Survey: What sender/controller do you use?

I have heard of many different programs being used to send gcode to the MPCNC. I am not talking about the firmware in the controller, or the CAD/CAM software used to design the part and create the gcode. I am referring to the gcode sender that actually controls the machine during carving and jogging. What is your current or favourite one to use?

  • Just Marlin on the LCD
  • ioSender
  • LinuxCNC
  • Estlcam
  • Universal Gcode Sender
  • Repetier Host
  • CNC.js
  • Easel
  • Something else: please post a reply and tell us about it!

0 voters


1 Like

I use RepRap Firmware on my CNC machines, so gcode is uploaded over wifi, and the web interface gets used. I also have LCD control on them to run jobs or handle job setup.

I do not have a PC connected to any of my CNC machinrs or 3D printers.

1 Like

Octoprint on Raspberry Pi, OctoPi. Some are v1pi and some are plain OctoPi. The number of instances varies, but I always have one for each printer and one for each cnc, and one for development/software testing.


I use candle. Simply because I got my start in cnc with a sainsmart 3018. I currently subscribe to carveco. It has worked very well with candle. My hardware was the stock controller that came with it. Since I wanted to not have to be tethered to a computer I built the grbl mega with. It has a card reader.

On my mpcnc, I use marlin and transfer gcode files via usb stick to the tft screen. It’s been bullet proof. Keeps my laptop out of the dust.


I use:

  • Octoprint
  • ESP3D Web UI the web interface for several wifi dongles, grbl_esp32, and fluidNC)
  • Pronterface/pronsole. I still prefer this for connected computer work. I like it more that Repetier and it works well with Marlin.
  • In a pinch, I will just connect with a serial console, like miniterm. But I wouldn’t run a job that way.

I run everything out of Estlcam on a USB cabled laptop with Estlcam firmware on an MKS-DLC board.

Universal Gcode Sender is my go to I use a uno and cnc shield V3 with grbl and a widows 10 tablet. I have vetric v carve PRO for editing and it is great. I used estlcam for years and still have a up-to-date license but ike the editing I can do in v-carve at the table.

Same. Raspberry pi running octopi for each printer or cnc. I like it better for printer than cnc. I have not found the right plugin in octopi to show the gcode file to visually verify scaling is correct. I had a Wii controller on my Maslowcnc to drive it around and I find quad clicking in Marlin with a wheel to move one axis and then change to another a waste of time. Need a better pendant…


Octoprint can use the keyboard for jogging when you are on the control tab (I think the mouse has to be on the webcam window).


Somehow I thought a lot more people used Octoprint. If Octoprint is not used much, then Octoprint plugins are not so widely useful. Maybe cncjs and its derivatives are a better target for software enhancements…

1 Like

Maybe more plugins would make it more enticing! Or maybe the raspberry pi shortage is skewing the numbers.


LinuxCNC… and it’s very nice!


Octoprint on Raspberry Pi and sometimes the SDcard on LCD

1 Like

I have Octoprint on the ZenXY table. I used to have it for my Primo, but haven’t used it since I changed over to the Duet.

1 Like

I’m in the same camp as Dan, I used to use Octoprint with a touchscreen tablet PC for jogging etc. But there were issues with having the marlin board and the raspberry pi as two separate boards. Few and far between but enough issues to make me want to switch to Duet. So I am now running Rep Rap firmware on a Duet board. It’s easy, convenient and powerful. Tons of new features the web interface is easy to navigate and jog with a touchscreen. Love It!

Yeah I believe this is the real reason there is less Octopi users. The entry cost is higher than everything else. It is much cheaper (free) to plug a usb into your laptop and run Repetier. Its $100-$200 for a Raspberry Pi setup, plus the extra effort and knowledge to install, flash, and setup.

I use Octopi for my printers, but I just Repetier on my laptop to control my MPCNC.

I use bCNC on a Pi3 with my Primo. It has a touchscreen, but only a small wireless keyboard is needed for jogging. It is decent software IMHO, and it does a few things others cannot do like surface leveling. I haven’t had any issues with it in the time I’ve used it. On my 3d printer I strictly use sneakernet (sdcards). I used to use octoprint, but moved away from it due to issues with USB speed (octoprint can’t do high res round features with any speed without stuttering).


My lowrider is still pretty new but I’ve been using pronterface exclusively. It’s easy and a familiar interface from other projects I’ve worked on.


Neat survey. Curious how this’ll change over time.

@stevempotter, can the survey be edited to include ESP3D, V1Pi, Klipper, MainSail and/or other notable gcode senders mentioned in this topic (or other recent topics even)? Cheers!

Pasting current snapshot as of Jan 2023…