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Archive for the ‘DIY CNC Mini Mill’ Category

Computer controlled mini mill project, I’m always dreaming up new projects and this has been on the cards for some time.
The initial thought was to make a micro cnc mill from old printer parts and cheap/free materials. When I realised the accuracy and functionality I was seeking I decided to spend a little more cash, still… were talking about less than £250 all in!

Desired Result: Machine electronics boards, woods, plastic and light alloys (slowly is fine!).

Yet another biro cnc test

Posted by djoneseu on December 11, 2010

No progress on hardware, just figuring out cad, cam and gcode files.


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A Little progress

Posted by djoneseu on December 9, 2010

I found some specs regarding threads per inch and feed rates for the mill when sold as a closed loop system.

The Maxnc 15 specs I found were as follows:
Max nc used acme thread with 16tpi and some of the newer ones had 20tpi.
The screws are 1/4 inch with plastic bsa nuts that can run up to 20-30 IPM (inches per minute).
The table is 4″ x 18″ with 3 0.500″ t-slots
The max travel is x12, y8, z10 which for my calculations is x302.26, y127.00, z152.40
The default spindle is 1/8 tappered collet with a max rpm of 10000. It is a 1/5hp belt driven system.
The steppers are 145oz, max 50ipm
Accuracy is listed as 0.00025″
Please now these are the stock options, my maxnc15 when purchased from ebay had no electronical components whatsoever, just the frame.

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Cnc cardboard cut test

Posted by djoneseu on December 3, 2010


Still a long way to go. 2 axis cut with couplers that stretch.

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The First Cuts–DIY cnc mill based on maxnc 15 platform.

Posted by djoneseu on November 28, 2010

Well it’s been almost two years since I started this project and it’s spent most of the time neglected, partly due to cost and space restrictions yet predominantly my reluctance to finish it due to the realisation that I’d have to do something with it… or sell it!


I’ve often been frustrated by producing 3d designs or having ideas for products and not being able to make them into something ‘real’. Computer aided design only satisfies me so much, you just can’t beat the real thing. Because of this exact reason a few years ago I started researching into the construction and design of a CNC mill, I had a rough idea what I wanted to achieve: A mill that could cut plastic, wood, perhaps some basic circuit boards and yes aluminium too! (the later being the challenging component). So I rules out basic lightweight DIY structures in favour of either a converted cast iron/steel mill, something like the Sieg X1, X2 or something bigger. Then I hit the space and weight issue head on, read up on the specifications of the X2 which was my desired machine 153 lbs / 69 Kg ! Ouch yep that was a problem because at the time I was living in an apartment in Surrey with very little room and no outside storage.


So once again I trawled the web looking for some sort of a solution, I came across something interesting on Ebay. It was an incomplete MAXNC 15 mill, no motor, no steppers, no controller just the basic metal structure. I can’t remember exactly what I won the auction for but I think it was less than £40, seemed like a bargain and so far so good. I had to make up my own gib strip for the Z axis as one was missing but I figured that wasn’t going to be too much of an issue.

Next stop was for me to source a controller, I looking into making my own but to be honest by electronics skills at the time weren’t great and I didn’t have the confidence to through myself into that as a sideline project (I remember thinking I could probably get the mill to drill one for me when it was completed). After more googling and research I opted for a 4 axis Mechatronics controlled board from this seemed quite simple to setup and had huge flexibility for the motors, oh and most importantly it was comparatively cheap (manual). Parallel to this I picked up some small Nema 16 stepper motors (x4) from ebay for about £40, these arrived promptly but had no connection plug or cables so I managed to get some ‘samples’ from a manufacturer (may have posed as potential business customer).  t.b.c

peak of 1st time machine is powered up, not finished by a long way though!

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