CNC Gantry Router

by Stephen Hobley on December 20, 2009

CNC Router

CNC Router

I just assembled my Christmas present – a CNC Gantry Router kit I ordered from Bluumax. The kit arrived in two boxes – I needed to cut some MDF as a base and table first (this was not supplied).

It took a while to put it all together, as the instructions are provided on the Bluumax site in a picture form – sometimes you can get lost following along. Although once you get the basic idea it’s goes together without too much trouble. The parts are aluminum and acrylic, and the machined fit is very good.

The kit comes with a stepper controller board, but I opted to upgrade this with a parallel port breakout / bipolar controller board from

Once it was all hooked up I spent some time trying to decipher the Mach3 software recommended by Shawn on Bluumax. It’s a bit daunting to begin with, but after a while you get used to it – along with LazyCam I was able import a design and produce enough GCode to trace out the pattern on paper with a pen attached to the tool holder.

It was also a chance to use the old laptop I’ve had on the shelf for about 5 years – it actually has a parallel port built in. (and something called a “floppy disk drive”).

Etch-a-Sketch anyone?

Although my CNC skills are minimal at the moment…

Who remembers Etch-a-Sketch...?

Who remembers Etch-a-Sketch...?


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tolga October 7, 2010 at 12:10 am

I can see that you are putting a lots of efforts into your blog. Keep posting the good work.Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Nice to see your site. Thanks!

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