(reference)super Simple CNC




About: I live in Toronto, Canada and I build almost anything computer related, Anything from robots to computer interaction devices. My favorite programming language is C+ and micro controller is avr with the Ardu...

Hear are my designs for a CNC. My goal is to make a cnc anyone can build with no special tools except a screwdriver. Please comment on what you think even if its criticism. 
Some things i would like to improve are

*The z axis: i feel like it could be similar 

*the x axis carriage could be simpler without special bearings

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    11 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You could use small 1" square tubing. I have use square tubing for a lot of projects. Instead of welding , just drill holes and mount it together. Use drawer slides as rails if need be.


    these guys are aproximately 80 - 90% done designing one with the same goals


    this one is already an instructable...


    this one is a bit more complex... but the same idea as well...


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of wood, you might consider going with cheap chain-link fence pipe, electrical conduit, or even gas pipe. It's easily scrounged or fairly cheap from the local hardware store, super rigid, and most of all should slide much, much smoother than wood.

    My other idea I want to try (if I ever get around to building one) is to forget about the all-thread lead screw idea and just use a direct friction drive (just a motor with a rubber tire). To close the loop I'd use a optical mouse sensor.

    Just some ideas for you to play with. Have fun building! Let us see when you're done! :)

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I tried to make a direct friction drive for one of my projects as well, its fairly difficult for several reasons first off is if you have to much load on it the tire will just spin and go no were, like a front drive car with the e-brake locked, secondarily, if your driving it from 2 sides getting them to move exactly enough for precision work is tough, I had limited success, maybe you will have more, just some things to think about =)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That does give me an idea though, You could use a direct drive system and use something like a ultrasonic sensor to measure the distance of the axis carriage has moved. that would solve the accuracy problem


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love the idea of a CNC machine that anyone can build. But even if you plan on making it from aluminium you will need to add lots of reinforcing, many CNC machines have a maximum definition of 1/100mm, so the frame needs to be as strong as possible, especially if you have a high speed cutter whizzing around inside it. Also, the frame could be considered the easy part, it's the electronics and software which are more complicated and need the thought. Keep working on it, it's a great idea.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    The general construction looks a bit flimsy. The width of the wood used for the uprights, side rails and the X-axis(?) guide rail looks far too thin. They look like they would sag under the weight of the drill/tool used or even just the weight of the drive motors/gears. Even a little big of sagging is not what you want when you're trying to do stuff with precision. Or is it not to scale?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your reply. Yes it's not to scale. I might use aluminum square for the the rails. It's also only not going to be as big as it looks maybe 4 foot by 4 foot it depends on the standard size of wood so the rails will be much bigger. The current design was mainly focusing on carriage design I am now focusing on doing a design to scale.