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Author Topic: My book about building a stepper controller for Mach2/3  (Read 9567 times)

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My book about building a stepper controller for Mach2/3
« on: August 02, 2006, 11:11:56 AM »
I have written a book about CNC technology for hobby use. Since I am German, the book is written in German language, however it might also be useful for people not having a command of my language.
My book deals in the first part mainly with some basics of CNC. The second part explains stepper motor basics. Finally, the third and largest part describes the design and production of a complete 4-axis stepper controller, including the following features:

  • Power supply for driver and control circuits
  • stepper driver for fullĀ  and half step operation including automatic sleep and boost up to 4 amps (L6203)
  • inputs for limit and reference switches
  • spindle speed control via external frequency converter
  • feed back of spindle index pulse
  • safety circuit with Mach charge pump signal
  • input for digitizer signal
  • relay outputs
  • inputs for quadrature encoders (electronic handwheel)
  • LED indicators for most signals
  • interfaces for two printer ports including fast opto couplers

The controller is fully adapted to Mach2/3. The configuration of Mach2/3 for the controller is described in the fourth part of the book. The production of the controller is described in every detail, including the production of the necessary printed circuit boards. More information can be found on my home page www.einfach-cnc.de, including downloads of circuit diagrams, artwork for PCB's, parts lists and component layouts.

The book is available at www.amazon.de at 17,80 Euro.

If somebody does not like home-manufacture of PCB's, I can offer the full set of professional-made PCB's including

4 stepper drivers
1 breakout board
2 opto couplers
1 power supply
1 power interface
1 machine interface
1 LED indicator board

at 98,- Euro plus postage and packing.

In the picture gallery you will find pictures of the steppper controller and also pictures of my current projects, including a scratch-built gantry milling machine. My next book will deal with the building of this machine.

Re: My book about building a stepper controller for Mach2/3
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 09:18:08 AM »
"Ach zum lieber Gott, aber er ist sehr schoen!"

My German is rusty,  but I can appreciate your attention to detail and the machine is truly beautiful to my eyes.  Very clean!  No other word for it.... "beautiful".....   like a  50's Porsche.... pure function.

We just finished building a machine ourselves.  It has its own beauty to my eyes but to have things really  right I would have to go back and almost start over again.  So many things can start off with such great intentions and turn to.... ah, less than perfection.   

I am curious how many Euros it would cost to build your machine for a typical German and how many hours you might estimate to build, not for the extreme of doing everything himself but rather to buy finished components where possible.


George Koller
Sturgeon Bay, WI


Re: My book about building a stepper controller for Mach2/3
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 02:39:32 AM »
hello, i am looking for this kind of cnc book but i am afraid of this German language as i don't know it very well. as you have said it will be helpful for who is not Germany , so is it helpful for me . i wanna control my stepper but don't know how to do it . any body can recommend me any kind of book like this but should be in English language that will be helpful for me. thanks in advance
ketty editing com builds a modern idea in your life.
Re: My book about building a stepper controller for Mach2/3
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 06:26:28 PM »
Hello donna:

The original Mach3 manual, written for the most part by Art Fennerty, the man who wrote Mach2/3 is available on the NewFangled site.

Here is the link:


This document covers every step of learning a CNC machine, in great detail. This document has been available for at least 10 years. There are other books dealing with CNC that go into detail regarding the developement of CNC programming and G-code. Look on Amazon for books authored by "Smids". His books are considered the best available for the inner workings of and explanation of G-code, and programming.

The NewFangled website has many other documents available. There are also many videos, many made by Art Fennerty.

Learning to make parts on a CNC machine is a lengthy process, with many levels of machine tools; simple stepping motors machines to high-speed AC Servo driven machines.
Building a small CNC stepper motor driven mill or engraving machine is not too difficult, but requires some basic knowledge of electrical wiring, soldering, and mechanical assembly. There are many, many YouTube videos made by people like yourself, who self-taught themselves, and built a CNC machine.

This whole process does require a lot of time, and patience.

The Mach3 forum site also has a section for FAQ, answering many basic questions.