10 Best Beginner CNC 3 axis Controllers in 2021 | The Edge Cutter

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A CNC motion controller is basically a G-code programmable controller that has direction and step outputs necessary for stepper drivers. Besides the 3 axis, some of the machines also have a Y slave added to it for the gantry kind of machines. All the axes are configured through independent adjustable maximum acceleration and velocity.

A 3 axis CNC controller can be a big help to a beginner because it makes their job so much easier. However, the first step towards ensuring precision in your work starts by getting the right device for the job.

Best 3 Axis CNC Controllers

RATTM Motor CNC Engraving Machine Controller Board

The 3 axis CNC controller by Rattm motors is one of the finest machines in the market for beginners due to its ease of usage. It comes with the required set of programming, so you will not have to worry about fixing it up from the scratch. The latest software that it supports includes GRBL Control, Candle (3 axis), and Universal G-code Sender. Its affordable price is also an added bonus.

Moreover, it supports all versions of Windows, which increases its usefulness. Though the recommended voltage is 12-24VDC, you should stick to the upper limit for the best results.

Pros:

  • Offers PWM control for lasers which is rare to find
  • The ability to support both router and laser plug-in
  • Comes with all the programming to help you get started

Cons:

  • Lack of enough documentation to guide users
  • Comes with no firmware to help out the users

CNCTOPBAOS 3 Axis Nema23 CNC Controller Kit for Engraving

The four wire limit switch offers the much-needed safety to the beginners. To top it off, it has the ability to connect a 5 pcs driver and control 5 pcs at the same time, which saves time.

The fact that this is a good choice for beginners is because it’s easy to set-up and start operating. You will get an offline controller, user manual, SD card, USB cable, and a GRBL 1.1 control board with this product.

Pros:

  • The ability to connect 5 pcs driver and control 5 pcs at one time
  • Comes with a four wire limit switch for ensuring safety
  • A durable product with a host of necessary functionalities

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive products on this list
  • The documentation reaches you via email but proves inadequate

Other Great Picks

Beauty Star 3 Axis CNC Engraving Machine Control Board

The beauty star 3 axis controller is very popular because it’s easy to set-up and start operating right from scratch. Inside the box, you will get an offline controller, user manual, SD card, USB cable, and a GRBL 1.1 control board.

The issue of insufficient documentation is not something you will have to worry about with this CNC controller. Though the manual is not too clear on the instructions, there is enough information available online to help you out. You will be easily able to carry out the necessary functions of your CNC router

Pros:

  • Easy to set-up and use for a beginner
  • The LED lights beam blue and help in your work
  • The ability to handle all kinds of projects

Cons:

  • Lack of enough documentation to guide users
  • The lack of good customer support from the brand

MYSWEETY CNC GRBL 3 Axis Control Board

If you want a product that offers absolute value for money, then the controller from MYSWEETY is what you should buy. This GRBL supported controller comes with the required connectivity and functionality to help you in your DIY woodworking projects

The controller comes with a GRBL controller and Universal G-code Sender software, but you might need to update the firmware to its latest version before working. You can even use just two axes and make it function like a CNC lathe, if you need.

Pros:

  • Provides necessary connectivity for DIY projects
  • The sturdy frame of the machine to ensure longevity
  • The cooling fan works fine in keeping the controllers cool

Cons:

  • The customer support takes too long to respond
  • Does not come with the much-needed heat sinks

ICROATO GRBL CNC Shield Controller Board

As a beginner, you would want something that comes with all the functionalities and also fits your budget. This 3 axis CNC controller is perfect for that purpose. Icroato GRBL is a durable machine that lasts you for years without causing any complaints due to its strong build quality. 

The limit switch headers and E-stop are helpful additions that are not found in many controllers with this price tag. You might face a bit of an issue with setting up, but the customer care will help you navigate through it.

Pros:

  • The limit switch headers and E-stop are great additions
  • Value for money as it works for years without any issues
  • Great customer support from an efficient team at work

Cons:

  • Lack of enough documentation to guide users
  • You will need to calibrate the steps ratio to start with

RATTM Motor 3 Axis 1.1f GRBL Control Board

The CNC controller by Rattm motor is second product from the same brand which we have mentioned in this list. It comes with the promise of quality from the trusted brand, RATTM. One of the best things about this machine controller is that it comes completely pre-programmed. 

It is easy for a beginner to start using it from the get-go without the need to tweak it much. The offline controller comes with a 2GB card, and there is also a proper fan connector attached to the board.

Pros:

  • Pre-programmed and starts working from the get-go
  • Easy to use CNC controller for the beginners
  • Comes with a 2GB card and a fan connector on the board

Cons:

  • Lack of enough documentation to guide users
  • Comes with no firmware to help out the users

Purewords 3-Axis GRBL USB Driver Controller Board

Purewords 3 Axis controller comes with a 0.9J USB GRBL Controller, but you might need to update the firmware to its latest version before working. It has two input voltages 12-36V and it works well for both. The laser output stands at 12V and 775 motor output stands at 24V. 

It comes with all the connectivity and functionality that you might need for your DIY projects. The price tag might be on the higher side by the features make up for it.

Pros:

  • The offline controller works great for a long time
  • Can be used to drive 4 steppers in the xyyz configurations
  • The size of the display screen is good enough at 1.8 inch

Cons:

  • Lack of enough documentation to guide users
  • You will need to calibrate the steps ratio to start with

RATTMMOTOR 3 Axis CNC Kit Nema23

Though the price range is a bit on the higher side, it is a really good product for the beginners. Once you set it up for Windows 10, it is good to go and you have nothing more to worry about. 

You will get all the controls on the breakout board and easy hook-up for the stops. The user-friendly and intuitive program is an added plus for the beginners.

Pros:

  • The breakout board comes with all the required controls
  • It is easy to set-up and start using for a beginner
  • An intuitive and user-friendly program for added help

Cons:

  • The shaft is slightly bent which might make the stepper motor wobble
  • Some users complained about the missing connectivity points

SainSmart Genmtisu CNC Router Machine Controller

This controller board enjoys compatibility with the Genmitsu CNC 3018-MX3. You will need Mach3 for controlling the machine when 3018 PROVer gets applied to the controller board. 

It supports the Windows system and it is well-suited for DrufelCNC and Mach3mill. However, keep in mind that it is not applicable to iOS and Linux systems and neither does it support the GRBL-based control software. In spite of all that, it is a good product to invest in for a beginner.

Pros:

  • Pre-programmed and starts working right from the set-up
  • Easy to use CNC controller for the beginners
  • Comes with a 2GB card and a fan connector on the board

Cons:

  • GRBL-based control software is not supported
  • You will need to calibrate the steps ratio to start with

SainSmart 3 Axis TB6600 CNC Controller

It is a well-designed and beautifully constructed CNC controller that gets the job done. As a beginner or a DIY enthusiast, you will love the functionalities of the product. 

The unit lets you run the motors in a quieter, faster, and stronger manner within the operating temperatures. The current gets lowered enough in standby to let the motors cool down. You can bid goodbye to that constant fear of overheating with this CNC controller from SainSmart.

Pros:

  • The unit lets you run the machine with stronger motors
  • The current gets lowered enough in standby to let it cool down
  • No issues of overheating to get you worried

Cons:

  • Difficulty in changing the motor direction
  • Design flaws in the driver of the controller

Conclusion

So, there you have it: the top ten 3 axis CNC controllers to take your pick from! Start by setting a budget, and then, go through the details of the machines that we have mentioned here. Finding your right fit will not be a problem this way. Go ahead and start comparing your options now.

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