CNC Controllers, Pendants & Cables

About PCNC Controllers

Tormach PCNC Mills require a computer controller for operation. Each Tormach PCNC mill includes a full license of Mach3, which is the Motion Control program for Windows systems that can be used to run your PCNC. Mach3 is created by ArtSoft, a software developer based in Canada and configured for use with the PCNC by Tormach.

While a few customers choose to build their own PC Controller, most choose one of our Tormach Machine Controller (TMC) options. Our TMCs are preconfigured plug-and-play devices for hassle-free mill control and allow you to avoid the necessary debugging and trial-and-error hardware compatibility issues inherent to building and integrating a PC controller from scratch.

We sell TMCs preconfigured both with Mach3/MachOS. The vast majority of our customers choose the Mach3/MachOS combination for its usability, customizability, and support of all Tormach accessories. A few customers choose EMC2/Linux because of their need for a specific feature or an appreciation of the open-source community.

We also offer necessary interface cables and motion control pendants, including our Jog-Shuttle Controller. This hockey-puck shaped pendant is intuitive to use and the most popular method for driving the mill.

More about PC-based Motion Control

There are two excellent alternatives for reliable low cost PC-based CNC mill control:

  1. Windows operating system & Mach3 control application
  2. Linux operating system and EMC2 control application.

The Mach3 & Windows combination is the standard solution for Tormach mills. Mach3 can operate under various Microsoft operating systems including: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and MachOS. MachOS is a unique operating system created by Tormach with Windows Embedded Standard. Consumer Microsoft operating systems, like XP or Vista, can suffer a variety of issues depending on details of the operating system configuration. In contrast to these consumer operating systems, MachOS provides a more consistent and stable operating environment.

EMC2 and Linux can also be used to control a Tormach mill. EMC (Enhanced Machine Controller) is a free program. It is supported and continues to develop though a community effort by a large number of programmers and machinists. The best place to begin learning about EMC is at the project web portal: The Linux operating system is free and has even more variants than Windows (e.g. Wikipedia site Comparison of Linux distributions). For EMC2 the currently preferred variant is Ubuntu.

To learn more about the challenges associated with building your own PC controller, click here.

Milling Accessories - Controllers Pendants and Cables Documents

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