CNC controller

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Apr 21, 2013
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Winnipeg, Canada

Good luck, and I hope you still have your hair by the time you get it built.

The TB6600 controllers, I've heard some good things and some bad things about them. How are they working out for you? I'd read that they were marginal for a Nema 23 motor at 3A, so I went with the DM542's that are good for 4.5A.

So far better than I expected. From what I can tell it really depends on which version and who makes them that dictates the quality. Basically there are the 4.5 amp & the 5 amp versions, I have the 4.5 and they have a good heatsink on them but, I'm still going to use a fan. I have found that I have to be careful on how I layout the coding for the AccelStepper commands though. I'm having issues with different style/types of motors. Trying to keep costs as low as possible always has problems. I might have to step up the processor to something faster. Running the Nema 23's at 3 amps got everything a bit hot and needs a cooling fan, at 2.5 amps things are fine, warm but fine. Going from 12v to 19v showed the biggest improvement overall. Since the Nano can't do multi-threading I can only do PC updates from the Nano about once every second, no real time updates, which sucks, damn USB. On a side note; I'm not going to be using regular lead screws on my 2.5 axis CNC, I'm going to use fine thread SSteel rod, the micro-stepping of the TB6600 is excellent.



New Member
Aug 26, 2009
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I know this is an older thread but I thought y'all might like to know there are some 32 bit GRBL controllers out there now.
There is also one for the mega2560 8 bit boards that will do more than 3 axes and another flavor for them that does
some more advanced stuff too.
The 328p GRBL has maxed out the micro but has some great features in it just the same.
GRBL is pretty nice for the laser engravers and small mills people build but can scale up well too with higher powered stepper drivers
and such controllers can be put together fairly cheap.


Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2013
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Apparent it does, haven’t tried it myself. It needs to be installed on an Arduino Mega because the UNO doesn’t have enough pins.


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Apr 1, 2008
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Hi Don, thank you!
The travels are as follow: X = 350 mm, Y = 250 mm, Z = 100 mm. Aluminum cast structure.

Unfortunately I am not very good at G coding, far from that. I always use CAM software so I let it deal with that "details". :)
G2 and G3 might be more important working in 2D and 2.5 D but I almost always work in 3D. Analyzing a 3D G code files I always find zillions of G1 movements and very few of G2/G3 so I really do not care very much about that. This is my own case but cannot speak for others because my knowledge is not enough to go so fine on this matter.

I would process a CAD file with some arcs and circles to see what happen... I will let you know the results.
The main problem I have with those Chinese controllers is that they have no option for tool change. and the manual is still written in a bad form of chinglish. I have a Sieg KX3 that is running under Mach3 with a Smoothstepper and it has been very reliable for me. I am hoping to soon be able to play with GRBL, both on and Arduino and on an ESP32. Nice thing about an ESP based system would be the ability to monitor and control it with my Android phone or tablet. The biggest issue with GRBL is the lack of cutter comp. I have written some code in VBA for AutoCad that I use for creating CNC code, it works like some of the early systems I have seen where you have to draw the toolpath and it produces the G-Code. It is quick, and I do have total control, and in 3D and uses g3 and G2 arcs, but only works with lines and arcs in the drawing, spirals have to have some hand coding to make them work...


Active Member
Aug 11, 2013
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There is also an Android App called Grbl Controller for the Arduinos Uno, Nano, etc. It supports wireless (Bluetooth) or wired connections using a OTG cable.
I tried it with my machine and runs quite well.