Creative Works of Tom McGuire

Desktop Milling

  I’ve reconstructed this page at the web site. There you can read comments and tips from people from around the world who have built some veriation of this project. The project has recieved over half a millon hits and is a first prize winner in the Best of Instructables book contest. I had no idea that it would be so popular and I’m inspired to know that so many people would invest their time and energy to build such a tool for themselves.


Here’s a breif discription of the project…

What I propose to describe here is a way to make a computer controlled milling machine. The idea behind it is to put the power of a computer controlled milling machine into the hands of the common man.


Click here for a movie.

Small enough to set on the desk but scalable to any size.
As inexpensive as possible without sacraficing accuracy (too much).
Available meaning all most all the parts can be purchased in local retail stores.
And above all CHEAP. I mean you can be up and running for well under $200.
And with it you can do 2D routing and engraving and 3D CNC milling and modeling in Foam, Wood, Plastic and other such materials.

The basic components of the system are as follows:
Since we are going to use free or low cost software we basically have to start with that.
Then build an electronic interface for the computer to run the machine.
The fundamental structure of the machine is a platform with a sturdy post to hold the Z axis (the up and down part).
Then we construct the X and Y movement platform or what we call the stage.
Then we add the motor tool to the Zaxis.
And finally connect everything and test it out.

To get the computer interface working with the stepper mtors look here.

Have fun.

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