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 www.easy-cnc.com.
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”).
Although my CNC skills are minimal at the moment…