Showcase Showdown – CNC Machine Control Station
While I’m still working out the kinks, here are some pics of my CNC setup so far.
The emergency stop button works great, and I’ve certainly needed it a few times already. The numeric button pad was a 99¢ bargain, is glued to a painted electrical box and doesn’t really work very well. It’s biggest flaw is when holding a button for a long time(like driving the long X axis to the opposite side) it won’t stop after release. That was when the stop button feature was checked. A stretchy cord on hand from a surplus store (another bargain) was the final piece and has enough reach to get across the room.
Both stop buttons are wired in series to the controller board, while the pendant keypad is USB with a clipped cord routed through the stretchy one. I still have two extra wires going to the pendent box for upgrades, like some lights, noise or the letter X.
If you couldn’t tell, the computer desk was custom made from 2x4s and in a lovely primer shade of gray. I took more time on the cover of the box for the controller board and power supply using masking tape and spray paint. Same thing on the wall plate for the pendent, seen previously.
After shopping around, I settled on a Rockcliff controller board with 3 stepper motors and power supply from eBay based on price, specs and ease of buying. The board has a forth axis for future upgrades, which I’m assuming is for moving through time. There is enough room for some fans too.
So that’s that. I’m trying to keep costs down on the peripherals for this project, so lately the materials are just what’s laying around or in front of the neighbors’ house on certain days. I also picked up a 1000′ of six conductor, shielded 18 gauge wire from eBay for cheap (I could part with some to other hackers for $$/quid pro quo).