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We understand that it can be confusing deciding between the many different CNC Controller options we offer. This guide is to help explain the differences between the options available.

Our 6 CNC Controller Options are broken into 2 software categories: GRBL and Mach3/DrufelCNC . These are the different software programs that are used to control the CNC Machine and send G-Code. The decision of which controller option to install depends on what software program you will be using on your computer.

GRBL Software based controllers are:

Mach3/DrufelCNC Software based controllers are:

Our professional recommendation is the xPRO V5 CNC Controller which is the most advanced GRBL CNC Controller of its class in the world. It has 6A silent stepper drivers, WiFi + off-line options, and is 4x faster than our other controllers.


Software – GRBL

The GRBL software is free and most of it is OpenSource which allows for the community to further upgrade features and functionality of the program to better suit their needs. For GRBL Software we usually recommend CNCjs or GRBL Panel, both are free to use and very rich in features.

We have 3 GRBL electronic systems available:

xPRO V5

The xPRO V5 is the most advanced GRBL CNC Controller in the world. Developed by Spark Concepts in USA who have been making GRBL CNC products for many years. It runs off a 32bit processor with over 4x the processing power of most other GRBL controllers. The xPRO V5 is pre-assembled and pre-flashed with the latest GRBL version. We recommend the xPRO V5 as the best controller option available. The stepper drivers are easily suitable for our High Torque Stepper Motors and can even power stronger motors such as Nema34. This controller features:

  • 32bit processor
  • High powered Trinamic 6A Stepper Drivers
  • Supports VFD control
  • Easy Plug and Play
  • SD Card which allows for offline use
  • Both Wi-Fi connection & USB connection (user choice)

This option is the best choice for both a novice starting out, and with people with experience and technical knowledge.

GRBL High Current

The GRBL High Current system uses an Arduino Nano with 8bit processor to control the CNC machine. This system uses external genuine TB6600 Stepper Drivers suitable for High Torque Stepper Motors. This system does require you to wire up all the components yourself and flash the Nano with GRBL. Because of this it is a very customisable system.

This option is suitable for if you have technical knowledge.

GRBL Standard Current (Maker Shield)

The GRBL Standard Current system uses an Arduino Uno compatible board with an 8bit processor. The Maker Shield is installed onto the Uno. The Maker Shield is an upgrade to the CNC Shield and has 4 embedded DRV8825 drivers. Unlike a traditional CNC Shield the upgraded Maker Shield is compatible with the latest version of GRBL and has larger tracks on the board to allow for higher current stepper motors.

This option is suitable for if you have technical knowledge.


Software – Mach3 / DrufelCNC

Mach3 and DrufelCNC are professional software programs that are required to be purchased from the developers of the software. These softwares are used for Hobby and Commercial/Industrial applications. The controllers we offer are compatible with either Mach3 or DrufelCNC. Both of these programs require Windows or a Windows emulator (if installed onto Mac).

We have 3 Mach3 / Drufel CNC electronic systems available:

UC300

The UC300 is the upgrade to the NVUM CNC controller. It is developed by Digital Dream and used for 4-Axis CNC Machines. The controller is compatible with a standard MPG Pendant and has many inputs and outputs. If you want to use Mach3 or DrufelCNC then we recommend this controller. The UC300 system uses external genuine TB6600 Stepper Drivers suitable for High Torque Stepper Motors. This system does require some more work in wiring and setting up.

This option is suitable for if you have technical knowledge.

NVUM

The NVUM system controls 4 axis and is compatible with Mach3 or DrufelCNC. The NVUM system has been used for years and has many online forums about it. The NVUM system uses external genuine TB6600 Stepper Drivers suitable for High Torque Stepper Motors.

This option is suitable for if you have technical knowledge.

STB5100

The STB5100 controller system can control up to 5 axis and is compatible with Mach3 or DrufelCNC. The STB5100 system uses the TB6600-T4 board which is suitable for our high torque stepper motors. This system does require some more work in wiring and setting up.

This system is complex and we do not recommend this system for a novice.

Categories: Item introduction

1 Comment

Craig Smith · March 4, 2021 at 10:23 pm

I wish i had found this page weeks ago and save myself of not understanding controllers for days and weeks on end.. As a beginner its the XPRO5 for me i reckon

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