The Xcontroller info indicates that if you double-up the Y-axis steppers, you then have the ability to use the Y2-axis connector to control another (4th) axis. I’ve read all about 4th axis on the forum, etc., but have not found an answer to the following. (btw, I don’t want to control a lathe)
Could I use some other software other than Easel with the Xcontroller and control that 4th axis? (since the Xcontroller only runs GRBL), or would I need a completely separate stepper driver board and software combo (Mach 3 perhaps)?
The two Y drivers (Y1 and Y2) are slaved together inside the X-controller. In order to use the fourth driver independently, you would have to cut some traces and provide step and direction signal externally.
Bummer! Perhaps they’d consider making an Xcontroller Pro model
GRBL has to add support for a 4th axis first or they have to switch away from GRBL.
So to answer your question, you’d need another board and a different piece of software.
I believe the GRBL Mega project is going that direction but then it’s not using an Arduino Uno but a different processor.
There are other controllers out there that will allow a 4th axis, but you would have to switch software to something like Mach III or IV.
instead of an x controller you could buy a gecko 4 axis drive and run a program such as Mach 3 or 4. Mach 3 and 4 is pretty much the standard for the DIY cnc scene.
I suppose I could connect the steppers to the Xcontroller and to a 2nd controller system and only power on whichever I need based on the work being done.
I’d take a look at TinyG - here’s a video of someone playing around with it on a similar system.
I’ll figure something out. It’d be nice if inventables would develop a drop-in replacement of the current Xcontroller driver board that will support a 4th axis. Then they’d need to update Easel as well…but that could come later on if they’d just give us a 4th axis now.
you may be able to buy a rotary for a laser engraver and use it on the y axis…you would just need a way to disconnect and lock the yaxis and hook up the rotary to the existing y axis. you y then becomes the rotation of the rotary. It works great on lasers dunno about the x carve.