Controller w/ True Rotary (A-Axis)

Good evening all,
I’m guessing this has probably been covered before, or is available in a hardware-compatibility list somewhere - but I can’t seem to find it!

I’d like to look at options to replace my Ruida 6445 Controller for one that has a true A-Axis for a rotary rather than repurposing the Y-Axis. I’ve successfully added a Z-Axis motor as well as a toggle between the Y and Rotary axis drives, which works, but I’d really like a true A-Axis.

Bonus points if it fits in the same space as a Ruida controller! :slight_smile:


Is this a new machine?

The 6445 is a four axes controller in which you are using only three…

That is how the machines ‘work’, it runs the rotary just like it’s the Y axes (or the A axes), just as it does all the other axes. It really doesn’t know or care.

‘True rotary’, what is that exactly? All these controllers work on various machines, usually just by configuration changes. Doesn’t matter if it’s spinning a rotary or sliding a table…

Many have connected their rotaries to the U axes.

You can’t leave the rotary in there and use it for something else. So you will have to unplug it. Put another plug in the cabinet, add another motor driver and use the U axis. All of which will be needed for any other controller.

Be much lower cost and much less complicated NOT to change out the controller.

You never gave an explanation of why you want to do this?

Sounds like you are ‘used’ to that process and want to ‘hang on’ to that ‘comfort’

The Ruida controllers are about the best you can get. I think you’re nuts to even consider changing it out for something else… Your options are on the Lightburn supported controllers list on their site, if you wish to continue using Lightburn.

I think I get the bonus points, it will fit.

You have a very nice machine… You will be happy with it if you just see what can be done with it.

Good luck, take care.


I’ve had this machine for a couple years and did originally connect it to the U-Axis, however from what i understand, that axis cannot be used inside an actual program, it’s a positioning axis only. Has this changed in a recent firmware update?

The controller is fine for my needs, except for the ability to use the rotary like i want. A G-code based controller would be nice, but not absolutely necessary.

That’s what I was thinking, you are used to a grbl machine. It has it places.

Many people use the U for their rotaries. If you search this site you will find them. Grbl controllers are nothing like DSP machines and for lasers they seem to be the optimum.

I’m going to move mine to the U, I have the parts, just haven’t done it. I have a 6442G.

The extra parts, like the motor drivers and connectors are going to be needed for any controller. Hook it up and try it… maybe you’ll like it for much lower cost and headaches…

If you decide to dump it, give me a shout… I still envious of the RF laser some of these people have, be a good controller for that… :slight_smile:


Thanks for the info - I’ll have to dig into this a bit more, I thought this was a DSP Machine - honestly wasn’t aware of the difference between that and Grbl. Luckily I already installed all the hardware / wiring when I rewired the whole machine for added lights / cameras / etc. I’m not really opposed to a complete controller swap - since the same controller could get transferred to a larger machine if I buy/build one.

I work w/ industrial lasers / laser systems…and your sentiment is correct, there’s ere’s always a fancier laser!

I think in the hobby end, you won’t get a better controller than the Ruida for lasers.

If you decide to change it, let me know, I would like to have one around…

And update us on how/why, it’s always great to other ways of doing thing.

Good luck


I realized after looking at my notes I have a 6442 controller, rather than the 6445, so I purchased a 6445 on eBay w/ a good price from OMtech as a pre-order. Should be a few weeks till I see it but looks pretty straightforward.

In the end, I have very little to complain about with the Ruida controller except for this rotary axis stuff. Although I just bought a chuck-style rotary for my Fiber Marker, so next I’ll complain about not having 2 possible rotary axis available :smiley: .

I have a 6442.

All that effort worth a increase from a 320x480 tft to a 854x480 tft screen?

As far as I know that’s the only difference.

In all likelihood it will be ‘plug’ comparable, since they are the same animal except the console.


From what I can find, only the 6445 has firmware to enable use of the U-Axis as a rotary the way I’d like to. The larger TFT screen isn’t my goal.

I was thinking about trying to just install the screen and try it out - but at least one of the sellers said it doesn’t work that way. We’ll see I guess. I also can move the main-board lower in the electrical cabinet since I never liked how cramped the Ethernet/USB connections are :slight_smile:

I believe the console is a different size … from the mechanical drawings I saw.

This is from

Let us know how it works out… Don’t forget the pictures…

Good luck, take care


Yep, you’re absolutely right, the screen is larger, but that wasn’t my motivation. Just the stupid rotary :slight_smile:

Well good luck… I am going to add one for my rotary, I will give the U axis a try, since it’s just pull it out of the Z connector and into the U…


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