I spent years looking for a good solution for the electronic board, In the year 2000, I designed and built a 4 axis stepper motor driver board. Sold over 250 of these boards, but decided that since it was limited in power and since it could only run Unipolar motors to stop selling them.
Then I decided to provide a 4 axis board that would support Unipolar and Bipolar motors. The board will drive motors up to 2.5A peak and would also support ON/OFF of the hot wire. More information at the bottom of the page. Software: There are a few software out there that will run the machine - some need special hardware - we spent months testing and evaluating many of these software and hardware. 1. FoamWorks software will work with the electronics in the package below - has CAD capabilities as well 2. GMFC - needs a timer module - without the timer the package below will not work 3. Mach3 is a generic CNC router software will work with the package below, but you need to be able to generate 4 axis g code. We use Mach3 to run our large machines and generate the G code with DeskCNC Here is some more information on Mach3+DeskCNC on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvXkL3YB6VU and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JR3vwDIU6Q and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0YsmbNR84M 4. KCAM - same as above - generic CNC router software - will do nice PCB boards as well 5. DeskCNC - is an additional hardware board that connects to the PC via the serial port and its output is the electronics package below, not very easy to put together but doable. DeskCNC will also generate 4 axis G code - without the hardware All of the software above other then DeskCNC require you to have a printer port on the PC If you are going to cut wings or simple shapes we would recommend the use of Foamworks If you want to cut complicated shapes and multiple shapes we would recommend DeskCNC and Mach3 combination
People keep asking us why are the electronics so expensive.. Well, the materials are expensive and the design phase is long (in order to ship a board we test it 3 months around the clock) You can build a cost effective 4 axis stepper motor driver board with 4 motors and cables. You can also have it with a box and power supply. 4 Axis Stepper motor driver board combo - Here is how it looks like