Now we know the stepper motors required for our project we can match them to a suitable CNC controller. The controller converts the g-code we’ve created and sends step pulses to the stepper motors. It also takes input signals from the machine such as limit switches and E-stops.
So there are 3 things we need to know:-
- Number of Axes. So usually 3 for routers and 4 for a foam cutter
- Current and voltage we need to supply to the stepper motors
- How do we intend to connect the computer to the CNC controller
Number of Axes
CNC routers can use 3 or 4 axis controllers. There is only 3 planes of movement X, Y and Z but some designs use two stepper motors on one axis. My OX CNC router uses two NEMA 23 on the Y-Axis as its a gantry type router. Some move the table bed for the Y-Axis on sliders and only need 1 motor for the Y-Axis. Like a 3d printer bed
Foam cutters need 4 axes to allow the hot wire to move in any direction on 4 planes usually X,Y,U and V.
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