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CNC Mk1


The basic frame of the CNC made out of square aluminum profile. On top of it the main component of the linear guide for the Y-axis.


These components will be used to create the Y-axis carriage.

y-axis carriage
That’s how the Y-axis carriage holds onto the Y-axis guide.

y-axis carriage
The Y-axis carriage assembled.


The X-axis guide screwed on the Y-axis carriage.


The X-axis carriage completed.


A piece of the same aluminum profile used for the linear guides is used here in order to make a trapped nut, that will be used for the drive mechanism with the brass screw rods. I also used ready-made brass nuts here, which were cut in the appropriate length.


These are all the components used for the linear drive mechanisms.


And here how the trapped nut is fitted inside the carriage. You may notice that some of the holes I made were not very accurately aligned. This is due to a combination of poor tools and technique. But I used larger holes for the screws, in order to be able to align the parts properly. I also use safety nuts wherever possible, because the CNC is expected to have lots of vibrations and given that the holes for the screws are slightly bigger, there is no room for loose nuts.


Both X-axis and Y-axis assembled with their carriages and linear drives.


The frame was completed, with the structure that will hold the Z-axis. You can see on the side also the Z-Axis partially completed.


The Z-axis mounted on the frame.


Z-axis completed and the spindle has been mounted on it.


Step motors mounted on each axis.


Finally, the controller of the CNC. Basically an Arduino Duemilanove with the Motor shield from Adafruit. Unfortunately the Motor Shield supported only 2 step motors, so I used relays and a spare pin from Arduino, in order to “multiplex” the Y-axis and Z-axis.

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