Mk3/4 controller Anygood for the money?

Mk3/4 controller Anygood for the money?

Postby Ravihotwok » 27 Jun 2017, 06:25


I recently purchased a 3020t usb cnc machine. This was brand new but as it was your typical cheap china product the control box was faulty from day one.

I am now looking at alternatives, as this was a usb connection to the pc it uses the planet cnc software. I have purchased this software license so would like to keep that whatever controller box I purchase. I have vaguely spoke to Planet CNC via facebook messenger and they have recommended the Mk3/4 controller box self build kit.

My only concern is the price, seems very expensive for a home build kit that doesn't even include everything you need, and I can seem to find any info on people who have used it before?

If anyone can shed some light and their opinions that would be most appreciated.


Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 07:59

Re: Mk3/4 controller Anygood for the money?

Postby Solidmanager » 18 Aug 2017, 04:52


may it sounds rude - but you buy a cheap crappy china CNC. Now you complaining about the price of an valuable DIY kit to control your piece of chunk.
Look for another hobby, you have to spend more money on tools and material for this

Sorry to be so direct
Posts: 6
Joined: 16 Aug 2016, 10:12

Re: Mk3/4 controller Anygood for the money?

Postby Ravihotwok » 04 Sep 2017, 09:47

Pretty poor reply that mate, read my post, I understand that my machine is of poor quality so that is no suprise. The reason for the post was that I couldn't find any decent info about people who have had experience with these and my opinion was that it was a bit on the expensive side for a home build.

Anyway, I have since bought this box and built it up so we are now moving forward, my plan is to get used to the software, once up and running to a competent level then I can make the decision as to which more professional machine to buy.

This is all part of a new venture for my company hence being a little stand off-ish with initial investment in case I find it is not suited to my company.
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Jun 2017, 07:59

Re: Mk3/4 controller Anygood for the money?

Postby t991731 » 16 Sep 2017, 15:09


For simple setups I would recommend the Mk3/4.
I own the Mk3/4, the board is solid and well built
although it may have too limited number of inputs and outputs
but for simpler build it should be sufficient and less confusing.
For me it was worth the money, I was also considering for getting
the Mk3 for another machine but I have held back since the Planet CNC is not interested
in supporting 3'rd party accessories, like pendants, nor users who have
been trying to implement those themselves.
The driver is not actually expensive, especially the mk3/4.

The UI is nice and clean. The new TNG software looks better and is
supposed to be better than the old one, but lacks some functions
the old one had, like for instance the "pause push" to pause operation until
the input is released.

As far as I know there are only two other options beside Planet cnc in this pricerange.
The Mach3 is the most popular, there is a wide variety of controllers
and pendants and other accessories but the user interface looks
like somebody had puked on the monitor.
The Eding CNC is more similar to Planet CNC, bit more expensive but
otherwise the UI is also nice and clean but I have not own that.
The Planet CNC drivers work, but not all functionality is there.
I bought the unit thinking I can use it to control my own additional
hardware via I2C as in the marketing pages it is advertised as
a working option, but in reality it is not supported and probably wont be.
At least from the replies to the questions asked by other users it seems
that the developers don't really care about that.
The support through this forum also works, sort of, they help to solve many issues but
often they are not really interested in helping it the issue is not strictly related
to their product and their understanding of how it should be used.
Probably since a small company (couple of guys) cant manage to do all at the same time:
develop the hardware, firmware, software, manufacturing, marketing, support,,
It is a lot and the drivers are inexpensive. I suppose few hours of time spent for
supporting will eat all of the profit they are making on a single set.

The other suppliers surely have their problems as well.

For a small simple machine and no special needs I'm sure that
you'll do fine with the Planet CNC mk3/4.

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Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 15:15
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