C&C for the masses. I’ma build me one of these, in my copious free time.
Yes folks itâ€™s true: You can build a computer controlled 3-axis circuit board mill from cutting boards, a pile of printer parts and a Dremel. My coworker [Will] has posted the third and final installment of his CNC machine build on Engadget. This project was launched when Will stumbled across plans for an incredibly elegant and cheap ($22~$30) 3-axis stepper motor controller that originally appeared in Nuts&Volts in 1994. It uses a discontinued UCN5804B chip, but he lists a source for them. Building the controller and scavenging stepper motors from old dot-matrix printers is covered in
Part 1. For the body of the machine Will chopped up a couple cheap 1/2â€ thick cutting boards from Samâ€™s Club. The polyethlene probably isnâ€™t as good as say Delrin but it wins out for availability. Steel rod from the hardware store is used for the linear slides
Part 2 covers the constructions of the first axis (the table) which rides on inch long nuts on threaded rod.
Part 3 covers assembling the final two axes in the head and installing the Dremelâ€™s flex head. Amazingly he nearly got the entire thing built in the span of two evenings.