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Root 3 CNC multitool router 3D printed parts

by sailorpete Nov 1, 2016
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Can anyone provide a PDF pattern with measurements for the X Carriage Rework wood panel FRONT and BACK?

Comments deleted.

how thick is the `wood on side pannel? and the rest wood parts ?

18 mm for the sides
and 12mm for the z front and back

could someone please tell me - how is the z-axis screw prevented from "threading up" out of its bearings?


4x M8 Collar

it's in the B.O.M.


I need a CNC that has an working area of aproximately 1.5mx1m (5 feet by 3.3 feet). Is it possible to build a Root3 this big? What's the largest build out there, and what are the possible issues?

Thank you!

Having built this and got it working it's my considered opinion that it is a terrible design and I wouldn't recommend making one. Not that I fault the originator for sharing it - it is free after all. I will list some items I found problematic in my build.

The blind nut slots are horrid since the build material being plastic is not that strong. I had several situations where the nuts gouged the plastic and slipped. Once like that inside it is near impossible to get them out again. It would be much better to have nuts exposed so that a wrench can be used to hold them. In many cases I could not tighten nuts adequately for a rigid structure for fear of the nut spinning in the slots. The upside down ones on the underside of the Y carriage are even worse. You cannot take apart the carriage to make adjustments (another story too), without having to take down the whole machine so that you can flip over to insert upside down nuts into blind slots. Very poorly thought out.

The Y carriage itself consisting of 4 long bolts and several nuts to adjust bearing pressure is a nightmare. I tried for hours to get balanced and even pressure and minimize the drag. It is very tricky and I could never get smooth and free, light running gear with this design. Absolutely forget about using Nema 17 motors here. I started with those as the design allows that option but they can barely move the carriage even without any spindle and certainly not with any side deflection force on that. I found the X and Z carriage could get by with Nema 17 but the Y ones need a pair of strong Nema 23 minimum. Just don't bother with less - the carriage takes a lot of force just to move.

If it weren't such a big restart I would replace the Y axis square tubes with at least 2040 T-Slot. It is more rigid and at least you can use wheels and eccentric spacers on that. This gives far more adjustment than the wonky bolt system employed here. My square tubes cost $7 each and 2040 t-slot on banggood costs $21 each. That is a small part of the overall design and not one worth saving $30 overall on. This design mounts the bearings at an angle so the load is always off axis. It seems impossible to get the travel that one can get by default with t-slot.

Many of the other aspects of the design I found to be fine. Some less so. I replaced the belt ends with simple tension adjustable ones and that works better. I'll probably upload a remix of this eventually but for now I'm still doing initial testing and test projects.

Anyway, this is all just my opinion based on my experience building this design. Many things are fine but those above I found to be worth re-thinking. Next year when the pain of this build has eased I'll likely replace the Y axis with t-slot and wheels. I've used those on my own corexy 3D printer build and they work better, cost only a little more. I've tested the rigidity of 2040 and it's far better than even steel 25mm square tube. It tracks better with even 4 wheels vs. 8 bearings at angle. I would not go this route again. Hope this helps others when deciding how to build their CNC machine. Sorry to be a downer here.

Hi neoCogent,

I have built this machine and have no issues with the nuts as you have mentioned, i have even use this design in my other 3D printed projects.

Again i had no issue adjusting the bearing tension on the bars and easily setup my to run free but without play. I used NEMA 17 motors and used 1 motor and shaft to drive both Y belts without issue. NEMA 17 is just the mounting size and there is a range of motor lengths and power within the NEMA 17 range. Maybe you have a low power version or have your driver set to minimal current which limits its performance.

This is a great machine to get started with using cheap parts. It works and like any beginner machine can be upgraded and improved on. I have upgraded my machine over time using linear rails and bearings and then using lead screws as well.

There is the open build range of CNC machines that use various 2020 2040 2080 V slot etc but this is a lot more expensive than a few meters of 25x25 box section. You need the wheels, plates for the wheels etc, these also need to be setup and adjusted for smooth play free movement.

My eventual plan is to cut aluminum plates and eventually replace all the 3D printed parts and stiffen up the machine but without this machine to start with this would not be possible.

Is there a CNC design you would recommend instead of the Root 3?

Can anyone provide a PDF pattern of the side panel to use for cutting on a bandsaw?

And you do not have PDF file of Z axis?

thank you very much!

wanted original size in pdf printable pattern on printer

Comments deleted.

Hello All,

I have recently finished printing all the parts for the root 3, purchased nearly all of the additional nuts/bolts/electronics/rails/etc. for building it, and have begun assembling the x and y carriage runners. I'm trying to make a final decision on a spindle and would like some advice. I have been doing as much research as I could on different options, but ultimately I lack any hands on experience to make final decisions. The cnc is really a hobby project itself, and I'm learning a lot as I go.

Right now I am down to deciding between a 1.5kw vfd spindle with an er11 collet or a 1.5kw vfd spindle with er16 collet. My issue is over the potential benefit of having the larger collet vs the additional weight (about 3lbs/1.4kg) of the larger collet spindle which the motors have to move. I'm going to be using the cnc for general purpose hobby projects and want to be able to mill both wood and aluminum; speed is not an issue, since I'm not using this for anything where I am mass producing anything. Also, I'm aiming at a cutting space of something like 800mm x 800mm, which is another reason I'm concerned about the weight.

Right now I am leaning towards the er11 collet size spindle to save on weight and potential accuracy, but I'm afraid that I will find out later that I would have liked to have the larger collet as an option. I have already been talked out of a 2.2kw er20 spindle, which is about another 3lbs/1.4kg heavier than the 1.5kw er16 spindle, by others on the forums here because I just don't think that I would ever need it, and it would add even more weight to be moved around. In fact, this is one reason I'm leaning away from the er16 collet because the er16 1.5kw size spindle is the same diameter (80mm) as the 2.2kw spindle, and that brings me back to considering the 2.2kw spindle.

So to summarize, I have three options, of which I'm really only stuck between the first two

  1. 1.5kw, er11, 65mm diam, 2.6KG weight
  2. 1.5kw, er16, 80mm diam, 4.0KG weight
  3. 2.2kw, er20, 80mm diam, 5.2KG weight (not really considering anymore but here for comparison)

I would appreciate advice from anyone with more experience than I as to weather or not the er16 is a good trade off for the additional weight, if the additional weight actually matters, or if I should stick with the er11 collet for less weight.

Adding an Appendix

Hi all,
As you may know if you've read through the comments here, I've had some points, issues and improvements I've stated throughout the process.
Now, my relationship with this thing has been love-hate at best, and I'm afraid I haven't managed to fully document my work on making it better and more usable and easy to assemble, but what I have got I'm sharing here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3302809/files
So if you're confused by the BOM, or want to try it with proper belt tensioners, or your spindle mount has broken, I may have the solution.
Best of luck and happy CNC'ing!

Root 3 CNC Improvements and Additions

Profile aluminium 25x25 ktoś testował?

Ktos na 40x40 robił (nawet umieścił przerobione pliki stl) - poszukaj na forum na oryginalnej stronie.

Fabrycznie 25x25 jest, juz prawie zrobiona i ma bardzo dużo błędów ten projekt. Wiele rzeczy w godzinę do poprawienia przed drukowaniem.

No tak. Sorry. Coś mi się ubzdurało, że w oryginale było 20x20. Ja jestem na wstępnym etapie, zbieram części itd.

A co było nie tak z plastikami? Jakies dziury w stl'ach? Jesteś w stanie podzielic się poprawionymi?
W ogóle jak sie CNC spisuje? Mam trochę obiekcje do tych pasków, ale zamówiłem 15mm...

Za duże otwory na nakrętki M3 przez co objeżdżają, niektóre śruby powinny być M4 a są M3 i się ukręcają/ objeżdża główka. Otwory w bocznych panelach źle zrobione elipsy z otworami stałymi pomylone przez co tzreba kombinować z śrubami żeby dopasować a wystarczy przed wycinaniem sklejki obrócić elipsy z otworami itp. Po skończeniu tej zrobie drugą uwzględniając wszystkie błędy w tym projekcie.

"Otwory w bocznych panelach źle zrobione"...
O jezu, a myślałem że przynajmniej panele są ok, bo chciałem je zlecić do wycięcia laserem w ALU...
To złe wieści, muszę to przeglądnąc w takim razie. Daj znać proszę jakbyś coś wrzucał poprawionego...

Po prostu elipsy powinny być zamienione z otworami(montaż wózków) i delikatnie zmniejszyć otwory na nakrętki M3 w elemencie przykręcanym do paneli bocznych(ten największy element)

"niektóre śruby powinny być M4 a są M3" => to też dotyczny MGN12?

Ok, dzięki wielkie. :)
Będę w takim razie przerabiał. Myślałem, że te elipsy mogą się przydać. Ale chyba faktycznie ze zwykłymi otworami będzie lepiej.

Mają być te elipsy ale zamienione miejsalcami z otworami, za miesiąc może wgram jako modyfikacje

nice work,... may i know the size of the aluminum square tube in cm cuz i cant get it
is it 2020...?
thanks in advance

its either 25x25mm. or 1"x1"... Your pick...

Wow that ist a great project. Any way to get the CAD of the side panels?

There's a CAD drawing in the ZIP file. R3.zip -> R3 -> Y Carrage -> X side pannel.dxf

Fantastic and inspirational. Too soon for me but definitely on the horizon. Great work dude!

Машина ROOT 3
толщина изделий из фанеры:
Толщина боковин 18мм
Толщина Z оси 12мм
если кому интересно, эта информация из магазина

What is the max working size of the build plate?

EDIT. I found the build size after a lot of searching. Under FAQ on Root's website, it says 705 x 750 x 160 for those form here who ask.

The way I understand it, you can make the machine any size you want... Its all down to the length of the square tube profiles used for the axis... Now you will eventually run into problems with the tubes sagging under weight if you make the machine too large...

Please could someone tell me what the biggest print is on here
Id like to make this
My UP Mini is too small and need to buy a new printer
Thank you

I think maybe its the x-axis box section mount? 220 x 70 x 23 mm.
I can print that diagonally on my Ultimaker original.

Hi all I am a bit lost because of the zip (unzip necessary) format containing all the indivual stl parts : my question to be sure I understand : are the slider(bearing support)halfparts for boxsquaretubes identical parts for X and Y uses : meaning total quantity 8 for 4 sliders wherever axis they will go ? thanks a lot

Another 3 questions/points

  1. The heads of the coach bolts on the Y runners poke out over the side of the parts and interfere with the plywood frame. Needs retolerancing.
  2. These same CNC'd pieces, the Y runner bolts onto these securely through the bottom and the upper half has the slots in the plywood for height adjustment. This seems odd, I'd have put the slots in the bottom so that the top was secured, which would counter the effects of gravity better. As well as this the bottom is adjustable in relation to the top so the entire arrangement is a bit odd.
  3. I can't find any sheet material thickness specified. I'm using 18mm plywood but I'd note that several bolts through it are too short, notably the M4 countersunk ones.
  4. Halfway down the X Axis box section mount there're two holes that appear sized for an M3 nut. Indeed, only M3 screws fit and 30mm is the optimal length (for 18mm sheet material) however the tolerancing on the nut holder is lax enough that when tightening the nut can rotate almost freely.
  5. What on earth are the M8 Collars? No standard width or height.
  6. The built-in washers on the Y gantry bearing cap is a slightly odd shape - it's not a true circle, and this odd design choice means that they rub against the dust covers instead of just holding the central axle, which causes stiff bearings.
  7. Pretty much all of the pieces with a nut hole on the bottom don't have chancers to cancel out the effect of elephant footing. As such cleanup needs to be done to get the nuts in. Not a huge pain but can leave a bit of a scarred surface.
  8. The shapes of the CNC'd bits don't entirely make sense. The bottom of the X ends don't align with the bottom Y runner half or even the ends. One of the chamfers is inline with the X Axis box section mount but the other isn't. It's not a huge deal but just looks a bit off in person. I'll try and clean this up in my remix.

When I have the chance I'll see about remixing this and improving the BOM and the parts mentioned.

Comments deleted.

Got no answer on the forum so.... What exactly are the "M8 Collars" listed on the BOM? There's no standard width or height so I have no real information here.
I'm also thinking I'll try and put together a better BOM and maybe even assembly guide when I construct this as for the most part its unclear where the different screws etc go and there's an odd mix of different sizes (M3, M4, M5) so I feel other's after me could benefit from this. If I do I'll link it here and on the forum and feel free to add it into your files if you agree.

add it as a remix to the original. or just post it as a file on a comment. I know for sure I would appreciate it, as i spent about an hour, while working that is, trying to identify and make sense of the notes and the comments. almost added everything multiple times to my shopping carts online to prepare for the build. Very Very confusing.

Will do! Here's an example of the new BOM I'm building up.
It'll give everything by an assembly group, the parts, related parts and some info as to where it goes so you can use it while building the blessed thing. I'll also then tally each occurrence and make an order list with total quantities.
I'm sort of doing it as I go so it won't be done for a while as I have to go back to uni tomorrow, but if you have stuff to add let me know.
Also, for attaching the box section mounts to the box section, should order up some M4x16 self-tapping screws that will bite into the aluminium.
And in the comment above I'm building a list of issues/observations to improve on.

Any updates on this? I too am finding the BOM a little confusing.

Hi, yes. I’ve focussed mainly on the config I did and haven’t as much due to being to and fro from where I’m building it but it’s decently fleshed out, I’ve mentioned which screws go through the sheet material and how thick do you can adjust for your build instead of buying a metric shit tonne of screws that may/may not fit.
It’s slightly incomplete but can get you through X and Y and some of Z.

Is there a version of this currently available? The additions you have made sound really helpful. Thanks! :)

Here's a quick screenshot! I'm running on 1" extrusion, NEMA23s (except a NEMA17 for Z) and GT2 belt.

Excuse the formatting, haven't gotten round to neatening it yet!

That is great! Much more detail than the original. Thanks

hey Pete, love the design and the route in which you took to build. I just ordered an Anet A8 and will be delving into a DIY 3d printed CNC and decided to go with your design. But before I can, I have a few questions about the BOM for the actual hardware and such. Honestly the list a little confusing as to the exact part you have used within your CNC. I can identify which parts are the parts you have listed, but overall I am still unsure whether I have selected the correct and proper parts from your list.

My question to you is if it is not too much of a hassle, could you PM a short and concise list of the spindles, motion controller, and PSU's you used. These after much review and searching are the only things I am wary of just clicking on and saying, "yep this is the part i need.... I think"

He's using a 52mm spindle you can find on eBay for cheap. The controller is a RAMPS1.4 board on an Arduino Exa though the spindle is controlled separately and the PSU will be a 12V PSU capable of driving the motors (not much) so maybe look for a 15-20A PSU to be on the safe side.
Picked that up from his images, I'm currently riddling out his BOM too :)

Thanks for the help Mirth. This is truly foreign territory for me as I have never done anything like this, so I i just want to make sure I get it right and not waste money in the long run. Just glad I have a computer building background, so I can understand what I'm looking at slightly. I should have no issues when it comes to the software and such. Now it is time to become an amateur engineer, lol.

Hahah awesome, maybe we can help each other out? I'm very experienced with the hardware (designed and built 4 printers) and am somewhat comfortable with the idea of reconfiguring Marlin and Octoprint to run a CNC but would like to be able to discuss the issues we might each face as we develop.
If you're interested I'm actually printing the Plywood parts with the aim of swapping them out once the CNC is up and running but honestly they feel very tough and I think I might get some years out of them.

You know I am thinking of using Aluminum instead for rigidity. I can get the flar stock water jet cut and everything else can be printed. I even have some rails and ballscrews.....hmmmm.

That's awesome! Lucky...

WELL look at you. I thought about printing all the plywood parts as well once my Anet gets here and calibrated properly. I saw a few remixes of the design with more printed parts, that were bonded once put together. Looked very solid and stable. I believe as long as there are no parts attached to any of the printed parts, original or additional, that have to move along them as a guide rail for x,y,z axis things like that. That any parts can be printed. would reduce cost and wait time for structural parts, this would also provide a more customizable machine as will. and if something were to happen to a section that needed to be replaced then it would be more convenient if you could just reprint a part or grab a spare that was already made.

We can definitely look to see what we can bounce off each other the make the build easier and if possible, better. Right now all I can do is the R in R&D as I cannot start much of my process, just discovered this thingy the day I posted my question to pete. Im not even sure when I will have time to build this but will definitely still be planning and doing what I can when I can.

Also I was thinking of with an actual router instead of a spindle as well. I was also going to look into what I can use to replace most of the non-moving metal parts, without losing the stability and structural soundness they provide, to reduce cost as much as possible. what do you think of replacing any and everything that can be replaced with printed parts. this would transform the R3 to a true 3D printed CNC, but at this point this is all speculation and theory on my part. Just remember your talking to a "noob" with great aptitude for these kinds of things so I learn fast and adapt well to things like this. So if I say something that doesn't make sense, please let me know so I can better myself and others in time.

Actually had a slight change of plans as the 3d printing of these bits is taking FOREVER. I have some 18mm Plywood so I figured I'd bolt my printed "templates" onto this and hand drill/cut the ply from that. Then CNC the final bits when I have it up and running. I should achieve a decent repeatability by drilling them together and the template provides accuracy.

I'm also looking to make my own BOM and maybe even assembly guide as the given one isn't actually that helpful and it's not clear where some screws etc are meant to go. And some feel like they're missing, e.g. I'd use self-tapping screws to attach to the box section. And the "M8 Collar" has no information as to what it actually is :(

If you do plan to print the parts then some advice? Remove a good amount of material where it isn't needed. You'll retain a good amount of structural strength but cut print time. I can upload my F360 versions of these parts if you want to do that.

Yeah, I'd usually be all over the Development but I graduate soon so I'm focussing more on that XD

I do think it's entirely possible to replace pretty much all the non-vitamin parts with 3D printed bits. The issue then is the time it'll take to print. So again, carefully removing unneeded material (in a voronoi pattern) is the key! Fusion 360 has Finite Element Analysis in it so when I have time I might run through some iterations to improve the printability of some of these parts :)

ALL OF THIS SOUNDS GREAT!!! I will be a little slow with the build waiting on my anet from a chinese warehouse and i will be having my first child in about 6 weeks so, my time and availability will be almost completely restricted in the near future.

In regards to F360 versions please do because everything you said sounds like alkjhdmfafa;fekf beep boop beep to me, but this is only temporary once I find out what I need to know and how much to know and in what aspects, but I'm a fast learner so no worries. That aside i will gladly accept and appreciate any all information you are willing to share.

I'm also using a 710W router instead of the spindle and rewiring the speed control to the RAMPS board. And I plan to then link up the two within a box so I only have one cable leaving the machine. The link will also be attached to a wifi socket so I can turn it on remotely, as with Hephaestus, my CoreXY.

Figured this was worth a mention. I, and many others these days, input our horizontal compensation into our slicers as it varies for everyone. The tolerance on the holes here is 0.5mm to the diameter (0.25mm to the radius) so is quite loose on my machine.

Comments deleted.

Good day, what pulleys, bearings, electronics are used? Can you give a link to purchase these parts?

Does anyone have a link for the M8x75 mm carriage bolts for this build? I've looked all over and can't seem to find ones that are 75mm and fully threaded.

Does anyone have a ball park total cost on this bad boy?

i'm interested to know this as well.. the BOM doesn't give an estimate of the total cost.

Which firmware did you use ?

I wonder is 30% infill good?

i've used 60infill and 4 perimeters

Maybe missing this
But do you have the source files or like a step file?

What CAD software did you use to design the side panels?

What berings used?


Is the "Y Gantry Box Mount Foot" piece optional or is it mandatory? I have looked through the root 3 website, pictures and videos and do not see where this piece goes. Is it ok to skip?

Have you any estimation of the amount of filament used to print the parts? aprox.

i'm on 2kg and still priting (i think complete will be 2,5kg) (infill 60%, 4 perimeters, 0.2mm layer height)

Hi ! I didn't see it on the forum so I am posting it here : is it possible to share the CAD design of the machine ? Easier to modify some parts !

Hello, has anyone modified the X Axis Box Section Mount 1'x1' to incorporate 3mm recessed nuts inside of the square tubing openings to utilize more holding power in the 4 set screws that hold the 1" x 1" tubing? Thanks

I used M4 set screws - they were extremely tight and hold good. (granted a nut probably would hold even better))

Hi and congrats for the projects ! I am outsourcing the parts, but have some problems finding the NEMA23 you recommend (23HS41-1804S).
Would you give us a link for the motors you bought ? I have seen prices up to 225$ for 3 motors
Thanks !

have a look on stepper online, they have really cheap price on any stepper motor you can think of all the way form nema08 to like 43. here's a link to the one you want, tbh 2.4Nm is a bit overkill but hey, it's


Thanks just ordered 4 of them !


im buying all the things, but i dont know what a "M8 Axis Connecting Bar" is and what is it for???.... can somebody help me with this?


It goes through the lower square tubing, and has pulleys on both ends. The idea is to have it so that if one side of the machine moves, it forces the connecting bar to rotate, and therefore the pulley to rotate and move the machine the same way on the other end. (to help keep it square)

Gyday from down under

like this setup, was building a joe Type. not now like what I see.
Ok is there a parts list and photo to suit

What's changed from the previous version? I have 70% of the parts printed and purchased to create v2.1.5 (BETA). Wondering if I should continue to build that, or this newer version or something in between?

Does anyone know the length and width of the baseboard? Thanks

That would vary greatly depending on the size you make the machine - how long you cut the tubes to be (on mine for instance I use a 4x4 foot board).

Hi there!
Where can I find a wiring diagram?
Thanks in advance!

never seen one, however I had no problem working it out and I was a complete novice when I built mine.

Where does the "Y gantry box mount foot" go? I cannot see them in any picture, what gives?

How long does the z close belt need to be?

is it nema 17 compatible. does it need to print any special parts for making it nema 17 compatible

You print the files for NEMA 17 rather than printing the files for the 23.

I'm wanting to build this in a few months over the winter. I have been using Nylon a lot lately and really like it. Would Nylon be a good material for the parts, or would it be too flexible?

Comments deleted.

Hi, thanks for this great "thing" :)
In the R3 ROM it states:

  • 3mm Pitch Belt
    -- Y Axis Bar Mount 25x25 3mm Mirror
    -- Y Axis Bar Mount 25x25 3mm STD
    -- X Axis Belt Clamp 2mm 3M HTD Belt Plate
    -- X Axis Belt Clamp 2mm 3M HTD

Where can I find the:
-- X Axis Belt Clamp 2mm 3M HTD Belt Plate
-- X Axis Belt Clamp 2mm 3M HTD
They are not in the zip file and also why are they called 2mm when they are parts for the 3mm Pitch belt?
I did find one "X Axis Belt Clamp 3M HTD Belt Plate" file in the Zip without the 2mm in the name.

Thank you for the help.

is there someone in germany or close to germany, who sells the wooden parts for this CNC?

Where can we find the firmware for this machine?

What should be the thickness of side panels?

18mm is perfect?

18mm MDF working really well for me.

The R3 BOM shows the following:

Option 1:
Box Section Linear Guild STD 8

  • Optional Config
    -- Box Section Linear Guild STD 4
    -- Box Section Linear Guild COACH BOLT 4

Option 2:
Under 1" Square Box Section:
-- X Axis Box Section Mount 1'x1' 2
-- Y Axis Bar Mount 1'x1' 2mm Mirror 2
-- Y Axis Bar Mount 1'x1' 2mm STD 2

I'm guessing I can use option 1 or 2. I was thinking I would use option 2.

Looking at the picture I can see needing 2 of the -- X Axis Box Section Mount 1'x1' but not 8 of the Box Section Linear Guild STD.

What is a Y Axis Bar Mount? I don't see that stl file.

Comments deleted.

Where do I get the design for the side panels?

The side panels plans are found in the 'Y' Carriage folder of the downloaded files.

This or the R-CNC? Anyone have Pros and Cons of both?

I started building the R-CNC, and I'm probably going to switch to this build.
Because the drilling through the box sections on the r-cnc needs to be so precise that I have quite a hard time doing it good and getting everything to align.

Does root 3 have the same BOM as root 2? How do i customize the lengths? Thanks

The BOM is included in the R3.ZIP download as an Excel spreadsheet.

Hi! where i can buy belts for this cnc update? i mean white belt on your photos.

Comments deleted.

So, has anyone tryd milling aluminium with this? if so, what thinkness was it able to cut per pass?

same questions...
but I guess it depend on spindle mybe..

Hi there!
In your BOM indicate 8 units "24T 3M HTD 8mm" Pulley.
This is correct?
I only see 5....... 4 to Y and 1 to X...
I'm correct?


corrected - Y axis needs 4 (Two for the mottor's and two for the connecting rod)
X axis needs 1
Z axis needs 2 (8mm for the lead screw/ threaded rod and 1 for the motor)

All my motors and shafts were 8mm :)

Hey! Do you have any idea if I use different timing belts and pulleys on this system. Ex: 2M HTD 6mm and 32T HTD 6 mm (I am new at these topics, so I just try to figure out the reasons, what happens when we change timing belts and pulleys sizes). Thanks in advance.

The new sizes are stronger belts i believe, you will need to re-calibrate your movement if you upgrade to the new belt sizes.

If only it is about the strength then it means that I can use every kind of belts, can't I? Beause, some belts are found more easily in the market.

No reason way not . I'm using 2.5t on my root2 and that's works just fine. just moving up to this version as i want something a little more power full.

Hi, On the BOM FOR V.2.1.5 it says M8 COLLAR anyone have anymore info on its size and purpose please?

I'm guessing they mean something like this http://openbuildspartstore.com/lock-collar/

Correct - they are used for the Z axis on the threaded rod, however if you are using standard M8 threaded rod, you can use just standard nuts though if you are using ACME threads then you would need theses.

could be... Thanks

  1. How much wear and tear is it on the Box section?
  2. How rigid is this cnc - I have a mpcnc and it works great but there is to much flex on the z-axis when moving XY
  3. Are there any week areas?

Any recommendations for spindles that are able to cut aluminum?
I've been looking at this one
400w 12000RPM Spindle Motor Mount 12V-48V Engraver Cutter Marker CNC: Amazon.ca: Tools & Home Improvement

That's what I use and it works well for me.

great project. I'm in process of printing its part.
I want to use Nema17 for motors. do i need to change any part for that or not?

I've only just started 3d printing with the plan to use my 3d printer to build my own CNC. I originally saw the Mostly printed CNC but stumbled upon this. So far this design seems more elegant and seems to have the potential to be straighter. Could anyone guide me as to the benefits of each design? The plan is to make guitar bodies and necks.

The biggest reason why I chose this CNC instead of the "Mostly Printed CNC" is because of the easy access to your build, instead of having rails running around the entire perimeter.

Reason #2 is the simplicity of the flat head, which would easily allow me to design a swap-able 3d printer head to it if I wanted. Of course I won't be making any tall objects, but it would be useful for making large, flat objects. Such as the large pieces of this CNC that would normally be wood.

Cool, thanks for the advice. I wouldn't be doing anything over 50mm thick. maybe a tad more. Probably going to start gathering the resources to make this soon I think

Hi, I'm in the process of building this project, however I have the problem that my spindle is 89 mm in diameter (I bought a Dewalt 618 router). Would you be willing to post dimensional blueprints of the spindle holder so that I can design a holder to fit the spindle or maybe, if you are willing to, share your CAD files of the spindle. If not, the blueprints will be just fine. Thanks for sharing such a great project!

Where can we download a part list. I try to build version 2.1.4.
I will be great full for a address.
Thank you all.

Would this work for the square extrusions?


I'm thinking steel would be a lot more rigid than aluminum for this purpose. The corners are more rounded than the aluminum extrusions, though.

it technically is the right dimensions, and there are files for both 25mm and 1 inch square tubes. The only issue I see with this one is that it looks a little rough. You'll want to try and find something smooth. I bought mine from my local hardware store, but this is what I have, and it works perfect. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-1-in-x-96-in-Aluminum-Square-Tube-with-1-20-in-Thick-802537/204273939

You mention preferring steel over aluminum, and I understand why. I've noticed some tracks appear on my square tube, but they havn't gotten any worse since the first few times the guide slid across them, and the guide still is as tight as ever.

Thanks for the reply! I went with steel, and it worked out fairly well, aside from the small layer of rust that builds up. I'm using a 4' span for this axis, so the increased rigidity of steel is essential in my build.

I'm glad you responded, because even though I am using aluminium for my tests, I still haven't decided for the final build. I don't know where I could find it quite yet, and haven't looked, but from your comment about rust it almost sounds like stainless steel would be a better option. Either that or finding an aluminium tube with a greater shell thickness as the (really long) comment below mentions.

I'd be interested in seeing what you have done so far. In exchange I will post a some pictures of what I have so far, though I still haven't bought all the nuts and bolts that I need, so much of it is still held together by zip ties (my go to even before duct tape).\

Sorry for lack of terminology. All this stuff is just a hobby and I have no formal education past high school. That might remove some credibility, so I might as well try and raise it by at least saying that I have successfully built a mutation of the rostock 3d printer.

Please,could you upload the list of components as have done in the model ROOT 2 CNC (BOM)?

Has anyone tried to build it with nema 17 and gt2 belts?

What size belt for z-axis pully?

I have built several DIY CNC machines.

I would make a few quick suggestions.

1) Make the carriages on the X axis much longer. Taking a 6 inch (150mm) carriage and making it 10 inches (250mm) only adds 100mm or about 4 inches to the length of the rails, but makes a tremendous difference in the stiffness and accuracy. If you make them 300mm then you will notice a massive difference. With the current design very easy to do. Virtually no increase in filament and the 3D parts stay the same or very nearly so.

2) Look at IGUS.com for their linear rails. Very inexpensive and robust. Easy to order in North America or Europe. They also have lead screws and nuts now.

3) Put a solid plate across the Y axis supports from one side support to the other side support. A piece of Baltic birch ply with large cutouts will keep the weight down yet add tremendous stiffness. Then put a horizontal piece on the top and bottom so the Baltic birch forms a C channel. This prevents twisting of the Y axis caused by side load on the spindle. If it was a laser cutter/engraver with no side load on the tooling, accuracy would be acceptable. With a router spindle, the side load is the major or predominate load. This side load is what impacts the flexing of the structure.

Remember that the stiffness of a cross section is pretty close to the square of the difference in size. So if a 1" square tube is replaced by a 2" square tube, it is almost 4 times as stiff. The mass is only doubled for 4 times the effect. With your existing design, the change in size of the bearing supports for a possible doubling in tube size, is very small. That is one of the great features of your design. Also moving supports farther apart adds stiffness.

2nd thing to remember is that a closed box section is stiff in two dimensions as well as in torsion.

Finally, be aware that the cost of the bearings, the cost of the 3D printer to print the parts, the motors and electronics are a constant. If the design is 200mm longer in say the X axis and the gantry / Y axis has doubled up size of tubes, the incremental cost is just the length of material. The labour is virtually unchanged. The carriages are virtually unchanged.

I would suggest a way of adding tension to the belts with a screw operated mechanism.

Also note that MOST stepper motors are not intended to have side load on the bearings. So putting tension on a belt that puts side load on a stepper motor bearing will lead to bearing failure.

Am excited about this design and will follow it closely. Keep up the great work.

After looking at your google+ page, I realize you refer to the long axis as Y and the cross axis as X. I use the opposite.

very helpful, thanks for the tips!

Hi, any idea when the MOB will be available ?.. Thanks

Hi how difficult would it be to modify the rotary tool holder to allow for a Dremel (3000). The other option is to turn it into a flat plate so I could print a tool holder (from another Thingiverse object)


Steve B

That depens on your CNC skills.. I would say it isnt that hard. You need to make your dremel mount from scratch as there are only stl files available. But when you look at the X carriage board and the lineaf rails you'll get an idea what you have to do.

Comments deleted.

Is there a bill of materials for this build?

Or even a partial BOM. I am trying to decide on whether to build one of these and am putting together a bit of a costing.


There is no BOM yet as Petd is still designing some parts. But he wrote on FB that the BOM will be ready soon and that you could stick to the BOM of R2CNC as it won't be that different.

I see the non commercial flag is on in the licensing. So clearly we are not going to start mass marketing your design. At face value that also seems to imply that we cannot sell something that we made by use of this machine.Can you clarify or (assuming it is OK) state that items made using the Root CNC machine may be sold by the users of the machine.

Hi, What kind of pulley and belt do you use in the nema 23 motors?

I'm printing the parts right now and ordering some parts... on the Z axis linear rail... what size did you use... I didn't see it listed anywhere...


Hi Pete,

Are 4 carriages really necessary? I'd say that 1 per rail is enough.

maybe, though having 4 defiantly reduces the chances of movement in the spindle when under load.

Wow Nice build! It grew up! lol I thought about making z like that 2.0! using 2 bearing blocks from y. but after made them 2 inch wider and 3 inch longer no play anyhow lol. I often thought about trying to use 8mm lead screw on my X axis instead of belt. Like 1 to 5 gear ratio on it. seems to be weakest part of root2 design anyhow. what will this one use?

Base Board (dxf) is the same as the files on FB?

Base Board 600x400mm & 600x800mm for Root 2.1 CNC
by cyryllo

hi pete
where goes the "Y axis Dust cover Spacer" please? any picture of it?

I join the question. "Y axis Dust cover Spacer" is not used? Can I not print it?

Comments deleted.

will this item work as the motor spacer for nema23? it is the same 50mm height as the printed part but the belt outled channel is a little smaller.


great find! it doesnt look like it gives the dimension of the opening... but it does look a little too small. =[

I think you might be right that it might be possible that having two drive belts for the Y-axis could possibly get out of sync under load. However, I'm trying to figure out how driving it by one side only would improve on that situation. I've have not yet built 2.1 or used it, but it seems like the new system would introduce horrific racking under load, which seems like a much worse problem than the possibility of double y-axis belts getting out of sync. I'm curious, from a design standpoint, do you racking experience problems with this design?
Thanks for the feedback and the awesome projects you've created for the community!

Woodywong - Henk_I3 Is correct, the intention drive the Y gantry with two motors. the images doesn't show that atm as I have only got my hands on one stepper motor.

ALSO.. Another thing that is not clear; is the fact that the two sides of the gantry and STILL connected together! this is one feature that i was not going to remove from the design. There is a 8mm Smooth rod which runs down the inside of the lower box section to either side of the gantry, which the two extra pulleys you see connect too. so it is possible to drive the Y axis with one motor and it will would be fine but its advise to drive with two. Though don't forget the connecting rod!

as written in the facebook group: the picture is just showing one motor, normally it should be build with double y-stepper

That makes sense. Thank you for clarifying that. :)

That really is a great design.

I bet this could even be turned into a co2 laser capable of 100 watts. Just need to mount the laser tube on the back of the build board. A gold mirror mounted on the X axis that directs the beam to another mirror mounted on the z axis's top tool mount and directing it down to a beam focuser thats mounted on the z axis's bottom tool mount. I would totally design if i knew how to. But i dont so maybe someone else can and post it as an option. Maybe even have 2 tool heads, a laser and a router.... imagine routing something in 3d while laser etching at the same time!

Sounds interesting! just be careful with an exposed laser tube! unless you put a nice enclosed around the whole mill.

Awesome design!
I absolutely love it!
This will be one of my next projects.
Do you have an assembled model for SketchUp?

Frankenwaeldler - Thanks :) I currently do not unfortunately.

Do you have an assembled model for an other CAD-programm?

I'm new to this, Where can I find the parts/materials list for this build? Assembly instructions? Thanks.

As i say this is a WIP though, I dout many things will change anyway as I have already built one. but I've released theses files online as I dont not have a huge amount of time on my hands but I will do what I can when I can to get more detail online