X-Carve + MASSO CNC Controller

I am seriously considering getting the MASSO CNC Controller for the X-Carve. I noticed that the X-Controller had two Y axis. Does this mean I’d need to order the 4 axis version of the Masso for it to work properly?

pretty sure that is correct


The MASSO does not include stepper drivers. You need to get 2 stepper drivers and connect both to the Y axis. You also need an X and a Z axis stepper driver as well.

A 4 axis MASSO is for an “A” axis or a rotational axis. It’s not the same.

Yes, you would slave the A axis to the Y axis and have each one drive each Y motor separately.
(Either reversing the direction for one of the axis as a software setting or physically reversing the wiring, depending on how it is configurable)

If you look at the 4th axis upgrade page it says:
“Option to slave A axis to X axis”
which is what you would want to do, just in our case it is the Y axis that is doubled.

So two for yes and one for no?

Justin brings up a good point. The Masso will be controlling the stepper drivers. In my case I will be using the Gecko G540 (http://www.geckodrive.com/geckodrive-step-motor-drives/g540.html) so I believe X, Y and Z will be sent out from the Masso - and into the G540. At that point I think two of the drivers from the G540 would be used for the Y axis (one regular direction and one reversed). Does that sound right?

if you have a gecko, why do you need that masso?

You have to look at your overall system goal to figure out what you want to do.

You could spend the extra $30, get the 4 axis MASSO, and you should be able to configure the interface to slave the Y axis to the “A” axis and then you wire up the 4 axis MASSO directly to the Gecko, axis to axis. The only mention I saw about slaving the axis (even when looking in the documentation) is when it came to the 4th or 5th axis upgrade pages which only says it as a bullet “selling point” so I assume the SW would allow it but I’d ask MASSO first before buying.

You could also get the 3 axis MASSO, save $30, and wire the “A” and “Y” axis Gecko inputs together at the MASSO output and then invert the motor connections at the Gecko output to get your opposite direction Y motors. This setup most resembles the Xcontroller or Arduino/Gshield and GRBL, as GRBL is a 3 axis system. This is the same concept that Phil used in his diy controller. To me, I prefer this, because it takes a SW dependent slaving out of the equation. There is no question that each Y axis motor gets the same signal.

The GeckoDrive is a “dumb” drive. It doesn’t have any logic in it when it comes to axis slaving. All that is controlled upstream wherever the STEP and DIRECTION pulses are created. The Gecko just takes those pulses and converts them to motor current pulses. Just look at the DB25 input pinout and it shows that.

MASSO does the actual step generation/Gcode processing. Gecko just does the stepper driving. Basically the MASSO is an embedded PC that runs a control system that replaces a PC and MACH3/LinuxCNC or Arduino/GRBL.

In my case the Masso takes place of the CNCdrive UC400ETH Ethernet CNC Motion Controller, software like UCCNC or Mach 3/4, and most importantly the entire computer (I will be sending my files to the Masso wirelessly with from my iPad or my upstairs computer). The Gecko is just a 4-Axis digital step drive.

I agree. Thank you so much for clearing everything up :+1:

for research material viewing. watch the “CNC with Dave” #44 and #56 they are long but talks about masso

That looks like a nice system.
Its not Mach3 but still cool. :slight_smile:

I’ve spoken with several people who were using mach 3, and then purchased the Masso controller. They all said that Masso was not (currently) as feature rich as mach 3, but then again that they had little use for any of those extra features in mach 3. All of them said that they were very glad that they switched to using the Masso. What I like about the company is that they are always adding new features and improving the product. There is a huge improvement from version 2 to version 3. I have contacted their support several times and they always contact me back within 24 hours. I was going to build my own controller but now I am looking forward to making the switch to Masso soon.

well I am late in the game then. I use Mach3 now but to me they are just tools.

hmm sounds cool then :metal:

Bringing this back up, I was reading some info on a MACH3 system (CNCRP) that uses dual drive Y but slaves the B axis. In MACH3, this allows you to connect a home switch for the B axis and MACH3 will home both sides of the Y axis independently to square the gantry. If the MASSO supports this function, then I’d actually be more inclined to go that route so you can square the gantry programmatically and not manually.

Since the Xcarve plates are identical, you should be able to wire in another switch on that side and programmatically square your axis. Placement of the actuator screw would need to match but that’s pretty easy to figure out. I’d be tempted to remake some Y plates to integrate switch actuators.

I think I saw that feature mentioned in one of their videos. You can contact them directly by clicking on the link below;


Just noticed they have a Automatic Tool Zero feature.

I am really looking forward to picking a Masso up, hopefully soon.