By Michael Simpson
68 SERVO 05.2014
In this article, we are going to discuss
the components you will use to convert
your MF70 mill into a fully automated
CNC micro mill. We will also cover the
components and software needed to
control the mill.
The components needed to complete the MF70 conversion can be broken down in many
ways. We will break them down into the
• MF70 mill
• Electronic components
• Motor mount components
At the end of the article, a link to
the conversion Bill of Materials will be
provided so that you can simply “click”
to purchase each component. First, let's
take a look at each category and its
components in detail.
The Proxxon MF70 mill shown in Figure 1 comes with
a full set of collets and a clamp kit that will get you started.
Just add a couple of drill bits and end mills, and you can
start milling stock. The mill has an X-Y travel of 5-17/64"
and 1-13/16". It has a Z travel of 2-3/4". The motor is a
high precision 1/8 HP motor. It has an electronic speed
controller built in with a range of 5,000-20,000 RPM.
The components that allow your
PC to control your CNC are the stepper
motor controller, power supply, and
The controller takes direction and
step commands from your PC's parallel
port and translates them into energy to
drive the two coils of the stepper motor.
I have tested a few controllers, but
the one shown in Figure 2 works the
best. The controller is a SainSmart CNC TB6560 three-axis
controller board and comes with the parallel port cable to
connect it to your PC.
In addition to the cable, it comes with quick release
screw terminals for all connections. It has support for a
DRO and Jog controller, and it has a connector that
allows it to be upgraded to four axes. There’s a built-in
relay circuit so it can turn your MF70 motor on and off
Part 2 — Conversion Overview