It has been a while since i posted my last instructable, where i showed you how to make an awesome arduino based laser engraver running on GRBL. In that instructable, I said I designed the laser engraving machine that way, so you could easily convert it to a cnc router by adding a Z-axis to the machine. In this instructable, I will show you how to make a Z-axis for this cnc router. While I was doing that, I made some improvements to my engraver for a better engraving quality, but more on that later in this instructable. I have 3D-printed the whole Z-axis. Why? Because i can! And of course because 3D-printers are awesome :). If you don't have a 3D-printer, or can't affort one, you can just use an online 3D-print service like 3Dhubs, this is a very easy way to get your things printed. As usual, I made a bill of materials and included all the printing files in this instructable so you can make this Z-axis with no trouble, if you just follow this instructable.
I started to make this Z-axis just for fun, I'm not really in need of a cnc router right now. I love making things and I thought: Why shouldn't I give it a shot? But as I am currently also working on building a CO2 laser cutter, I decided to stop working on my previous machine, but I still wanted to share what I've made. I hope you like it!
* 12 mm x 500 mm linear rod:
* 4 pcs LM12UU 12mm Linear Ball Bearing:
* 2 pcs Nema17 Stepper Motor:
* nuts and bolts
* M10 rod
* 1 pcs 10*26*8 6000-2Z radial shaft ball bearing:
Everything you need to buy to build this Z-axis is mentioned above, all the other things must be made with a 3D-printer.