Getting a better CNC

July 26, 2018 Maker
My new 3040 CNC

My 3020 CNC was a nice introduction into CNC, but it also did leave much to be desired. Especially when it comes to working with harder/thicker wood or even metals. So the time has come to get a more powerful machine: A solid all-metal 3040 CNC from China...

cnc_enclosure_open

As my 3020 CNC is inside in my home, I prefer it to run as quietly and as clean as possible. That's why I've built an enclosure large enough to fit in both the CNC and a small vacuum cleaner. The enclosure is made out of 18 mm MDF panels because they're relatively cheap. After the build, ...

Schmitt-triggered proximity detectors on a milled PCB

Auto leveling is key to precise PCB milling. I wrote some open-source software that makes it possible to do auto-leveling on a CNC USB Controller-based machine like my chinese 3020 CNC. This software controls the actual control software so that it starts probing a circuit board in a grid-like manner, after which it can compensate for any misalignment and curvature in the GCode.

Modifying LEGO

Discusses the limitations of my 3020 CNC machine as well as some of the ways to work around them, allowing me to successfully mill things like LEGO-compatible bricks and circuit boards.

Getting into CNC

May 25, 2018 Maker
Chinese 3020 CNC

Last year, I bought my first CNC machine for about €400: A brandless "3020 CNC" from AliExpress. It's great to be able to CNC from the comfort of your home, but took a bit of effort to get it to work properly though...

'Maker' section

May 21, 2018 Maker
GRBL board

Since 2017, I've picked up an interest in building software-controlled electronics and CNC machining. This has been lot of fun for me, but it also has been daunting at times, being a total newcomer. Luckily, I've always been able to find useful information online, provided openly and voluntarily by the maker's community. So I thought I'd contribute back to this community by sharing some of my experiences, ideas and tools in the other posts in this new 'Maker' section.