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Topic: First test of CNC Miller conversion (Read 13638 times) previous topic - next topic


Jul 05, 2010, 03:17 pm Last Edit: Jul 05, 2010, 03:19 pm by Grumpy_Mike Reason: 1
This is the first test of a CNC conversion from a Proxxon MF70 miller. I just taped a pen to the side for this.
The controller is a 328 chip with two 16 bit port expanders and an 40 X 2 LCD display.
Software is still under development but was based on an earlier RepRap controller code. It takes in Gcode and converts them into stepper movement.

It uses stepping motor drivers from Cool Components.

It is still work in progress but I thought I would let you see what it did so far. I wasn't expecting it to play such a tune when all it was doing was drawing circles.


Looking good Mike, how is that mill unmolestered?  I've been looking at getting one, but the item I want to make is only just within the x/y limits.

Was there much work involved getting the steppers integrated?


Looking good! My hope is to one day be able to do something similar, maybe on a smaller scale, and then use it to drill holes in homemade pcb's
captain-slow.dk | non contagious!


how is that mill unmolestered

Quite good, it is very precise although I couldn't tell you a figure. In fact I milled some of the pieces on the machine before I modified it. As it was my first venture in milling the machine was better than me.

Was there much work involved getting the steppers integrated

Yes you might be able to spot a different design for each axis. I did the Y axis first and designed it in such a way as not to need shaft special shaft couplers. However when it came to the others I had to get access to a lathe to turn some brass couplings and flexible shaft drives.

maybe on a smaller scale,

Well that is a very small scale miller, I am not sure anything much smaller is worth it. It has:-
Lateral Table Movement : 46mm
Longitudinal Table Movement : 134mm


Ah yes, I see what you mean, it seemed larger in the video.
captain-slow.dk | non contagious!


I'm looking to make a CNC too! Can you please post some code?


GM: Pretty cool; I need to do this one of these days with my milling machine (but first, I need to get tooling for it, but first, I need to get other projects outta the way, but first...ad nauseum - blech). I have a Harbor Freight 47158 Micro-Mill/Drill machine - somewhat larger than the Proxxon MF70 machine (the following is a link to the manual; Harbor Freight no longer sells it):


Consequently, its conversion will require larger motors, as well as a custom counterweight system for the Z-axis, since the spindle and such is fairly heavy (heck, the whole machine weighs a ton). Tooling alone is going to end up setting me back a few hundred dollars, if I ever get around to it - though I might try playing around with chucking Dremel-style router bits in the drill chuck (I want to convert it to a collet chuck, though, to increase its accuracy).

Right now it sits on my bench, next to my parts cabinets, waiting...


I can't wait to see what you come up with in the future! Good luck with the project!
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Thanks for those comments. Yes the miller is only a means to an end, although since I had access to a laser cutter (thanks Manchester Fab Lab) I might be able to do the project without the miller. I won't say what it is but it involves LEDs and switches. A clue is it involves 61 of them, not a very binary number.

I will post the code in time, but it makes no sense posting the code without posting the hardware schematic that it drives. It was based on the code:-
// Arduino 328 G-code Interpreter
// Arduino v1.0 by Mike Ellery - initial software (mellery@gmail.com)
// v1.1 by Zach Hoeken - cleaned up and did lots of tweaks (hoeken@gmail.com)
// v1.2 by Chris Meighan - cleanup / G2&G3 support (cmeighan@gmail.com)
// v1.3 by Zach Hoeken - added thermocouple support and multi-sample temp readings. (hoeken@gmail.com)
// Sanguino v1.4 by Adrian Bowyer - added the Sanguino; extensive mods... (a.bowyer@bath.ac.uk)

Which is part of the RepRap project, if you want to start where I started. I replaced the Sanguino with a 328 and added some port expanders.


So I have now got to the point where I can mill a PCB. Here are some photos of an RFID coil I have milled:-


I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Very cool!  I always thought milling would be an easy way to make PCBs if I could get my hand on CNC equipment and code ;D!


That's a SWEET looking PCB! Good job. Now.. If I start saving today(20), I may have enough to embark on such a project some time when I'm about 30..

Nice work! ;)



Nice work Grumpy_Mike! Do you plan to moterize a z-axis in the future?
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Do you plan to moterize a z-axis in the future?

Not sure what you mean, the Z axis is motorised.

What I would like to do is to put construction details, schematics and software on my web site but the project is not quite at that stage yet. I am still refining the software and there are some things on the hardware I have not implemented yet like axis limit switches, software compensation for table tilt and a hardware axis jog controller. I am writing all the computer controll and G code generating stuff in processing.


Well Mike, when you're ready! :D

I suppose I can hold off buying a mill for now, Im rubbish at it manually anyway.

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