk to the camera, drive a touchscreen, and handle comms via network/ USB gadget if needed), and I’m not much of a programmer/ firmware developer at the levels needed for a project like this.
I’d appreciate any feedback, from my reading it seems like there’s a nice group of people here.