5-axis CNC arduino – Universal Foam Cutter controller

The U.F.C. Controller is a 5-axes GCODE interpreter and was developed for Foamcube to simultaneously control all 5 axis. It is designed so it can be used as a universal controller for any type of (styro)foam cutter running 2, 4 or 5 axes using standard steppermotors.

Internally the U.F.C. controller runs on arduino power. The system can be controlled in a variety of ways, all having the ability to run on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Some features include :

  • simultaneously control and run 5 independent motors
  • Automatic Gcode interpretation
  • look-ahead buffering up to 100 lines of gcode
  • All motor controls through Arduino interrupt routines
  • built-in speed control
  • on-the-fly hotwire temperature control
  • stand-alone (headless) control Run directly from SD-card
  • direct access through serial monitor
  • works with dozens of (Free / open source) gcode streaming programs.

5 axis arduino cnc control


1.> Main information display

Important information like buffer-status, speed settings, coordinates, menu’s etc.  are all updated live and even while you are cutting. See below for detailed information

2.> Main power switch

The main power switch turns off all the electronics in the controller. When power is shut down the hotwire-settings , speed-settings and calibration settings are kept in Arduino’s EEPROM memory and will automatically reload when power is turned on.

3.> Hotwire power station display

Displays the amount of volts sent through the hotwire at any given point. Measurements are in increments of 0,1 volts. Also shown is the current and energy drawn by the hotwire. Together these readings tell you something about how hot a particular type of wire is, and how fast it can melt through the material.

4.> Hotwire control

Turning the hotwire control-knob increases or decreases the voltage, and thus the temperature, of the hotwire on-the-fly. Adjusts even while cutting for quick and accurate adjustments based on material density and thicknesses..

5.> Rotary encoder / push button

Menu settings and displays are controlled by this button. Turn the encoder left or right to make selections and press the button to confirm selections.

X Y U V A.> Axis connectors

These 4-wire connectors will power your independent motors. On a 5-axis foamcutting machine this typically means 2 towers (X/Y – U/V) and one rotation platform (A)

1.> Mains connector

Power input for your controller. Takes a standard C14 cable (common computer cable) and will work on anything from 110 – 240 volts.

2.> Hotwire output connector

Hotwire leads are connected here. Output can be controlled between 5 and ~ 34.5 volts / 4 amps. max. (max. 1.5 amp. recommended)

1.> SD Card input

Put your favorite GCODE on an SD card and insert it here to run your machine without needing a computer. Everything you need is built into the controller.

2.> USB Connector

Re-programm or update the firmware on your controller here, or stream GCODE directly from your choice of :

  • Your preferred serial monitor
  • Internet browser control (e.g. Foamcam)
  • free GCODE streaming software


5 axis CNC hotwire foamcutter controller arduino

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