Since its release we’ve seen the Raspberry Pi Pico and the RP2040 microcontroller incorporated into heaps of projects. From robotics to IoT to handheld gaming, there aren’t many areas of making and tinkering where it hasn’t been utilised. The PicoCNC leverages the speed, power and versatility of the Pico for driving a 4-Axis CNC system.
The PicoCNC is a breakout board that is compatible with the original Pico and the Pico W, which means you can create a CNC motion controller that operates via WiFi or wired USB. It boasts lots of features including independent enable pins for each axis and 7 relay outputs for a variety of tasks such as flood coolant control, mist systems or dust extraction. There is a 0-10V spindle control output which saves add-ons if you are setting up a CNC router or mill, plus there is a Micro SD card socket on board for headless operation. There’s a full set of opto-isolated inputs including the standard GRBL control set and limit switches for each of the 4 axes.
Speaking of GRBL, this system runs on grblHAL which has been ported to the RP2040. You’ll need to supply your own Pico or Pico W but the board is supplied with all the surface mount components already fitted. There is an option to receive a larger kit that includes all the terminal connectors and the trim pot that you need to finish the board. Then all you need is to add a Pico to be up and running!