Modified Easy Mill

Based on Tom McGuire's Easy Mill Instructable, found here.

This document can be found at http://easymill.boj.cc/

Intro

When I set out to make this CNC mill, I told my dad. I knew I'd need some help; I didn't think I could do it alone. When I first asked my dad, he basically said that we couldn't make one because it was too complicated. He was worried that he didn't have the tools or abilities to make such a machinist-quality machine. But. I didn't want to give up so easily. I started scouring the Internet looking for an easy to make, fairly accurate CNC mill that didn't require a large amount of precision. That's when I found Tom's Easy Mill. It looked simple enough, and the Instructables claimed it was precise enough, so I brought it to my dad. He agreed that we could probably do it with the tools we had, so we set out to make it. This happened last Winter. We made the frame of it during my Winter Break, and we've worked on it extensively this summer (2 full days a week), and we finally finished!

This page right here will detail what we changed from Tom's mill, what went wrong, what we did well, and what we'd do next time.

What I Changed

What I'd Do Differently Next Time

First of all, I just wanted to say that I'm happy that I did it this way, for the first time. I know that mine could be improved, but this one was a terrific learning experience. All of the things I want to change after the fact would have added cost to my project, and because I was (and still am) learning about this (and thus wasting materials), it would have cost a lot more to start out with those materials. That aside, here's what I'd change:

The Software

For the software, I used a dedicated computer running a modified version of Ubuntu Linux called LinuxCNC, and it worked really well. I had a bit of trouble configuring the whole apparatus due to the less-than-well documented driver board I got, but I pulled it off. The configuration files can be found here.


Reception

I brought this device to the Orange County Mini Maker Faire, and I was interviewed by a small tech Internet TV station called QGITS about my project. The interview can be found here.