The benefits of grblHAL

Running on 32-bit microcontrollers, grblHAL brings a number of benefits:

  • Higher performance. The original Arduino runs at 16 MHz while 32-bit ARM chips can run much faster.  The speeds available range from 40 MHz up to 600 MHz.  8-bit GRBL maxes out at a step rate of around 30 kHz while grblHAL ports can run at significantly higher speeds. 250 kHz or higher is possible, depending on the breakout board.

  • More memory. Much larger program space which allows significantly more features. The 8-bit GRBL code often needed to have features disabled to allow it to fit on an Arduino UNO. With grblHAL, standard GCode features missing from 8-bit GRBL have been added. 

  • Low cost. grblHAL is free and the processors it runs on are very inexpensive. Competitive products HW and SW costs are considerably more.

  • Consistency. GCode is consistent across all platforms that support the same features. CAD/CAM applications only need to target one variant to create GCode that runs on all grblHAL ports. 

  • Fast porting to new microcontrollers and variants of supported chips. Support for a new processor can be added quickly.  For example, support for the STM32F411 was added in just a few days.

  • grblHAL has a plug-in architecture.  This allows new features to be added to the driver without making changes to the GRBL Core. Plug-ins can be developed for one port and easily moved to another. SD Card support is an example of this.

  • A number of features from higher end motion controllers have been added, like canned cycles, a full set of offsets, M62-M65 for example, have been added without making core GRBL changes.

  • Easy customization of features for specific applications and machines.

  • New features and bug fixes are available to all ports, often with minimal effort.

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