Archive for the ‘DIY CNC’ Category

Routing PC Boards

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

My friend John was over and asked me if the CNC machine could be used to drill PC boards. I said sure, it could even route them too

So I decided to give it a try. I found a simple QRP transmitter design which I could use for an arduino project and tried to make a couple










I built a 20M and a 40M board. They worked so well I’m going to route 2 more for 80M and 160M


Saturday, January 18th, 2014

I started building CNC machines long ago. My first inspiration came from Bruce Shapiro’s eggbot. I tried a few variations of it and even the board from evil mad scientist.

One day my friend Joe told me he was interested in CNC. I told him I had played with it for years but never seriously committed to it. We decided to build one at work over lunch. Doing a little bit each week. We only have one day a week we can get together

It is so close but only using 3 or 4 hours a week has been a little limiting. We got the x and y done and some tuning so it can now plot pictures using a sharpie. We just have to finish the z axis

I recently completed a similar machine at home using some old printer parts and a dremel.

The base is a side panel from a computer UPS. A dot matrix printer gave it life to become the main carriage and the rails from an antique laserdisc player completes the z axis




It’s driven by an arduino mini running GRBL 0.8c.

There are 4 PIC 12c508 support chips. 3 handle the step direction deciding for the three axis and the 4th converts the z axis set and directions signals the a relay closure to operate a diode laser for simple engraving tasks.

I used 6 toshiba h bridge chips to drive the bipolar steppers. There are 2 solid state relays one for the dremel and the other is for a shop vac. An old compaq notebook supply runs everything.

Spindle codes control the dremel and flood coolant commands control the shop vac

The first few pieces came out pretty good

I used a dial indicator in place of the dremel initially to level the table. I managed the get it to within .008 in. It’s not really crooked but cupped slightly in the center

So far that hasn’t been a problem

Here are the first tries….




I was pretty happy with the results.