The First Cut….

.. is not the deepest, but it is the most nerve-wracking! After many test passes through air, I finally let the mill engrave some acrylic sheet… with relatively pleasing results!

If you can’t see what it is, it’s a skull & crossbones!

CNC Milling Machine First Steps

I bought a small Proxxon MF70 milling machine last year to help out with a few modelling jobs here & there, but also with the aim of converting it to CNC control (or rather CN control to be pedantic).

As an xmas present to myself I finally splashed out on a CNC conversion kit from which included the stepper motors, motor mounting hardware and motor controller electronics. I’m using an old PC I never got around to throwing away as the ‘brains’. The controller uses an old style 25-way parallel port connection so I had to get an extra PCI parallel card as most motherboards don’t provide these any more (even ones from 2005!).

I’m now starting on the very long path to undersanding how it all works, but a few days tinkering have got me as far as getting my first responses from the mill to some G-code which was really exciting!

Rather than actually milling something and making a mess all over my computer desk where it currently resides, I just inserted a pencil lead in the chuck and got it to draw instead.