There is no denying the fact that CNC controllers play a crucial role in the development of your CNC machine specially when you are building your own custom CNC.
Depending on the nature of your project, a CNC controller can play a crucial part since it acts as a medium for you to control multiple facets of the operation. Buildbotics CNC controller is one such controller that we are going to review in depth in this article.
A controller is pretty much like the heart and soul of the machine. Much like a computer processor, the controller directs the CNC machine in the pursuit of various tasks. Many would agree that constructing a CNC machine from the scratch is quite intuitive. But at the same time, dealing with the electronics may seem a bit of a trouble. However, the Buildbotics CNC controller aims to simplify the installation process of electronics as it comes with many advanced features.
Review of the Buildbotics CNC controller
The Buildbotics CNC controller is one of the most advanced forms of controllers we have ever come across in all these years. It’s housed inside a 190 x 157 x 70mm (7 1/2" x 6 3/16" x 2 3/4") box, and is built as a rugged, fan less enclosure meant for use in harsh environments.
It has the ability to regular 4 axes and comes equipped with an integrated wiring system. Quite impressively, it has separate housings for power supply, motors and other accessories such as dust connection or coolant system.
In terms of software, the Buildbotics CNC controller comes with a web interface. This implies that you can monitor and control it from any gadget or computer. In simple words, the Buildbotics CNC controller exudes practicality to modern workmen.
However, you have to be connected to the gadget to get the best outcomes. It also relies heavily on the CAMotics CNC simulator for better feedback on machine traits. The Buildbotics CNC controller also uses a webcam for live video streaming to your coworkers.
Quite phenomenally, for more precise control, you can operate it via a USB gamepad. It has a bright enough LCD screen which provides you with great visibility even in bright light conditions.
What you get in the package?
Here is the list of things that come bundled in the Buildbotics CNC controller package.
- The CNC controller itself
- 4 x 10-foot motor cables
- Two load switch cable stubs
- DB25 breakout box for easy access
- Logitech gamepad for manual control
Features of the Buildbotics CNC controller
Here is the list of features I feel important to enlist.
- 4 USB ports: This is so you can ensure quick data transfer and also be able to connect multiple devices simultaneously. You get 250k steps/second on each motor output which is incredible since that’s the speed you want when making your own DIY CNC machine.
- Fully open source: Since the software is open source, you are free to make your own little tweaks. When you buy a buildbotics controller, you also become part of their community where you get support for all your questions.
- Capable of running on Wi-Fi networks: Consider this an important factor since most DIY enthusiasts will have our woodworking shop either based outside our house or in the basement. When your controller can connect with a home Wi-Fi network then it becomes a lot easier to manage operations. Another advantage is remote video monitoring which is handy when you have already given the instructions to your machine and just want to keep a tab on the progress of the final product.
- 4 stepper motor outputs
- Probe-interface along the Z-axis
- Path planning related to the S-Curve
- Precision time estimates
- Switch limit inputs totalling 8 in number
- Free G Code verification software
There is hardly any doubt that the Buildbotics CNC controller is an ideal solution for controlling CNC routers and laser cutters. Moreover, it is also compatible with 3D printers and plasma cutters as well. So if you are a DIY CNC builder and can spend an extra bit provided you get multiple features that are both practical and also bring in efficiency in the process of creating something, then you definitely should consider this CNC controller because of its array of features.