thank you you helpen me a lot just by opening that instructable !! now enyoy my instructable.

this is my first instructable. i show you updates on my cnc machine which will cost about 200 euro's for still decent quality.
don't hate if you dont like this instructable, I'm just an 18 years old student from belguim sharing his ideas and creations whith other people. becous i think working together and sharing idea's will make better projects.

this is what the machine looks like right now. ill post new photos every time i advance building

i know my video's are not the best. i'm working hard to show you how everything works so it would be nice if you watched at least a peace of all of them to support my project.

Step 1:

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the most important part of the cnc machine is the controller. if you dont understand how stepper motors work its verry hard to get everything working. Basicly, stepper motors are motors who take steps (mine are 1,8° per step) instead of turning around when you apply voltage. thi gives verry precise controll. my stepper driver i made with 3 easydrivers. 1 arduino . and some sparkfun stepper motors. all this comes from sparkfun. ATTENTION!! in the first video i have a arduino leonardo. this one will not work. you have to get a uno. this will make a bigg difference in the next step.

after you have your easydrivers and arduino connected you need to install a program grbl. on your arduino. this will understand g code and make the motors move.

Step 2:

Step 3:

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another verry important part of your machine will be the movement. this needs to be both smooth and accurate. you cant just use wheels becous that would be innacurate, but you can also not use a verry heavy mail becous that would not be smooth. so you have to find somthing in between. i used some regular drawer slides with ball bearings inside from the local hardware store. the positive side about this is:



-comes out of the machine while moving.

as you can see this is almost everything we need. the only negative side is that the iron bars will come out on the back of my machine to get the full movement. if this is your first machine i recommend you use this.

Step 4:

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another important part of your machine will be the spindle. most cheap diy cnc machines use a dremel or other multi tool for this. my dremel can get from 10000 to 33000 rpm which is verry good. of course a real mill would do a better job but also costs much more.
to mount the dremmel i just took 2 18mm woorden planks an bolted them together. theis size is about 8cm by 8cm. after that i made a bigg hole in it where the dremmel just fits trought but already i stuck. last i made a hole with a bolt to secure the dremmel in place. make sure to do this as straight as possible to make your machine as accurate as posible. on the botthom i made a hole for my M8 rod to go throug and secured the bolt in place with some hot glue.

Step 5:

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since both the X and Y carriage are done ill show you how i made my Z-axis.

1: i took a 8cm by 20cm wooden plate and mounted a vertical 8cm by 10cm wooden plate on it. also my small drawer slides where mounted on top. as you can see i made some holes in the backplate so the slides can fit.

2:i mounted my dremel mount on a second plate which was mounted on the other side of the drawer slides.

3: Next ill have to attach the motor and the M8 rod to the Z-AXIS. right now it can move free but it's verry strong. it has about 20cm travel.

Step 6:

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the machine is now finished. testing is now in progress. some alignment needs to be done as wel as configuring grbl propperly.
below are some pictures of the final machine. tnx for reading this instructable. if you have any quastions feel free to ask. Plz go to the link below and subscribe to my youtube channel. it only takes a few seconds and it helps me a lot. enjoy the pictures.


GibsG (author)2016-09-24


sailing106 (author)2016-09-20

who will write the codes????

madmedix (author)2016-07-17

This: "don't hate if you dont like this instructable" bothers me. One shouldn't have to say that in the first place - Hope no one has ever sent you something like that.

Good for you for publishing - and I think you did a very nice job.


cliffyd (author)2016-03-03

i have a Mach 3 comparable board for sale for $20.00 if anyone's interested

ahmeda37 (author)2015-03-04

how to connect arduino with mach3

الحمدل1 (author)ahmeda372016-01-09

hi my friend you know connect arduino with mach3

i dont really think you can connect grbl(arduino) to mach3

foxymcfox (author)2015-09-30

How did you connect your stepper motor to your threaded rod?

wnorman (author)2015-09-07

Could you put a parts list you used in making this as I would like to do something like this and want to work out what I have already and what I need to buy

sabmov (author)2015-08-18

Dear Friend

You greetings

I want to buy this product

Equipment (devices ) - software - all elements (Full Product)

Operating method

How to design and implement the pieces on the product

I want to know the price

Way to send money

Title mechanism, which I will send money

When the agreement we will send you money, as well as the title of the product export to us

Jian WeiW (author)2015-06-02

Hi, i would like to build one of this. Can you show me the part list and the source code?

TanjidH (author)2015-05-21

hey there, i am also working on a similar project but the thing is grbl shield is not available...rather i bought 3 L298 dual bridge driver for he stepper motors. will be able to use the universal G code sender?

subnet (author)TanjidH2015-05-22

H-bridge like L298 and L293, sadly, are not fully supported by grbl. I have used for a while it with this:

but not all GRBL commands are supported

GpaSteve (author)2015-03-26

great instructions. This is exactly what I was looking for,

ahmeda37 (author)2015-03-04

how to connect arduino with mach3

ahmeda37 (author)2015-03-04

how to connect arduino with mach3

ahmeda37 (author)2015-03-04

how to connect arduino with mach3

DavideS1 (author)2015-02-25

Can I have the size of cnc ?
The work area is an A3 ?

TimSwift (author)2015-02-13

What was the total cost?


chris.kwakernaat (author)2014-12-14

How did you find the hex com port adress for mach3 ?

I used grbl? This is in no way related to mach3 ?

w2hat program do you use to send grbl data to the arduino ?

the grbl arduino installation is just to translate to the steppers, what program you use to get it to there?

omnibot (author)chris.kwakernaat2015-01-06

You'll need a control software. It can be as easy as sending the gcode from a serial terminal or you can use something like this :

GRBL firmware needs to be flashed to the Arduino. Don't worry, it is quite easy.
Makezines article on GRBL :
GRBL website :
github code etc :
How to FLASH :

thaipham101 (author)2014-10-27

I have some stepper motors taken from my used printer, can I use it

also I use a Dremel 7700, which is 20,000 rpm, do you think I should slow the stepper motors down?

If they are stepper motors you can deffinately use them. The dremel can be used with the right endmill. And i dont see why you should slow down your motors

thanks very much :D I'm waiting for the easydriver, I think I can use a lot of parts from my ripped printer

redwiz (author)2014-09-02

What are the rods that you used with the stepper motors and do you have a link to get them?

siemenwauters (author)redwiz2014-09-02

Its standard m8 Rod 1meter long you should be able tot get it in almost any hardware store

padbravo (author)2014-05-11

How this work is going?
any news about?

cliffyd (author)2014-04-06

it looks nice, just 1 question. I know I have to minimize weight distribution, my stepper motors are small (exactly the same size you are using) so just worried about it moving well. Does yours have any problems? BTW it does look nice, throw a nice paint job on "er and looks great!

siemenwauters (author)cliffyd2014-04-06

Sorry for the crappy answer . my smartphone auto correct is set tot Dutch.

cliffyd (author)cliffyd2014-04-06

what kind of alignment do you need to do? How much play is in the X Y Axis?

siemenwauters (author)cliffyd2014-04-06

Thuis machine was my crappy first version so it had stopped existing about 9 months ago. I currently am paining my new machine with precission lineair bearings. I never did align it but yiu have tot make dure your place your axisses exactly 90° or the machine wont be precise. And my nema 17 motors where surprisingly strong. Since they use threaded Rod your van put lots of weight on thema sonde your rails will Carey the weigt. Its like carrying a table VS pushing a table on wheels.

Soarex (author)2014-03-15

Hi friend,

I need some help to build a machine like that, please can you tell me your email for better comunication?

Hope you can help me.

Best regards,

Rafael Lopes

siemenwauters (author)Soarex2014-03-16

our email is

but for the quickest reaction send to

DIYPieter (author)2014-03-09


I'm new to arduino's but have a good knowledge of steppers, electronics etc.. Unfortunately I am not a software genius( thank goodness there are).

I have done a bit of homework and found out that there are ways to load G code into arduinos and make them run on it. I cant find anything that (A) actually works (B) installs correctly. If I am wrong can someone please put me on the right track.

PS: How do you program a Arduino Uno precisely as a cnc mill.

siemenwauters (author)DIYPieter2014-03-10

i'am currently working on a new video instructable so it is easier to understand. also i will upload pcb files so you can print and create the boards i have yourself. so have a little more patience and it will be allright :p

DIYPieter (author)siemenwauters2014-03-10

Thanks very much. Just let me know when your finished please.

jmsiefer (author)2014-02-03

I apologize for not understanding, however when you say "...after you have your easydrivers and arduino connected you need to install a program grbl. on your arduino." Is there a diagram for connecting the wires that you could share with me, as well as the steps for grbl? Do I need to install a sketch on my Uno first? Or does the grbl program automatically recognize the Uno? Sorry. I'm pretty new to using Arduino, and this is my second project. THANKS IN ADVANCE!!

siemenwauters (author)jmsiefer2014-02-26

sorry for the late answer. So the answer is:

the wiring can be found here

the program GRBL aint a computer software but a arduino hex file that you have to upload. the way to do thi can be easely found by googling it.

jmsiefer (author)siemenwauters2014-02-26

Thank you for the follow-up message. I think I figured it out. Here is what I found (copied via my Arduino forums post here: ).

"What I found was this link: It has you create a library for the Arduino Sketch application, and then load it in as an example. This takes all the guesswork out of creating/using the appropriate hex file.

I sent it to my Uno and it said that everything was uploaded correctly, however I won't know if it works or not until I have everything wired up correctly. What I plan on doing is ordering some of these guys from Aliexpress first: ... just in case I need to re-do the wiring a few times.

I had ordered some earlier, however I got the wrong pitch (the distance between pins), and they were much too large. These should be the right size for my EasyDriver boards though. Lesson learned (thankfully they're pretty cheap)."

gschreiber (author)2014-02-26

I am also looking for the grey box. I can't find it on sparkfun.
Can you provide a link to it?
Great project by the way!
Thank you,

siemenwauters (author)gschreiber2014-02-26

its a dutch website. hope this helps

gschreiber (author)siemenwauters2014-02-26

Thank you!
That helps.

Richley (author)2014-02-04

questions :
1 ) how do you solder your stepper motors' cable with the midi cable ? (;wa... is that you ? )

2 ) how do you calibrate the X,Y and Z-axis ? ( their maximum length they can go, etc etc )

am new to Arduino and mechanisms, lack of information here and there :C

siemenwauters (author)Richley2014-02-26

soldering stepper motors to midi connectors is pretty straight forward. just buy loose midi (male and female) connectors and solder the corresponding wires to the corresonding pins. it has nothing to do with midi it just uses the connector.

the settings are stored in the eeprom of the arduino. you can change them with grbl controller. the maximum with etc aint set on my machine since it is 1m x1M so i never reach the ends anyway.

mailing to my website email would have got you a quicker response since i dont get the instructables messedges correctly;

alihureiby (author)2013-07-09

can it controll 4 axis stepper motor?

Snortimer (author)alihureiby2014-01-24

Yes and no. If you look up in the videos, you can see that there are three stepper drivers from Sparkfun (the three boards in Sparkfun red). This allows independent control for three axes, with a fairly severe limit on current. However, if you were to tie one controller to two stepper motors (for instance, to have a synchronized x-axis with two motors), you could do it, but you'd REALLY run into power problems. Getting another stepper driver would allow true 4-axis control, though you'd still have to watch the power capabilities of the boards.

The author said he used Easy Drivers (which can power up to 750mA/phase). Sparkfun also has Big Easy Drivers (which can power up to 2A/phase), which might be a good choice. Remember to keep any power draw well under these limits to maintain the life of your equipment.

You'd also have to modify the software, of course.

mkulesza (author)2014-01-21

mkulesza (author)mkulesza2014-01-21

My name is Michael, I live in Poland.
Very Lord please help!
You are able to help me though to the same understanding?
Namely, I want to control the arduino uno by mach 3 and use three drivers for the x, y, z
These are my drivers:

Any help is appreciated :)

From the top sorry for English and very please help.


Michał Kulesza

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