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CNC Router: December 2010

This project is so far one of my favorites, one uni holidays I decided that it would be handy to have a cnc machine, so I did the logical thing and started to design one. I quickly got distracted and gave up designing and just started building the thing and this is what I ended up with. There are quite a few things I will change when I get the chance to build mk2, as I go through my build here I will do some of the rudimentary analysis that I should have done before constructing the machine, at the end of each section I will try and include some suggestions on how to make it better. Unfortunately I did not take many photos along the way so I have whipped up some basic CAD models to help me describe parts of the machine (another thing I should have done before building it).

Even though there are plenty of changes to make, I am still quite proud of my CNC machine and to show you that despite my complaints it still can produce some quite nice work I have included a section at the bottom of this page with some photos of a few of the items I have machined.

There is a short video of my machine running a 3D test routine from EMC2 below the slide show, this is running at the maximum speed my machine is capable of with the current drive screws and steppers. You may also notice that I have replaced the steel couplers I describe in the steppers section with some home made delrin couplers (nice and wobbly). There have been a few people requesting a price list, I never took a very accurate record of my spending on this machine, but at the bottom of the page I have drawn up a table of how much it would have cost if I made no failed attempts.

3D Test Routine


Machine Base

base cad link

X and Y Axis

XY cad link

Z Axis and Router

XYZ cad link

Stepper and Couplers

stepper link

Stepper Drivers V1 : DIY

diy drivers link

Stepper Drivers V2 : GeckoDrive

gecko drivers link

Machined Objects

machined items link