DIY 3axis CNC Plotter Out of Old Printers





Introduction: DIY 3axis CNC Plotter Out of Old Printers

CNC router is made from two old printers and old CD player. I used
parts that I found in the basement, I collect a lot of electronic
and mechanical things that I find out the garbage or on the internet.
I made the electronic from passive components. I did not want to use
microcontrollers because it is not easy to obtain them here in
Croatia, there is only PIC to buy here and they are very very
expensive here. All 3 drivers for stepper motors is made of two IC
and output power amplifiers that provide power to motors. CNC
electronics is designed for unipolar stepper motors.. I had only one
unipolar and bunch of bipolar motors, I had to open two bipolar motor
and connected to the coil middle wire to motors become unipolar motors
that I could work with them. Schematics is a very simple and made from
standard parts that can be purchased at any electronics store.
The only thing you need is a CD-4516 which is CMOS up / down counter
and a CD-4028 BCD-to-decimal decoder and its output is connected to
power amplifiers for the motors. Software is the Mach3, and he directs
the signals to the parallel port, you need two pins for one axis.
These pins are step and direction, step determines the speed of
rotation of the stepper. Up / down counter and BCD decoder divides the
signal into 4 pieces for controlling motors. So there is no need for
Microcontrollers! And I made 3 stepper drivers for each axis and plug
it into my computer and configured Mach3 for pins.

Electronics cost me about $ 20 so you do not get rid of old printers,
but make your own CNC machine with three axes, can be a mill, lathe,
plotter! Enjoy video! You can use any CNC software, like EMC for linux

P.S.  I have no idea who is the author of drawn picture, i just downloaded it from devart..

[UPDATE] October 2nd 2011

Unfortunatly, i dont have time so i made schematic, do everything that is inside schematic and
it will work!

here are links to schematic:

You can use up to 32V so it's not only for 12V, and one more thing this schematic is based on Tom McGuire's schematic, i aded few things to make it work because direction pins didn't work on his schematic, so this will work without any problem!

If you have any questions, comment!



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    my friend, what software did you use to turn the design into g-code?

    if you want, you can just use a software thats used for 3d printers or cnc mill machines

    for simple use i recommend :


    This is an old post but I am trying to build it and I have a question. What is the function of the diodes on the LPT ports 3, 5 and 7? I see that they are the connect to the output pin of the 555, but I dont see what is the function of that.

    Thank you very much,


    oh my god, if only i was as clever as you are..........RESPECT

    Hello sir i just find epson oki stepping motor 4 wire. and i see on ur cnc using 5 wire. can i use my motor stepper, and how to do that?

    i have read some tutor on
    but i dont know how to use that schematics, maybe anyone can help me.

    thank you

    Sir the plotter you made is the most smoothest in terms of execution among all the potters that I have seen.
    Will there be a detailed Instructable of your plotter in future?
    B'coz we are anxious waiting to make the amazing Machine...
    Good job...Sir,waiting for you Instructable. :-)

    The small one,that is close to LPT1 is BC 547b.

    Hi Mr worf
    I'm Tin, would you like share shematic to my email. the picture is low resolution, can't see
    and last question.
    How to you connect to PC and calibration it .use EMC2 right?
    Tin Phan

    Hey, what diode you use in this circuit and what king of transitor you use (the small one).

    Thank you

    hello ;°
    can I connect this one without arduino panel?
    how i can made interface for serial Com?