Festo CNC (conversion)

Converting a scrapped Festo CNC rig into a (hopefully) working CNC mill for milling (mostly) aluminium

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Got hold of a Festo setup from the dumpster of a company. I've wanted a larger CNC mill for milling pieces in aluminium for various projects.

From the Festo website, it seems, that Festo makes its own servo motors and gearboxes for moving the gantries around. Unfortunately, the setup was without motors and controllers, so I want to use this with standard NEMA23/34 motors. However, measuring the mounting hole positions and the axis diameter (of the X-axis) it became obvious, that a bit more work is needed.

This project is the work in getting the Festo up and running with standard stepper motors and custom electronics/control software for getting that "3D Printing" experience : Insert USB stick with GCode and Press Play.

Having been standing outside, the Y Axis wasn't running smoothly. I worried, that I had to use a NEMA34 motor for driving this axis. Adding a 1.8 kg motor costing $200 wasn't on the top of my list, so I started looking into how, the Y Axis was constructed. Whereas the X Axis runs directly on the belt, the Y Axis seems to run using a magnetic transmission (for keeping dust etc. off the Y Axis belt). Designing a short arm, which could be screwed on to the Y Axis, I found, that it only required a 0.250Nm forced to move it. After cleaning and oiling the linear rails of the Y Axis, the axis ran much better and with much less force, making it more likely to be able to run using a standard NEMA23 motor.

I designed a demo fixture for a NEMA23 stepper motor with 1:3 gearing using Belts and Pulleys. PLA version seems to fit, except for a 2 degree slope, which has been compensated for prior to printing it in PETG.

Huge thanks to (Martin) for his suggestions on how to begin this work and material choices.


First movement test

MPEG-4 Video - 1012.45 kB - 11/29/2023 at 22:38


  • IT'S ALIVE!!!!!

    Henrik Sorensen11/29/2023 at 22:36 0 comments

    Finally, I got the time to adjust the motor mount bracket and added a belt tensioner to it. Mounted the NEMA 23 motor and added the electronics (Arduino Uno + custom shield) + driver. Tested the Y axis movement using Candle. And it FRAKKIN MOVES!!!

  • Y Axis plate prototype done

    Henrik Sorensen10/21/2023 at 10:22 0 comments

    Got the Y Axis Stepper motor mounting plate printed in PETG and tested it. Now for testing the actual movement of the axis. 

    Test setup is gonna be an Arduino, Stepper Motor driver, Power Supplies and a laptop.

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