Review of TwoTrees TTC 450 CNC router machine with 80W and 500W spindles
Mechblock TwoTrees TTC 450 is a CNC router machine for precision cutting with a working area of 460x460x80 mm. The machine can handle 2D and 3D, 3-axis X, Y, Z movement, features a 32-bit microcontroller, a touchscreen control display, and supports WiFi network connection. The TTC 450 can also read files on an SD card for offline operation, and workpieces can be made of a variety of materials such as wood, acrylic, Plastwood, carbon fiber sheet, aluminum, metal, and various engineering plastic materials.
TTC 450 CNC router specifications
- Work Area – 450 x 450 X 80 mm
- Body Material – Metal frame & Aluminium 4080U Profile
- Drive System – Translation screw drive with double Y-axis system
- Mainboard – DLC32 V2.1 (ESP32-based as found in TwoTrees TTC 450)
- Stepper Driver – A4988 1.3A
- Stepper Motors – 17HS8401S, NEMA23 20mN.m
- Spindle – 74W, 8000RPM
- Max Speed – 800mm/Min
- Running Accuracy – +/-0.1mm
- Repositioning Accuracy – +/-0.0025mm
- Power Supply – 24V/5A (120W)
- Support CAM Software – Candle, Carveco, Artcam, Easel
- Homing Switches – X, Y, Z double limit switch + ESTOP
- Leadscrew Size & Type – T8 2mm Pitch, 4mm Lead 5 Start Acme Lead Screw
The TTC 450 CNC CNC machine can cut and engrave high-precision work with the following accuracy:
- Operating accuracy: +/- 0.1 mm
- Positioning accuracy of each axis: +/- 0.0025 mm.
MKS DLC32 V2.1 control board
The MKS DLC32 V2.1 board is an offline USB engraver controller developed for desktop engravers. It relies on an ESP32-WROOM-32U module with WiFi, connects to a 3.5-inch color touch screen, and A4988 motor drivers with a 1.3A drive current and 12V/24V DC power supply. The control board can be used LaserGRBL and Candle GRBL software and we can also control the CNC router from a web browser or a mobile phone as explained in more detail on GitHub.
TTC 450 unboxing and assembly
The structure of the TTC 450 CNC machine is entirely made of metal using 4080U aluminum beams for a rigid and strong design.
Collets and end mills included in the TTC 450 CNC router kit include:
- 1x ER11 Collet ER11, 3.175 mm
- 1x ER11 Collet ER11, 6 mm
- 10x V-shaped cutter with a 30-degree angle
There are seventeen steps to build the TTC 450 CNC router machine as shown in the assembly video below. It’s not as hard as it may seem, and relatively straightforward.
The X-axis drive unit of the TTC 450 CNC router moves along a 460mm T8 lead screw (2 mm pitch) driven by one stepping motor (Nema17) with a torque of 52 Newton centimeters (N.cm).
The two Y-axis drive units of the TTC 450 CNC machine move along a 460mm T8 lead screw with a 2mm pitch each driven by a stepping motor (Nema17) with a Torque of 52 Newton centimeters (N.cm).
The Z-axis drive unit of the TTC 450 CNC router moves along an 80mm long T8 lead screw (2mm pitch) driven by one stepping motor (Nema23) with a torque of 1.89 N.m.
The workpiece is clamped to TTC 450 CNC router machine through metal plate screwed to the main plates of the machine. This is convenient to move or fix the position of the material and supports all kind of shapes.
The TwoTrees TTC 450 CNC router machine ships with an 80W 775 spindle with an ER11 spindle motor having a maximum speed of 8,000 rpm, a torque of 0.2 Nm, and 24V DC input.
The power adapter takes 100 – 240 V input at 50/60Hz, outputs 24V up to 5A (120W), and is connected to the machine through a 5.5/2.1mm jack.
TwoTrees TTC 500 CNC router startup and software installation
The power socket can be found on the side of the control box placed on the left side of the TTC 450 CNC engraving machine.
You’ll also find a microSD card slot on that side of the control box needed to operate the machine. It can be either Class 4 or Class 10 and support up to 64GB of capacity according to the manufacturer. The power button (push-on switch) is located on the right of the microSD card and you can press it to turn on and off the machine. The control box is also equipped with an emergency stop button for safety in order to promptly stop operation in case something goes wrong.
The TTC 450 CNC router machine is equipped with a 3.5-inch color touchscreen LCD for settings, displaying the current position, or commanding movement of all 3 axes, as well as setting up a WiFi connection.
The display can be used to control the movement of the 3-axis, the distance and speed of each movement (low to high), and can also turn on and off the spindle.
In Tools mode (Tools), the display will show the board model (MKS DLC32 CNC V2.0), firmware version (V2.1), CPU information, and give the ability to change the language and configure the WiFi connection.
After entering your WiFi password and having successfully connected to the wireless network, we will see the IP address of the TTC 450 CNC router machine, which we can type in the web browser to access the WebUI.
The web user interface offers many of the same features as the built-in display with X/Y/Z movement control, movement speed, distance of each movement, and so on.
The interface supports G-code or NC files converted from CAM software to run commands through the network system. This makes it convenient to work on workpieces via a microSD card without having to connect a USB cable to a computer.
You can also conveniently adjust specific parameters of the TTC 450 CNC machine.
CNC control software communicates between the computer and the CNC machine to read the Gcode generated by CAM software such as Autodesk ArtCam. GRBL is a very popular open-source firmware that runs on an Arduino or ESP32 controller board installed on the CNC machine. This firmware can control 3-axis movement using a computer connected via USB only. We will be using the free Candle GRBL software program compatible with the TTC450 CNC machine and easy to use for beginners. Both Windows and Linux versions are available.
The connect provided USB-A to USB-B cable between your computer and the control box on the TTC 450 CNC router.
Select the serial port and connection speed (e.g. COM5 + 115200 bps) in the Candle GRBL program and click on the “OK” button. If the port of TTC 450 CNC engraving machine is not found in Windows, please install the CH340 driver first.
Open the working file by going to “File” in the top menu, and then clicking “Open”.
We will see the design in Candle GRBL after opening the file. You can also adjust the position of the machine and send the Gcode code:
- Control the movement of each X Y Z axis, adjust the movement speed, the distance of each movement, and set the machine to go back to the center position. The movement speed should not exceed 500 mm per minute.
- If you want to send the Gcode code to the TTC 450 CNC machine simply click on “Send” and the machine will start working.
Testing TTC 450 CNC machine with various materials
We’ll use an 80W 775 spindle with a 4 mm thick Plastwood plate to test TwoTrees TTC 450 CNC router machine. The spindle speed is set to 100% at 8,000 rpm, the feed rate to 400 mm per minute, and we’re using a straight flute end mill with a 1.5mm diameter. The end result is quite beautiful but still has bits of Plastwood stuck along the edge of the piece. You can see how the machine works in the video review below.
The next step is with wood using the same configuration, except the feed rate is lowered to 300mm per minute. The result looks pretty good.
TwoTrees also send a 500W spindle with our kit. So we’ve upgraded our TTC450 CNC machine with the more powerful 500W motor to have the ability to work on metal or harder plastic materials.
The 500W Spindle uses standard ER11 collets, delivers a higher speed of 12,000 rpm, is fairly quiet, and has good heat dissipation. It makes carving workpieces smoother.
The 500W spindle kit comes with a mounting base to mount the Spindle to the TTC450 CNC machine’s Z-axis mounting plate. There is a 220V power cord and a cable to connect the spindle to the spindle controller. The speed can be fine-tuned on the machine. There is also a system to automatically stop the spindle when the job is completed.
500W Spindle specifications
- Power – 500W
- Speed – 12,000 rpm
- Torque – 0.6 N.m
- Dielectric strength – 400 V
- Total motor length – 199 mm
- Package weight – 3 kg
- Weight of spindle – 1.4 kg
The 220V home wiring connection to the 500w Spindle’s signal cable is located on the back of the Spindle Controller and the Power On/Off switch is also located on the back of the unit.
Now that the 500W spindle is installed we can test the TTC 450 CNC router machine with an acrylic sheet using a spindle speed of 80% at 10,000 rpm, a feed rate of 300 mm per minute, and a straight flute end mill with 1.5 mm diameter. The result is again pretty good.
Let’s now switch to a carbon fiber plate using a speed of 95% at 11,500 rpm, a feed rate of 200 mm per minute, and the same end mill. The cut was smooth and the result is beautiful.
Video review of the TwoTrees TTC 450 CNC router machine
You can see the 80W and 500W spindles in action in the video embedded below with the materials we tested above.
TwoTrees TTC 450 CNC router machine can be used for cutting and carving various materials such as wood, metal, plastic, etc. either offline by loading the file through a microSD card and using the 3.5-inch display for control, through WiFi using the WebUI in a web browser, or connected via USB to a computer running software such as Candle GRBL.
The structure of the tool is made of durable metal with large lead screws, and the Y-axis is especially sturdy with a pair of lead screws. The 500W spindle upgrade that we received with the kit greatly improves work efficiency and cut and/or carve materials in a smoother fashion. The workpiece is held into place with the base plate with screws so the machine can work with special shapes as well.
The machine can create 2D and 3D pieces and is suitable for people who want to use a CNC machine for cutting or carving works whether as a hobby or to sell designs such as name plates or signs using plastic, acrylic sheets, industrial plastic, etc… The system can also be used for STEAM education in the classroom technology. The TTC 450 CNC machine is a cost-effective CNC machine that should meet the requirements of many people.
We would like to thank TwoTrees for sending me a TTC 450 CNC router machine for review along with the 500W motor update. The complete kit can be purchased for Rs.54990/-(Incl.18%GST & Shipping) on the MECHBLOCK store.