View Full Version : A little help for a newb please? :)

05-03-2012, 02:44 PM

I'm an engineering Uni student who has been set a task to either; design, make and build a CNC machine, or buy one and have a use out of it (PCB engraving etc.)

Main problem no. 1 - We have an all in budget of 250.00
Main problem no. 2 - Between the 5 of us we have zero experience of CNC *things*

To date we have got a pre-made cnc machine from here;


For 185 bucks..we managed to blag upgraded rail lengths and the leadscrews parts for free. lol

So we have 65 quid ish to get the machine to a running state.

We have been told that we can use nemas 17 and nemas 23 with the machine and the mounting holes are there. Another problem is how do we mount the motors, they did do motor mounts but they cost 25 quid a set!! So i think we can make them cheaper. Any ideas? We've had a think and after staring at the machine for 20 minutes decided we needed help lol.

From research this is what we think we need;

3 motors for the XYZ moving parts
driver boards for the motors that connect to paralelle port
some kind of power for the motors.

Can anyone help us in getting it running for the cheapest possible way? Can we use an old laptop power supply for the motors, if so what kind of power do we need.

Can we make out own driver boards?

And can we just use normal servo motors, or do they have to be these NEMA type?

Does anybody have any second hand parts that we can buy?

Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you all.

05-03-2012, 08:11 PM
Give us some details on the size and spec of machine. Most of the software you need you can get for free, the only one that is a bit problematic is cam. EstlCAM is available at a cheap price and will get you up and running at 20 i think?

In the mean time try black a few old 'A0' plotters as these will yield some nice nema23 motors. Looking for them in modern printers is a little hit and miss. The motor mounts you can get away with a couple of bits of plate, a drill and a bit of rod to make stand offs. Do you have bearing mounts etc.

Let us know exactly what you have and we can get you going :-)


Power supplies can be salvaged from the plotters too and may get away with a cheap Chinese controller board?

Web Goblin
05-03-2012, 08:56 PM
Youve already used up a load of your budget so looks like your onto blagging more stuff ( unless you can get a set of master keys for the uni and re-distribute some of the assets). As for servo motors they are out of your league unless someones giving them away. What are your plans for a spindle motor?


05-03-2012, 10:54 PM
One of them will have to steal dads best router me thinks?