As the fourth stage in the toolchain, a motion controller is the software or hardware that translates G-Code into a series of coordinated movements sent to the motor drivers of the CNC device. Generally, hardware motion controllers are superior in that they have no other overhead besides the one job. A software based controller can be considerably cheaper, but can have limits on operation due to overhead, lack of real time operation.
- Examples include
- (hardware) Dynomotion KFLOP, Smoothstepper
- (software) MACH3, MACH4, LinuxCNC