Big Tree Tech control board alternative

So I’ve been looking into doing a Zenxy table as a summer project. DIY machines video was what got me headed down this path and initially, I was planning on following that build rather closely. But looking at the need for Arduino control, stepper motor driver circuitry and a got me thinking. BTT recently released a new board for Ender 3 that can plug a CB1 directly in. This would seem to potentially streamline a lot of the electronics into one package. I recognize that the board is probably extreme overkill, but would this be a realistic route to go? Considering the price of Pi4s im thinking this could actually be a cost savings. I think I read that there is marlin firmware that you can use, but not sure how much would need to be changed. Dont really have any coding or compiling experience at the moment. If anyone has tried this route or might have some insight, it would be much appreciated.

Personally, I highly recommend the MKS DLC32 boards. I am using this board for a custom laser engraver I am designing and I will be replacing the Ramps board and Pi4 in my ZenXY table with the MKS DLC32 soon as well. It has the built in WIFI which I like a lot, allowing me to remove the Pi4 from the table.

MKS has a CoreXY firmware already written for the board so you just simply have to flash that to the board to use on the ZenXY.

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I will second Matts choice, the DLC32’s sd card file transfer system actually works (unlike other iterations of ESP3D’s, which don’t) making file uploads to the controller via wifi a breeze providing you just let it do the transfer without any interruptions. The display also works with either cnc or laser based profiles, sadly there is not a profile for ZenXY tables but the functions are close enough to make them useable… if not the prettiest set of icons ever produced. Providing you can get by with just 3 stepper drivers it is an excellent controller/display combo.

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If I was sorting through the many options, these are the questions I would be asking:

  • Do I require a display so I can run jobs offline/headless?

  • Do I require a wireless solution to upload and execute jobs?

  • Do I have a preferred firmware?

  • How difficult is it to get the initial firmware configuration running on the board?

  • How important is reducing the noise (TMC2209 drivers)?

Answers to these questions will allow you to comb through the many boards and find the ones that meet your criteria. For example, the MKS DLC32 board is mentioned by Mike and Matt. I don’t know anything about it specifically, but a quick search leads me to believe that the board runs GRBL. So, if you want quiet drivers, my question would be how difficult it will be to configure the firmware for TMC2209 drivers. Usually, the default firmware configuration for these boards is for DRV8825 and A4988 drivers.

The MKS DLC32 does actually support TMC2208/2209/2225 drivers. I am running 2209s on mine.

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I’m repurposing and older benbox laser cnc into a stand-alone laser for branding (instead of a branding iron). Will produce sharper images that are easily changed.
I have the MKS DLC32 board and display with 2209 motor controllers. Got the x/y axis working and 2500mw diode laser running. Using lightburn.
My question is: where are users finding good in depth documentation for the dlc board. How to update firmware. Any help appreciated.

I’m using the mks dlc32. Could you point me to documentation on how to flash the firmware.

It came preflashed with the MKS firmware on it. I am not familiar with modifying or flashing their firmware because I have only been using these boards with FluidNC firmware.

FluidNC is more customizable and allows you to configure the board to your machine, but it looses the ability to use a screen.

I don’t believe you can modify the MKS firmware directly. Atleast I don’t know how. I am sure others who know how to edit the config files better than I do are able to modify the MKS firmware.

Maybe check out this video:

Thanks, everyone for the input! This seems like the route I will probably end up going with this build. I definitely have a lot to learn, but definitely appears to check all of the boxes I was looking for. Should be a fun summer project. I will definitely keep an eye on this thread and continue to avail all of you of the wealth of knowledge available here when I inevitably run in to further challenges.

Go to and click on the green ‘CODE’ button, then click on download Zip. Once you have extract all the files. Once you have the MKS-DLC32-main folder open it to find 4 folders, the ‘doc’ folder contains the programming guide.
You don’t ‘modify’ the firmware as such, you simply select the available firmware that fits your application regarding screen size, cnc or laser, normal or corexy and firmware revision number.
The only dodgy bit is unpacking the flashing tool, I found MKS Laser Tool V1.0.6 works for me…some of the others don’t make it past my virus checker!
If you don’t want to risk it you can use the official ESP32 flashing tools from Espressif.

Once you have your chosen firmware on the ESP32 you need to check and modify the dlc_cfg.txt file as required for your machine. It is all quite obvious.
If you intend to use a flame detector board do not load the latest version of the firmware, choose the one preceding it.
Place the dlc_cfg.txt file in the root of the sd card and restart the dlc32.

Thanks, I found and used the MKS tool to flash the firmware. I’m not using flame detection. For this application the laser will not be over 5w. I’m running 2 2209 drivers. What amp 12v would you recommend?

I am also using the MKS TS35-R V2.0 display.

?? Do you mean what 12V power supply would I recommend? … I tend to use this type -

but for a ZenXY table I would have thought anything that can deliver around 60 watts will do really. (thats 12V@5A)

Yes, thanks. I use those for my cnc. Appreciate your response.

I ran my ZenXY off an old D-link wall wart, 12V@2A with the Bart Dring 2209 pen/laser board.

The ZenXY isnt very demanding, and runs really quietly at 150mA current set on the drivers.