A  CNC
A  CNC

In theory, there’s isn’t much to building a CNC machine. Hook a bit to a motor and move the motor around with some lead screws and stepper motors. Easy. But, of course, the devil is in the details. [DAZ] made a nice-looking and inexpensive rig that probably isn’t the most precise CNC in the world, but it looks like it does a good enough job and he claims he spent about $50 on it. The video below shows some of the work it has done, and it doesn’t look bad.

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This isn’t a rainy afternoon project. You’ll need to cut some wood and 3D print many parts. The drives use M8 threaded rod. Electronics is just an Arduino running standard software.

The steppers looked pretty light duty, and we wondered if it would have been worthwhile to trade them out for beefier ones instead of modifying the ones used for bipolar operation. Still, the results did look good for $50. The 775 spindle is another place you could probably spend a little more and get something better. Non-printed linear rails, and a better screw? The point is that you’ve got a basis to build from.

We’ve seen cheap CNCs made from scrap before. If you decide an Arduino is too low-powered for your CNC, try going 32-bit.

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