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Root 2 CNC multitool router 3D printed parts

by sailorpete Mar 6, 2016
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dxf files Wooden panels?

What is the American aluminum tube equivalent and will it work with the .STL files that are in millimeters?

Buy 1x1 inch tubes. They will work just fine.

thank you really like the design

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Hey, I was the one that build the huge version of this while back! Still kicking! I did a full on built proof version of parts on this build with few remixes to the head design! Be posting it shortly the files! Just wanted this smaller one for a nice PCB cutter in the office. Rebuilt head to move a larger router and also fixed the rods that would slip in the head design of this version no long make play overtime in x-axis. video of it cutting a test object wet 2x8 left to die in my shop as a jack rest! figured if it cut that I was safe with a PCB board lol! https://youtu.be/MZm_jr3HL4U

could you please help me with the customizable files?

Really like! I started print. thanks for the design

this disingenuous is just amazing !!!!!!!
I just start to build it and just wand to now witch firmware are you using and where could I find it ?

Just an AMAZING Design.
Im going to build my as soon as my parts arrived.

I was lucky and got up to 11% discount because it is bangood sale:


Thank you sooo much!

Thank you for sharing this exciting project :). Have started printing.
I would be interested in whether the complete composition is available as a CAD file? This would be very helpful for the composite. Many Thanks.

Can the wood pieces be cut with a bandsaw and drill? Any suggestions on how to print the images on paper to scale for use as a template?

Open STL with Fusion360 and go to Drawing function. There are many tutorials for generating a drawing.

I'm in final assembly of this machine, but I'm having problems finding a drag chain that will fit properly and align to the mounting holes. All of the 10x20mm chains that I've found are all 15x25mm+ outside measurement and they're too big to fit in the Y gantry chain mount. I've also been unable to find any with the mounting holes oriented the right way (though I suppose I could print a custom end link if it comes down to that)

I could reprint the parts to fit what I can find, but I'd just rather get the right drag chain and avoid any complications. Do you have a supplier or model number for the one that you used?

Great project! I wish that I'd seen the Root3 before I started printing this, but maybe that will be my next project :)

Hi, I have sent you a follow request for the facebook group, would like to see more about this project which I find it very interesting to experience 3D printing implementations. Be kind to admit my request :). thank you.

I periodically/ daily do members requests :) You should be in now.

i have made a dxf file for the sidepanels. if anybody is interessed.

Any Chance to mount nema 23 on x axis? Thx

The latest version of the Root CNC give you the option for either Nema 17 or 23. check it out here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1750276

Root 3 CNC multitool router 3D printed parts

why would you want too? If your building the standard size machine....

i sized my root up so i think i would be a good idea to use the nema 23 with more torque

Could someone post their configfile for marlin pls? thx

if you are member of the Facebook group, please see that attached files, however I shall be producing a GitHub page with a like to the firmware I am using.

Can i use it with gravel?

Do you have any idea when Revision R2.1 will be released?

Root 3 CNC multitool router 3D printed parts

I requested to join your FB page yesterday, but it is still pending. Hoping to get to check this out, as this would be a perfect solution for my shop.

Could I replace the router and replace it with a laser?

Yes no reason why not.

question: are the files positioned in a predetermined orientation that you've decided is optimum for printing by trial and error?

You have to reposition the objects. The corner blocks are best laying flat with the diamond hole side up, wait till it almost finishes the long hole going lateral through it and sit there with it using a micro torch warming a corner of the drywall knife and batt down the curls if your machine is prone to this. Without getting in the extruder's way. Not too hot, just warm enough to articulate it down, the other method is to follow behind it and keep the blade cool. Torch method is only used in a "oh no, I'm going to get a shift situation" I didn't use rafts or infill on any of the parts. Corner blocks are the hardest, it's better to do just one at a time, or it will hit a "wall" and shift the whole thing. The x motor mount is best printed standing up, fat side down. M8 and fender washers can be printed and used successfully on this build. 6 fender, and 2 trays of 50 m8. Print Y pulleys with nut inserts from the remix section, use them instead. Aluminum bed, kapton tape, hairspray, tap with drywall knife to release. Whatever pulleys you plan to use, you have to print them in a lot of maybe 3-4 depending on size, if big just do 2 close to one another, z axis motor should be flipped up like mentioned in the root2 group, it works better! There is also a anti-backlash tip there as well. Good Luck with your prints.

Hallo is it posible to get the cadfiles. Building one right now but it Will be a modification so it can fit a hitachi 1400w fullscale mashine about 6 kg of weight.

This is cool well done. Going to start printing one for sure.
I have some PETG which I have been using as I hear ABS is a bit smelly and printing in my spare room at home. I assume this will be ok?
Does it really need 50% infill on all the parts. Printing time on this must be very long. Was trying to trim down a little. I guess the double edge sword. Going to 40% would save hours.
What sort of Watt routers are ok? I found a 52mm 500w one. Would that do it for wood and alloy?
For steppers I found a 48mm long 2.8v 1.68amp 4.4 kg/cm is this going to be enough ?

Has anyone tried Linux CNC? I have had a play with it on a XY pen plotter I made. Didnt do much with it but seemed to work ok. The real time thing is fairly cool.


This is incredible. I hope to build one someday.


Could I use a arduino One + CNC shield?


Hi folks!
can someone explain me the sense of endstops??

Hi ! I have not built this one but have a bigger one in mind, But as an operator of big cnc machines with 30 years experiense i can tell you that endstop is a moneysaver when your axis travel to far and would ruin your steppermotors , belt , or leadscrew , in the long run if you dont watch the machine all the time when testing new program with new toolpaths , thats why an endstop is your biggest friend on cnc machines , and if you have the skill to make a cnc machine dont save cheap money and ruin your build , but as always its up to you a crash is always a fine way to upgrade to better machines / Peter

Hi folks!
can someone explain me the sense of endstops??

Hi folks!
can someone explain me the sense of endstops??

are you asking how they work or why endstops exist

yes, I like to understand how they work!
I place manually in Estlcam the ZERO

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This is an awesome project! I am printing my parts now. I just noticed that there is not a mirrored version of the y-axis bar mounts in inches. am I missing something?

do i need different drivers for the nema 17 and 23 stepper motors? if yes, can you make a mod so that the z axis can have 23's as well?

quel logiciel tu utilises s'il te plais

Bonjour Martial

Normalemet avec GRBL il y'a plusieurs logiciel, chilipepper, en est un
de mon coté j'ai eu bcp de problemes avec GRBL, je suis donc allé du coté planet CNC , j'utilise une carte USB chinoise MK1
mais si tu vas avec Planet CNC je te recommande une carte MK2 ou MK4 et non pas une copie chinoise MK! car il manque beaucoup de fonctionallitées

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I have a few questions.. Ballpark, how expensive of a build is this? Where do you obtain the squared aluminum stock? Can this be built bigger? Thanks for your time to whoever wants to answer my questions.

This build is roughly $300 bucks. It would be a lot cheaper if you have parts or an old rep rap (like a prusia i2) laying around. The squared stock can be found at Home Depot. You can also use 5/16 threaded rod instead of 8mm which is also found there. You can build it bigger. Look in the made section, mine is the one with the white corian sides. To make bigger you have to use the steel 3ft stock. So you will have 3x3 ft. with an actual milling area of 650mm x 650mm. Under remixes you will have to print the pulleys with the nut inserts for the Y axis. All other pulleys buy aluminum if you can. Some ideas to save money would be to print a couple trays of washers, Buy network cable at the flea market and cut the ends off. Find an old rep rap and strip everything from it including all the threaded rod. Use lock tite or super glue instead of locking nuts. This unit is comparable to an x-carve.

I used 3 2 pound rolls at 40% infill filament and 130$ parts pretty much USD$ Nuts bolts bearings all that fun stuff Cat 6 wire adruino and steppers. Homedepot in usa where bought my tubing both 1 inch steel and 1in aluminum will work! metric cant say!
amazon/homedepot/Walmart where bought all my parts! And yes it can did you see mine lolz? link below!

Gesh hope that video is fixed was very messed up lol... should be better now. But! Have to ask!
What was that built for? Collage final project? Had to be something along those lines way to much detail into that build you did lol. Way to many parts designed to well be a project started cause where bored one day >^_^< Just Wondering if didn't mind me asking that!

Love your build!

It wasnt for college or anything like that. I wanted to build my self a new 3D printer (you can see some of the wooden parts in the second image) but I wanted make the printer out of sheet wood this time. though being a cheap skate, I didnt want to pay someone else to do it. so I design this CNC, to the machining of the wooden panels for my 3d printer I wanted. The only obouse route for a self replicating machine was to build this machine - to build my new printer :)

R2.1 has followed on since the incredible groth of the project and was printed on the printer which was machined on R2!

I actually cast almost every part on large one now I built of this out of aluminum . In the process of cutting all parts precision edges now on each one.with my 3d printed cnc powered mini mill >^_^< Cause like you to cheap pay 2 grand for parts to convert my mini mill lol! check this video out lol! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uu_kQouD78 cutting a 360mm x 640mm x 5mm thick painters board out of Epoxy resin based fiber board. So amazed the steel 1x1x1/8 bars hold as well as they do over 2200mm spand on x. I actually cut a 3d face other day on this thing out of 9 2x4 glued together and it was amazing it never missed a step in 11 hours or running. out popped a 250mm x475mm x 90mm human face lol

Pete , you are a Killer !! What a great job you did !! And what sort a philanthrop you are to share this to the community !!
As I bought a 3D printer , I will give it a try , I realy like it and I like the way you shake your brain to think about the best way to make X and Y axis carriage . Realy , you are the master !
Thanx for the share !

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What can I see Pete..? I love this project, every parts printed was perfect... Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

hey i have a problem with GRBL settings
Can I get Your GRBL settings than I can vegetate like what I have wrong ge dismissed

Can I get away with using 1in x 1in x 1/8in square aluminum instead of the metric size? I'm having problems finding the metric size.

Also, if I used an x and y axis that are 20in (508mm) in length, how much belt do I need?

There are both metric and imperial mounts post already, use the one you can get parts for :) just download them all and view the file names.

belt length are around total length = ~ (4* X-Axis length) + (1x Y-Axis Lenght)

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Love your initiative! I am going to start this project tonight! Will be printing the parts on my Prusa I3. Just a question, what do you think will be the print time more or less? I have a 0,2 mm nozzel.

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I had a .35 nozzle used 25% infill total print time for all parts was about 35Hours if that helps.

That's some printer you have there, mate. On mine, at the recommended 50% infill and 50 mm/sec, Cura estimates it at around 250 hours. Actual prints invariably take longer than Cura's estimates.
It's making me question whether I really have the patience to build this attractive-looking machine.

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its well worth it mate the root2 is fab.

what type of motor is driving the spindle?

Thank you for the great projekt!
Is it possible to create a Rev 2 of the 52 mm spindle clamp for a lead screw nut?

I am willing to build your awesome cnc machine. I want to get the wood parts out of MDF. But some sizes ''fell'' off in the images?
Where can I find the images with all sizes?
I'm not on facebook!

not to worry, have you tired going full screen on the images? thingiverse seems to crop them down

Nope no luck. The base is ok. What is te full height of the side panels? Then I can calculate back

Hi Friend,
Message me your email address and I will email you the PDF

Hi Steve,
I also cannot see the construction details of either of the wooden parts, and would like to build the machine. I departed Facebook several years ago when I started to apprciate their antics, and have no desire to return.
Please could you send me a copy of the pdfs too?
Or could Sailorpete please add them to the "files" section of the download?

Hi Friend,
Message me your email address and I will email you the PDF

How much Plastic in KGs ? required to print all the Printable parts of this CNC ? i am planning to make one for PCB drilling and Making Tracks on pcb.

I think around 2kg is a good start

Considering its a CNC machine thats actually pretty good.

any chance we could get source files? if not atleast a .dxf for the wooden parts i have a mill at school to cut them out on thanks

They are on the Facebook page.

just got accepted... found the .dxf but cant seem to find the original cad files though is there anywhere to get them?

just .dfx what cad software are you using?

Is this design capable of milling aluminium and carbon? I mean, with the belt drive and all... doesn't sen very rigid...

Yes i have machined aluminum with this but not tried carbon.

how thick was the aluminum?

thickness become irrelevant when mill with multiple cut passes. it not often you mill all the way through in one pass unless the material is thin and soft. so if you can mill at one depth you can cut different thickness of material

Can the x-axis mounting plates be split to print on a smaller printer bed without affecting the integrity of the finished product?

We did a poll on our Facebook group with some interesting results regarding bed size. unfortunately the norm was a 200x200 bed size =[ not good for you but I believe someone has done a smaller variant of it though.

See no reason why not but you will have to get the alignment and spacing right for it to run smoothly.

Yes, that's the tricky part. Did some more checking and it looks like there are other parts that exceed the build area (120mm x 125mm x 125mm) so may not be able to do this after all. Something I wish Thingiverse included is a minimum bed size to print a thing. It would save a lot of time dropping files into Cura to see if they fit.


Have you looked to see if you can print diagonally to get the length.

That worked for the bearing mount but not for the box bar mount.

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If you are struggling to find the exact ones this might help to find one within this range.

3M-210T-06 has range of 3M-198T-06 to 3M-198T-06
3M-264T-06 has range of 3M-249T-06 to 3M-276T-06

I would recommend a length near the original one spec'd :)

Well main error found out now why not finding them is the fact every place on this project said T should of said MM for length not tooth count! never paid attention till like 20 minutes ago. But really not needed now for my project lol! Used all gt2 ones now

Sailorpete I just did next logical step actually then kill my self finding stuff can't lol! just 5axis cnc mill and made my own damn ones fit what need to fit belts I can buy around here >^_^< 5$ worth aluminium later fixed the problem !

What was your fix in the end? :)

I made my own aluminum pulleys, was the fix that fit belts i could buy! I do have 3 5axis cnc milling machines in shop lol Kind simple task. can't really buy 3m belts here very easy. So just went with gt2 ones since there easy to buy online in states. 3m belt for this project was over kill for my use anyhow. I redid the whole z axis to hold a 2watt laser anyhow. Actually all parts for this project I printed got cast in metal as well. I only printed them for the molds! but have to hand it to the guy designed this! Very good job the movement was very easy and well designed!

Are you willing to release the original CAD files (not the STL) so that one can make custom mods?

where buy Y Axis Box Linear Rail ?

Are you after the 25x25 aluminium box section?

By any chance, do you know where you bought your rails? I'm having problems finding metric sizes..

Can this design cut 1mm and 2mm carbon plate?

I have not tested this but I dont see any issues with the machine milling carbon sheets. but please take care when milling it and use the correct PPE. the carbon dust can go everywhere!

Now that would be interesting........ see no reason way not, but would not go more than 2mm.Please let us know how you get on.

Hey do any of the threaded components need to be coarse or fine thread specifically?

for example the M8 Threaded rod is easy to get in fine thread M8-1.0, but most M8 Bolts are coarse thread M8-1.25. when trying to order "lots of M8 nuts"... coarse is more common than fine, but both are available. I don't want to end up with a bunch of nuts with the wrong pitch.

M8 x 1.25 is standard size and works well on mine with no problems

It's not that complicated. I made one and posted it. You use 5/16 threaded rod from Home Depot and the nuts there too. Same as with the Prusa i2 3D printer. The rod is more readily available there nowadays cause no one making Prusa i2 anymore.Get milled gears if you can. I also just 3D printed matching washers. It's cheaper and just make like 2 trays should do it.

Hi! first of all, congratulations for doing this job. I´m starting to print the parts of the machine, and I want to use the Deewalt 611 as spindle motor, but I´m doubting because of the power and the weight of it. Do you know if someone has tested it?
Greetings from Argentina.

That is only going to be able to do plywood type projects mainly. And you will have to do passes of 1mm max. You will also have to change the settings in Fusion 360. I have posted how to get this machine to use this program. You will have to play with the numbers but this is a good start. After you select the bit you change the numbers to this.
spindle speed - 4000 rpm
surface speed - 49.8728 m/min
ramp spindle speed - 4000 rpm
Cutting feedrate - 820.488 or 420 is better
Feed per tooth - 0.102561 mm
lead-in feedrate - 820.488 or 420
lead - out feedrate 820.488 or 420
ramp feedrate 820.488 or 420
plunge feedrate 820.488 or 420
feed per revolution 0.205122 mm
Worry about spindle speed, surface speed, ramp spindle speed, and the other values that require 420. The other numbers auto correct when you change the values as previously mentioned.I use fusion 360 on windows then take the file on a linux machine running kubuntu with Repetier-Host. For me that program runs better on linux when milling. Remember this is a small machine which performs like an x-carve. Your spindle is fine for this machine. You will just have to go slower and not deep. What most do is use this machine to make a larger one that uses a full size router. I would like to find reliable plans for a full size machine for production use. If you find something bigger that can be made with this machine please post it here. I'm sure it would help alot of people out.

Hi... really nice design, I begin to print one today.
Thanks for this good job; I'll sent pictures when done

Thank you. I would most certainly like to see it once its done!

Can you please let us know the type of power supply (Volt, Amp) that you have used for your Root2 CNC machine?
Many Thanks

I have got a 12v 20A PSU for the steppers and arduino. I did also have a 24V Psu too for the spindle though I have since replaced that spindle with a VFD spindle which operates at main voltages so no longer need the 24v PSU.

What are you using for your wiring to the steppers? is that Cat 5?

I used Cat 5 on the one I made. The blue wire. Gather the wires in pairs and twist them together, remember the colors you chose and make sure they are going to the same connection.

I think I have 24 AWG on mine

no using AWG26 cable


I plan Begin the equipment is not going to ask me Probleme But the party software will Posed Problem esque me on May GRBL USE thank you pay the driver cnc

Sorry I dont quite follow you. You can use GRBL with this also. but I use Reprap Marlin

Merci de votre réponce trés bon projet


J'ai commencer le projet le matériel ne va pas me pose de problème mais la parti logiciel va me posé problème esque l'on peut utiliser GRBL pour pilote la cnc merci

Do we use marlin as is or should we make any change on it? Also a "build" video or a Web page would be good.

There are some build videos but not a complete set as they are 'Work in progress' and yes marlin is used but you will need to setup your motor steps but that's about all that you need to change.

some videos on Youtube, though time is restricting me to make more of them! join our Facebook group which might help you out answer any questions.

could you tell me what sort of torque your stepper motor are??

As high as you can get them is always best but standard Nema 17's will be fine.

I would say anything +40n/cm. though as pdavg said the higher the better

Any thoughts on adding a 4th axis to this design? I'd love to be able to use one as an indexer to engrave some small round objects or carve something in 3D.

I have no thoughts as of yet =/ but is something which could be added on in the future :) fancy having a go making it??

How much would this cost to make? Can I make one for under 300$?

I'm printing my own parts and doing my research for parts and i have worked out its going to cost me about £140 (pounds Stirling)
Hope this helps.
PS nearly finished mine :)

Hi! Congratulations! Great job! I just started to print the parts! I have some round tube (25 mm OD , 1,5mm wall, stell) laying around.
I tested the your original design for Y axis roller guides, without any modification, and seems would be ok, despite the contact between the tube and the bearing is not exactly at the center of the bearing track but, seems to me, this is not a big issue.
What is your guess? Any big problem that a should take care?
Thanks for sharing your design.

Cheers Enobrega! I would said to have the bearings perpendicular to the tube rails though! and avoid having the running on the side of the bearing. as the 608 is not an angular contact bearing =[. join our facebook group! i would love you see some photos of you build progress! there are many people there too :)

Great, great design. Can I ask what program did you do the original design work in? Just wondering because if I need to make any mods I would like to be able to work with the original designs rather than the stl. Particularly to be able to mount different tools.

Thanks again, this is just what I was looking for :)

Has anyone used this design to create a 3d printer?

It is something it can do. it hasnt been done yet but is some I fancy trying out. I already have a hot end and bowden setup ready for it!

Hello chance you have a video of assembly ... ?

there are at the moment only 7 steps, hopefully the rest will follow:


I just blew a x axis motor. I think the original design was fine for the spindle you have shown, but I think it's a little to much for a mini router, like from my build. I also got a better software setup to use for the machine, since I couldn't get pathcam to work. I added a new comment to my build on how to get fusion 360 to work with it. I want to know if it's possible to put a slightly heftier motor and mount it to the side and use a lead screw. Trapping a bearing on the other side and changing the piece where the current x motor goes to accommodate a nut for the lead screw. I think that would make it more powerful, but will the 2 Y motors in tandem be ok with that? Just a little more powerful motor, what motor would that be? Or if we use the same motor currently used with a lead screw would that give it more torque?

Oh no! what motor drivers are you using? ensure the current limit has been set to less than the rated current of the motor. I have also thought of using a lead screw too. I do have a plan to incorporate in within the design but I want to incorporate in with the existing design to increase flexibility of the machine. I do have a revised X carriage design coming out soon, as a prototype that will allow greater options for both the X and Z axis - this might help you. but the two motors on the Y axis does work very well. I have no issues with it. Nema 17 do have some high torque options available which is do a good job for a direct replacement. I think going to a lead screw can give more torque if done correct. if not can limit the speed of the machine depending on the motors being used (just my thought and have nothing to back it up)

I'm using Keyson stepper motors. I think it was a combination of going too deep and moving too fast and not to mention using rotozip bits. Don't use rotozip bits, they go up much too fast. I was able to replace it with the left over motor from the extruder. (disassembled a prusa i2) I'm using marlin on a ultimaker ramps mega 2560.. I couldn't get pathcam to work on linux or IBM. But I have a setup where I use fusion 360 and then run the gcode through repetier host. Follow the instructions here http://mpcnc.blogspot.com/2016/03/mpcnc-step-by-step-fusion-360-to.html you need the actual rar file and then use winzip to unzip it. To be able to mill correctly you have to change a line of code in the firmware. #define min_software_endstops false then you can mill normally. I also found you have to save each operation as a gcode to break it up a bit. Like do all the pockets as one file and then contours as another. When it's done one operation it will return to it's new home and then you just load the next file and it will take off again. You have to select the lower left corner of the piece when in cam using fusion for the piece to get on the grid of repetier.

Using REAL router bits now and everything is going smooth. I had to change the milling speed from 820 something to 420 in fusion and do multiple passes each at 1mm. Now all the motors are cool to the touch and that's a good thing. I can't wait for your revision. You know those gorilla grips they use for seaming granite? They look like white blocks and use a little compressor for suction. I want to make those and attach them to the feet so that I can suction to the floor and engrave logos. I can't use a laser because it's the new kind of terrazzo that has a epoxy matrix, not cement. I think with bigger motors I could put a full size router on it and use a resin filled cup wheel and use the machine to grind terrazzo patches down to the floor.

I don't see why you couldn't just make the changes for the lead screw right where you have the screw down plates for the x belt. The suction plates would be on the bottom of each foot and underneath the 2 y motors. With the added height you would have to cut the bottom X plate off but leave the V groove, longer screws in the back and then attach the regular bottom plate with longer smooth rods. Would give you more travel for the spindle. This could be the "root" to different kinds of cnc machines. Let me know if your gonna take a stab at this, I'm going to try, but I'm a newbie. This machine has a very low center of gravity and I think it would stay where you put it.

I've never print something like this but does it have the ability to machine glass and/or lexan?

Machine or engrave? I have no experience with either of the two materials on a CNC mill so I cannot say. But I have seen engraving on glass done before which would be doable on this machine

Would this have enough oomph to mill 1/8" aluminum panels for things like LCD displays. meters. different ports (USB, serial ethernet, etc.)

It looks like it would be good for milling and drilling PCB's with the right control software

I am currently trying Dibond on it atm (aluminium acrylic sandwich) and the spindle is just about doing it, all be it with very poor setting which are getting tweaked as I go. My intention is to Mill aluminum with it but I think a spindle upgrade it due! get the best spindle you can, as you will be wasting your money otherwise.
It currently does MDF and hardwood fine. I have not done PCBs on this mill but I have done on some of my earlier revisions of this mills and they turned out great and still working today.

I just commented on the Bertha_3.0 remix of your awesome little machine by fumanche and I wanted to be sure to give credit where it is due. I think you've done a terrific job here. As stated in my comment for Bertha_3.0 I designed and built NC and CNC machines in their early development in the 1970's and 80's and am able to recognize true craftsmanship like I see here, nice job.. This is one fine example of a simple, solid well executed design. Hope you keep it up and keep sharing. Thanks

Hi Rckola, Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice message I really appreciate it. It make it all the more worth while. I am glad you like the design. I try and work to a Keep It Simple Approach as Im sure you do too.
Share and learn =]

Well, I found out what was wrong. I downloaded the prints as soon as you put them up there and went right to printing them. Got the new files and everything is going good. Almost done the build. Trying to get the brain going. Do I load GRBL 8 ? Having trouble loading this on a arduino mega with ramps. Do you have a link to what will work? Or what board setup should I get? Maybe I'm not doing it right in arduino. But what confuses me is with GRBL they only have settings for threaded rod, but we are using belts. Or does that not matter as long as I get the steps per mm right. The bamboo didn't work, I switched to Corian, now it is very strong on the sides. The 3ft by 3ft frame seems to be holding nicely.

Hi atomicpaladin, apologies for the rubbish files early on! I did not expect this thing to go as well. so I made sure thing were correct.
I use Marlin the 3D printer firmware. only because I know my way around it very well. I have not used GRBL yet but would like to try it. But you are correct - as long a the Steps/mm are correct there is not a problem. Hope that helps.

Really awsome project sailorpete and thanks for sharing!
I started printing the parts yesterday seems to work fine. Is it able to get High torque Nema 23 stepper motors instead of Nema 17?

Thanks in advance! :)

Thanks for the comment
I currently do not have any models for Nema23 though on our Facebook page there is a user who has modded the parts for Nema23. he might be able to help you out before I get around to designing the parts. I do want to go Nema23 but i think a spindle upgrade is due!

Hi Sailorpete, forgive me if I'm wrong but so far I colud not find on these pages what the build envelope would be for this machine. In your BOM you speak about the x and y axis to be 495mm long but i know from experience that will not be the build envelope/routable area. Can you give me an indication?

Oh, another question, could one use Nema 23 stepper here? I've got a bunch of those lying around...

Thanks in advance, looks like a very nice build!

Hi you are correct the build envelop is smaller, my current set up as standard gives me 331x305x120mm (X,Y,Z).

there is not reason why you cannot use Nema23 motors. I currently have not designed but there is a user on our FB who has modded his! so it is do-able.

Hope that helps you out =]

Would it be used for milling the aluminum blocks around 8-10mm thickness?

My aim is to mill aluminium on it, though I have not attempted it. mainly due to my low power spindle I currently have but once i get an upgrade I will defiantly give it ago! I do not see a reason why not. depth will become irrelevant if you mill with multiple passes.

Thank you for the reply, this was what I want to know exactly. What shouls be the power of the spindle at least to mill an aluminum block?

I can not say from experience but the Dewalt 611 or 660 I think will do the job. though I'm looking into an air cooled VFD spindle from china - 800w or even 1.2kw spindle should do the job. I think anything greater then 1000w should do but then again I not expert in this field! so there is a level of try it and see how it goes.

I'm also trying to build this, at the moment I'm buying all the parts. In the hardware list you say "GT2 Belt (Length depending on size of the of the machine)". Since all the other rods etc. have sizes for a 500mm x 500mm bed, can we get an idea of how much belt is required for this size.

What firmware did you load into the Arduino?

I saw your post, waiting for an answer to my questions, but I think I can answer yours. I'm going with 915mm or 3ft long sections of steel square rod instead of the aluminum. They sell either one at Home Depot. I think the aluminum will bow and not be reliable. It's heavier but not by much, so I'm offsetting the weight difference by using pieces of bamboo flooring it's 10.5mm thick and at the specified size of the piece I can't even flex it. The X axis doesn't look like it has a loop so it would be a little longer than the width of the machine. So with mine I would probably need 6.5 feet of belt for each side and 3.5 for the width. As for the firmware I would try Marlin like you would use for a Prusa i2. Slave the 2 Y axis motors together into a single plug to plug into the Y connection. A CNC is just an oversized 3D printer. I've been looking around and I'm hearing that belt driven cnc isn't very accurate, so I'm toying with the idea of using bicycle chain for the Y axis. If anyone out there knows if this is possible please speak up so we will know what to do. Have you printed any parts? Some of the parts I've printed don't look like what is shown. There is a gap between the wood and the y bearing carriage, I don't see how this is attached to the wood. The nuts holding the bearings are getting in the way, they are locking nuts, but I always use locking nuts for bearings. I'm thinking of getting some metal and bending it around this bearing cage and screw that to the wood and screw the metal to the tops and bottoms of the bearing carriage. There is 4 holes on the top and bottom, I know this is for the dust guards but I see no other way. I'm almost done printing, if I can complete this, I will make a youtube video so we all can see how to make it. I really think the span is too great for a belt. I would trust a foot but no more than that. Maybe a lead screw attached to the side of the wood and configure the motors different to accommodate this. Maybe break off the left side of a prusa i2 spring loaded nut trap and attach that to the wood and use 5/16 threaded rod and change the movement in the firmware like it was the z. But I really think the bicycle chain would make it look sick.

Thanks for the reply, I'm still collecting the hardware at the moment so wanted an idea of how much belt to order. I'll be sticking to 500mm x 500mm as I don't have a need for anything larger, so the aluminium should be fine, plus it is placed so the weight is through the corners, not the sides, so it should be more rigid. I've put Marlin onto my Arduino at the moment, but was wondering if there was anything out there more towards a CNC. I've looked at GRBL and I have the GRBL shield, so I might give that a go as well and see which is better. I've seen CNC machines like the blackfoot that use a bike chain or similar, but not had experience with chain or belts, other than with my 3D printer. I've not started to print the parts yet, I'm still deciding if I should do them in ABS or PLA and which colour to use.

I need some clarification on some things. I'm building this machine and I wanted to know if you screwed the wood directly to the plastic of the Y carriage ( the 2 pieces with all the bearings) wouldn't it split the plastic? I just don't want to mess my pieces up that took so long to make. I'm using bamboo for the sides, should be lighter than the mdf board. I'm also confused with the blocks with the bearings at the end of the rods. In the front I see hex holes for maybe a bolt, but mine print out circular. Or do you heat the nut end of the bolt up and then pull them in to get tight fit? Are you stacking tons of washers and then have the fender washers and bearing? I noticed screw holes that lead to the bars. Do you drill and tap these for the bar, or can you get away with just push fitting them in or maybe some adhesive silicone. If anyone could help clarify this for me it would be much appreciated. Wish I could zoom more on the pictures.

the Y Carriage should not have anything tapped or drilled in to it, you should required 4x M4 bolts and nuts to attached to the wooden side panel. the nuts should slot in to the carriage from the flattest side. I am unsure why you are seeing HEX holes other than for the M8 bolts for the 608 bearings to go into? I shouldn't see why you would need to heat or pad out with washers on this?
for the Bar mounts and the holes leading to the box section, I originally did this to use grubs screws to secure the box section in the hole. But it turned out to fit in the slot very nicely (with some encouragement from a mallet) and this was not needed for me any way but is there if needed.
Join us on our facebook page there I might be able to post photos and answers to you questions more efficiently from there. https://www.facebook.com/root2cnc/

You mentioned if enough people were interested you could get the wood cut? How about this idea. People buy these machines to get empowered,but after they have it there isn't much to do with it, access is blocked. People need jobs, even to just supplement income. How about you offer a kit and have the people that buy the kit make pieces for the kit to your specifications. Home manufacturing essentially. I'm sure there is someone in this mass that can generate a instruction manual, another with a video tutorial. We can work together to open a portal for the everyday man to start making money. And where companies could use a site to have those same people manufacture parts for them as well. I would like to work with you on this. We don't have to go overseas, we can do it here! To the people: If you want this, blow this page up, say I. Tell everyone you know. Lets use this to take open source to a new level !!

atomicpaladin, I am willing to help in many ways but it would be nice if we have the explosion view diagran how to assemble the machine. sailorpete already done great job. For me it was last minute decision to which machine I start to build. This cnc machine caught my eye as it is more based on a regular cnc. I will start printing the parts and see where I get stuck. This weekend will start the project. A facebook page would help a lot to share ideas and communicate much better than here.

I am very keen to help the community grow and empower many people. I am unsure how far this project will go, but the early signs have been overwhelming (in my expectations). Seeing there has been a small demand for the wood, I am happy to see how it will go (~10). but after that - who knows.

Its nice to hear people are behind the project and would love it to go further.

What is the thickness size of MDF?
Is it possible if you open a page on facebook? I am in love with this machine and I chose this over the MPCNC. I am planning to build this lovely machine.

The thickness size is 18mm - was purely done to remove any weak points.

If a FB page will help to community I am more than happy to do so.

Thanks sailorpete. Let us know when you create the page.

Check it out!
Hope this will be start of a keen tinker community

Hi, what is the possibility if you post us the building diagram? Well done. It is already informative but it would be much better if you offer us simple build up manual.

Thanks Jason

I can do in the near future or at least exploded views of some of the keys parts and how they go together. its in the pipe line, again watch out for updates!


I just want to buy Wood Side Panel and Wood Base. If you could sell me this parts, it will be wonderfull :)

I hope you could sell the parts laser. But im ok to buy parts if you do them. Nobody near me could do this

I am in the process of refining the design slightly to see if is possible to get laser cut and if it will be feasible

Well done. Yes please include the part list.

Cheers! I am in the process of producing a parts list and BOM, it will be up soon =]

Cheers! Once again well done. Will promote your product under the licence agreements. Have a good day. :)

Hi, What do you think are your max dimensions? Couod this machine be made 150x100cm amd remain rigid? I'm considering the mpcnc at the moment, but like to leave my options open:) For how much can a machine like this be made?

I was originally planning to make my CNC 1m x 1m and designed it for that. But apparently we do not have enough space for a machine that big, so I ended up with 500 mm x 500 mm instead. I think 1 m x 1.5 m is do-able, I was surprised at how strong this one is all be it at a smaller size, so would be stronger.

I do like the look of the MPCNC, it was only highlighted to be after I started designing this one - I would say mine MIGHT be slightly cheaper due to the fact mine can use 3 steppers rather than 5 on the MPCNC. but I cannot say the price as I used alot of left over parts from other projects. hope this helps, I will be adding more information to this thing soon!

That's interesting, I have built the MPCNC and found that while it can do aluminium the speeds are painfully slow as the machine rigidity just doesn't seem to be there and is difficult to square. I may look at building your machine instead as it follows the more tradition gantry style cnc (shapeoko,opencnc) and won't require me to buy much other than some hardware and square tube. I don't need to rip through aluminium like a shapeoko but sure would like to be able to take more than .2mm of at a time.

HEllo again,

Is it possible to buy you the wood frame ?

If enough people are interested I can get the parts laser cut and shipped. but I would need enough people to make it worthwhile for everyone

I think I just solved your problem. View my post. Let's see what happens.


Very Great Machine !
Is is possible to have a list of parts to build please ?

I am in the process of compiling a BOM and will post it up shortly =]