Okay, I’ve been getting lost in the forums and following Google trails on LinuxCNC, and I think I must have an incorrect model.
For my 3D printer, my toolchain is:
Model in FreeCAD -> STL -> Slice in Slic3r -> gcode -> console control in Pronterface -> usb cable (gcode being fed and feedback?) -> Marlin on a RAMPS-alike board -> wires to steppers motors.
For routing with my new MPCNC, I’m anticipating something like:
2.5D model in Inkscape -> SVG -> inkscape gcode extension -> gcode -> console control in LinuxCNC -> usb cable -> Marlin? on RAMPS -> wires to stepper motors.
However, as I try to chase this down, I’m getting confused. It appears that the dominant mode of LinuxCNC is to directly control steppers, such that the default install is bundled with a live-boot OS, and the hardware recommendations suggest a dedicated non-laptop. I’d sure like to avoid procuring a dedicated control computer, and I’d sure like to avoid carting around a desktop, and I’d really rather not even have to reboot. Is LinuxCNC usable in an “indirect” mode, where it provides a stream of gcode to the Marlin (or other firmware) on the RAMPS, just like pronterface does for the Marlin-on-RAMPS running my 3d printer?
Pointers welcome if I missed the relevant forum page.