Manual joystick control fro MPCNC

Dear all,


during the last few days, I have developed and worked on a solution to easily home, move, and zero the MPCNC (with RAMPS and Marlin, sorry, not working on GRBL) without going through the crappy display menu. I thought, a joystick would be nice! And in my son’s arduino megaset, guess what I found! :smiley:

Arduinoo Nanos are also on stock so let’s go!

From the way how the ESP3D project is controlling 3D printers I knew it was possible to directly write on the serial port. So I tried this with the Nano and it worked! Just snd G28 X Y to the AUX-1 port and the machine homes like as if I had used the menu button (except for it doesn’t say user coomand executed. Yes Ryan, there is a typo in the firmware! LOL! Search for coomand!)

So I soldered the nano together eith the joystick module, some switches and some LED on a breadboard, designed a shabby but functional case for it and gave it a try. I like it!


The full documentation including all sources (software, wiring diagram and OpenSCAD file) resides on Thingiverse.


Her you can see the controller in action:

Some pictures:

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If you have any comments, please let me know.








Dear mpcnc-friends,


I have finally managed to find a software, that even I can do more or less proper diagrams and produce usable pcb-files with (Easyeda) ! :smiley:

So here is a small teaser, what’s coming (except from winter).

As soon as i have finished a usable case design (i tend to forget about tolerances, which increases development time and junk pile), i will update the Thingiverse files including the gerber-files in case you want to make your own pcbs.

[attachment file=120992] [attachment file=120993] [attachment file=120994]








That’s neat, I haven’t see this thread before!

Do you still have the link for the documentation, I did not see it in the first post. I’d really like to build one, it seems pretty convenient and easy to build!

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Link to Thingiverse:

Case is printing at the moment and I hope, everything fits.

[attachment file=121115]

I asume, I will send the update tomorrow.




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Thanks for the link and sorry for bothering you with it, I actually found that the link was on the youtube page right after I posted.

So I made a quick and dirty prototype to give it a test:

[attachment file=121165]

It worked very well, so that’s great!

I think I will make a few mods to it, like having separate controls for the Z and XY, maybe a potentiometer and a screen to set the speeds, an emergency stop, some stuff like that. And also design a casing.

Thanks a lot for the inspiration !!

Hi Armin,

I made a new design for your case, if you want to see. It is a bit different since it uses two joysticks, but maybe it could be interesting for you!

see here:

I’ll test fit everything this week and tell you how it turns out to work, then I’ll release the design so you can use it if you want :slight_smile:

[attachment file=“CNC controller Assembly 1 - Google Chrome.jpg”]

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Ended up building the thing!

So here is how it looks like:

The insides:

It seems to work perfectly! I can now move all axis, X and Y are on the left, Z and Extruder on the right. Different speeds can be selected for each Joystick, I programmed 3 speeds because it’s enough for me but I guess it could be changed easily. The leds will display the selected speeds, green for 0.1mm, yellow for 1.0mm and red for 10mm.
It’s really conveninent and I found myself doing some semi manual milling on wood, moving in precise increments for doing simple shapes and a few pockets. Really fun and I’m sure I will use this sometimes for quicka and easy parts in wood or for quick surfacings (no need to design a 3D model, prepare all the paths, stuff like that).

Thanks a lot for your great work, working with your code was a breathe, it was very clear and simple to understand so it took me very little effort to mod it :slight_smile:

You can find all the files and 3D models here if you’re interested:

It’s a bit more ghetto than your PCB board with all this wiring mess, but I think the casing will be a bit more comfortable to the hands :wink: It is also extremely solid.

Thanks a lot for the inspiration!

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