By Michael Simpson
60 SERVO 04.2014
Recently, I covered 3D printing in the
pages of SERVOMagazine in a multi-part
series. While 3D printing is great for
prototyping, nothing beats the ability to
mill an aluminum part consistently on a
CNC router or milling machine.
n this new series, I will take the
Proxxon MF70 micro mill shown in
Figure 2 and convert it to the fully
automated CNC machine shown in
I chose the Proxxon MF70 due to its
cost, availability, and size. The converted
machine is small enough to sit on a desk,
and makes an excellent addition to a
desktop 3D printer. This series will be my
most complex project to date, so I will
break it down as follows:
Part 1: CNC Introduction
I will cover various CNC types and
Part 2: Conversion Overview
Here, we will discuss the components
needed for the conversion. We will also
go into the hardware and software used
to control the CNC.
Part 3: X, Y, and Z Axis Conversion
We will go step-by-step through the process of adding
the stepper motor mounts to each of the three axes.
Part 4: Electrical Hookup and Testing
In this part, we will hook up the controller to a PC and
to the three CNC motors. We will
configure the control software and
finally, conduct some basic tests.
Part 5: Tuning and Configuration
Before you can use the MF70 CNC,
you will need to tune the machine so
that you can create consistent and
accurate cuts. In this article, we will
cover tuning and configuration options.
Part 6: Operation
I will take you through my workflow
from part design to part creation.
Part 7: Upgrades
In this part, we will learn how to
add an emergency stop button and
Part 8: Going Further
I will highlight some of the things
you may want to do to take your CNC
mill to the next level.
I will try and follow this outline as much as possible,
but it’s hard to predict the space needed for some of the
different topics. Where possible, I will combine parts into