Inventables Community Forum

X-controller vs Arduino & Gshield

Hi, I recently came to own a second hand X-Carve (1000x1000) which has the Arduino + Gshield - is it worth purchasing the X-controller and replacing the Gshield?

Most likely.

The Xcontroller is still Arduino, but it has 4 individual stepper drivers, one for each stepper motor. Each driver is max 4A capable.

The gshield use 3 stepper drivers and the two Y-stepper motors share this single driver.
Each driver is not capable of supplying the max current the steppers motors can take, so they wont give you their full torque potensial. Also each Y-stepper get half of that as they share a single driver.

What does this translate into?
Greater risk of insufficient torque and failed carves.
Reduced max rapids, and slower feed rates (*).

    • Stepper torque decline at higher RPM, this point start sooner and at a lower level with below optimum stepper current.

The Xcontroller is a conveniant drop-in replacement, capable of delivering all the current you need for an Xcarve. You can also build your own capable “Xcontroller” if so inclinded, in a nutshell its an Arduino + PSU and 4x TB6600 drivers.

I dont own an Xcarve/Xcontroller and have rolled my own. I am sure others with actual use-time will chime in with their impressions :slight_smile:

Congrats with a CNC-machine, its a cool hobby :slight_smile:
Welcome :slight_smile:

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or you can build your own. which if it ever gives you problems you can then replace whichever part needs replaced and not the entire unit.

there are a lot of guides out there for this. like this one http://www.designsbyphil.com/cnc-demon-controller.html or even some pre-made units that have individual parts that can be replaced.

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I was just looking in to this as the person above said - I don’t suppose you would know of any guides that would have a list of parts in the UK - I have been looking and theirs obviously a little difference between whats available in the UK.

Thank you

The controller is actually quite simple to DIY if you wish, at a minimum 1x Arduino, 4X stepper drivers and a PSU is required:

Here is mine, 48V PSU and 4x Leadshine DM556 / DM856 (one not showing):

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instead of spending more money right away… use the G-shield one and sell some projects to fund purchasing an upgraded controller. Personally I would look at the Demon controller in which you will just transfer your Arduino over and add better drivers and such.

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