Build Your Own CNC Machine

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Apress, Dec 1, 2009 - Computers - 240 pages

Do you like to build things? Are you ever frustrated at having to compromise your designs to fit whatever parts happen to be available? Would you like to fabricate your own parts? Build Your Own CNC Machine is the book to get you started. CNC expert Patrick Hood-Daniel and best-selling author James Kelly team up to show you how to construct your very own CNC machine. Then they go on to show you how to use it, how to document your designs in computer-aided design (CAD) programs, and how to output your designs as specifications and tool paths that feed into the CNC machine, controlling it as it builds whatever parts your imagination can dream up.

Don't be intimidated by abbreviations like CNC and terms like computer-aided design. Patrick and James have chosen a CNC-machine design that is simple to fabricate. You need only basic woodworking skills and a budget of perhaps $500 to $1,000 to spend on the wood, a router, and various other parts that you'll need. With some patience and some follow-through, you'll soon be up and running with a really fun machine that'll unleash your creativity and turn your imagination into physical reality.

The authors go on to show you how to test your machine, including configuring the software. Provides links for learning how to design and mill whatever you can dream up The perfect parent/child project that is also suitable for scouting groups, clubs, school shop classes, and other organizations that benefit from projects that foster skills development and teamwork No unusual tools needed beyond a circular saw and what you likely already have in your home toolbox Teaches you to design and mill your very own wooden and aluminum parts, toys, gadgets—whatever you can dream up What you’ll learn Build your very own CNC machine Learn about linear movement and motion transmission Who this book is for

Build Your Own CNC Machine is the perfect book for hobbyists who like to build and create using wood and metal. It's especially for those who have ever been foiled by lack of specific parts to help realize their creative designs. Build Your Own CNC Machine is also an excellent choice for organizations such as scouting and church groups, school shop classes, and so forth, as it provides an educational project of modest cost that all can work on together.

Table of Contents Your CNC Machine Hardware and Tools Tips and Advice Movement Using Rails Joining Methods The Electronics X-Axis, Part 1 X-Axis, Part 2 X-Axis, Part 3 Y-Axis, Part 1 Y-Axis, Part 2 Y-Axis, Part 3 Preparing for the Z-Axis Z-Axis, Part 1 Z-Axis, Part 2 Z-Axis, Part 3 Mounting the Electronics Software and Testing Where to Go from Here

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About the Technical Reviewers
Your CNC Machine
Hardware and Tools
Tips and Advice
Movement Using Rails
Joining Methods
YAxis Part 1
YAxis Part 2
YAxis Part 3
Preparing for the ZAxis
ZAxis Part 1
ZAxis Part 2
ZAxis Part 3
Mounting the Electronics

The Electronics
XAxis Part 1
XAxis Part 2
XAxis Part 3
Software and Testing
Where to Go from Here

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About the author (2009)

James Floyd Kelly is a professional writer from Atlanta, Georgia. He has written numerous books on multiple subjects, including LEGO robotics, open source software, and building your own CNC machine as well as a 3D printer. He is the editor-in-chief of the number one MINDSTORMS NXT blog, The NXT Step (, where he is joined by fellow NXT experts who share their knowledge and designs with other robot fans around the world.

Patrick Hood-Daniel is a hobbyist. By day, he is an urban designer trained in architecture and city planning at the University of Miami and the University of California. But in his spare time, Patrick puts skills from a previous career as a computer programmer to good use in building and operating computer numerically controlled (CNC) fabrication machines. He is the creative force behind and is well-known for designing CNC machines that can be built at low cost by normal people, without any special or expensive tools.

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