The image on the main page is of a 3 Axis home built milling machine, the frame is from a "Rep-Rap" 3D printer, the driver and breakout board is from the driver section of this website and is the "Red TB6560" driver with the DB25 interface.

The image below is of a 3 axis milling machine.

It's a Home Built 3 axis unit that can move a tool, in this case a "Dremel" on two horizontal plains and one vertical plain, using TB6560 drivers.

The cnc milling machine door is a monitor screen positioned on a hinge, and the whole cnc machine in the image is sitting on a wooden base with casters for easy mobility, although the cnc machine only weighs 30lbs without the computer.

The software originally used was Mach3, this can arguably be deemed as being "CAM" software because of the programs ability to load .dxf format files and convert the files to "G-code" and "M-code", the Mach3 software works along with a Beta (recently forever beta) program called lazycam. Another alternative is to use a Micro-Controller along with the drivers to run the mill, the driver boards can still be the MM160's provided by SOC robotics based in North Vancouver BC Canada, using a micro controler means that the machine will use a USB interface vs. a DB25 or COM style interface and the software will be different unless a plugin has been written, below is a link to some open source machine software for use with the Arduino Micro controller.

This machine has not been modified to work with the Arduino Micro-Controller, although an open sourced printer operating as a Milling Machine has been. The Arduino Micro-Controller and four driver boards can be found online for under ten dollars each, making the total cost for electronics under $60 opposed to hundreds of dollars.

The "Arduino" setup works by taking a drawing created in "Solidworks", "AutopCAD" or some program like "Solidworks" or "AutoCAD" that exports to .stl or .dxf format. The .stl/ .dxf drawing is then loaded into a machine software that converts the drawing to G-code, the G-code is then copied and saved to a .txt file and a program written in Visual Basic then exports the code line by line to the Arduino Micro-Controller.

The original electronics included in the cnc machine are four Nema 17 motors, one MK4 breakout board, three MM160 drivers that use the TB6560 IC's, three Mechanical Limit Switches, one 9V power converter, and one 24V power supply. The MK4 requires logic power of 9V and the stepper driver boards require 12V, although the IC will handle a voltage range of 12V - 36V.

The frame is made from aluminium flat bar and angle, along with some Polycarbonate material for the base and top, the sides are open and will be sealed in the future to reduce the noise pollution caused from the Dremel tool being used as the spindle. The leadscrew was made using some threaded rod from the hardware store, two 606zz bearings to provide support and guide the threaded rod on each end, some flat bar, a couple of angled brackets, and some fasteners to hold everything together. Visual plans will be added very soon.

Parts inside are made from HDPE (high density polyethylene), smooth round bar, threaded round bar, flex couplers, and ULN bearings. The CNC machine is held together using basic imperial fasteners like 1/4" and 5/16" nuts, bolts, washers, #6, #8, #10 bolts, nuts, washers, #4 screws and a few other parts.

Below is an image of the front of the Mill, more pictures will follow along with a guide for you to build your very own desk top 3 axis machine using some common items.

How Arduino fits in...

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More home built machines, very inovative and motivating

what is cnc?

cnc stands for "computer numeric control"


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