Alu Cutter / Plotter / CNC

Unlike the other machines I have build, this one is designed from ground up by myself, so I did not copy something I saw!


I spontaniously decided to go to my local shop to wee what kind of material I could find there to build a new plotter. I wanted to build a stronger one that would be able do hold a small router.

I found some rolls and aluminium bars that allowed me to build a strong frame. Putting all this togeather was quite fast.


The next step was to imagine how the stepper moters could be fixed, respectiveley how the movement should be implemented.

I started with the Y axes, so I build some parts that slide into the framing system.


While I'm waiting for the ordred stepper motors to arrive, I am designing the X and Z axes.


The motors are located in Amsterdam but the items are posted from Hongkong. F***.

So while still waiting, I've designed the X axes and will now checkout on how to bring in the Z movement.


The first motor order, the one from Hongkong, arrived in Luxembourg but before I get them, I need to pay additional taxes. Argh ...

But the second order I placed also arrived, so I finally could connect them and test my setup. It works! ... but some parts are not optimal. The Y-axis can do 300mm, as expected, but the X-axis is limited to 130mm, which is obtiously less then the targeted 210mm. I've redisigned some plastic parts and need to wait again until they are printed.

Until the end of the prints, I've experimented with my 5.5W laser TTL module and found out how to use it. I've upgraded my firmware accordingly and designed a laser holder, so that, before being a CNC machine, my new device will become a laser cutter.


The redesigned holders for the Y-acis motors fit well. The new, smaller Z-axis is also perfect so that the range of the X-axis was increased to 205mm ;-) On the right picture you see that the motor is turned to the inner side. On the second image, the new design, I've turned it outwards.

I've also added zero end stops to all 3 axis, which are important to programm a clean homing procedure. As the exact size of the each axis is know, the max end stops are being controlled by the software.


I had a little spare time, so I checked ou what cable carrier system I could use. I found this one, but  of course I had to make some motifications to make it fit my needs.


The axis cable chain does not work as expected. Not only that night-print was somewhat crappy, but the entire rolling system hangs when the y-axis is fully rolled out. So I needed to make more design changes.


I've bought a Dremel and designed a piece to fix it the the head, so I can cut wood. For plastic I still need to figure out the best parameters. Altough I've designed the head to be able to hold heavy stuff, I've noticed that it is not really optimal. As laser cutter it will work fine, but as drilling machine it's not so very good.