Come to See My First Homebuilt CNC Router

Already for a few months or even years, I was planning to build my own CNC Router, a CNC milling machine. Now I decided it was the time to do it! I read a lot about other DIY projects and in the end I liked the design from the Arduino CNC intstructable that I foun. Although the dimensions were unclear and the programming and calibration was all in Spanish, I figured all that out by myself. In the end, I only used the design for reference.

In this instructable, I’ll try to explain my steps, from the very beginning of the design, until the very end of your first gcode.

Note: I used a 3D printer to make some of the parts, but if you’re working accurately, it’s possible to make these parts from wood as well!


I noticed some movement in my design after the first routings. A solution might be using thicker rods than the 12mm that I used. However: This design DOES work!! I’m currently still improving the design and might update this instructable in the near future! If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll try to answer them.

If you like this instructable, please vote for me in the Arduino Contest. :)

Update — December 29th:I’m really blown away by all the interest you’re all showing for this project! I’ll try to add some results and video’s this weekend. Currently I’m routing hard foam, since it’s easy to test with. For harder material speeds need to be lower, otherwise the hang-though is a bit too much. I’m looking at a way to fix this (probably thicker rails) and will update this instructable as soon as possible. I know that there are some proven ways to solve this, but it’s my goal to make it as cheap as possible. :)

Update — January 3rd: I added some results and video’s in step 11. I’m still figuring out the CAM functionality of Fusion 360 and didn’t have much time the past days, so the final ‘C’ is falling of the limits of the foam. ;) However: It’s clear that the machine works and that some pretty good quality can be reached!

Update — January 30th: In the past weeks, I updated this instructable for the use of 18mm steel tubes instead of 12mm rods. Also, I designed more 3D printed parts for better/easier alignment of the parts. However, because of vacation and other projects, I haven’t had much time to do more tests, so these will follow soon. The design is already much stiffer than before, so I guess I can increase the feedrate, even on wood.

Update — February 3rd: Waahjoo! Although I didn’t update this page so much (IAM working on the machine), I just got the news that I won the First Prize in the Arduino all the things Contest! Thanks a lot to everybody who voted! I’m very happy with this!!

Ok, we’re now a few weeks later. I tested some more and I’m very happy with the updated design.

Some facts:

· I can route hardwood-plywood at a federate of 400mm/min with a 6mm 4-flute router bit and a depth of 2mm per pass.

· I also tried the same feed-rate and same router with with a depth of 4mm per pass, but this caused the wood to burn because the friction was too high. The accuracy however, stayed acceptable, but I don’t recommend this setting.

· Because I used threaded rods instead of leadscrews, I have some backlash on the y-axis. This results in flattened circles. I can probably tune this a bit by tweaking the nuts under the x-gantry, but I’ll probably switch to lead screws in the future.

Like I said: I’m very happy with it! Now I need more projects to use it for. ;-)

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