2x4 CNC Machine

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Born On:
22 Oct 2010 (CDT)
Last Updated:
14:32, 08 February 2013 (CDT)

The screw drive proved more trouble than it was worth, and I have retired this project in favor of the 4x8 CNC Machine.


A medium sized CNC Machine capable of cutting patterns

The Plan

  • This project's focus is on implementing basic (though scalable) CNC functionality.


  • Successfully cutting shapes out of 1/4" mdf/wood using the router-based spindle.
  • Planning to experiment on copperclad (pcb) with a Dremel based spindle.

Parts List

Part Number Price
2'x 4'x 3/4" MDF 4 $45
608ZZ Bearings (BRA) 24 $18
R8zz Bearings 6 $13
Aluminium Angle Bracket (1" x 1/8" x 36") 1  ?
NEMA 23 Steppers 3
240W DC Power Supply 1
CNC Controller Kit (china & china) 1 $160
1/2" x 10' Threaded Rod (drive screws) 1 $30
1/4" to 1/2" Drive Coupling 3 $40
Limit Switches 6 $10
Sub Total ~$316
  • note: I'll admit goodluckbuy is a skeezy name for a website, but they ship faster than other places like focalprice. I've been happy with them and aliexpress and deeply dissatisfied with focalprice.

Next Steps

  1. Lewters sells Barrel Nuts, so if the ones I ordered don't arrive soon - get some from there. (consolation: I didn't order enough anyway) (DONE - 26OCT10)
  2. Put the Table together.
    1. X-axis (DONE 28OCT10)
      1. 2'x 4' MDF sections bolted together (DONE 27OCT10)
      2. Rails attached (DONE 28OCT10)
      3. Ends attached (DONE 28OCT10)
    2. Y-axis (DONE 30OCT10)
      1. Drill Holes in Gantry Sides (DONE 28OCT10)
      2. Attach Rails (DONE 29OCT10)
      3. Attach B.R.A.s (DONE 29OCT10)
      4. Assemble Gantry (DONE 29OCT10)
    3. Z-axis (DONE 30OCT10)
      1. Drill Holes (DONE 29OCT10)
      2. Attach Rails (DONE 30OCT10) (literally held on by friction according to the book)
      3. Attach B.R.A.s (DONE 30OCT10)
      4. Assemble Router Base (DONE 30OCT10)
  3. Get miscellaneous parts (Drive Couplings) (DONE 27OCT10)
    1. Wait for miscellaneous parts to arrive (Drive Couplings) (DONE 30OCT10)
  4. Wait for the Control Equipment to arrive from China. (ARRIVED- 27OCT10)
  5. Attach Electronics
    1. Drill Motor Mounts (DONE 31OCT10)
    2. Cut Drive Screws (DONE 31OCT10)
    3. Drill holes for screws in gantry pieces (DONE 2NOV10)
    4. Mount Drive Screws for each axis (Y&Z DONE 2NOV10)
    5. Attach motors (DONE sometime in early NOV)
    6. Hook motors to driver board (DONE sometime in early NOV)
    7. Receive USB-to-Parallel Cable (DONE sometime in early NOV)
    8. Configure software (Begin sometime in early NOV)
  6. Debug
    1. X and Z axes are sticking.
      1. Ordered Delrin(plastic) Nuts (DONE 4DEC10)
      2. Received (DONE 8DEC10)
        1. didn't fit current drive screws - ordering new ones (DONE 10DEC10)
        2. replaced the screws that needed replacing. (DONE 16FEB11)
    2. Drew Skull and Crossbones (a test file) on Whiteboard (DONE 17FEB11)
  7. Mendel Parts. (DONE 17JUL11)
    1. Convert patterns to gCode (DONE 19FEB)
    2. Determine scaling factor for steps (DONE 19FEB)
    3. Sort out Problems with Z-axis (replaced Z-axis NEMA23 with a NEMA34 Stepper) (DONE 04JUN11)
      1. Learn how to account for tool diameter (Purchased License to LazyCAM)(DONE 16JUL11)
    4. Download patterns for Parts (RepRap website)
    5. Cut out Parts (successfully cut out Print Bed and Y-Axis(the squashed frog) )(DONE 17JUL11)
  8. Experiment with Dremel for cutting PCB Traces
    1. Acquire copper clad pcb sheet
    2. Acquire pcb trace engraving bits (DONE 10JUL11)
    3. Modify gantry station to accept Dremel in addition to the main router



  • I'll probably want to go with a belt drive system for the 4'x 8' iteration.

Pretty Pictures

CNC Table
Bearing Rail Assemblies
Gantry Sides w/ BRA's
Gantry Assembled
Z-Axis Layed Out
Y-Axis on Gantry


generation seven circuit board (first attempt)

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