E-Waste CD-ROM CNC Machine

Tinkernut inspired project about turning 3 CD-ROM drives, some spare parts, Arduino, and 3 stepper drivers into a CNC machine.

Similar projects worth following
Using 3 CD-ROM drives and their respective reading arrays plus three stepper motor drivers, a laptop and and Arduino UNO, you can create a fully functional CNC machine that can be used for anything from milling, laser engraving/cutting to 3D printing with a modified 3D pen. This project is based off of Tinkernut's own original project.

To Preface: This project is not my own, this is entirely based off of Tinkernut's own original work that can be found here and in this video. I am just sharing my build and experience here on Hackaday.

Now, with that cleared up, lets move on to the applications of the project. For a very low (If not even free) cost, one can make a fully functional CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine from unused parts that are just taking up space and not being useful. It is a great alternative for those of us that can't quite afford a 3D printer, laser engraver, cutter or milling machine with our budget as makers and pulls the ends of frugality, making, and learning together well.

Used to flash the HEX file

x-zip-compressed - 678.31 kB - 08/30/2017 at 04:39



HEX file that needs to be flashed to the UNO using XLoader

hex - 83.76 kB - 08/30/2017 at 04:39


Controlling software for the CNC machine

x-zip-compressed - 4.34 MB - 08/30/2017 at 04:38


View all 6 components

  • Failure

    DJ-TrainR3k09/02/2017 at 03:58 0 comments

    Stepper drivers came and I assembled the final thing to test. Steppers are not working properly and seem to not have enough torque. Project is being shelved for the time being.

  • Base info added

    DJ-TrainR3k08/30/2017 at 05:31 0 comments

    Base project details added. Pictures to be added tomorrow and continuing to add steps and progress.

View all 2 project logs

  • 1
    Disassemble the drives

    Pretty self explanatory. Completely disassemble the drives. Do not forget to first remove the front drive tray panel, as that is the first step in complete disassembly of the drive. Be sure to save TWO of the large top cases to use as the framework for the CNC machine. Also while you're at it, save the drive opening motors for future use (Although they aren't used in this project). By now you should be down to the base carriage assembly that houses the optics of the disc drive, as that is all we need besides those two case pieces. Carefully remove and strip the center optical module of as many parts as possible. Lenses, lasers, magnets they all have to go. Save anything if you wish.

  • 2
    Solder new wires to the stepper motors

    After finding the stepper motor contacts, carefully solder new longer wires on to the 4 pins of the stepper so they can be run to our drivers later. You don't need more than probably 1 foot of cabling for each. Check for bridges and loose connections. Snip off any remaining ribbon cable off the stepper when you are done and then add some hot glue or epoxy over the connections for good measure after checking continuity. Repeat with the other two assemblies.

  • 3
    Assemble the basic frame

    For this step, I recommend using two angle "L" brackets at the base of the drive cases for best stability. Mark and drill your holes and add the brackets with nuts and tighten these up well, as they need to be strong and immovable for accuracy of the machine. Make sure you are mounting the vertical case piece on top of the horizontal one.

    Here are the re-purposed steel angle brackets I used to hold the cases together as such. The tape isn't needed anymore.

View all 7 instructions

Enjoy this project?



Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

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