Instructables
Picture of DIY CNC Router Plans : How to Build
NOTE: I originally posted this on my arts and crafts blog, Make It With Jason, and you're welcome to go visit and check out my other tutorials, reviews, and step by step drawing and painting lessons.


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!
 
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Step 1: Designing the Plans for the DIY CNC Router (Step One)

Picture of Designing the Plans for the DIY CNC Router (Step One)
cnc base with z-axis1.png
You can find this on my blog, Make It With Jason, too!

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

jay.demi.32 months ago

some good ideas, I am working on one myself, I have some plans from cncrouterparts.com and rockcliffmachine.com and will add what I can to make something up as cheap as possible

cliffyd8 months ago

Hi Jason, I looked at your approach and want to tell you a true diy design! Basically you worked with what you had around the house and made it work. Great job. Your design probley you notice has some play in it, just wanted to make a slight suggestion. Your drawer slides you have on the "Y" axis move them from the front face and instal them on the top and bottom to minimize sagging.I am sure you've noticed when the axis is extended it tends to sag causing some play. All & all cool job.

Galahir9501 year ago
Do you still have the sketchup file?
MakeItWithJason (author)  Galahir9501 year ago
Sorry, didn't get this comment until now-- I will try and find it.
hooga1 year ago
Great design,
as i am also building my own ;) just a remark about the slider you're using, are they enoughly rigid, once deployed ? they're promised to severe mechanical constraints ...
you're using drawer ones, i'm using sliders from 19" server rack (as they are long and relatively rugged)
(but may be i'm wrong in my choice ;) )
Keep going, awaiting your final built :)
MakeItWithJason (author)  hooga1 year ago
Oh--good question. Honestly, at this point, all I can say is, "I hope so." :)
AWESOME.