Duncans Metal Pages
Mini mill CNC conversion
Last updated: 13 Nov 2018


Over two years, not much has happened with the Mini Mill CNC Conversion.  The original plan of using some cheap unipolar driver boards, and some 60oz/in steppers has been completely replaced.  The motors now will be 116oz/in (still probably half the size needed) and for now some Xylotex bipolar chopper drives.

The current spec is for X/Y/Z/A axis control, although the very poor Z axis on the mini-mill will be completely replaced.  A ballscrew of exactly the right size was sourced from ebay at the right price making this task a little easier.

Currently, the controllers have been powered up on the bench and the motors tested.  This has been driven by the Artsoft Mach2 software and seems to all work OK.  The controllers are in the process of being installed in a proper case, so this is about as much as I have pictures for right now...

26-May-2004: The controller is being built into an 8"x6" chassis, all components and connectors are attached to the lid of the case.  Down the left side, X/Y/Z/A outputs are 4 pin DIN connectors.  The remaining connectors are terminal posts for main power, 25 way D type that comes with the Xylotex board, and finally a 5 pin DIN connector for 'power steal' from the PC.
Turned the other way up, the two Xylotex boards are visible along with the connectors for attaching the motors.  Now all I have to do is wire the thing up and test it again.
28-May-2004 A longer job than expected, but it's all wired up now.  Testing should be complete 29th May, then it's the patterns for all the castings :-)
24-Aug-2004 Testing failed.  Steps were being lost, this problem was traced to the length of leads between the power supply and the controller.  A new controller on the left was made with a built in power supply - this has eliminated ground loops and other problems, so far all tests have passed with no missed steps.
Another view of the box, not really much on the front panel apart from a few LEDs and a fuse.

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Warning: These pages consist of images and descriptions of equipment which can reach high temperatures creating hazardous and potentially dangerous situations.  These pages should not be taken as a step by step guide on how to construct any items or carry out any particular procedure, nor should any references to safety contained herein be taken to guarantee safety in all situations.