MDF Rose Engine Lathe 2.0
Control System for Multiple Stepper Motors
Bright red & green buttons show the system
when synchronizing movement towards the headstock
Indicates that the selected stepper motor is enabled even when not in use. Touch this to change it to Disabled. The More screen can be used to set this to be continuously Disabled or Enabled. These buttons temporarily override that configuration setting.

Key Note:When using DM542T stepper motor drivers, this needs to be Enabled (especially for work using indexing), otherwise the position will be lost and the movement will not be predictable.

Indicates that the selected stepper motor is only enabled when in use, and then disabled. Touch this to change it to Enabled.

Sets the direction of the cut to be made towards the headstock.

Used to stop the motion of the stepper motor.

Used to return the spindle or the selected axis to the start point of the previous operation.

When using this function, Be sure to stop and retract the cutter from the cut first. The return path does not always follow the same path as the initial cut. (Backlash and other factors come into play here.)

The speed of the return action is set in the Preferences | Returns screen.

Sets the direction of the cut to be made away from the headstock.
Synchronization Screen

Purpose:Synchronizes the rotation of the spindle with movement on an auxiliary axis.

Key Note: This screen uses values set on other screens.

There is value in reading thru the threading activity document for understanding how to add helixes to an object.



These buttons are used to index the spindle for the next cut.

The amount the spindle will index when using these buttons is based on the value in Divisions (of a circle) which is set on the Index #1 Screen. This value could be either in divisions of a circle or degrees depending upon which option is toggled on the Index screen.

After one indexing is executed, that direction's button will be "lit" (the text will change to red). This makes it easier to index again in the same direction.

The value shown in gray indicates the number of times the axis has been indexed. It is decremented each time the stepper motor is moved counter clockwise, and incremented when moved clockwise.

Note: the speed for the indexing movement is set on the Index #1 Screen.

Helix Type The Helix Type setting,

Left Right

corresponds to the direction for threading (i.e., left-handed or right-handed threads). The same thinking should be applied to how the helix would be cut.

  Revolutions   The value of the Revolutions determines how far around the piece the helix will travel based on the spindle rotating. The value of 0.3 illustrated will rotate the spindle \[ \begin{align} SpindleRotation & = 360 ° \times \, Revolutions \\ & = 360 ° \times \, 0.3 \\ & = 108 ° \end{align} \] whilst moving the cutter the distance specified (in this case, 2.6).

The value of the Revolutions also determines the evenness of the surface when making a flute. Increasing the number of revolutions for a given distance will reduce the size of the ridges.

Ridges are desirable when making threads, but for a smooth surface they may not be. With a high enough value for the Revolutions, these ridges will become imperceptable. More details about that are available at this web page.

To change this value, touch the number, and you will be presented with the Number Pad Screen.


The value of the Distance variable determines the cut length (amount of Z, X, M3, or M4 axis movement) and is dependent upon value entered in the Configuration Screen for Distance/360 for the axis you are using.

Distance does not have a dimension per se. For the selected axis of movement:

  • If the value in the Configuration Screen is specified in inches, then this is the distance to move in inches.
  • If the value is specified in millimeters, then this will be in millimeters.


  Sync %  

This option is used to run the spindle and M3 stepper motors synchronously at the specified percentages. Negative number runs the spindle and M3 in opposite directions.

This option only works if the Synchro function button is enabled (not red).

This function is useful for activities such as having the spindle and the rosette(s) run at different revolutions per minute.

Speed The controls on the left and right side of the screen are for controlling the respective stepper motor's speed and acceleration.

To change the Max Speed, touch the number, and you will be presented with the Number Pad Screen.

The slider is a red bar that can be moved up to increase the speed, or down to decrease it.

Want to understand this better? More details about the stepper motor speeds are on this page.

Acceleration The bottom number (5800 on the left; 7488 on the right) is the acceleration for the stepper motor.

To change this value, touch the number, and you will be presented with the Number Pad Screen.

Limit Switches & EStop

Limit switches can be used with this function. The pins used for this are configured on the Limit Switches Configuration Screen. (More information about the implementation of limit switches is on that page.)

If the EStop is engaged when using this function, all the movement buttons will turn red.

To reset:

  1. Ensure the EStop switch is not closed, and
  2. Touch one of the stop buttons.