The Buildbotics CNC Machine Controller

Buildbotics CNC machine controller with gamepad and stepper motors

The Buildbotics controller is a fully enclosed, smart CNC machine controller with built-in Web interface and advanced GCode processor. It can drive up to 4 stepper motors and many different tools such as a CNC spindle, LASER cutter or plasma torch.

You can buy it now in our store.

Frontpanel

A diagram of the Buildbotics CNC controller frontpanel

Backpanel

A diagram of the Buildbotics CNC controller backpanel connections

Included I/O Breakout

A diagram of the Buildbotics CNC controller io breakout box

Connect limit switches, Z-axis probing, PWM spindle control, RS-485 spindle control, and e-stop switches easily via the included 25-pin I/O breakout board using simple screw terminals.

Check out the pin-out diagram.

Included USB Gamepad

Buildbotics CNC Gamepad controller function diagram

Setup up cuts with ease and agility using the included gamepad.

Included Cables

Included Buildbotics cables

The Buildbotics controller comes with the following time saving pre-made cables:

  • 4 x 10' Motor cables
  • 2 x Load cable stubs
  • 1 x Power cable

Optional USB Web Camera

Screenshot of buildbotics Web interface with video with USB camera

With the optional USB camera you can keep an eye on your CNC from anywhere using a Web browser or smartphone. Add it to your controller package by selecting the option on our store.

Power Supply Options

Two types of MeanWell power supply

Connect any power supply which outputs 12v to 36v DC with at least 6A using the included power cable select one of our bundled power supply options on our store.

Built-in Stepper Drivers

Three different stepper motors
  • 4 motor driver channels
  • Up to 6A per channel
  • 12v to 36v DC
  • Up to 256 microstepping
  • Smooth S-curve acceleration
  • Step rates up to 250k/sec per channel.

Drive most NEMA 17, NEMA 23 and NEMA 34 motors. Preliminary support for 4th axis as a rotary axis. The fourth driver can be synchronized to drive a single axis with two motors. Here's a list of some motors we recommend.

S-Curve Acceleration

S-Curve acceleration is an advanced motion planning algorithm which smooths out CNC movement. Most CNC controllers use trapezoidal acceleration which is much simpler but results in jerky movement that produces rough cuts and increases wear and tear on both tools and the CNC machine itself.

A graph of trapezodial vs S-Curve acceleration profiles

Awesome Technical Support

Get a hold of a real person when you need to. We provide technical support by email, phone or via the Buildbotics forum.

Check out our reviews to see just how much our customers love our technical support.

Have questions?

Email (info@buildbotics.com) or call us (707-559-8539). We are happy to help.

Check out our Reviews

A snapshot of a positive review

Many of our customers have built new CNCs, converted old ones or revamped their existing machines using the Buildbotics CNC controller. Check out their reviews to see what some of them have to say.

Try the Controller Software Online

A view of the Buildbotics Web interface

Make your CNC incredibly easy to use with the Buildbotics controller's intuitive built-in software.

Click here to try the demo.

Upload your GCode and press the play button to run a simulation of the real Buildbotics CNC controller.

See what it's like to configure motor, tool and limit switch settings.

Join our Mailing List

Compatible with most CAM software

Fusion360 logoMasterCAM logoVCarve logoBobCAD logo

The Buildbotics CNC controller accepts GCode from CAM software like Fusion 360, Mastercam, VCarve, BobCAD, MeshCAM, CamBam, and many others. Test your GCode for Buildbotics compatibility for free with CAMotics.

Reliable Electronics

Electrical warning sign

We know you want your CNC to just work when you need it to. Yet, many cheap CNC controllers were designed with little or no attention to electrical safety. The Buildbotics controller is protected from:

  • Over-current
  • Thermal overload
  • Under voltage
  • Reverse voltage
  • Short-circuit
  • Voltage spikes caused by motor stalls

Stay Cool without a Fan

A cool thermometer and a crossed out fan

The Buildbotics controller protects against thermal overload. Through careful selection of high-quality electronic components, the Buildbotics controller stays cool, without a fan, even while driving 6A motor loads. Going fan-less not only eliminates noise but also avoids sucking in dust and debris.

Dedicated Computer not Required

Mach3 and LinuxCNC both crossed out

A finely tuned PC running Mach or LinuxCNC is not needed. You can access the Buildbotics controller's built-in software from any of your devices and be sure that your CNC will run smoothly and uninterrupted.

You can even try out your GCodes online with our free demo software.

Fast, Smooth & Accurate Stepping

Step and direction signals

Get maximum performance and accuracy from your CNC. The Buildbotics controller achieves smooth step rates up to 250,000 per second allowing you to use up to 256 microstepping at high speeds.

Wired or WiFi Networking

The Buildbotics controller offers a modern Web interface accessible from a browser over your local network or WiFi. A whole network of Buildbotics controllers can be managed from a single computer.

Many Buildbotics CNC devices connected by a network

Free Simulation Software

All the software you need to run GCode on your CNC machine is built in to the Buildbotics controller but you can also use our free simulation software to test your GCode before you run it.

The CAMotics CNC simulator computes 3D cut previews from GCode. CAMotics can also send GCode directly to the Buildbotics controller over the network and track the machine position while it runs.

Tool Control

A DC CNC spindle next to a VFD CNC spindle

The PWM, enable and direction outputs can be used to control a wide array of tool heads. The RS485 connection drives high-speed VFD controlled air or water cooled spindles over two wires.

Built-in Load Switches

Buildbotics CNC controller controlling a compressor with an SSR

Two load switches, each capable of supplying up to 15A can power heated beds for 3D printers, extruders, vacuum tables or whatever else you can think of.

For AC loads, an inexpensive SSR switch can be used. External relays can be used for higher amp DC loads.

Aluminum Enclosure

Buildbotics CNC controller aluminum enclosure
Diagram of Buildbotics CNC controller enclosure footprint

By carefully considering heat throughout the design process the Buildbotics controller dissipates heat through its fan-less aluminum enclosure without sucking in metal or wood shavings.

Four screw holes allow the enclosure to be easily mounted on or near the machine.

RaspberryPi 3 Inside

RaspberryPi CNC controller

The built-in Raspberry Pi 3 running Linux on a 16GiB microSD card provides massive potential for building your next big idea. Install additional software or use Python to implement your own features.

Tested

The Buildbotics controller has been successfully tested in many CNC builds both by us and our customers.

Six of the CNCs we've built

We filmed the construction of a Taig CNC mill, an OX CNC router, a K40 LASER upgrade and a Dyna Myte 2400 retrofit. Check out the videos on our Youtube channel.

Check out some of machines we've build with the Buildbotics CNC controller.

Source Code, Schematics & PCB layout

Schematics, PCB layout and the main circuit board

Welcome, software and hardware developers. We’ve already implemented a lot of cool features but we have not even scratched the surface of what this controller could do. That is why we’ve made everything 100% Open-Source.

Here’s what you can find on GitHub:

Join our Mailing List