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This page is about the adventures of making a CNC machine from old inkjet printers, stepper motors and MDF. The aim is to have a machine that is precise enough to use for making printed circuit boards without using the liquid-etching techniques.
I loosely base my design on the MicroCarve series of CNC machines that have had good reports about precision, ease of assembly and low cost.
The process will roughly consist of the following steps:
- salvage the machined rods and print-head carriages from old printers (need at least 6 rods)
- cut the sides and cross bars from MDF sheet
- make a Y-axis table with a threaded rod and bolt
- attach the cross bars to the sides
- attach the Y-axis assembly to the cross bars
- make an X-axis table with a threaded rod and bolt
- attach the X-axis assembly to the sides
- make a Z-axis dremel tool-holder table with a threaded rod and bolt
- attach the Z-axis assembly to the X-axis table
- find/buy/salvage 3x stepper motors and connect to the threaded rods
- make/design/buy stepper motor driver boards
- interface 3D modelling software to the stepper motor driver boards
2015 - January
Finally our neighbourhood was up for bulk-waste collection again. This time around I made a more serious effort in picking up some discarded inkjet printers and there were plenty.
The following printer models had some useful parts:
- Lexmark Z640 (1x 7mm rod with ink carriage)
- Canon MP370 (1x 8mm rod from the scanner, 1x 8mm rod from the printer)