Build Your Own CNC Machine

Build Your Own CNC Machine

3.89 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
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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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 191 x 235 x 18.29mm | 576g
  • Apress
  • Berlin, Germany
  • English
  • 1st ed.
  • 240 p.
  • 1430224894
  • 9781430224891
  • 151,126

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 James Floyd Kelly

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.
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Rating details

55 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 29% (16)
4 38% (21)
3 25% (14)
2 7% (4)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

This review is from: Build Your Own CNC Machine (Technology in Action) (Paperback) Other reviewers have recounted the praises of this guide as a DIY guide to inexpensively (~$800.00) creating a machine that normally sells for up to $10,000.00 and which allows makers to create their own computer machined materials (even another CNC machine if that is their goal); I would like to touch on other benefits of this excellent volume. In particular, learning the process of creating a machine which moves in three dimensions under software control is applicable in many "Maker-friendly" and exciting applications. It is a natural fit for the aspiring robotics hobbyist, and it is no accident that James Floyd Kelly one of this book's co-authors also has written many fine volumes on the Lego NXT Mindstorms System. The technologies of stepper motors, exact three-dimensional staged motion, and software-based metrology and motion control will be invaluable to any microcontroller, electronics, mechatronics or robotics enthusiast. In addition the excellent description and high contrast photographs of this construction process is invaluable to hobbyists such as myself who are only marginally familiar with a machine shop but aspire to making systems that involve computers, electronics, and moving precisely machined parts. It goes without saying that this description, careful instruction, and illustration will meet the needs of the hobbyist who actually constructs this powerful and relatively economical machine tool. This is an excellent and instructive volume for the hobbyist, maker or DIY'er whether their aim is to build "your very own, fully-functional automated machine that cuts, carves, engraves and drills" or whether they wish to acquire a powerful range of skills that can assist in robotics, mechatronics, microcontroller-based applications. --Ira Laefsky MSE/MBA Maker & IT/New Product Consultantshow more
by Rob Donaldson
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