After a successful couple of hours at the nerd cupboard, we managed to get Steve’s CNC design working in two axes. The test board simply uses buttons to turn a connected stepper motor clockwise and anticlockwise (we’ve yet to finish our controller software) but proves the concept of moving a drilling head across a gantry and performing a plunge-and-drill operation.
We’re particularly pleased with the dual-servo control: the first servo is actually an RC motor controller and sets the drilling spindle spinning. Then the z-axis servo plunges the drill head, pauses, and retracts the head, before stopping the drill spindle. (In code we “detach” the z-axis servo so that it is only powered for as long as is required.)
Surely it’s only a matter of time before the y-axis (cutting bed) is in place and we’re ready to try out some custom software to drill our first board!