View Full Version : Best 4 axis and PC setup ?

08-04-2008, 10:36 PM
OK I do Not want to build my controller. I am looking for the best 4 axis controller plus steppers for under $1000.00 I looking to as close to plug and play as i can get. I am building a modified Joes 4x4 in a 2'x4' footprint instead for pool cue inlays. The 4th axis will turn a taig 4 axis rotary table to hold pool cues.

Also I will be using probably mach 3 and vcarve for the software.

Last whats the best Laptop to use i perfer laptop over a desktop. I have 4 laptop and none seem suitable all have usb 2.0 and no parellel ports so another laptop seems to be in order probably a older model.....

08-04-2008, 11:41 PM

This might help if you really want to use a notebook.

See attached link


You would be much better off purchasing a full size P.C.

A notebook lacks video processing power.


08-04-2008, 11:45 PM
You do not need to spend anywhere near $1,000.00 on steppers. drives power supply and BOB by the way.


08-05-2008, 12:21 AM
I probably go with a full size pc. I have a couple I can steal from the kids and give them laptops. Anyway with that out of the way

Any Suggestions on the steppers and controllers? I prefer plug and play ready to run setup. If it involves soldering i perfer staying away from it. I can do it just perfer not to.

08-05-2008, 12:46 AM
Take a look at the Gecko G540


For $300.00 it has alot going for it, Mid-band resonance compensation
and 3.5 amp output is awesome.

For stepper motors KL23H286-20-8B :



For a power supply:

KL-350-48 48V/7.3A


C10 Bidirectional Breakout
Board :



I would suggest a different software package if you have the budget.

I have alot of pool cue inlay experiance by the way.


08-05-2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks Jeff what oz servos do you recommend and what software do you recommend.

I been manual pantographing my inlays and its a pain I want this to be able to inlay cue butts and cutt v grooves for points in forearms. A bonus would be to throw a small taig lathe to spin a butt or shaft and have the cnc taper the profile.

I open to any and all suggestions you have.

08-05-2008, 01:13 AM
The KL23H286-20-8B are 425 ounce and would be fine.

Have you decided on ball or acme screws?

Do you have a instant messenger?

My yahoo id: alchemist135


08-05-2008, 08:01 AM
I will try to install yahoo messenger tonight.

Any how I already purchased Acme 1/2x10 screws with brass nuts in 48",24" and 12" I was going a different direction than a Modified Joes machine in 4x2 config originally. So I hope I can use the screw I have since I have them. I was on the fence about the brass nut I was told agter I ourchased I should of went delrin.

08-05-2008, 10:46 AM
Another stupid question....

What is the purpose of a breakout board I was under the assumption the controller hooked dorect to your pc parallel port...

Also whats your thoughts on optical limit switches????

08-05-2008, 11:09 AM
Another stupid question....

What is the purpose of a breakout board I was under the assumption the controller hooked direct to your pc parallel port...

You use a breakout board when you use individual drives with each axis. Typically the 3 in 1 and 4in 1 boards do not need them. You also can use a breakout board to connect additional limit switches, relays, and other stuff. you can do this on a second port.

Also whats your thoughts on optical limit switches????

Dust will probably trip them, and you will have dust. :)

08-05-2008, 12:18 PM
If you purchase a all in one driver board like the Gecko you will not need a breakout board unless you add a mpg because the Gecko like most all in one boards has only four inputs and those will be used for your limit switches and possibly your Zero setting device.

You should get rid of the brass and get the Dumpster Anti-Backlash Leadnuts


Do you have a name by the way?


08-05-2008, 12:32 PM
There are a few Zone users that have made enclosed optical limit switches
however most of the machines you see use a mechanical switch like this


There are some very high end limit switches that are used on "big iron" however these work fine for what you will be doing.


08-05-2008, 12:41 PM
Sorry Jeff my Name is Rodney :)

So now I am being told to prevent racking of the gantry I still need 2 steppers. If thats the case I assume I need a 5 axis?

08-05-2008, 03:16 PM
Rodney, I would look at this link before I bought anything else. I have one on order and am waiting delivery. I think it will be your very best option, and in the long run will save you money.



ps it is a long thread, so if you have questions.....log on to his site and call him. He is a gret guy. I am not associated, but I have spent a lot of time with him on the ph.