The electronics of a CNC machine is a simple but often confusing matter. In the picture (down) is shown the schema of a full system of four axes. Sometimes the breakout board is not present and the parallel port connected directly to the controllers. The main advantage of using single stepper controllers enable the user to connect different motors even in a mixed configuration (unipolar or bipolar steppers) tuning the CNC machine performances to the job to be done. A common and simple solution is the use of a board where the optoisolator (if any) and the controller/drivers are present in the same board, all-in-one. This solution allow a general quicker connection and a simple wiring but force the use of three or four identical (or similar) stepper motors.
Generally the first solution is limited to professional cnc systems while the second regards hobbystic or semi-pro environments.
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