I have a Rockcliff cnc router run by a HobbyCNC controller through Mach 3. I have removed the router and have built a hot end, mated to a Wade’s extruder, using a nema 17 stepper motor. On another forum I read about using a Pololu A4988 to run the setup, which I got. Now it seems there is a bit more to it. I think I need an Auduino and a 24V switching power supply. I’ve researched the Auduino but they seem to be for 3 axis machines, which my application is not. What do I use? Could someone give me a short tutorial about how to complete this and get it running? Thanks, W
What is “this” ?
An Arduino is just a microcontroller. It can talk to your computer on one end, and can twiddle bits on the other end. If you use all the pins on it, you can get something like 9 axes with step/direction control out of it – assuming you have the right controllers on the other end of those pins.
I think what you’re trying to do is build a 3D printer from your existing 3-axis control, by adding a plastic filament extruder driven by a stepper motor? This would add a 4-th axis to your control system?
Does your HobbyCNC controller support 4 axes? If so, you may want to try just hooking the stepper controller up to the stepper motor and the HobbyCNC.
If it does not, then you need to find another way to control that fourth axis. An Arduino, with the right computer code, can certainly do it. The problem then becomes: What software are you using to run it all? Can that software be told to talk to HobbyCNC for XYZ, and your other controller for A (or whatever you call your fourth axis)?
Thanks for the reply. I had ordered a 4th axis kit from HobbyCNC but the order was canceled by the owner because he did not know I had a HobbyCNC controller, or was uncertain that it would work. I got a Pololu A4988 soon after that and posted here when I couldn’t understand could to install it. However, in the meantime I have reordered the HobbyCNC 4th axis kit as I am certain it will work, as I have researched the Mach 3 forum and the gnexlab conversion forum. Thanks again for the help. W