Let's Make Robots!

My CNC Senior Project

This is a secondary documentation page for my Senior Project for highschool, I'm building a cnc router with a budget of $700 bucks.

Basically, the plan is to build my router (codename Soundwave, like the decepticon transformer :P) and upon completion, use it to produce all of the circuitry, brackets and axis for a seconed router to donate to the technology department of my school. This project will take place over the course of this school year, and will be completed in Febuary (I hope).

I have more info here, on the projects actual webpage (that one will be graded)



So far I have the control box built. I have 3 ProboStep Unipolar stepper motor drivers, a parallel port breakout board and a Wier HS100 24 volt PSU I had lying around.


   Here you can see the finished heatsinking done with a 1/16" aluminum angle with fins cut into it.



More updates soon as mechanical components come in



UPDATE! 4/4/11


Its easier for me just to keep the updates here, All the mechanics should be finished up in a week or two, Ill keep this page updated!



This project has consumed my workshop!

I am also renaming it "Prowler", then I'm going to put a peacekeeper symbol on it, everything is better with sci-fi references!






For the motor drivers to be used on the seconed machine, I am between programming a PIC to interperate step and dir signals then driving the motor coild with MOSFETS or a L298 H-Bridge, or using a L297 and a L298 as a pair, the problem is that L297 chips are eight USD a piece. What do you guys think I should go with?



So I have finally settled on a design "train of thought" for the control for Machine part deux, behold the Xilinx XC9536 CLPD!!!! I was able to get ahold of a couple from my mentor for the project, (he literally had a case of these things)

Since I am much more comfortable designing at the gate level rather than verilog, or C/assembler with a MCU, CPLD's are a natural choice for me. I'm going to design and build an in circuit programmable CNC dedicated cpld dev board to create the step sequences for each motor, then break out those signals with some darlington transistors to drive the motors. I figure this will be a pretty simple and easily updatable design, should be pretty fun too!

A far as the mechanics, It will be similar to the "Mantis" if anyone has ever seen it.


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You should go to st and ask for samples:) I got l297, l298, and l6208.. I am doing a small and cheap cnc, and l6208 is a nive interpreter and driver. I dont have much time, but found some pcb for that on google..

oooooooo, free samples?! how many did you get?

go to my.st.com and register with your school email. Then you will ask for samples.. there are a lot of ic to sample from.. I recomend l6208. dip package, it is l297 + l298 in one ic

When you were ordering the samples was there a form to fill out in the checkout about why you want the free sample? Questions like: Project title and description, estimated anual production ...... Kinda woried about just saying it is just for me, a hobbyist, or do they not are ??  

don't bother with samples, just put a lot of thought into what component you need and get it.

that's right.. I think the most cost effective is the MOSFET's.. next l297/298, next l6208.. Dont know if it is the easyest way with pic + MOSFET's if you intend to make a chopper drive..

Yea, I think I will put in the extra work and just make the controllers with a PIC, plus the PCB design should be easier with those, Thanks for the input!

updated on my website, take a look :p



is a website that could offer you many choices for stepper drivers and at least one option uses PICs to assist in driving the steppers.

3-Axis test video uploaded :)

I have the x and y motors mounted now, will update again when it moves on it own