Evolution 4 CNC Frequently Asked Questions
What operating systems can the Evolution 4 CNC router use?
The Evolution 4 comes with an Arduino based microprocessor using grbl that is connected thru a communications port thru a USB connection. We recommend the Universal Gcode Sender Platform Version which is a Java-based software that will run on Windows, OSX, Linux, and Raspberry Pi.
Can the Evolution 4 be run from a laptop? If so what kind of port is needed on the laptop?
Yes, you can use a laptop as long as you have a free USB port. Our CNC router uses GRBL firmware on the microcontroller. The microcontroller uses a USB to connect to the computer. Open source software such as UGS - Universal G-code Sender can be used with GRBL to operate the machine. Both GRBL and UGS have good documentation on the internet. The assembly manual can be downloaded and reviewed here.
What bits, or bit sets would you recommend for this?
Our CNC router spindles comes with a 1/4" collet. Straight, vee and rounded bits will all work. They need to have a 1/4" or 1/8" shaft size. Search online stores for CNC router bits and select the bits for the material you plan to use.
What software will I need to buy to run the Evolution 4?
There are several choices of software. Most of them are open source and are free. The one I am currently using is the Universal G-code Sender (UGS). The firmware loaded on the microprocessor is also open source and is named grbl. There is information on the internet about grbl, I suggest using the search terms “Using grbl.”
The Evolution 4 CNC router is like most CNC machines as it uses g-code files. The g-code files are text files that can be computer generated or written by hand. There are several open sourced software packages that generate g-code.
You will need a computer with a free USB. Once you download the software, discussed above, to generate and interpret the g-code, you will be ready to create your projects with the Evolution 4 CNC Router.
How thick of wood can it cut through?
The Evolution 4 CNC router gantry height from the table is 3.3". The maximum height from the bottom of the Makita collet from the table is 4.5". Without a tool change, you would be able to cut 1.2" into a 3.3" thick stock or cut all the way thru a 2.25" (or less) thick stock. With tool changes, you would be able to cut thru a 3.3" thick stock.
Calculations for the answer.
4.5" -3.3" = 1.2" bit available to cut
4.5" = 2.25" of bit + 2.25" thick of stock
Can you make signs longer than 24" in multiple steps?
Absolutely. Yes, you would be able to put a couple of small marks (one at X0, Y 0 and the other at X0, Y23) with a small V-bit before you release the clamps. Then you could reference these marks in the next setup with X back in the zero position.
Another method would be carefully measuring the placement of the workpiece for each setup. This can be aided with jigs or material stops.
The maximum width that will fit in between the sides is a little less than 26 inches. The front and back are open for shifting the work as much as needed
The maximum width the router can cut is 24" inches, but it can cut unlimited lengths using multiple setups.
Does the Evolution 4 come with the controller and motors?
Yes, the Evolution 4 CNC router kit comes with the controller, motors, and power supply. The assembly manual can be downloaded from our website. You will need a computer with a free USB.
What is your refund/return policy?
The refund/return policy can be found here.
What is the accuracy of the machine?
The accuracy is highly dependent on how hard the bit is pushed thru the material. The theoretical accuracy is 13 microns (0.0004"). However, there are several things that add to error.
- bit deflection
- belt stretch
- micro- stepping
- lead screw error
- frame rigidity
- bit size configuration in the g-code
With all of these, the well maintained Evolution 4 CNC router will still be able to hold accuracy within a few thousands of an inch. (0.002" to 0.004"), or 50 to 100 microns.
The best way to hold tolerance is to make light cuts on the final pass. This reduces bit deflection, belt stretch, and frame flexing.
How technical is the assembly process?
The Evolution 4 manual can be downloaded and reviewed on the link above. We recommend that you download and review the assembly manual. You can also research grbl (the firmware), Universal Gcode Sender ( the g-code sender software), and F-engrave ( software to make the G-code). All are free and can be reviewed before you buy.
How loud is it?
The Evolution 4 CNC router has a variable speed router. Routers are loud enough that you will want hearing protection. One reference I read online quoted 103 dB, however, lowering the spindle speed will greatly reduce the noise.
Is the controller 2-1/2 or 3-axis?
The Evolution 4 is a full 3 axis machine.
How are the pieces clamped on the table bed? Does the unit come with hold down clamps?
The spoilboard bed has 1/4"- 20 inserts. The kit comes with 1/4"-20 screws and wing nuts along with 8 clamps for mounting the workpiece. The assembly manual can be downloaded and reviewed on the link above.
What type of material is used to make the frame of the machine?
The Evolution 4 CNC router frame is made from 6 mm 5 ply Baltic birch. The spoilboard is 3/4" MDF.
Can this run on Windows 10 and would I need to install a software?
The Evolution 4 is a CNC router that uses an Arduino microprocessor to interpret the g-code file. The firmware is called grbl ( is pre-installed on the microprocessor and uses a USB port to receive serial port information (G-code) from software on the computer. I recommend UGS, Universal G-code Sender, software to send the g-code text file to the controller.
GRBL and UGS use standard g-code text files to operate. Both have good documentation on their websites showing their capabilities.
Yes, you would be able to run with Window 10 as well as many other operating systems.