Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


3D printer to CNC machine

Posted by mza1979m 
3D printer to CNC machine
January 13, 2014 08:10PM
I'm looking to permanently convert my old Printrbot Plus to a basic CNC machine. Before I go about starting this, is there anything I should keep in mind? What additional hardware/software will I need? I wanted to attach my dremel to it in place of the extruder. Can I use all existing electronics/drivers? I noticed in programs like Repetier-Host (I think), there's an option where you tell it you're operating a CNC instead of a 3D printer. What will this do exactly? Will this automatically slow down the motors for CNC milling or what? Or can I just pop in my dremel, put on my safety glasses, hit "run" and run?
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
January 27, 2014 11:12AM
You can use it as it is, but you may want to use grbl firmware instead (which is a bit more tolerant with gcode from many CAM software).

OTOH, you will need a different software to create the toolpaths for milling the volume you want (similar role to slic3r but for milling, I think carve option from skeinforge can do it but I have not tried it myself). Vectrix has several easy programs (non free) or you may want to try PyCam.
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
February 23, 2014 09:06PM
I was wondering the same thing. I want to be able to use my 3d printer(Duplicator 4 Makergeeks) as a cnc to engrave things as well. Is there anything special I need to do(I.E. Get a new head, plate, software, etc.)?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2014 09:06PM by UncleBourbon.
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
April 06, 2014 04:43PM
How would the belts handle the forces exerted in the X and Y axis during milling? The dremel bit rotation will be working hard to drive itself away from the cut face (climbing or decending cuts) unless you are doing plunge cuts. You would have to be doing extremely small layers or cutting at extremely slow speeds to reduce the forces to negligible.

I've done an A3 printer to CNC conversion, and even with the threaded rod I was getting pretty ugly results. This wasn't helped by the runout in the dremel flexishaft handle bearing. Currently under modification to accommodate the dremel motor.
I wrote a blog about the build, and you might find something useful in it for your project.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2014 04:44PM by ShaneH.
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
April 09, 2014 12:47PM
I agree with shaneh. The belts won't handle the force it takes to cut through harder materials. I built a "3d printer" that is currently being used as a cnc with a spindle on it. All I can cut is foam. And that's at a pretty slow feedrate.

For the electronics I use a ramps board and currently have marlin firmware. I use pycam as my gcode builder. It works but is not as versatile as I would like it to be. Hopefully I will soon get the funds to buy a hotend and some filament.
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
April 09, 2014 06:35PM
A delta printer was modified to accept a 300W engraving DC spindle (52mm dia).
Unfortunately no video or parts to show that it's up and running.

CNC Adapter
Re: 3D printer to CNC machine
April 25, 2014 02:50PM
generally the milling spindle (dremel? prozzon? etc) needs to be mounted very rigidly ...
good spindles have very little run (less than 1 mil?)
for dremels etc? whiel it feels good holding it to work on items, most ppl who used it know that it is a nasty and inaccurate "spindle". ie : the "bearings" allow the cutting bit to move around randomly alot = bad finishes.

you could try one of those cheap china spindles, when a powerful spindle is in operation, the force of the cut could twist your printer structure just a few mils ... and poof goes your accuracy

__my mixed bag blog || aka --> [http] || ___ so 3D printing is everywhere ... dont worry, hospitals can now 3Dprint body parts, they will charge you $1million excluding surgical fees ... you will die paying your debts. thats their aim ___ if every patent expires tomorrow, everybody will surely get a 3dprinter and make EVERYTHING ! ____ there is a "DIY-DTG" t shirt printing forum, you can mod an EPSON printer to PRINT like a pro. ___ CNCzone? overly commercialized it seems ___ my country? they will be taxing you for every cm of road you use and track you to your grave using GPS and its government authorized, now they will fire all the traffic wardens instead.___ EEVBLOG? there is only 1 way to do things --> take it apart like a pro
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login