CNC [project log]

(@_AS , assaf and i) started work on the stepcraft CNC.
goal is to get an open source workflow going.

1st day

  • find the the right/old PC with toolset installed
  • replace the bios battery
  • wait for it boot

2nd day
open the stepcraft to investigate what’s up with the controller
take photos

3rd day

  • replace the misbehaving original Y-axis limit switch with one from tami’s switch stash

  • loosen the Y-axis bridge to align the two rails . and tighten it again

  • @assaf brought the spindle and its controller. still not sure how this fits the wiring paradigma (insert documentation here)


oh NO,
the CP2102N IC doing the USB2SERIAL bridge is known to be bad on LINUX.

note the above cool kicad BOM to PCB plugin is interactive (in your browser) and added to the BOM folder of the repo. get it or play jsfiddle

need to cancel PCB order and edit the pcb
ok, so based on the manufacturer forum post, this is fixed in the drop in replacment CP2102N-A02.
[TODO] update repo and notify OG repo

ordered and crossing fingers…
me dont know kicad well enough to do the edit anyways.

day 6

day 7

  • secure grounding line
  • secure X axis cable sleeve
  • connect spindle, find 17mm wrench for bit replacement
  • find butterfly workpiece secure bolts, metal cross bracket still needed…
  • @Jonathan: lookup possible Y axis drive shaft replacements UK, IL


  • try out many coordinate setups: XY limits, homing, park position, …
  • reset config to factory settings a couple of times to try out various configuration options
  • try to limit machine Y axis work area to [0,400] - section closer to door where drive shaft seems a bit less wobbly…
  • winpc issues: machine disconnecting…
  • winpc issues: machine moving in the same direction when manually jogging in opposite directions on the Y axis, weird!
  • winpc issues: Y axis positions suddenly flip from [0,838] to [-400,400]…?

Hello world project:

  • carve out a TAMI logo in plywood video
  • via inkscape: svg → png → bitmap tracking → gcode extension → gcode file
  • workaround flipped Z axis in gcode file
  • override gcode file speed commands to force slower job exec

Next steps:

  • box for machine related parts
  • see if we can get a solid XYZ coordinate config or not
  • flash grbl onto an arduino, hookup in-place-of current usb module socket
  • figure out how to operate machine remotely once we are comfortable with it, ie. place it in the wood room + webcam with PC on the other side

Day 8
got ze boards!

continue here…

previously in tami CNC adventures

day 9
@kfir did a retrofirt for a similar machine and replaced the control board with a gsheild , packing the DRV8818 stepper drivers. TBD