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Centroid Acorn CNC controller FAQ

1.) Can I buy one Pro Acorn CNC12 license and use it on several Acorn CNC control boards?

Answer: No, the Centroid Acorn Pro and Digitizing Bundle licenses are tied to the Acorn board serial number. When purchasing a Pro or Digitizing Bundle license the Acorn serial number is required and then a Pro or Digitizing Bundle license is created that matches the Acorn board serial. When the CNC12 software starts it checks the Pro or Digitizing Bundle license against the Acorn board that is connected to the CNCPC for a match. If it matches then that particular level (Pro or Digitizing Bundle) of CNC12 software is active. If it doesn't match then the CNC12 software runs at the "Free" level. (So Acorn CNC12 will run without any license installed)

2.) If I buy an Acorn Mill Pro CNC12 license and then decide to upgrade to the Digitizing Bundle license how much does that cost?

Answer: $224

3.) Can I buy an Acorn Mill Pro and Acorn Lathe Pro and Acorn Digitizing Bundle for use on the same Acorn Board?

Answer: Yes.

4.) Can I ask Centroid to move a Pro or Digitizing Bundle software License from one Acorn board to another?

Answer: If Centroid issues an RMA for an Acorn board to be returned, any License associated with that board can be transferred to another Acorn board.

5.) Do I have to state at time of purchase what machine I plan on using the Acorn with?

Answer: No. Both the Mill and Lathe Free version of Acorn CNC12 control software is available for download so you can configure the Acorn controller for a wide variety of machine tools. The hardware doesn't care what kind of machine it connected to :-)

6.) If I bought an Acorn Mill Pro License can I use it with the Acorn Lathe Software?

Answer: No. The Acorn Pro License is Mill and Lathe specific. The is a Pro License for Mill and the is a Pro license for Lathe

7.) If I destroyed the BBG (Beagle Bone Green) that came with my Acorn board can I supply my own?

Answer: Yes, but the License file(s) for that were issued for that Acorn will not work with the new BBG. Centroid offers License file transfer service for $29 and requires you to email us a file. here is how to generate a file. to

8.) How big of a G-code program can i run with the Free version of CNC12 software?

Answer: 50Kb. To give you an idea of what can be done with the Free version of the Acorn CNC12 software: on our website is a part program for a SEM DC servo motor cover plate, below on the left is the plate being installed and on the right is the tool path that was used to make the cover plate. This G code program to make this part is 5Kb in size.

Cover Plate
click image for larger view
Tool Path for Cover Plate
click image for larger view

This is pretty typical of a home hobby shop type part. The G code file generated by a cad cam system or in this case Centroid's Intercon conversational programming software (with comments!) to make this part the G-code program is only 5kb in size. The Centroid FREE version of CNC12 has a file size limitation of 50KB so you could run a G code program 10 times this size with the Free version of CNC12. As you can see, you can do a lot even with the Free version of the Acorn CNC12 software.
Note: The Centroid PRO version of CNC12 has no file size limitation so you could run a file as large as the hard drive on the CNCPC and the Digitizing Bundle License also has no file size limitation. (only limited by the size of the CNCPC hard drive space)
Here is a link to the 5kb Gcode program used to cut this SEM servo motor cover plate

9.) How long does it take to ship the Acorn CNC control kit?

Answer: Typically the Acorn CNC control kits are in stock ready to ship and ship within one or two business day from Howard, PA. You will receive an email with tracking number when your kit ships.

10.) Do I have to have a paypal account to order a Acorn Kit?

Answer: No. Add items to the cart with the add to cart button and then select "Credit Card" at Checkout.

11.) Can I order an Acorn CNC control kit over the phone? Do you have resellers in the EU?

Answer: Yes. Centroid accepts orders for Acorn kits through our website, phone and email.

We do ship internationally! International shipping will be calculated during checkout for all online orders.

Alternatively, below a list of other locations to purchase the Acorn CNC controller.

12.) Do you have a list of drives that Acorn works with?

Answer: The Acorn CNC controller commands many different types of servo and stepper motor drives with industry standard "Step and Direction" drive communication signals. The list of compatible drives is too long to list here, highlights are Yaskawa, Delta, Estun, Panasonic, DMM, Teknic Clearpath, Gecko, Leadshine, Teco to name a few. So, any drive that accepts Step and Direction is compatible with the Acorn CNC Controller.
(If you require Velocity Mode drive communication please consider our OAK CNC control board.)

13.) Who do I contact for Technical Support?

Answer: Free Acorn Technical Support is available 24/7 on the Acorn CNC community support forum. Here is how to sign up for the Free Support Forum.

Centroid Direct Technical Support is available for $120/hr. one hour min. purchase support here and email

14.) Do I need to purchase a PC from Centroid or can I build my own.

Answer: Ready to run Centroid CNCPC's are for sale on the Acorn web page, alternatively you can supply your own CNCPC as long as it meets the Centroid Minimum PC performance specifications found here.

15.) What is the Acorn Return, Warranty and Repair policies?

Answer: Please see this page for complete details.

16.) Is there a return restocking fee?

Answer: Yes. 15%. (fyi..Paypal does not refund the seller the paypal fees initially charged for the paypal purchase so the restocking fee is helping to cover that) See the Acorn Warranty page for more info..