Let's Make Robots!

The Stinger - a PCB milling machine

Designed to mill and drill PCB's and that's all it should ever do


Hi all,

Following my little review here time for some real action, build some useful stuff, build a pcb mill. Please check the review page for updates from makerbeam.eu!

I have started on Friday evening doing the base frame. Of course I neglected taking photos during the early part of the build as I was too concentrated in trying to figure out the best way to make use of the makerbeam kit ... and keep the little parts out of the hands of my daughter :) 

The first attempt used only the parts in the kit but soon I relized the 24 90 degrees brakets are not nearly enough for the whole frame, even having the corner brakets too. 

Version 0.1 had to be revised about two times, finally I have decided that I need the help of the BumbleBee to get this going.

So part makerbeam part printed parts it is.

Update - 22.01.2013 - V0.2

This is the current looks of the frame:

From Share

As you can see I have managed to print both the mounts for the Y axis and X axis. 

The mounts have holes to support the smooth 8 mm rods I'm planning to put in, the threaded screw and the motors.

I have made all supports with a place to mount a bearing so the threaded rod can be supported on both ends, but the one on the motor end could be skipped I have to how that works.

Here is a closeup of the X support.

From Share

And another one: 

From Share

This is where I got so far, the stability of the frame seems pretty good but it's hard to say until I have the full thing assembled.

Next is desiging the Z axis and the Z carriage, spindle holder , the X carriage, the Y carriage and print some lm8uu mounts.

Update 04-03-2013 - I can haz Spindle?

OK I finally had some time to work on this, Blender-erd away all weekend. 

Once I got to design the rest of the parts, I found that mounting the Proxxon IB/E on this little thing would be a little challenging, due to the size and weight of it. This is the tool I'm talking about http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=206&idcategory=26

So before actually trying I decided to try finding an alternative spindle. One idea was to use this little guy I also own, the Micromot 50/E http://www.proxxontools.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=15&idcategory=26 .

The problem with it is that it wasn't really designed to be used for routing applications it's only meant for light jobs, so the spindle inside is only supported by a very small bearing which develops runout very quickly. I had it on the Valkyrie for some time and it became unusable very fast. So I just dropped it in my tool box and it's been sitting there ever since.

This seemed like a good moment to open the Micromot up and see if I could replace the bearing with something better. Turns out the shaft is 8mm in diameter ! Perfect!

After about 30 minutes of (gently) whacking the spindle wit a hammer to get the metal part and the bearing off I manged to free the shaft. Now I just needed to clean it up a bit and try to find a pair of bearings to fit on it.

A long time ago when I wanted to build my first machine I bought some high quality ABEC7 skate bearings and I still had some. These guys are made to replace normal bearings in roller blades and skateboards to give more speed. They have unnoticable run out compared to normal bearings. And they friction fit perfectly on the shaft :D

From Stinger CNC

After  gently hammering them in with a soft hammer, the bearings are in place, no way to move them.

I have mounted the motor back and tada Spindle, no runout as far as I can tell. 

Next was to design ant print the mount for it, this took a while as I need to make sure both the mount and the Z axis do not allow wobble.

This is what I came up with:

From Stinger CNC


From Stinger CNC

And the mount plate:

From Stinger CNC

And how it should mount:

From Stinger CNC

Of course there are more parts I need to print, this will take a while but I should have the complete Z axis printed by the end of the week, if my printer helps me out. 

Before any other big print job I need to have a look at the Bumblebee I have some weird ridges suddently in my verticals, and it looks like the extruder is having some issues too, so it might take some time before I can finish this one :/

Update - 07-02-2013 - Z + X

Due to flu raging on me I stayed in and worked from home. The good side of that is that while working I could also print :) 

Finished the Z and X !


From Stinger CNC
From Stinger CNC
From Stinger CNC
From Stinger CNC

Update - 2013-02-12 - In one piece and moving

Got all axes together, connected to electronics and did the little "It's alive! It's alive!" dance. Video added.

X axis popped a wire that's why it's going crazy, Y axis is a bit wobbly due to the screw. I'll get some better quality screw when I get to the hardware store. 

Some pictures:


From Stinger CNC

And another:

From Stinger CNC

Update - 2013-03-30 - New brain & hearts

Finally my package came in:D 

Without any other blah blah:

- here is the back with the electronics on

From Stinger CNC

- Side

From Stinger CNC

And front :)

From Stinger CNC

OK that's it enjoy the vids.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I shall be watching updates to this build. What is the anticipated build cost?



... the price of the starter kit

Then 3 x stepper motors, some electronics to drive it, some printed parts, some smooth rods, some linear bearings, some 8mm threaded bars. I estimate the cost of motors+electronics at around 150usd according to ebay. The rest probably around another 100 usd so maybe arount 250 $ + the cost of the kit. 

So it's not real cheap and cheap it's not it's purpose either :)  


Sounds like an acceptable price that I'm hoping I can afford in a somewhat not very distant future :P

Beyond that the major thing that puts me off these kinds of projects is the need to heavy tools... :s

But from what I gathered looks like you don't even need to drill the bars... it's just slide and fasten kind of deal, right?

Do you anticipate the need of any very specific and/or heavy tool to finish the job? I see you already had to print some parts, but that I think I'll have covered "soon" enough, are at least sooner than before I'm able to invest in something like this :P

I have looked at your previous CNC projects a while ago, but I don't trust my skills to cut pieces with the required precision, plus you said it was too damn noisy :)

... were harmed in the process so far.

But as I started you do need a 3d Printer ... or someone to print parts.

Might need a hacksaw to cut the smooth rods I bought an ax grinder to spare the time :/

Did not think about the actual milling plate yet but I might have to cut stuff, hacksaw again?


Be sure to document it very very well henceforth, if it turns out reliable and under an affordable cost I might want to copycat you :P once I get a job :x :D

Keep on with the good work :D

*Pressing Collect*