After looking for a small and cheap CNC for my project I choose the CNC 1419 that you can find it on aliexpress or on banggood. The main reasons where the size (I live in a relatively small apartment and the cnc sits in the living room...), the price (around 300 euro) and the facts that the construction is all metal and it seems sturdy enough. However it has some drawback: absence of limit switches, no enclosure (again as it sits on my living room it is quite a problem for me) and no vacuum. So I decided to make my own upgrades.
Limit switches are not included in the 1419 kit, and you probably can live without it. However as I am a very beginner with CNC and I am kind messy I already crashed the axis several times...
So I decided to buy some random limit switches from amazon (I chose the HiLetgo V-156-1C25 mostly due the fast shipping option).
The 1419 GRBL control board already support limit switches for X, Y and Z axis so for the electronics and software side it is quite simple, however the CNC itself does not have (at least I did not found) any placement for the limit switches and I do not want to use some hot glue and glue it permanently to the frame...
So I made few 3D printer adaptors that I mounted to the frame:
The design is not final and in particular for the axis Y I will make a new design in the future and I would like to make a new design for the Z axis with the two switches on the same adaptor.
You can find the original design on onshape (I created different version for each axis).
I will upload the final design in the next days in thingiverse (and here as well)!
For the wiring I choose the normally closed configuration and follow the GRBL wiki that explain very well how to do it.
However I am not happy with this configuration as the accuracy is low and I also misused the micro-switch that should have been paired with a slope. So I will probably end up to replace the set-up in the following days...
The machine I bought came with a mini-usb GRBL controller (version 0.9 something) and it has 3 replaceable generic stepper drivers and different inputs and outputs (for limit switches, stop button, laser engraver, fan etc..).
Overall the control board is not that bad for the price and my needs, however it is not enclosed so I will design a small 3d printed box in the near future.
After assembling the machine the first thing I did was to run bCNC and Candle on my linux laptop to test the movement of the machine. It worked just fine, the usb device it is seen like a serial device (`/dev/ttyUSB0` in my case) and the two software worked correctly.
However due to the placement of the CNC in my flat it is not very convenient to connect my laptop to the CNC so I chose to use my Raspberry PI 4 to control it remotely.
I am very happy with this solution. The software I chose to use is cncjs, I used their official guide to install it on my raspberry pi and now it look like this:
I can use the console to communicate directly with the machine (for example for setting the correct axis directions) and it stream the pi webcam to monitor the status of the machine remotely. So far I am very happy! :)