TB6600 Stepper Driver Shield

Can your grbl based CNC setup control all this equipment (at the same time!)?

  • (4) Stepper motors, each on its own driver with up to 4.5amps of current and 40V. The Y axis uses (2) synchronized stepper motors 
  • X,Y & Z homing switches on optically isolated circuits.
  • Z Touch disk on an optically isolated circuit.
  • 3 Spindles
    • DC Quiet Cut Spindle with speed control. 
    • AC Trim router with on/off control
    • 3 phase VFD controlled spindle with 0-10V speed control.
  • Vacuum controlled by gcodes M7,M8,M9
  • Feed control buttons (Hold & Resume)

Introducing the TB6600 Shield

This shield routes all of the signals on the Arduino UNO to the right places on the TB6600 Stepper Driver PCB.  It also adds an on board DC spindle control and feed control buttons.  There are 3 and 4 axis versions of the TB6600 board.  On the 4 axis version, the extra axis is slaved to the Y axis for Shapeoko 2 type machines.  The only option you need to configure with grbl is whether or not you are using a variable speed spindle.  For a fixed speed router like an AC trim router, you use one of the relays.  With a variable speed router you can use both relays for accessories.

About the TB6600 Stepper Driver

This is a very powerful and versatile all in one stepper driver and CNC machine interface board. You can get them on eBay and other sources.  There are different version, but most of them should work.  We spent some time testing these and will be selling the highest quality one we found. Here are the major features.

  • 3 or 4 axes of 4.5 Amp stepper drivers.
  • Switch selectable resolution from full step to 1/16 microstepping
  • Switch selectable current per axis.
  • Automatic 50% idle current reduction implemented independently per axis.  This means each motor drops its current shortly after it receives the last step.  This allows the motors to run cooler.  Stepper motors draw the most current when they are not moving and are very strong in this mode, so they don't need full current.
  • 100% optical isolation on all I/O.  This prevent shorts, voltage spikes or wiring errors from breaking you controller
  • High current AC relays.
  • .PWM to 0-10VDC conversion circuit for VFD based spindles.

They are designed to work with PC based software like Mach3 on a parallel port.  Things get complicated if you want to run this from a USB port on a Mac or PC laptop with open source tools.  This little shield removes all that complexity.

Carry It or Bury It?

We have it designed and tested and a have a few, but we want to gauge demand before buying hundreds of them.  Please check out the product page and add your name the waiting list it you want to cast a vote for "carry it"


Unknown said...

Very cool solution! Hope you decide to carry it. The spindle mount you have there on the quiet cut spindle looks pretty spiffy too!

Alana Rabedioux said...

Great article! I have the same board and its working great!

Although I am somewhat leery about the 2 relays. Connecting a Dewalt 660 and vacuum would be my goal: But might just resort to solid state relays instead.

In your testing, were the relays up to the task?

Bart Dring said...

At this point we only have a couple hundred cycles on the relay for this board. We will be doing much more testing soon.

I have used this exact relay as part of a burn in station that cycled a big AC blower a couple times a minute. It has run for years.

Francisco said...

Before find this post I made one like this, but now I have a dude, where in tb6600 are the inputs? I trying to connect the probe lead but no way...