A3 printer to CNC - First Run





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Published on Jan 5, 2014

Pulling an old HP printer to bits for parts, and it suddenly turned into a CNC machine conversion. Took me 4 days, but there were a few small hurdles to overcome. The brains of it is an Arduino Uno with a Protoneer CNC shield running GRBL. (Big shout out to http://info.protoneer.com/1)

The Z and X axis runs on ball bearing drawer slides, and they have absolutely no vertical or horizontal play.
The threaded rods run through MDF thread inserts and using a small piece of 6mm acrylic for a 'nut' to lock it into the mounts. The inserts don't seem to have the same amount of backlash as a standard nut.

All electrics (incl a PSU) is at the end where the ink carts used to be.
The X axis is a bit noisy because it is mounted to the printers steel base plate, but some nylon washers should dull that down a bit.

The dremel flexi-shaft runs down the inside of the 1" square tube (the bit the pen was zip tied to) on the Z axis.

PS...I've never attempted anything like this before, I'm still learning about the whole CNC thing (spot the sticky notes to remind me what axis I was moving!). The fact that I could use the original bodywork (panels) was more good luck than good design....except when it comes to drilling holes for USB cables. That was just crappy "eye-ometer".

UPDATE: Here is a blog I wrote up about the build, including the first runs.


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