Mini CNC Mill

Building the control unit for another kind of small Chinese CNC mill/engraver.

Similar projects worth following
I wanted a small and cheap CNC, building my own mechanics wasn't possible, so I looked on Ebay and found the JLW T1 300mm x 200mm x 60mm of travels, ball screws, linear rails and a 65mm spindle mount. (cost around 800$)
Next I bought a Chinese 800W water cooled spindle (up to 24k rpm), 3 Nema 23 stepper motors with 0.9Deg/step, and 3 stepper driver KL-4042.
Because I wanted a USB connection to the CNC controller, I choose the one from Planet CNC, it's software is simple, has great features like transformation matrix (which even allows you to mill on a warped pcb) and is updated at reasonable rate, their is also an api for it, but the whole thing works under windows (within my Parallels virtual box), on a mac you haven't any choice either, when it comes to CNC.
Now the recycled parts: I was lucky and found within my country an older Hitachi VFD for 50 bucks, I also had an heavy (6-8Kg) 2x24VAC transformer laying around, and lucky again at work I found an older Mac Pro case.

I did mount the connectors "temporally" on balsa wood blocks, then I made a rear panel which waits to be mounted. The coordinate display also waits to be mounted like some additional buttons.

The LCD display will be driven by an Teensy 3.1 (test picture made on a ArduinoMega), which receive it's data from the Planet-CNC-Usb board, but I also want to drive the VFD speed with it and use the VFD feedback on torque which should trigger the pause/start/stop functions of the CNC.

Because I want to do more than just milling, I'm thinking about 3D printing, paste deposition (coming soon), pick and place, and other weird stuff. I want to make good use of the Teensy 3.1, like driving per UART another Arduino...

  • 1 × JLW T1 CNC router engraving mill PCB milling machine That the 3 axis mechanical base, with 3 ball screws, X + Y each one linear rail, Z has 2, 65mm spindle mount 300x200x60
  • 2 × Stepper Motor Nema 23 (XY) 282 oz/in 3A 1/4" Single Shaft Stepper Motor 0.9 Degree/step (KL23H276-30-4AM)
  • 1 × Stepper Motor Nema 23 (Z) 185oz/in 3A Stepper Motor ¼” Dual shaft (KL23H256-21-8B)
  • 4 × KL-4042D Digital Stepper Driver
  • 1 × Water-cooled SPINDLE MOTOR 0.8KW 65mm x 205mm/ ER 11 collet/220V 24'000rpm

View all 11 components

  • 4 axis controller mounted

    AltMarcxs09/29/2014 at 03:44 0 comments


  • Video of first cuts

    AltMarcxs07/24/2014 at 18:30 0 comments

     I put 2 links for video of the first cut I made.

    That's the result. But I found out that X and Y weren't squared at all.

    This took me a very long time to decide how to fix it. I did make 2 holes in the frame so I could reach the screws holding the X and Y axis together.

    I got it now within 0.01mm. But the ball screw of the X axis has little wobble, which tilts the Z axis about 0.02mm at each turn on X. I crashed it once badly. 

  • 4 Axis controller arrived

    AltMarcxs07/24/2014 at 18:22 0 comments

    After getting lost in the mail for 3 weeks, I received my ordered digital stepper controller KL4042, having some Nema 23 stepper laying around, I did got, that idea, for an digital compressor driven by a stepper for paste deposition.

    It's part of my other project, the one for the contest, it's also the reason why I'm so late to present it.

    While mounting the first 3 controller I did preview to get a forth axis. Now I just have to screw it in, and connect the cables.

View all 3 project logs

Enjoy this project?



AltMarcxs wrote 08/30/2015 at 23:28 point

RoboMonkey wrote a comment on Mini CNC Mill
"I have nearly the exact model...did yours come with limit switches pre-installed?

If you get your head around how to make the spindle holder a bit more friendly, let me know.  I've used a harbor..."

  Are you sure? yes | no

AltMarcxs wrote 08/30/2015 at 23:32 point

Sorry it's took so long, but RoboMonkey wrote a comment but did not appear here.

To RoboMonkey, no I had to install the limit switches myself.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates