We're looking at a few different options for stepper driver boards for DIYLILCNC V2. Here are the criteria we're looking for:
-Capable of driving at least 3 motors @ 3Amps/motor
-Open source (hardware, firmware, and controller software)
-Cross-platform (Windows/OSX/Linux), open-source GUI controller software
-~$100 price point
So far, we've had good experiences with the HobbyCNC Pro Chopper board:
- Good price: $80-$100 (3 or 4-Axis versions)
- Handles multiple [up to 4], high-current motors.
- Works with EMC2 (great open-source control GUI) in Linux, or Mach3 (not OS) in Windows
Operation is stable & very robust
- Requires assembly/soldering.
- Requires additional parts (transformer).
- Assembled board/power supply are large for a desktop machine.
- Requires parallel port on controller PC.
- Closed design (firmware/hardware).
We've also been testing the TinyG, a very cool USB-based CNC controller. It's still in development, but looks promising:
- Decent price: ~$100.
- Works via USB on Mac and Windows (Possibly Linux).
- Arrives assembled.
- Surface-mount components keep board small.
- Works with off-the-shelf PC power supply.
- Easily extensible, works with Processing, CoolTerm, etc.
- Firmware is open-source.
- No stable GUI (yet).
- Still a bit buggy with GCode interpretation.
- Requires additional heat-sink for use with DIYLILCNC-size motors