CNC Driver Board (Multi Axis)





Introduction: CNC Driver Board (Multi Axis)

About: I've been building robots since I can remember. I love reading instructables and have finally gotten around to writing a few.

This is an instructable to help anyone that is making the CNC driver board by Tom McWire. 
Original Instructable 
Suggested design from Howim
I would also like to thank woodspinner for answering all of my questions. 
When making this driver board I had many issues, that luckily could be answered in the comments of the instructable. I have put together this instructable to help anyone that is making the board with....making the board. Just a few things that I would like to add. This driver board is for making a 3 axis CNC. If you would like to add more axis send me a message, and I'll try to answer your question. So....first things first. The pieces to buy.

Step 1: Buying Components

What to buy. The parts list is attached onto this step. I would not recommend putting the board together by the diagram that I have attached, or by the reference numbers that I have given. I would go by the pictures in the next few steps.

Step 2: Putting It Together: Step 1

Ok, now that you have all your parts (I hope) lets decide how you want to make your board. I would personally send the top and bottom diagrams to a PCB manufacturer, but if you feel like making them yourself, then go ahead. I have attached the top and bottom diagrams to this step. I only etched the bottom, then used jumpers on the top. Just follow the top diagram to figure out where the jumpers need to go. Could luck with making the board!!!

Step 3: Putting It Together: Step 2

Now that you have your board, lets start putting the components on. I have highlighted in the pictures where components have to go, so you should just follow the pictures. Just a few tips...
1. Put the jumpers on first!!!!!
2.Make sure to put the chips in the right way!!! It matters :)
3. Make sure to put the Mosfets in the right way to. It also matters
4. Same with the diodes :)
5. oh....and same with the capacitor 
6. I thinks thats it! Good luck!
Oh...And in the "Where stuff goes" file the chips are flipped. The 4516 goes in front. 

Step 4: Done!!!

Well....almost. now attach the motors according to the manufactures diagram..and the one that I have attached (previous page). The coils attach in a certain way, and if they are attached wrong then the motor won't run.
The motor attaches in this order (From left, looking at the front)
Top = Common coil
A-, B-, A, B
A, B, A-, B-
The A, and A- are the same coil, and same with the B, and B-. You can look at the diagram of Unipolar motors that I have posted (ignore the colors), but the manufacturer should tell you which wire is which.

If you would like to test it.....look at Tom's instructable....his testing procedure is amazing!
I hope that I was able to help you make your amazing CNC controller (and hopefully, CNC) Good luck!

Step 5: Having Issues?

1) Kcam isn't working....what do I do?
This happened to me, and to one other user. I found that the parallel port driver wasn't installed properly, and I re-installed it....and it worked! Another thing is that if you have a different parallel port drive installed, the new driver might not work properly. It takes a little fidgeting to get it to work well. 
2) Motor isn't running properly
Ok....this is a question that is posted a lot. There could be many reasons why the motor isn't working, but I'll try to answer the majority. Make sure that you have a unipolar motor, and that it is hooked up correctly! I tested my board maybe 20 times before I realized that my motors where attached backwards. It is pretty hard to find the correct wires for which stator on the motor, and even I have issues with that. Just, when you buy a motor, a key sure that you get the wiring diagram for the motor, or at least a key for which wires go to which stator. 
3) Is this really that efficient?
Umm.....I don't really know. I haven't built another motor controller, so I haven't been able to compare this one to other ones. I've heard from a lot of people that there are better ways to build a stepper controller for cheeper, and I'm assuming that they are probably right; I just don't know how to build it, so this is the best one that I could find. I so have some links to other stepper controllers (you can just look up serial stepper controllers in google), and I'm hoping to make another instructable in the future for this newer, faster (and hopefully easier to build) design. 
4) If you have any questions that you think should be in this list, please, comment below! 

Thanks, and happy building. :)



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    it is vere good

    Please email me the project for "3 or 4 axis CNC controll

    Please email me the project for "3 or 4 axis CNC controller PCB & Softwar

    Please email me the project for "3 or 4 axis CNC controller PCB & Software".

    why did you put those limit switch connectors ??? WHERE did you connect them??....... whill this driver work well on grbl ??? pls help .......

    hi .

    please send me the project ( board schematics)

    thank you

    Hi, After making the circuit (I'll be breadboarding it ) can I expect it to run with Arduino.Rather how I can make it run for an uno. I'm trying to do this for a 3d printer ?

    Is it for unipolar (AS IT SEEMS TO BE CENTRE-TAPPED )? How can i make it run for a bipolar stepper ?

    what is the dimensions of the pcb ? because i cant make it right

    doood, you put the resistor R1 in the wrong place. This board won't work as described here

    Dooood you put mf(milliFarads) in your plans for the capacitor. It should be uf(microFarads).

    Please email me the project for "3 or 4 axis CNC controller PCB & Software".
    My email ID:,
    My facebook ID: (same) syed imran.
    Thanks in advance.

    thank u very much sir ,my controller board & software is work fine,(sorry for my bad english)

    3 replies

    Hi Nuwan, congrats,
    Please email me the same project of CNC controller & Software.
    My email ID:,
    My facebook ID: (same) syed imran.

    Thanks in advance.

    Hi, nuwan111
    Pleas Send me this projct copy controller board & software pleas
    my email-
    pleas iam waiting.

    Hi Deepak,
    Please email me the same project of CNC controller & Software.
    My email ID:,
    My facebook ID: (same) syed imran.
    Thanks in advance.

    Does this support 4 wire steppers? If so how?

    1 reply

    Does any1 have the .BRD file for this? Gcode is written in inches, my cnc is Metric :\

    1 reply

    Use a g20 in the gcode header, that will let your controller that the units in the file are imperial and it should cut fine.