Picture of Arduino Controlled CNC / 3D Printer Hybrid

Mother Nature Makes ... We Build.

BuildersBot Fuses 3D Printing & CNC Milling Into One Builder’s Dream ""

The BuilderBot is an Open Design machine, that uses Open
Software and Open Hardware. It is a product of open projects such as the RepRap, Arduino and Repetier .

The objective of this instructable is to guide your way throw the entire making process of building a BuildersBot machine. An open design Arduino Controlled CNC Router that can also perform 3D printing.

The instructions will cover all areas such as design, mechanics, electronics and software.

But before you go any further take a look at machine's concept design:

And also the machine build photos and the machine in action:

Finally check out the insane effects of the RGB led's on BuildersBot:

Warning Viewer Discretion Advised (Strong Language)

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Step 1: The BuildersBot OpenDesign (Sketchup)

Picture of The BuildersBot OpenDesign (Sketchup)

To view the the machine in 3D just Download the attached sketch file and access the BuildersBot OpenSource Design (in metric system and is in 1 by 1 scale).

Use this design as much as possible for guidance during this instructable.

NOTE: Use trimble/google sketchup to open the file.

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thank you for the great project! I have three questions:

1. Where did you bought the Extruder? Can i buy it completly?

2. Can you make some pictures from the End Stops? Which shuld is sell?

3. How difficult is the Configuration? How long did it take you to it worked?

Thank You!

mellontiko4 days ago

Hi Aldric!

Which slicer do you recommend to use?

And please can you send me a screenshot of your slicer engine configurations in repetier Host? Please make a screenshot from all configurations tabs of the slicer engine!


or better Export these settings...

Thanks again

GerhardH8 days ago


hab mal eine Liste zusammengestellt.

Falls wer erweitern möchte, bitte gerne.

Gibts es jemanden der die ALU Teile fräst -> gegen Kleingeld natürlich ;)

eiskalt11 days ago


me again. Did you ever tried to mill aluminium or steel?


eiskalt15 days ago


and greetings from Germany. Awesome project!

Are you using more than one heat bed?

How did you wired it?


aldricnegrier (author)  eiskalt15 days ago

Hi eiskalt,

I use 3DLac on a mirror, the heat bed was just a test.

Because the build area is so big you are better off using an aluminum bed with resistors on the bottom.

A single heat bed was wired to the Ramps Board.


So is it like a mirror on top of an aluminum plate? Which resistors did you choose, and how do you track the temperature then? What are the power requirements for your printing bed?


aldricnegrier (author)  thijs.peeters.314 days ago

Yes, you can use 4 aluminium housed resistors in parallel connected to the ramps just like this:

You can find cheaper on ebay.

Than you can put a mirror or glass on top of the aluminum plate.



HakuJ15 days ago

Hello people I have long wanted such a project'm thrilled that I myself would like to rebuild but I need to weld no possibility thus build of aluminum profiles as Pablo_aliga

where can I get cheap Metric Timing Pulley

and can be milled with other software such as Mach3

Sorry for my English is translated

aldricnegrier (author)  HakuJ15 days ago

Hi Hakuj,

Have a look at this store:

I don't know Mach3, i use cambam to generate gcode. Than i mill via SD card. Or sometimes via USB using Repetier Host.


axolotl427 months ago
Wonderfull thing have you made.
How much can it cost if I only use the necessary stuff, like no RGB leds, no lasercut case etc?
aldricnegrier (author)  axolotl427 months ago

Thank you, if you want to make a BuildersBot, these are the main "ingredients" and approximate costs:

- 1 Welded Stainless Steel Frame - 100€

- 4 Calibrated 20mm round rails with support and 8 bearing blocks - 140€

- 2 Calibrated 16mm round rails with support and 4 bearing blocks - 60€

- 20mm Ballscrew and Ballnut - 100€

- 6 Pulley and 3 1.8meter belts - 80€

- Stainless steel marine grade nuts bolts and screws - 100€

- 15mm Aluminum plate - 50€

- 4 Axis Nema 23 425oz/in + 4 Stepper Drivers + 2 36 V Power Supply - 300€

- 1 Arduino Mega + Ramps Board + Endstops - 90€ in Europe or 30€ form china

- 1 Kress Spindle + Aluminium Mount - 200€

- 1 Extruder + heat bed - 60€

- Lock tight + lubricant + paint - 35€

- Wires, cables, tubs, connectors, plugs - 20€

- CNC Bed - 15€

You are looking a minimal total cost of around 1400€.

about the round rails, where did you get to find 4 rails and 8 bearing blocks for about 140€? It seems hard to find, even at louche sellers on ebay

aldricnegrier (author)  thijs.peeters.319 days ago

Hello thijs.peeters.3

I got them from Germany:


okay, thanks for the reply.

But still, i cant find prices anywhere near your calculation. 140 euro is like the price for 1 axis at max. It's about 90 euros for 1 700mm supported rail, bearing blocks and shipping excluded. Prices changed drasticly over time? :p

aldricnegrier (author)  thijs.peeters.318 days ago

You are right, the price i mentioned is for the drilled shafts without rails:

6 pre-drilled shafts cost 132 euros without shipping.

I forgot to put the price of the supports, check out the receipt i attached.

Than have a look at the small scrap rails they have here:

They have 600mm and 200mm, so you can order them and afterwords cut and join according to your needs. If you take a close look at the machine i have 4 pieces of rail in the Y axis.

mellontiko21 days ago

Hi Aldric,

Want to ask you how to wire the ramps1.4 with the arduino mega board....

do you have a more detailed wiring diagram or pic?


aldricnegrier (author)  mellontiko21 days ago

Hello Mellontiko,

I think the diagram i have posted is mostly complete, the only connections missing are the fans, but you can wire them wherever you have 12V. And the LED's wherever you have 5V. I have Live Neurtal Earth in colors and dots in the power supply sections, maybe it is not very clear.

If you have any specific question please don't hesitate to ask.

spurchall23 days ago

Hi Aldric,

Your Instructable has inspired me to finally build my own CNC router/printer and I've followed your design to the letter.

I'm using the DM542A drivers, Nema 23 steppers and RAMPS 1.4 (on a Taurino Atmega2560 compatible board).

The drivers are set to 12800 ppr with 1.36 RMS half current (no load just yet).

I've uploaded the firmware you supplied but am getting strange results.

When testing using Repetier-Host (v1.0.6) Y+ = Z+, and Z+ does nothing. All the other directions work as they should.

I've checked and re-checked the wiring from the RAMPS to the drivers and all is as per your wiring diagram.

Can you please help shed some light on this problem?


aldricnegrier (author)  spurchall22 days ago

I cant wait to see your photos :) if you have any more questions please let me know.

aldricnegrier (author)  spurchall23 days ago

Hi Spurchall,

Disable all hardware end-stops in the firmware.

As soon as you do this you will have movement in all axis and both directions.

Then start testing each end-stop individually. Connect the end-stop and activate hardware end-stop in firmware.

Be careful not to invert the endstops on the ramps.


aldricnegrier (author) 23 days ago

I have made a small correction to the wiring diagram, the Y motors are connected with the cables in inverse order in one of the motors.

Motor Y1 = Blue Red Green Black

Motor Y2 = Black Green Red Blue

This is done because the Y1 motor works inverted in relation to Y2 Motor.

This is a great project and I'm trying to replicate it.
But I've a problem to find a good price this item

4 Nema 23 Stepper Motor 425oz + 4 microstepping Driver + Power Sup - 255€
It's is possible to know the place where to buy ?
Thanks in advance.


Hey Pablo, have a look on ebay. You should find something there,

Thanks, Yes I did it :)
I had found this

aldricnegrier (author)  pablo_aliaga1 month ago

Hi Pablo,

Thanks for sharing the photos :)

I got them here:

Thanks for your answer.
I bought it yesterday through ebay, but it's the same

For sure in the future for the electronic part I'll follow your solution.
Thanks for share it.

aldricnegrier (author)  pablo_aliaga1 month ago

Very nice, its looking good :)

GerhardH1 month ago


Can anyone Convert the file please:



aldricnegrier (author)  GerhardH1 month ago

Hi GerhardH,

Sorry it took so long, i just uploaded DXF and DWG formats to step 11.


aldricnegrier (author) 2 months ago

Have a look at some more BuildersBot "action" here:


hey i am making 3d food printer as mine project can please help me in arduino coding

aldricnegrier (author)  ricky.pointing.942 months ago

Hi Richy,

Send me a private message with your queries, we will try to see if i can help you.


AaronB52 months ago

Amazing build and guide. I am actually in the process of trying to make this myself. I had a couple questions though, for the Y-Axis Transmission system. How did you get the ball bearings to stay inside the supports and the shaft to stay inside the ball bearings?

aldricnegrier (author)  AaronB52 months ago

Hi AaronB5,

The bearing blocks are made from aluminum and plastic, they come as a hole part.

You have to insert the bearing blocks inside the rail before mounting the axis.

I think I may have explained poorly. On step 7 there are shielded ball bearings that go inside the aluminum. Are those just force fit in to the aluminum or are you using another method to prevent them from sliding out? Then, the shaft that has the timing pulley, goes through these ball bearings. How does do you prevent the shaft from sliding out of the ball bearings?
aldricnegrier (author)  AaronB52 months ago

The bearing housing was made as tight as possible to prevent the
bearing from falling out, in addition, after fitting the bearing inside
the housing the extra aluminum on the support was bent inwards in order to lock the bearings in place.

This was done with a screw driver, basically you
fit the bearing inside the housing and than you bend the aluminum
housing perimeter using a hammer and a screwdriver in order to lock the
bearing in place.

The shafts from the idler pulley does not come out because i used a open end C shaped lock washer to clamp to the shaft, they are open
washers with a smaller diameter than the shaft. You need to make a
groove on the shaft in order to fit and lock the washer. You need 2 washers, one on each side of the pulley, this prevents the shaft from sliding out of the bearings.

mlubbers2 months ago

Great Build! I have a working CNC that I'm trying to add 3D printing functionality. I've purchased the RAMPS 1.4 controller, but I've been reading that the stepper motors circuit is limited to a total of 5A. I have 2A drivers for a 4 axis setup, and I'm wondering what you did to get your 4.2A steppers working properly. Is it safe to just replace the 5A fuse with something bigger? Or is something else necessary? Thanks!

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