Controller & ESTLCam

Hey Guys,

i just started to print and already ordered the most parts for the MPCNC. I want already for so long a CNC to help me carving Depron and things for building Cosplay Props and Parts for Remote Controlled Planes.

However… i started reading about the Controllers and now i am totally confused. So far i really want to use ESTLCam.

at first i wanted to buy the RUMBA + board but it seems it doesn’t work with estl cam. Then i start to read more and more and currently i am completly lost what to choose. The Rambo 1.4 Board is quite expensive and also not easily to get from Germany.

Has anyone an Advice which electronics to choose for use with ESTLCam?


Thank You!


Had the same problem, .

A Arduino Uno will work with Estlcam, but the CNC shield supports only 4 Steppers, so dual endstop firmware doesn’t work.

Check out Uncle Phil on YT, you might get a clue.

Go Mega and Ramps V1.4 with the appropriate driver modules if you foresee dual end stops in your future.


I just learned mega and ramps isn’t longer supported by ESTLCAM 11.

i think i found a solution:

It’s an card for an MEGA to use with ESTLCam. i am currently looking for some drivers i could use.

Why wouldn’t Estlcam be compatible with Ramps/Mega? Estlcam just generates Gcode right? If anything it should be a Marlin issue or a Repetier Host issue to filter the Gcode.

I believe Andi is mixing CAM with CNC controller. Estlcam (the CAM part) will work with any gcode compatible controller, the users here are living proof of that. Christian has Estlcam CNC (as in controller software), which is hardware specific and Arduino based.

theres a posting from Christian about it. as far as i understand it has something to do with the pins compatibility and GRBL.


i’ll go with the above board.

i would like to use these motors 5-17HS19-2004S1 together with TB6600 Drivers.

But it seems i need 24v for the motors and 12v for the arduino. i could use 12v for the motors aswell but wouldn’t be 24v be better?


Mixing cam and controller… now i am confused.

i thought the program itself talks to the arduino which is the controller who talks to the drivers.

Wheres a step with the gcode?

CAM software generates the gcode, the controller translates the gcode into physical movements and functions. Christian has both in Estlcam. If you don’t have Christian’s Estlcam controller, most of us use Repetier-Host (or another gcode sender or SD card like 3D printers) to get the gcode to our controllers.

Note: Any Arduino Mega based boards are still not supported in ESTLCam Controller, probably never will be.

So, we only use ESTLCam for generating tool paths and generating the g-code when using boards like the Rambo.
We use other software such as Repetier Host (easiest to use, or other) as the controller software.

If you want to go with ESTLCam as the controller also, you will have to go Arduino UNO route.

The cheap Ramps boards have mostly been garbage for me and don’t last long. I avoid them now as much as possible.
Go with a quality GRBL shield or board if you can. I have no recommendations at this time.

use this as a guideline and do your research first.

JMS Sorry but thats wrong, if you have a look at the ESTLCam homepage you clearly see that the Arduino Mega is supported.

Andi, Christian has posted several times about not supporting it currently. He has, but not now, I assume he has not updated his page if it still says he does, it ended with V10, so maybe if you can still buy V10 it is technically supported but I can not answer for someone else’s product.

I’ve been using Estlcam + Arduino as above Without a shield to control my milling CNC at home. It’s a great combination. I’ve just rebuilt a gantry style CNC into a Lowrider and it is working just fine. As Ryan points out in many places in his info chapters and in the forum, most people don’t bother with end stops. Dual endstops do add precision for sure but are challenging for beginners. Since I started using Estlcam to program and control an Arduino I haven’t bothered with endstops. You need to take care with a Lowrider build so that it is square and runs true especially for a big table. You also have to remember to designate where X0 Y0 and Z0 are at the start. They can be anywhere really but usually somewhere in the front left works for me. I make sure the cutout is within the material available. Sometimes that requires a ‘dry run’ without a bit if material is tight. My Arduino is controlling some TB6600 stepper drivers just ‘cause that’s the way it was wired for my gantry style machine (if the steppers run too hot I’ll change back to a shield). I run an Arduino With shield on my MPCNC. As has been pointed out, Megas aren’t supported anymore since keeping up with the many changes is too much hassle for Christian. Estlcam can be used as software only but has many more features if you program an Arduino with it. It is quite straightforward to wire ‘plain’ endstops if you so desire but not the dual endstops as has been said above. If getting an Arduino get a genuine one as Christian suggests since many of the cheap clones can cause problems that you don’t need if just starting out.

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Well on that page he mentioned GRBL will no longer be supported, maybe i mix things up but that doesn’t include automatically the MEGA?

However, then i take this and if the MEGA is not working… i am kind of back at the beginning.

So i am completly unsure what to use right now.

I have a cr10s pro based on Marlin, also using cura and repetier host, so maybe marlin then and step back from ESTLCam… headache coming in…


I think you need to separate your comments.

ESTLCam, is awesome and works with everything. This spit out coordinates for any machine to follow.

ESTLCam Control, is the firmware that only works on certain boards. This would be in place of Reptier host or an LCD and Marlin or GRBL.

If you are unsure what to buy or what does what, I highly suggest sticking with the recommended build. If you go and buy some random board that no one here uses, you will be on your own for the most part.

Your recommended Build would be Rambo 1.4 or MiniRambo right?

The Problem is i would try Rambo 1.4 but it’s hard to get. unfortunatly from your shop it would be around 160 Euros including Shipping. On another ship it comes from China and will be delivered at the beginning of August for about 90 Euro. But a long delivery time.

I understand but that decision is all based on your comfort with the electronics and firmware.

In the end, my machine is still far cheaper that any others with similar capabilities, even with the board cost and shipping. To really bring the cost down buy a hardware kit with the board, I have them heavily discounted that way and the shipping is for the same sized box. Look anywhere and see if I have ever pushed my own stuff on anyone, I honestly think this is the first time. I am having a change of heart as there are soooo many questions about not using my recommended stuff I simply don’t have the time to personally help those people anymore.

I understand every penny counts, but you have to factor in your time and frustrations. If you look through the forums 95% of the major issues and hiccups are non-recommended setups. I want to spend more time helping people do cool things not troubleshoot some $5 import board.

Well i can understand that you also want to earn some money for your effoert and i am thankful that you do it open source.

But i am also a bit confused, you also said the MPCNC is open to any platform not only your offered pakcages or did i get that wrong?
I just try to find an alternative which arrives in time and sorry but 70 USD shipping for a 127 USD Board is not penny counting.

understandable that you can’t test and now ever combination, so however. I am kinda new to the world of CNC as you might assume already and in a ver confiused phase of learning.

However, what i found so far the RUMBA+ Board seems to be an alternative to the RAMBO boards and they are available in germany, so maybe i simply need to try… and read even more

Oh Btw as you may saw, i am not really counting pennys, i planned to go with TB6600 drivers and not the cheap ones which are recommended, also the RUMBO Boards for example ranges about 90 USD. it’s not all about penny counting its more availablilty and … well if you would send out the stuff for lets say 20USD i would order in a minute

Ahhh, Andi. How well I remember the confusion I felt a year ago when I started learning about the world of CNC. You have mentioned in just a couple posts GRBl, Mega, Cura, CR10, TB6600 drivers, Rambo, Rumba, Marlin and more. It is all Very confusing. It depends on what you want to do in the end. Printing, Milling, drawing, vinyl cutting, glass etching, lasering, or more. Ryan’s choices of build, boards and software are made with a newbi in mind trying to ease us all into this complicated CNC world as simply and cheaply as possible with built in versatility. I have thanked Ryan in the past for his choices and based on what I learned in that process I have been able to venture more deeply into the CNC world.

If you want a turnkey system like so many out there, you get to pay++ and don’t learn anything, But you get to Play right away. I’m sure you’ve priced out other systems. It’s all about your choices and whether you want to put in the work to learn about a bunch of confusing stuff or just get on with it. Personally I prefer to understand what’s going on so if there is a problem I can figure it out. It took me a while… and a lot of reading, and rereading, and questions. Good luck with your choices.

PS Estlcam is similar to GRBL that’s why GRBL is mentioned in his info when pinouts are discussed. The Rambo board has the stepper drivers built in which are plenty adequate for the Nema 17s so you don’t need TB6600s at all. An Arduino usually needs a CNC shield to plug into the top of it which will need the 4 little DRV8825 drivers to plug into That. They are enough to run the Nema17 stepper motors but have to have their amperage adjusted. Ryan explains on his site…

I have no affiliation with Ryan or Christian other than by using their products. Thanks again guys.

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