Gshield died. I own a Mac. Now what?

My y-axis motors randomly started binding and now no longer work at all. Upon further investigation, I found the processor chip for the y-axis to be blown apart. Both y-axis motors are getting replaced as well to weed out that factor. It’s over 5-years old so they could use replacement anyway.

I need to get a new controller. Do I buy the x-controller upgrade or is there something else cheaper that will still have drivers to work with a Mac? I don’t want to build something custom, I just want plug and play.


Any standard grbl controller should work with a Mac…they all run on the same chip.

That’s good to know! I just kind of assumed they were mostly only windows compatible. I believe the arduino is fine since the x and a axis work fine.

What added benefit would the x-controller bring that a replacement aftermarket board wouldn’t have?

Does anyone have a link to a plug-and-play option?

Power capacity.

  • The gshield have one driver chip for two Y-steppers, the Xcontroller have one individual driver for each Y-stepper
  • The driver current rating is 4A which is enough to bring Nema23 to peak power (2,8A) where as the gshield will overheat much before 2.8A.

You can build your own equally capable controller, the bare minimum is 1x Ardunio, 1x 36V PSU and 4x TB6600 driver boards. This will cost $120 give or take and will give you a baseline cost when comparing a store-bought controller such as the Xcontroller.

The Arduino/GRBL interface is Win/Mac compatible.

I ended up dropping $500 on the x-controller and new stepper motors. As it turns out, I have apparently developed a medical condition which scientists call “X Carve-induced uncontrollable anger syndrome”. This condition lead me to get uncontrollably pissed at my machine after yet another multi-hour carve was ruined due to my y-axis randomly binding. I’ve done probably 200hrs worth of carves over the last year of owning a second-hand x-carve 1000mm from early-2016. Of all the projects cut in those 200hrs, I’ve had a total success rate of less than 30% for one reason or another. I’m hoping that after a full upgrade to the x-controller, all new stepper motors and pulleys, all new belts, and replacing all the v-wheels and eccentric nuts, I’ll finally have a machine that doesn’t suck.