Ever since I saw my first CNC, I knew I wanted to own one. I'm a realist though, and I also knew that I wouldn't own a REAL $20,000 one.
So, on a whim this spring, I decided to design and build a homemade 3-axis Computer Numerical Controlled milling machine myself.
I looked all over the web and decided to build one using drawer slides as my rails, an arduino as my microcontroller, and try to keep everything within the $300 mark.
So far so good.
So, without much ado, I am going to show you the steps I took to build my diy cnc router project (please realize, as of April 16th, 2013, this project isn't quite finished--in fact, it's at the halfway mark).
Onto the Instructable!
Step 1: Designing the Plans for the DIY CNC Router (Step One)
First things first, you need to do some designing.
I usually go to Sketchup for my design work. I'm comfortable with how easy it is to create working drawings for the relatively un-precise things that I make (haha--a CNC is 'unprecise!').
I will have to combine my experience in woodworking, conceptual design, and learn how to properly align 3 stepper motors for true, calibrated 3-axis cnc production.
I plan to control all three NEMA 17 stepper motors with an arduino UNO microcontroller and stepper motor drivers. I hope to use all of the free (or cheap) open-source CAD, CNC and design software, and I want to keep this build under $300.
I started first by researching online. I read about DIY CNC projects on Instructables, CNC forums, and various other spots on the interwebs, and decided on making my design move on heavy duty drawer slides.
Go to Step 2